Main Point: Life has a way of darkening our minds, hardening our hearts, and losing our sensitivity to God and His ways. Paul’s reminder to the Ephesians of what they were taught is an invitation for us to prayerfully consider our ways and respond accordingly.
Ephesians 4:17-19 NIV
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
1. We need to be [re]sensitized to the way of Christ.
Ephesians 4:20-24 NIV
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
The way of Christ includes putting off our old ways, putting on new ways, and a willingness to be made new in our minds.
2. We need to be [re]sensitized to the community around us.
Ephesians 4:32; 5:1-2 NIV
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 4:25-27 NIV
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:28-29 NIV
Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Following the way of love means relating to one another in compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and truth.
3. We need to be [re]sensitized to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:30-31 NIV
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
The leading of the Holy Spirit includes following the conviction of love and relationship with God, as well as sin and unrighteousness.