(Ephesians 4:17) “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,”
Is who we are determined by how we look or what we do? We tend to identify ourselves with how we look (tall, short, thin, heavy, blond, brunette), what we do (clerk, cashier, lawyer, banker), and even our denomination or doctrinal position (Baptist, Methodist, Calvinist, Armenian, Dispensationalist). Who we really are is far more than what we see on the outside. How we act is rooted in how we perceive ourselves. We live out of our identity.
“Gentile” is a word describing who we were outside of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 10:32, there are three groups of people listed: Jews, Gentiles and the church of God. We find our true identity in one of those three groups.
“This I say therefore” – Up to this point in Ephesians, Paul has been describing the identity of the Body of Christ and our individual part in it. But if you continue to perceive yourself as who you were before becoming part of this interconnected organism of redeemed souls, you will continue to act accordingly.
“that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk” – Based on who we now know ourselves to be in Christ and part of His Church, we should no longer live like those outside of Christ. We should not think of ourselves as Gentiles but rather we are children of the Most High God.
“in the vanity of their mind” – This is how the unsaved think. Outside of Christ, there is a spiritual void that leads to futile thoughts or empty purpose. This is why so many people who seem to have all the money and success in the world still cannot find fulfillment. Living without a sense of spiritual identity creates a life that can only find temporary physical satisfaction in the next high or more intense thrill.
Are you feeling empty today and struggling? You are more than a physical shell. In Christ you are more than a “sinner saved by grace.” Because you are part of His Body, you are an important part of what God is doing today. You are somebody that God designed and intends to use for His purpose. Start thinking of yourself according to who you are now, not who you were before salvation. Allow your life to conform to that identity. You can live a different and fulfilled life starting today, regardless of your circumstances, by discovering who you really are.
[box]Renewed Thought – I don’t have to live in my past because my present can be lived according to my future.[/box]