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October 6, 2022 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “New Life in Christ,” with a message from Ephesians 4:20-24.
The post 1354. With Christ in the School of Conversion appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927.
The evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today.
That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University Chapel platform today on a daily platform. Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University is continuing a study series from Ephesians entitled new life in Christ today.
Steve will walk us through the term conversion in Ephesians 4 2324. Please take your Bibles this morning and turn with me to the book of Ephesians Ephesians chapter 4 tonight will be doing our fourth study in the dorms.
I hope that they have been encouraging to you as we work through this passage of Scripture. Looking in the book of Ephesians chapter 4 at the new life in Christ and especially as we are learning about the walk of the believer this morning. I'd like us to begin in verse 20 were going to work down through verse 24. These are very well-known versus and so whenever you come to well-known versus a sort of easy to say what I know that I understand that and I find in my own life. Actually that's not true. I find that is sort of like looking at the ocean and you think you got the ocean until you put on a snorkel mask and then you drop underneath these begin to see things in a greater, fuller way and that's what happens when you study the word, especially through expository preaching. You actually get a bigger view a bigger vision of what God is saying. So that's what I hope will see this morning as we begin reading in verse 20 were the apostle Paul says these words but you have not. So learn Christ if so be that you've heard him in a been told by him as the truth is in Jesus that you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful last and be renewed in the spirit of your mind that you put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness in my God at his blessing to the reading of his word. Last week we saw where Paul the apostle describe the lifestyle of the Gentiles.
He talked about how they think their mindset we talked about how they live be dealt with their morality and Paul solemnly testifies to the to the Ephesian believers that living a pagan lifestyle is completely incompatible with the Christian life. The believers conduct that is the way that we live must be completely in contrast to the current corrupt culture of the day.
In other words, Christians should be different. So the question this morning is why should there be a difference. That's really what this passage is dealing with and what he is saying here is that Christians have entered into a life changing experience with Christ because they have gone through conversion they have been converted. Personally, I don't know of anything more wonderful in this world than the sea. Somebody converted to see somebody's life dramatically transform where they go from bondage to freedom and from death to life.
I was thinking yesterday what would it be like we could go back 2000 years ago, and meet the people that were saved under the ministry of Christ and just be able to talk to like what would be like to go back and meet the woman at the well or blind Bart Emmaus, who can now see or even the maniac of good Dara the room to do it was really crude but got say you ran around any use was chained any broke chains and they lived in the graveyard and suddenly his life is transformed, how cool would it be to hear their stories. Or maybe for Zaki is to tell us what it was like when Jesus came into his house and then he came out of the house believer or to listen for example to the Centurion soldier who stood at the feet of Jesus. He literally watched Jesus died, he became a believer or to hear Lazarus tell the story of how he came back from the dead after being dead for four days and suddenly he walks out of the grave alive.
There is nothing more wonderful in the world than to see someone say so.
With this in mind this morning.
I'd like us to look at this set this section where the apostle Paul explains biblical conversion, my messages entitled this morning with Christ in the school of conversion in the three things I want you to know this morning. The first is the idea or the absence of conversion. What is the nature of conversion. What is happening and I want you to notice that in verse 20. The apostle Paul makes a contrast between what he had been saying about the pagan way of living, and the Christian way of living. Notice he says in verse 20 but you have not so learned Christ he speaking to those who been saved.
He's describing what your lifestyle was like what you don't live that way because when you were converted, you learn something different in the apostle Paul here is using a particular writing style that is supposed to strengthen the contrast or the difference that style is what we call light to a light toad is using a positive statement always trying to make a positive statement by expressing a negative understatement that we do this on a regular basis. For example, here's a salesman and they they sell you something and he says to you, you won't be sorry or is he saying he's really saying you will be happy or somebody says, how was it you say when that bad. What you're really saying was, it was extra pretty good is the opposite.
