The Book of Ephesians ~ Chapter 4:20-22 ~ The Present Walk of the Believer in the New Life; The Old Sin Nature

Vol. 15 No. 41 ~ October 30, 2016

1-tim-6-vs-12We now turn to Section 2 of the last half of Chapter 4, vs. 20-32.

Section 2; The Present Walk of the New Life, Eph 4:20-32.

a.) The Regenerated New Man in Christ Jesus, vs. 20-24.

b.)Principles of Conduct for the New Man, vs. 25-32.

Here we continue to note the practice of believers in relation to the former life as an unbeliever, and that our spiritual walk should be in regards to our new life as a believer, as a regenerated man, Eph 4:17-29, and as indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Eph 4:30-32. Overall, this section gives us instruction for living the new regenerated life in Christ, as a new creation in Christ Jesus, i.e., a new spiritual species. Therefore, if in reversionism these passages are for instruction on reversion recovery.

The first sub-section, vs. 20-24, is actually one sentence in the Greek that has been broken down into five passages in our Bibles. In these five passages, we have five main themes:

Vs. 20, We did not learn about Christ from the old sinful life.

Vs. 21, We learned truth and how to walk from Jesus.

Vs. 22, We are to put off the old self, the old way of doing things.

Vs. 23, We are to be renewed in the left lobe of the soul, (to counter the Blackout of the Soul).

Vs. 24, We are to put on the new self, by living in the new Christ like nature of righteousness and holiness as taught in His Word, (i.e., truth).

Vs. 20, We did not learn about Christ from the old sinful life.

Eph 4:20, “But you did not learn Christ in this way.”

But” is the contrasting superordinating Conjunction DE to show the difference between what was just mentioned about living in unrighteousness and immorality with what is to follow.

You” is the emphatic 2nd Person Pronoun HUMEIS referring to the audience of Paul’s writing, “believers,” members of the Royal Family of God

Did not learn Christ” is the negative Particle OU with the Aorist, Active, Indicative Verb MANTHANO, μανθάνω that means, “to learn by instruction, investigation, practice, or experience; to understand.” It is a technical word for learning, it is used for academic study, academic learning where there is discipline, John 7:15; Gal 3:2; 1 Cor 14:31; Phil 4:11.

This is followed by HO CHRISTOS for “the Christ.” It emphasizes His deity, Messiahship, and His Word.

In this way” is the Greek Adverb HOUTOS, οὕτως that means, “In this manner, thus, in this way, as follows, etc.” It describes the manner of the verbal action or state of being. It is derived from the demonstrative Pronoun HOUTOS that means, “this,” by lengthening the final vowel. Therefore, “this” becomes “thus, so, or in this manner.”

Altogether, this means that we did not come to know and understand who and what Christ is by living in sin, inside of Satan’s cosmic system. “Christ” emphasizes the deity of Jesus Christ, and here the absolute holiness and righteousness that He is as God. It also emphasizes His Messiahship. Therefore, by living in or experiencing sin, evil, and human good, we do not learn anything about the holiness and righteousness of God that is given to us at the moment of our salvation. Therefore, we are unable to live in holiness and righteousness. We learned about Christ as our Messiah and our salvation, as well as the spiritual life we can live, through Him when we learned His Word.

This also tells us that we no longer exist in the state of ignorance and separation from God with Scar Tissue on our hearts. We now have come to know who Christ is and how to live unto Him daily.

Vs. 21, We learned truth and how to walk from Jesus.

Eph 4:21, “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus.”

It begins with “if indeed,” which is the Conjunction EI, the first class if, with the Particle GE that means, “indeed” emphasizing the “if” statement as absolute. In other words, “if and you absolutely did.”

What did we absolutely do? Two things:

1) We “heard Him,” AKOUO AUTOS, in the Aorist, Active, Indicative that means we actively learned in the past about Christ by listening, through the ear gate, to the teachings about Him. This emphasizes the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP), as we actively partake in the teaching of God’s Word, verbally communicated by our Pastor-Teacher. It also emphasizes the left lobe, NOUS, or mind of the soul, as the place that the Word enters into our soul. It is the counter to the Blackout of the Soul.

