| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 45 - Page 155 of 251 Index | Zoom | |
name Him. To them, the apostles, He is Lord and God, and they do not forget it when
they talk or write about Him. He Himself said "Ye call Me Master and Lord, and ye say
well; for so I am" (John 13: 13). Would that all who profess to own Him as Saviour and
Lord would remember this! Jesus was His earthly name (Matt. 1: 21) of His humbling
and also as the perfect Man, and it is significant that in the context we are considering in
Ephesians the emphasis is on the new man, the perfect new nature which God gives to
each of His redeemed children:
". . . . . that ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, which
waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
and put on the new man, which after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness
of truth" (Eph. 4: 22-24 R.V.).
The "old man" is the sinful old nature we all inherit from fallen Adam.
Fundamentally God dealt with this at the Cross, for then our old man was crucified with
Him (Rom. 6: 6). Now each member of the Body is exhorted to count on this by faith
and so make it experimental day by day. The old nature can never improve, or be
reformed or changed. God gives it over to death and implants into His children the
perfect thing he requires. This now can renew and control the mind with its thinking and
planning through the Spirit's work. It is a new beginning, a transformation of the mind as
Rom. 12: 2 declare, it is called "the new man" and manifests in practice the mind of
Christ, and the actions that spring from it are the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5: 22, 23). This
is the new man "put on" (Eph. 4: 24), the mind of Christ in action and it is this way of
thinking and living that must now characterize each member of Christ's Body.
Paul now shows how this work specifically:
"Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbour"
(4: 25 R.V.).
The word "putting away" is the same as used in verse 22. Falsehood is one of
the main characteristics of the old nature and comes directly from the father of lies
(John 8: 44). As we are members one of another, in the close relationship that grace
has placed us, falsehood and deceit must have no place. For if it does, it is bound to
break in practice this divine relationship to each other. It is difficult, if not well nigh
impossible, to have dealings with deceitful people.
The Apostle now passes from deceit to anger, and we ask the question; can a believer
indulge in righteous anger? That there is such a thing, the Scriptures testify, for the wrath
of God is a solemn fact that the book of Revelation stresses (6: 16, 17; 11: 18; 14: 8,
10, 19; 5: 1 7; 16: 1, 19; 18: 3; 19: 15). God is righteous and there is no question
but that His anger is just. But can we who are sinners indulge in it without sinning
ourselves? In view of verse 31, "let ALL bitterness, and wrath, and anger . . . . . be put
away from you", it is surely better to avoid anger under any condition, and read verse 26
as a question "Are ye angry and do ye not sin?" In any case, anger should never be
prolonged, for this is dangerous; "let not the sun go down upon your wrath" Paul insists,
and many quarrels and differences between believers could have been avoided had this
wise injunction been carried into effect.