“…walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind…” (Ephesians 4:17)
Before you, dear reader, continue, please read, Ephesians 4:17-the end of the chapter. You will need to have the context of this passage to really benefit from this article. Yes, You do have the time, it is the inclination you may not have.
If you have read Ephesians 4:17-32, you most likely saw the difference between the Christ-ian and the non Chris-ian Gentile (Gentile = non-Jew). Paul starts by directing the Christ-ian to walk not as other Gentiles walk, or live (Walk = Live). Paul said these other Gentiles walk in the vanity or empty/worthlessness of their mind, their understanding is darkened, due to their rejection of God. Paul goes on to say, [They are] past feeling [or caring] having given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness [sinfulness and unholiness] with greediness [or self interest and self centeredness].
Paul then, begins to show the difference between the unclean, God-less Gentile and the Blood-washed Christ-ian. He says, the believer has put off the the old corrupt way of life, which was in accordance to deceitful lusts. The new man and his mind has been renewed. The new man has been created or recreated by God in righteousness and true holiness. The new man has put away lying, and sinning out of anger, he has ceased to steal, and to talk dirty. This newly created man has “let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from [him], with all malice.
The newly re-created, Blood-washed man has replaced the above life with speaking truth with his neighbor, labouring with his own hands, and helping the one in need, he has begun speaking words of encouragement and he has become kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving of others. The New man will continue to do these good works because he has come to realize all that God has done for him, and that it was for Christ’s sake. The new man no longer grieves the Holy Spirit, Who has sealed him until the day of redemption.
Now, How can anyone, being intellectually honest, not believe the Christ-ian to be better than the non? If the Christ-ian is not better, why do we all seek to share Christ with them? If the Holy Spirit indwelling the Christ-ian doesn’t make him/her better; what could? Isn’t the beginning chapters of Hebrews all about one thing or one Person being better than another? When Paul calls the believer, a new creation/creature in Christ, does this not necessitate, the new creature being better? What is the alternative but the Old creation/creature in Adam that is described in Ephesians 4?
Am I suggesting that we, Christ-ians, walk around with our holy noses in the air? Of course not. What I am suggesting, or rather plainly stating, is this, Know who you are and from Whom you have come. Know that you are, “Simul justus et, Peccator!” That is to say, you are a saint and a sinner at the same time. You, Christ-ian, are a hybrid. In your sinner-hood, you are depraved and are a pure blood’d sinner, a sinner overflowing with the sinfulness of sin. But…but, in your Saint-hood, you are a pure blood saint and that Pure Blood comes from God, Who purchased [you] with His own [B]lood. How dare we say, “We’re not better…we’re just 4given!” That is an insult to God, our Re-Maker!
The Good News for the saint is this, God only looks upon the saint-side and chooses to remember no more, the sinner-side. PRAISE GOD, ALL YE THAT HATH BREATHE!!!
Is Paul not better than the masters of the damsel possessed with a spirit of divination (Acts 16)? Is Peter not better than Simon, the Sorcerer (Acts 8)? Is Stephen not better than his killers, Saul included? Is not Issac better than Pharaoh? Is not David better than Goliath and the rejected King? How about the Children of Israel, are they not better than every first born in Egypt? Was not the new King Manasseh better than the old King Manasseh(2 Chronicles 33)? Is not St. Paul, the apostle better than Saul, the Pharisee?
Q. What is it that makes the Christ-ian better than the non…………………………………….? A. The Lord Jesus Christ, The Son of God. God Incarnate died and rose again to remake many persons and peoples, new and better. God chose to make an elect number of persons into the new creation/creature in Christ.
We, in our own person, are not better or superior than anyone else. However, when the Passion of the Christ…When the Gospel apprehends us, we are changed and made new. When we, then, factor in the Promised and Indwelling Holy Spirit of Christ, we cannot, but, acknowledge our newness is real and it is better than….
Q. If we, Born again Christ-ians, are = to everyone else, why should everyone else seek to be like us? A. We, born again Christ-ians, are not = to everyone else. The Christ-ian is being more and more conformed to a Christ-likeness. This conforming or transforming takes place in the mind. God has given the Christ-ian a renewed mind that is sound. God will continue to update and renew the ever transforming mind of the Christ-ian. The Holy Spirit will bring us to the predestined end of Christ-likeness. Christ-likeness was promised us at our new birth. So, how can a believing Christ-ian not see that we are, supernaturally, better than others?
Again, we are not talking about being prideful or haughty. We are simply stating a Scriptural fact. The fact is logical, and is acceptable….The Christ-ian is better than the non Christ-ian. God loves us; not them.
Now that we have argued our case, what’s next? We, as Christ-ians, must be above pettiness; we must be above revenge or ‘getting even,’for if one is to, ‘get even’ with another, one must descend. We, as Christ-ians, must soar, we must soar like God’s eagle. We, as Christ-ians, must not run amok with the swine.
The historical Christ-ians knew their strengths, gifts and power and their place. These Christ-ians used their strengths and gifts to help others. They prayed for the prayer-less, they spoke to the old creature/creation about the new Life in Christ. The Christ-ian accepted and knew the office of priest and prophet and s/he fulfilled it with God’s grace.
The Christ-ian does not; must not look down on others, for without the Godhead, the Christ-ian would be one with the others…spiritually dead and in Adam.
Some may ask, “Where does this guy get off thinking Christ-ians are better than others”
Our answer is this: The Christ-ian life is better!!!……. That’s the bottom line, …..because God, in His Word, say’s so.