Ephesians 4:17. Of all the enemies you may have in this world, the one enemy you do not want to have is God! And yet, why is it that so many people in this world are in just such a state?
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Ephesians 4:17-19, NKJV
Of all the enemies you may have in this world, the one enemy you do not want to have is God! And yet, why is it that so many people in this world are in just such a state? That really is what Paul is referring to when he said, "You should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk . . . being alienated from the life of God."
Let us walk through Paul's arguments in verses 17 through 19 of Ephesians 4. Most Gentiles, we could correctly use the term "unbelievers," walk in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened. The difficulty with mankind is that we are blind to the ways of God. Because we are blind, our understanding is darkened, and we are ignorant of the things of God.
Due to our sin natures, unless our vision is opened to understand God, we grow past feeling and give ourselves over to all manner of lewdness and greed. Does this not describe our world today? Our grandparents and great-grandparents who have long ago left this world would shudder at the current state of ethics which exists in our world today. Yet, the downward spiral just does not seem to end. The door is opening to more and more things which once were considered shameful and unlawful.
As believers today, are we affected by the downward spiral of morality in our world today? Yes, we are. Even professing believers are delving into areas that the Bible plainly identifies as sin.
In the time of the Apostle Paul, the Gentiles did not have the same moral guidelines common to the Jewish nation. Paul, therefore, is telling them that, as believers in Christ, they need to become more and more like Christ.
Though we still wrestle with our sin nature, becoming a believer means we actually do wrestle with our sins. Let us not become so hardened against the things of God that we, like the world around us, call evil good and good evil! How do we effect such a change in our hearts and lives? After all, if our sin nature is constantly seeking to corrupt us, how can we even fight such a thing. The truth is that we cannot! Left to ourselves we will always fail. What, then, can we do?
As believers in Christ, we are no longer alienated from God. With access to God through the Lord Jesus Christ, we have help! Let us seek the Lord Jesus Christ in everything we do. Let us spend time in the Word of God learning from its pages and pages of instructions, its history of God's working among His people, and its encouragement that this same God is our helper and advocate today.
Could it be so simple? Yes. James says in James 4:2, "You do not have because you do not ask."
As we remember Ephesians 4:17 through Ephesians 4:19, Let us go to the Lord and cry out for His help and His grace to enable us to live this life in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Let us no more be alienated from God, but rather, let us look to God to be our constant helper and advocate in all that we do and say.
In Him, we have peace, joy, and hope. With Christ we have everything; without Christ, we have nothing.