2) “Have been taught in Him,” is DIDASKO EN AUTOS, where DIDASKO is in the Aorist, Passive, Indicative. The Aorist Passive emphasizes that in the past we have received the teaching of Bible Doctrine from our right Pastor-Teacher, Eph 4:11-13. The Indicative is for the reality that we have been taught His Word.

Finally, we have, “just as truth is in Jesus,” which is KATHOS EIMI ALETHEIA EN HO IESOUS.

Here we have the Present, Active, Indicative of EIMI for “is,” which indicates a state of continuous presence of absolute truth in the person of Jesus Christ. “Truth,” ALETHEIA means, “truth, integrity, freedom from error, reality, etc.” It relates back to Eph 1:13, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

Therefore, it refers to God’s Word, or Bible Doctrine that is the “mind of Christ,” 1 Cor 2:16.

As Jesus Christ is the “way, truth and life,” John 14:6, His message is both salvation and the Christian way of life, as we will note in vs. 24, “And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” So here, it speaks to the content of Christianity as the ultimate truth, versus the lie that comes from false religions and Satan’s cosmic system that is deceptive.

Vs. 22, We are to put off the old self, the old way of doing things.

Eph 4:22, “That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.”

Here we note that the old ways of doing things through the world, Satan’s cosmic system, and false religions is to be ended in the life of the believer.

In reference to” is KATA. “Your former,” is the Accusative of HO and the Adjective PROTEROS, πρότερος that means, “before, former or earlier.” It is used with “manner of life,” which is the Accusative Noun ANASTROPHE, ἀναστροφή that means, “conduct, behavior, or manner of life.” In classical Greek, it literally meant to, “turn around.” Now figuratively it means, “human behavior, conduct, or life-style.” With the Adjective “former,” it represents our life as an unbeliever when we were focused on the world, false religions, and Satan cosmic system living an immoral life style as an enemy of God.

Next, we are to “lay aside the old self.” “Lay aside,” in the Greek is the Aorist, Middle, Infinitive of APOTITHEMI, ἀποτίθημι from APO a preposition of ultimate source and TITHEMI that means, “to place or to put.” It comes together to mean, “take off, lay aside, rid oneself of, or renounce.” It actually is at the beginning of the sentence in the Greek. Literally used for taking off something like clothing.  It is used as a figurative action in which something undesirable is “laid aside,” (e.g., “works of darkness,” “the old man,” “lies,” and all kinds of sin), in Rom 13:12; Eph 4:22, 25; Col 3:8. The Infinitive is for purpose, so we have “that” in the English at the beginning of the sentence. The purpose here is to rid ourselves of the negative influence of the Old Sin Nature, OSN, which we can only do through rebound and the application of Bible doctrine in our lives.

The thing laid aside is “the old self,” HO PALAIOS ANTHROPOS. It literally reads, “the old man.” This is what we call the Old Sin Nature, OSN, or the Adamic Nature. It is not just referencing our former behaviors, but that sin nature inside of us that prior to our salvation had exclusive rule over our souls. This word goes back to the fact that in the very beginning the Old Sin Nature came upon man at the point of the fall. We are born with an OSN. Adam and the woman acquired one through the fall. But now that we are in Christ, we have a new nature as noted in the next verse. Therefore, this tells us to stop being controlled by our OSN, our Adamic Nature, and instead walk in our new nature.

Before we discuss the new nature, this verse reminds us what the OSN is doing. It is, “being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.”

“Being corrupted,” is the Present, Middle, Participle of the Verb PHTHEIRO, φθείρω that means, “to destroy, corrupt, defile, ruin, or spoil.” It refers to ruining or corrupting the believer’s inner life, either by false teaching or by immoral conduct, often accomplished by means of misleading tactics. It was also used in classical Greek for seducing a female or a female who “wandered off.” Therefore, we see the tie in with sexual immorality noted in vs. 19, and the corrupting effect it has on the soul. As such, it represents the Blackout of the Soul that leads to Scar Tissue upon the Soul.

2 Cor 11:3, “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

Jude 1:10, “But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.”

This corruption led by the power of the OSN over the soul is, “in accordance,” KATA, “with the lusts of deceit,” the Noun EPITHUMIA that means, “desire, longing, craving,” with the Genitive Noun APATE, ἀπάτη that means, “trick or treachery, deceit or deceitfulness and fraud.” It refers to false teaching of false doctrines and the falsehoods inside of Satan’s cosmic system. It reminds us of the KUBEIA of vs. 14.

The NT uses APATE only in reference to the deceit experienced by those outside of faith. Thus, we encounter a familiar motif in Scripture that the world is deceived and only the godly know the truth. It is used in reference to our unbelieving state when we were deceived and led astray by Satan’s cosmic system. This word also represents the world’s value system, in that riches are “deceptive” and lead people away from the truth of the gospel, and that false teachers “revel in their deceptions or pleasures,” Mat 13:22; Mark 4:19; 2 Peter 2:13. Other applications of this word in relation to our verse is that passions lead people astray and represent the old nature, cf. Heb 3:13, and that human philosophies are empty and deceptive, Col 2:8. Paul characterized those who are perishing as “deceived,” 2 Thes 2:10.

That is why we are to…

1 Tim 6:11, “But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”

1 Peter 1:15, “But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.”

In regards to our lustful desires that deceive us, although EPITHUMIA can be used in a positive sense, it is used in Eph 2:3, and here, as elsewhere, in the sense of an improper desire morally or ethically.

Man’s desires were distorted as a result of the Fall, when they exerted an unnatural control over man’s shattered image of God, Eph 4:17-19; Rom 1:20-32. As such, humanity in its present sinful state is, apart from the saving grace of God, serving “various lusts and pleasures,” Titus 3:3.

Humanity’s “sinful lusts” are revealed in its sinful nature, manifest expressly in sexual, moral, and ethical rebellion against God, Rom 6:12; 7:23-24; 8:13, as evil desires of all kinds are seated in the heart, Mark 7:21-23.

Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

Paul used EPITHUMIA as that which motivates the actions of the fallen human being. As he notes here, the “old man” is corrupt “according to the deceitful lusts” and contrasts with the “new man” of the believer, which God “created in righteousness and true holiness.”

However, even within the believer the old nature, the sinful nature, “the flesh”, challenges the believer’s new man. As such, we are not to permit those sinful inclinations to rule our lives. If they remain unchecked, they may jeopardize your faith, Rom 8:13, “For if you are living according to the flesh you must die, but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

Gal 5:16-17, “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire / lust of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: for these are in opposition to one another.”

The battle of the believer is waged not only against obvious sinful acts, Gal 5:19-21, but against the temptations or desires of the sinful nature. Those belonging to Christ have crucified the OSN with its passions and desires, Gal 5:24.

James used EPITHUMIA as something which lures and entices man to sin, James 1:14.

Peter wrote of our “former lusts,” 1 Peter 1:14, i.e., desires that belong to the old life, and warned us to avoid these since they wage war against the soul, 1 Peter 2:11.  He also noted that corruption in the world comes through EPITHUMIA, 2 Peter 1:4.

Jude, in the same way, exposed spiritual deceivers as typically those who live according to their own desires, Jude 16-18.

John warned of the triad of Satan’s temptations, “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life” that are characteristic of the world and worldly life-style, 1 John 2:16. You cannot love these things because to do so would be a denial of your love for God.

The desires of the “flesh” are not only a compelling force within each individual, but they are the larger force of the world itself. Jesus traced this evil tendency to its progenitor, the devil in John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”

The evil desires and schemes of the fallen world and the devil have enlisted each other to fight against believers. That is why the writers of the NT speak of evil passions in harsh terms and depict them as having infiltrated virtually every aspect of life, 2 Peter 3:3; cf. Rom 1:24; Eph 4:22; Col 3:5; 1 Tim 6:9; 2 Tim 2:22; Titus 2:12; 1 Peter 4:2-3; 2 Peter 2:10; 1 John 2:16; Jude 18.

2 Peter 3:3, “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts.

That is why we are commanded  in 1 Tim 6:12 to, “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”


If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 16-121 & 122



If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you.  He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins.  He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.

To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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