The apostle Paul did this in Romans one, when he said I'm not ashamed of the gospel what he was really saying is I'm very proud of the gospel. So when Paul said here you have not. So learn Christ.
This is a light toad. What he is saying is actually the opposite, opposite the way that you are in Christ is a total opposite way of living like the Gentiles the mindset and the conduct of a Christian is the opposite. It's a black and white issue. In other words, the true gospel message would never even get the remote possibility that getting saved and living a life of vanity, darkness, ignorance, hardness and immorality is compatible when somebody learns Christ, they are biblically converted, and their life is transformed, that's the idea of conversion. It is a transformed life that were some people conversion has often been a little confusing because the word is not really use that much in the New Testament.
However, if you go back the Old Testament you find a parallel word that is used scores of times is the use is the word term turn from your sin or return to the Lord. So what is conversion well, it's a total change in one's direction or orientation of life.
Jesus said in Matthew 18, three except you be converted and become as a little child you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. There's a change or something that happens in your life a turning around for Christian.
It means a change from a life that is going away from God and you turn around and you begin to follow God. Acts 15 verse three Paul says, or the book of acts is that Paul and Barnabas pass through Phoenicia and Samaria, and what do they do they declare the conversion of the Gentiles.
That's the text they declared how these Gentiles were worshiping idols in darkness and sin and immorality, and the light broke in and they were converted. They were change they came to Christ they came to the knowledge of the truth and they begin to live a life pursuing holiness is not sinful. So, the essential idea or the nature of salvation is somebody is converted so my question to ask you this morning is have you been converted is no possible way in a crowd that we have here today that everybody hears converted that some of you have a knowledge of God is in your head but is not dropped 18 inches in your heart, and the difference between heaven and hell is about 18 inch what I know appear and what I believe Dan here are two different things and you may have grown up as an insider in Christianity, but the whole time you been an outsider and it's amazing how many people who are outsiders get saved and suddenly they become insiders. So the essence of conversion is this transformation of life and that leads me to the second point, and that is how does this happen what is the means by which we are converted and go back to verse 20 and 21 will see it. Verse 20 we have the negative statement but you have not. So learn Christ. So what is verse 21 verse 21 is the positive explanation of what it means to learn Christ knows what it says. If so be that you have heard him and have been taught by him as the truth is in Jesus. Paul here is making an assumption that if you have heard Christ and you've been taught by Christ, then obviously you've learned Christ in your life is been set and changed so so what is verse 21 main let me break it down or break down the three things number one Paul here is using school terms terms were all very familiar with learning caring and teaching is very interesting that the apostle Paul taught the gospel in Ephesus in a school called the school of Tyrannosaurus and Paul is taking the school concept as a reminder that the Gentiles were converted through the teaching of the gospel and in that they learned about Christ and they received Jesus Christ so that's with Christ in the school of conversion. What's interesting here is that Christ was the center of the entire education. Paul says that Jesus was the subject of the teaching. It was all about him.
Paul says you learn him you heard him and you were taught by him.
It's all about him, they learned about his deity. His death his resurrection. His reign and glory and his return to the earth they learned about his kingdom, his Lordship, his rule of righteousness.
His moral demands of the new life to which he is called all of us in salvation. Jesus was teaching. It was about Christ.
That's the only message. By the way it's going to converted so you have to preach Christ and him crucified.
But not only was Jesus. The message, but Jesus was actually the messenger.
You see, though Paul was speaking to those who are listening what they were actually hearing was the voice of Christ.
That's what Paul saying here. He says you heard him what this is referring to is what Jesus said when he would send the Holy Spirit what is the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
John 1526 but when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the father. Even the spirit of truth is in an interesting that that's with the same phrase you get verse 21. The spirit he says shall testify of me. The ministry of the unseen spirit, though you cannot see him. He is very real.
He's a real person and the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to make Christ real so that when the preacher is preaching actually.
