Rebound Revisited, part 20. Cease and think truth – Eph 2:11; 4:14-6:24.

Class Outline:

Title: Rebound Revisited, part 20. Cease and think truth - EPH 2:11; 4:14-6:24.



“If I were the Devil,” Baptist Bulletin, Dec. 1971.

If I were the devil I would viciously attack those four divine institutions so graciously given by God to man, namely, the institutions of marriage, human government, the nation Israel, and the church. Concerning the church, I would continue to attack it from the outside (just to keep in practice), but would concentrate the bulk of my evil efforts from within. “The church is dead” would become my creed and dry. If I were the devil I would do my utmost to convince professing Christians’ that the local church is finished! Not weak, not ineffective, but dead and decaying! I would encourage them to dig a hole, carve an epitaph, and bury it as quietly and quickly as possible.


The first thing I would do would be to deny my own existence. The Bible informs us that God desires, perhaps above all else, to be fully believed in (HEB 11:6). But this is not so with satan! This disciple of doubt seems to thrive best when he is either underestimated, ignored or denied.


[side quote: Almost half of evangelicals in the US deny (or doubt) the existence of satan, seeing him as only a symbol of all that is evil (George Barna, What Americans Believe)]


Suppose there is a Bible believing church which is going through a spiritual crisis. For some months no soul has walked its aisles. The attendance and offerings are down and the members are becoming restless. All Bible pastors have had these experiences. Finally, in desperation, a special committee is appointed by the congregation to discover the source of this coldness and lifelessness. After considerable prayer and probing, the committee submits its report. What are its findings? I believe it may be safely assumed that the average committee would lay the blame on one or more of the following (1) the pastor; (2) certain officials; (3) a cold congregation; or (4) a difficult neighborhood.


But what fact-finding group would return the following indictment? We believe the main source of our heartaches for the past few months is satanic! We believe the reason is due to an all out attack on our church by the devil.


If I were the devil I would deny my existence in the world and downplay it in the local church, thus freeing me to go about my business unheeded, unhindered, and unchecked.


The second thing I would do if I were the devil would be to read the Bible carefully. We are often reminded of how Jesus answered satan’s temptations in the wilderness with Scripture. But note that satan also used scripture. During the second temptation the devil quoted PSA 91:11-12 to Christ. To be sure he took it completely out of context and twisted it, but Shakespeare was right: “The devil doth quote Scripture.” Another example of this scripture-reading serpent is found in REV 12:12. Satan will be thrown out of heaven during  the middle of the tribulation and will come down to earth, “having great wrath, because he knowth that he hath but a short time.” How does she know this? The apparent answer is that he has carefully read the ninth chapter of Daniel! If I were the devil I’d read the Bible. I could then so twist and turn the scriptures in such a way as to mislead the saints and sinners alike. [end quote]


Now we move on to the last two sections of this study which is to cease the current trend of sin and then to think the mind of Christ.


There are hundreds of references to stop any current trends of sin or evil. I am just going to work from the book of Ephesians since this epistle is a synopsis of the spiritual life and will make the issue clear.


3. Cease the current trend of sin or evil, EPH 4:14 - 28.


EPH 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;


EPH 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ


EPH 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.


EPH 4:17 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,


EPH 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;


EPH 4:19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.


EPH 4:20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,


EPH 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,


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,


EPH 4:23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,


EPH 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God [1JO 1:5 God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all] has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.


EPH 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.


EPH 4:26 Be angry [against falsehood], and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger [don’t spend long in anger at falsehood, rather be occupied with Christ in joy],


EPH 4:27 and do not give the devil an opportunity [by speaking truth to one another, for satan’s main weapon is falsehood].


EPH 4:28 Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.


The child of God should “no longer” walk in darkness because he is “no longer” a stranger or alien of God.


EPH 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,


EPH 2:20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,


EPH 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;


EPH 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.


So we have concluded:

Judge yourself fully, 1CO 11:31, acknowledge sin, 1JO 1:9, stop the current trend of sin, EPH 4:14-28, and finally, actively think the truth.


In order to see this we are going to summarize the commands of the book of Ephesians.


Ephesians: sit [chapters 1-3; position in Christ]; walk [chapters 4-6:9; application to life]; stand [chapter 6:10 - end; application to spiritual warfare].


Imperative verbs:


EPH 2:11 Therefore remember [present active imperative], that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands


“remember” - present active imperative = remember what you have been delivered from as an unbeliever.


EPH 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak [present active imperative] truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.


“speak” - present active imperative = speak truth exclusively.


EPH 4:26 Be angry [present passive imperative], and yet do not sin [present active imperative]; do not let the sun go down [present active imperative] on your anger,


“angry” - present passive imperative = receive the anger concerning false doctrine by your love for true doctrine.


This is not active anger, but passive. I receive this anger because I actively love the truth.


“don’t let the sun go down” =[present active imperative]  do not dwell on this anger, but be occupied with Christ in joy. 


EPH 4:27

and do not give [present active imperative] the devil an opportunity.


EPH 4:28 Let him who steals steal [present active imperative] no longer; but rather let him labor [PAI], performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.


This command is about being gracious in giving - being a joyful giver. Stealing can refer to the obvious but also to robbing God.


MAL 3:8

"Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed Thee?' In tithes and offerings.


The stingy Corinthians caused Paul to rob other churches:

2CO 11:8

I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to serve you;


EPH 4:29

Let no unwholesome word proceed [PMI] from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.


In the active voice the subject is merely acting; in the middle the subject is acting in relation to itself somehow. What this precise relation is the middle voice does not say. That must come out of the context or from the significance of the verb itself. [A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, A.T. Robertson.]


middle - the subject participates in the results of the verb. Here the participation is in an evil conversation.


EPH 4:30

And do not grieve [PAI] the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


EPH 4:31

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away [API] from you, along with all malice.


“put away” - aivrw[airo] = to lift up, to carry away. Mental attitude sins towards others. The command is received when the believer loves.


It’s not just going through the motions but there is a reason and motivation behind everything that God does and as a result, everything that we do in His plan.


EPH 4:32

And be [ginomai; to become - PMI] kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving [participle] each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.


EPH 5:1

Therefore be [ginomai; become - PMI] imitators of God, as beloved children;