God's Word For You is a free Bible Study site committed to bringing you studies firmly grounded in the Bible – the Word of God. Holding a reformed, conservative, evangelical perspective this site affirms that God has provided in Jesus Christ his eternal Son, a way of salvation in which we can live in his presence guilt free, acquitted and at peace.




A meditation on Ephesians 4:17 - 20 


In Ephesians 4:20 Paul states ‘you … did not come to Christ that way’.

In these words he is referring back to his description of the unbelieving mindset in verses 17 to 19, where he said: ‘I tell you this, and insist on it … that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do’. The lifestyle Paul prohibits is generated by a mindset that is taboo to the believer.

This mindset is characterised by: 

Futile [empty and pointless] thinking.

Darkened understanding.

Separation from God.


Hardness of heart.

Lack of sensitivity.

Abandonment to sensuality.

Indulgence in every kind of impurity.

Constant and insatiable lust for more sin. 

Such a lifestyle, such a mindset is totally incompatible with true knowledge of Jesus Christ. The person who knows God by knowing Christ is a person who has repented – who has changed his or her mind in a final and irrevocable way, and in that change of mind knows who God really is, and concurrently knows how abominable sin really is.   

In knowing Christ the believer has left behind the darkness of life cut off from God and now lives in the kingdom of light, enlightened by Christ, the Light of the world. As Paul goes on to say in the verses that follow, now that we know Christ, now that we know the sinfulness of our sin, we also know that those things we once embraced have no part in our new life as children of God.   

We must, Paul insists, no longer live like that. We must, he says, live worthy of our calling [4:1] – a calling in which we are ‘created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.’ [4:24].

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2006, 2011.