Jesus is preaching. One writer are can't use it in this way, when true preaching takes place. Jesus is invisibly in the pulpit and walking the aisles, personally teaching his own. So not only is Jesus the subject. But Jesus is also the one who is doing the teaching through the one who's teaching and then thirdly, Jesus is the atmosphere, everything was in Jesus. The Bible says as the truth is in Jesus.
Just like a fish lives in the atmosphere of the water.
So we are living in the atmosphere of Christ when the gospel is being preached. Now think about what that means I may think about the fact that the presence of the very one you're learning about is not only with you but he's the one.
This teaching may hear here you go to class and the teacher stands up and he teaches about Napoleon, but in reality, Napoleon is there in the room and Napoleon is the one who is actually doing the speaking through the teacher. That's the idea, and the whole reason why this is happening is because what Jesus is wanting to do is to have a relationship with you. That's what's happening in preaching conversion conversion preaching.
You get everything you get the message you get the messenger and you get the manifestation of the presence of the one who's doing the preaching.
Yesterday morning I was preaching in the first Baptist Church of Glen Esty, Ohio.
My message was entitled the death of Christ, and so I spent the whole message. It just sort of unfolding Christ death. I invited people to respond and people came forward to accept Christ as Savior and afterwards I was eating with the pastor in Zimbabwe said a man came for the Hispanic man came this morning. This was yesterday and he said he really didn't speak any English but he came forward any met with one of the men in one of the men was obviously could only speak English and so we got on the phone any connected this Hispanic man with one of the men in the church you spoke Spanish and so they connected back and forth and basically he went through the gospel with them and the man got saved just yesterday morning and I asked the monster I asked the pastor I said why did he come forward in his response was this the man came forward. He said because in the service he felt compelled.
He felt compelled now folks I don't know if I fully understand that but I know this when people get saved they are being drawn to Jesus. There is a compulsion that is taking place and this is what the apostle Paul is talking about here. He preached Christ he taught Christ and the people came to Christ. One of the thing I'd like you to know that Doug goes back to explaining what it means to hear him and be taught by him and that is this that all of these birds learn here and teach, or in the Eris tents you say what is that mean it points back to a time when they were converted in the past. In other words, what he is saying is this, that there is a time when you hear Christ and you respond when you come to Christ it's not. It may be a process to get you there. But there is a time in your life when your converted can you tell me when you were converted. Now, you may not know the exact day the exact hour in all the circumstances surrounding it. But you know when they're in your life.
There was a change.
There was a turning from and there was a turning to Jesus Christ. Paul sums it up in Colossians 2 he says as you therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord. So walking in him. There was a time when you receive Jesus Christ personally in your life that's what happens in conversion and that leads me to the last point and how is it then were these Ephesians converted, or more specifically what was what what really happened. Let's go back and look at verses 22 to 24. Often times these verses have been used to teach about how you grow as a Christian, but in reality it actually is teaching how you get saved first and then from that you grow notice what he says that you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful last and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. There are two primary elements in conversion number one. The old man is put off in number to the new man is put up. So what is that mean put off the old man. The word put all is the idea of stripping all old clothes.
It implies a once for all decision to get rid of to remove to lay aside your old former way of life and that former way of life is called the old man.
So what is the old man simply defined, it's everything you are in Adam because of sin. The old man is everything you are in Adam because of sin. Think of it this way when Jesus came to his or her to this earth.
What was his mission. His mission was to undo what Adam did in the fall. Jesus came to reverse the curse. Adam was the first man and the representative head of the entire human race so that when he sin is sin affected all humanity, and when Adam sinned his guilt was transferred to all mankind. Romans 518 therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation. When Adam sinned, not only was guilt transferred, but his nature was transmitted to all mankind through procreation. That means that when we are we. We are born we are born with these the nature of Adam.
The sinful nature. So when many put it this way, we are all condemned by atoms imputed guilt and we are all control controlled by atoms imparted sinful nature. This entire condition is called original sin and is known as the old man it's everything we are in sin because of Adam when you were born into this world.
