Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of March 16, 2003


A PRIMER ON DISCIPLESHIP

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off … the old man … and that you put on the new man…  Ephesians 4:20-24

Paul is reminding his readers of the first teachings they had received about Jesus.

With “… you have not so learned Christ …” Paul refers to what he had just written—a description of the condition and ways of unbelievers. When he taught them Jesus, he left no room for continuing in sin.

Paul’s “… as the truth is in Jesus …” is best understood as meaning:

… as the truth is in your union with Jesus…

With this statement Paul reminds his Ephesian readers of the “in Christ” truths he had taught—those truths developed at length in Romans 5:12-8:39.

Paul had taught them that when they received Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit baptized them into Jesus—into His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. When they received Jesus, they were spiritually crucified, buried, and resurrected.

Paul had taught his Ephesian readers that because they were crucified, buried, and resurrected, they could and should “put off the old man and put on the new man.”

In Ephesians 4:20-24 Paul is bringing his readers back to those first truths—truths Satan is continually seeking to take away.

The passage provides an effective primer for all who would disciple others.

We should teach them their union with Jesus in crucifixion, burial, and resurrection; we should teach them to put off the old man and put on the new man; we should continually bring them back to the “in Christ” truths—the heart of living in victory.