Sermon:  A New Change of Clothes

Summary:  Renewal involves both inward renewal of the mind and outward renewal of 
behavior, which includes transformation in speech, transformation of work, and 
transformation of attitude toward each other.  It is only through thorough 
transformation that we can effectively carry out God's purposes.

Know:  A transformation of mind when we are converted need to also be a 
transformation of everyday behavior, we it is not transformation at all

Feel:  The inadequacy of partial transformation

Do:  Reflect on how these instructions fit in with God's overall purposes for the 
church, and which of these instructions are most challenging.  Identify ways to 
overcome the challenges. 

Text:  Eph 4:25 - 5:2

Scripture Reading:  1 Pet 2:12

Intro:
1.  Used to work at an IBP, had to change before coming all the way in the house
	a.  Always felt good to get out of those clothes
	b.  Could have just put on clean clothes without cleaning up
	c.  Need to get undressed, shower, and put on new clothes
2.  That is what Paul is talking about here
	a.  Last week talked about inward change, change of the mind
	b.  Also needs to be outward change
	c.  Talking about TOTAL transformation
3.  Text:  Eph 4:25 - 5:2
	a.  God's plan to bring us as one to carry out God's purposes
	b.  To do this, take off the old self, put on the new self
	c.  Renewed in the spirit of your mind
	d.  Also a renewal of your behavior
4.  As Christians are entire life is to be transformed:
	a.  Inward, of the mind, attitude, etc
	b.  Also outward, behavior, speech, actions, 
	c.  Without TOTAL transformation, there is no transformation at all

I.  Transformation of Speech
	A.  Speech may not seem that important
		1.  Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words never hurtů
		2.  Bible has a very different perspective on words
	B.  Our speech should be gracious and promote peace
		1.  Several instructions from this passage about speech
			a.  v.25 - Don't be false, speak truth
				- Laying aside- literally "strip off" (of clothing)
				- Why?  We are members of each other
				- Prov 29:5 - Flatters neighbor, net for steps
				- Whether pointing out being unwise, sin, or problem
			b.  v.29, 31 - No unwholesome word, but words of edification
				- Honesty not a license to be venomous or hateful
				- We always need to find ways to build up others
				- (Prov 15:1-4) - Gentle answer turn away wrath
			c.  v.26 - Don't let sun go down on your anger
				- Anger can lead to destructive speech
		2.  (James 3:1-12) - All about destructive speech
			a.  Need to control our speech, can destroy so much
			b.  Includes gossip, backstabbing, abusive speech, cursing
		3.  Titus 2:8 - Need to be sound in speech, beyond reproach
			so that enemy not have anything bad to say about us
	C.  ILL:  Standard Oil senior executive bad decision cost 2 million
		1.  Everyone in company avoided head of firm, John D. Rockerfeller
			a.  All other executives found other things to do
			d.  Didn't want his wrath to fall on their heads
		2.  Exception, Edward T. Bedford, a partner in the company
			a.  Went to his office, Rockerfeller writing at his desk
			b.  Oh, it's you Bedford, I suppose you heart about our loss?
			c.  He said that he had
			d.  Said before I call the man in, been making some notes
		3.  Bedford then noticed what he was writing
			a.  At top of paper - "Points in favor of Mr. ___________"
			b.  Underneath were a long list of virtues
			c.  Also description of ways he helped company make 
    			    money on 3 occasions that was far more than the loss
		4.  Bedford never forgot that
			a.  Every time he tempted to rip into someone, he did same
			b.  Wrote down as many positive points as possible
			c.  By the time he was done, got a better perspective
	D.  We need to work to build up, not tear down
		1.  Phil 4:8 - Whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, 
		     of good repute, any excellence, worthy of praise, dwell on them
		2.  This means both our mind and speech are to be transformed
		3.  Suggestions:
			a.  Accentuate the positive
			b.  For every negative, say four positive things
				- Tongue can destroy or build up
			c.  Bite your tongue
				- It is better for people to wonder why you didn't talk 
				  than why you did
				- Better to keep mouth shut and be thought a fool
					than to open it and remove all doubt
		4.  Speech should build up

II.  Transformation of Work
	A.  v.28 - Don't steal, but work with your hands to you can share
	B.  Like to cover two points
		1.  Work with your hands what is good
			a.  Bible has a lot to say about hard work
				-  Prov 14:23
				-  Prov 24:30-34
				-  Prov 28:19
				- 2 Thess 3:10-12
			b.  Nothing wrong with resting
				- God commanded Sabbath rest
				- He also said - 6 days of work, then rest
				- When you work, you share in God's activity who 
   				   worked and built
			c.  A lazy, slack hand is an evil hand
		2.  So that you will have something to share with those in need
			a.  If you work hard, it is not to get rich for yourself
			b.  Luke 12:17-21 - Built bigger barns, not rich toward God
				- Life required of you, now who will own it
				- So is the man who stares up treasure for self
		3.  Bible calls us stewards
			a.  What is a steward?
			b.  Household manager
			c.  Manager does not own what is in the store
	C.  ILL:  Movie - End of the Spear
		1.  Story of Five Missionaries who went to the Waodani/Aucas
			- They reached them, and were speared to death
		2.  One scene shows Steve begging his Dad to take a gun
			a.  In case they became violent
			b.  Nate said - "We can't shoot the Waodani."
			c.  Steve asked, "why?"
			d.  "Because we are ready for Heaven, they are not."
		3.  Jim Elliot's Oct 28, 1949 journal entry says this in on Lk 16:9
			a.  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep 
     			     to gain what he cannot lose."
			b.  He and the others lost their life in taking Gospel there
			c.  Many of the Waodani's became Christians
		4.  That is ultimate stewardship
			a.  Nothing belongs to us, it belongs to God
			b.  Even our own lives belong to God
	D.  Being a steward means giving it up when opportunity arises
		1.  Don't bury the opportunities in the ground
		2.  Use what you have been entrusted with, don't bury it
		3.  What have you been entrusted with?
			a.  Job, money, time, hands, mouth, eyes, ears
			b.  The Gospel
			c.  Don't bury it, use it for those in need

III.  Transformation of attitude toward others
	A. 4:32 - 5:2  - Call to kindness, forgiveness and love toward each other
	B.  Jere 38:6-13 - An example of kindness
		1.  Put the rags under his arms, he was being thoughtful
		2.  Kindness love and forgiveness are marks of a Christian
	C.  ILL:  A man caught a boy in his garden trying to steal a tomato
		1.  Man snuck behind the boy, but a firm hand on his shoulder
			a.  Asked the boy, "which is the best looking tomato?"
			b.  No way to escape, so said, "that one"
		2.  Man reached out, picked it an handed it to him
			a.  You may go, said the man.  
			b.  But ain't you going to punish me? Said the boy
			c.  No, said the man, but won't steal from me again, right?
		3.  No, I won't.  But aint there some errand I can run for you?
	D.  Prov 25:15 - A soft tongue breaks the bone
		1.  We are not to take revenge, but be forgiving when wronged
		2.  Jesus forgave us, and he wants us to forgive others.

Concl:
1.  Jesus came so that you can find forgiveness (invitation)
2.  Strip of old self, cleaned up, put on new self
	a.  Speech to build up
	b.  Work as stewards to help others
	c.  Put on heart of kindness, forgiveness, and love
3.  Don't go out of here with the old gunk on you
	a.  Strip off the old self, and put on the new self
	b.  Change in your attitude AND your actions and speech
4.  When we do this, we can carry out God's purposes as a church
	a.  Can't do it if we are a bad example
	b.  Can't do it if we put on our Sunday mask and merely pretend
	c.  We need TOTAL transformation
 
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Small Group Questions:  A New Change of Clothes

Summary:  Renewal involves both inward renewal of the mind and outward renewal of behavior, which includes transformation in speech, transformation of work, and transformation of attitude toward each other.  It is only through thorough transformation that we can effectively carry out God's purposes.

Open:
- What is the worst outfit or article of clothing you have ever seen or worn?


Explore:  (Eph 4:25 - 5:2)

1.  What relation do these ethical instructions have to do with verse 23?

2.  In what ways does knowing we are members of one another fit into the instructions in this passage?

3.  This passage says not to give the devil an opportunity.  What are some things that give the Devil an opportunity?

4.  What does Christ's offering himself up as an offering have to do with the practical instructions in this passage?  How should Christ's actions affect our attitude and actions?

5.  How do these instructions fit in with the overall message of the letter, that God has brought us together as one body to carry out his purposes in the world?


Apply:

6.  What in tonight's study has been most meaningful to you?

7.  Which of these instructions are most challenging to you?  Why do you suppose that is?

8.  What are some practical things you can do to overcome the challenge?


Prayer  
1 Pet 2:12



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