The first time you were born in Adam. In order for you to get into heaven you have to be born a second time. You have to be born into Christ and the old man term here not only describes his condition, but it also describes his corruption.
Look at what he says you put off concerning the former conversation the former lifestyle. The old man. In other words, the old man as a way to live. How does he live which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. What does it mean to be corrupt and mean something that is rotting or decay. What comes to my mind is going out and buying at the grocery store, a 16 ounce ribeye steak when that sound good for lunch today, marinated butter, salt, pepper, bingo, fig, ribeye steak when I get to cook it up, take it and put it out in the backyard and let it sit and I will check on it in about three days no magic question after three days sitting outside what you thing that states can be like you going to want to cook it and eat it know why it's rotting it's rotting flesh here is what Paul is saying he is saying that the old man is continually rotting through the indulging of selfish lusts and those lost promise to gratify and satisfy. If you choose to indulge them. However, it's only deception because the more you indulge, the worse you get begins to corrupt your emotions, your conscience, your mind you're thinking your body inevitably leads to moral pollution, emotional disintegration and ultimately eternal destruction. What he is saying is in Adam.
If I live in my sin, it gets worse. So how do you put all the old man a me you just can't like take it all. How do you do that and that's where the work of Christ comes in Romans six verse six knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him. Everything you were in the first Adam is put away by the means of the death of the second Adam, Christ went to the cross and he took the sin of Adam upon himself and by the power of his resurrection. We are personally set free from the bondage and the power of our sin nature. Our flesh, and though the flesh is not removed from the body. It no longer dominates and controls us, because the power of the flash was broken at the cross, the body of sin has been rendered inoperative title.
We put all that old man we put off the old man, through repentance through turning from that old life recognizing and turning to Christ and then he says put on the new man what you stripped all the old close. You need to put on the new close somebody is call this the divine wardrobe. The clothing for the third race the Church of God. It is a clothing that is heavenly and eternal and style, and it never goes out of date. So what is the new man well at the old man is everything you are in Adam because of sin than the new man is everything you are in Christ because of grace this new man is literally new created life within you. It is the restoration of the image of God lost by Adam think of this.
What Adam had before he sinned. You actually receive when you get Christ. Now you don't have the new body yet you still have a sinful nature, but the essence of what Adam had in the garden actually receive at the moment of salvation. And he tells us what these qualities are notice he says which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. What is God doing you he creates in you a desire to do what is right before your saved you hate the law after your say your saved you. Embrace the law.
He puts within you. It is our devotion to know and love God. That's called holiness. This is re-created in the heart of someone that is been converted and God has internally sanctified the desires of your heart through your new life. Therefore, all change of life comes or begins internally through the nurturing of the sanctified desires. God has put this in your heart. You are a new creation and therefore change is not outside. Again, it's always inside out. So how does all this take place when does this event occur. It occurs the moment you repent put off the old man in the moment you believe when you personally accept Jesus Christ and do your own heart and life. That's what it means to be converted, would you bow your head and close your eyes with me the moment I'm going to have a word of prayer. But before I pray I'd like to like to… Many of you who have never been converted that you get saved, I have one of our leaders come up to me the other day was so encouraged that three girls in her dorm at been saved already this year was at tell me there are many of you have never been converted. You know Christ in your head. You do not know Christ in your heart. I can't think of any more wonderful place to be is a Christian that Bob Jones University learning what you're learning. If you're Christian with a new nature. And so my prayer is that you will truly repent decisively turn to Christ and turn from your old life and receive the new life that is in Christ. Father, we thank you for the gospel. We thank you for its life transforming power. Lord help us to live out in reality what we've experienced in conversion and thank you father for the old man that is been stripped away in the new man, that is, in Jesus name, amen. Goblets you been listening to a sermon from Ephesians chapter 4 the sermon as part of the study series called new life in Christ by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University.
Thanks again for listening this again tomorrow as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform