Last Sunday, I preached on Ephesians 4:17-32. The sermon will be uploaded very soon.
One verse in particular greatly influenced the way I preached the text. In verse 24, Paul writes Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holines. In one sense all human beings are created in the likeness of God, just as Adam and Eve were created after God’s likeness in Genesis 1:26-27. But, in a more complete sense, it is only Christians who are made new by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, who truly are created after the likeness of God.
And so, the instructions of verses 25-32, not only tell us how we Christians should live, but also give us a picture of who God is. Paul wants us to put away falsehood and instead speak truth, because Jesus is the Truth! Paul wants us to stop stealing and instead share, because God is a generous, sharing God. Paul wants us to stop speaking in a way that corrupts others and instead build one another up, because God is a God who builds up his children. Paul wants us to be kind, tender-hearted and forgiving, because all those things are part of who God is. So, God in Ephesians 4 calls us to something wonderful! He calls us to be the true image of God in the world, walking, not as the Gentiles do, but after the likeness of God.