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.
Have you ever wondered what the world was like in Biblical times? While the Bible as a whole covers several hundred years, what about during the context of our verse? Ephesus, the city where the Ephesian believers lived, was under Roman control. It was part of the Roman Empire, and that empire determined how its citizens lived, including how they worked, worshipped, ate, and shopped.
Before Christianity, people in Roman culture lived their lives according to the religion of the empire. Even the fire they used to cook their food came from an approved source rather than a citizen simply sparking their own flame. Often, that fire was brought from Mount Olympus to a hearth in the mayor’s home. The citizens had to go to the mayor’s home, acknowledge that the fire was from the Greek gods and worship those gods. Only then they were permitted to receive fire for their homes. To sell things in the market, they had to present an offering to the god of the city.
Think about what Paul was asking people to do in Ephesians 4:22-24. He asked them, as believers, saved by Christ, to give up everything they had ever known and approach life in a completely different way.. They were to worship no other gods. That meant their access to fire, the market, many entertainment events and more was gone. The believers in Ephesus faced learning a new way of life because they were believers.
Today, we must read this verse and ponder how our thinking about the world can change to be more like God. Consider: what must you give up to be more like Him? What are you worshiping that takes the place of God’s provision? Is it security from money? Is it being trapped by social media, and the approval of others? Is it neglecting the calling God has on your life because you are concerned about worldly desires?
I challenge you, as Paul challenged the Ephesians change your thinking and allow the Spirit to bring guidance to you.
– Scott Beiermann