In what appears to be the first category of 50 commandments which I would label simply ‘Truth’ the Apostle calls for us to put off falsehood.
This is not a list that Paul has made from what he necessarily sees in the Ephesian believers but what he sees in the old man. He is saying as we put off the old man and put on the new man make sure firstly you put off falsehood. Take it off, don’t live like that. This is not who you are.
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood …” Ephesians 4:25
- The temptation to be less than who you are.
Towards the end of his letter he will write of the principalities and powers that wage war against our lives. Their task is to do the direct opposite of Paul’s commands. The accuser of your life wants you to put on your old man and put off your new man. His accusations will wear you down until you truly believe you are who he says you are.
Are you not fed up listening to what the accuser tells you who you are?
How did sin originate?
It was because Adam didn’t know who he was and he tried to become someone he was never meant to be.
The Accuser came to him and said, “If you do this you’ll be like God.”
Adam should have said, “You stupid snake, I’m already like God. Why try and become what I already am?”
But he didn’t, he became what God hadn’t intended.
The new man is crushed and goes to prayer and instead of adoration and worship it is, “Oh God, I’m in a valley of the shadow of death, I’m dirty, I don’t feel like I’m a Christian anymore, I’m useless, I’m a sinner, you’re angry with me, I’m not going to heaven. Amen.”
We become what we are not simply because we have not put off falsehood.
When Jesus was being led through the streets of Jerusalem he was carrying a board around his neck which was written in Latin for the Romans to understand, Aramaic for the Jews to understand and Greek which was the universal language of the Mediterranean world. “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews” was a sarcastic endorsement by the Romans of Jesus’ kingship. This is a defeated king.
But Jesus’ accusers wanted it say ‘He claimed to be …”
Your accuser is continually demanding you carry a sign that declares you to be false:
“He saved others but he can’t save himself. You can help others but not yourself.”
“He trusts in God let God rescue him.”
If it’s not to remind you of your limitations the accusation will come as God is limited in working in your life.
“Let him come down from the cross and we will believe in him.”
Your purpose is wrong. The path you are on is not right, change it and we will give to you. That is the accusation and the temptation.
- The temptation to be more than who you are.
Many are on a mission today. A mission of wanting to become someone, trying to make a name for themselves.
Ever heard something like this being announced? “The greatest, the most amazing, the most influential, decisive, the best anointed, the fabulous, the charismatic, life-changing servant of God is in the house today!”
Joseph Smith boasted that he did more than Jesus to keep a church together.
“God is in the still small voice. In all these affidavits, indictments, it is all of the devil–all corruption. Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet . . . ” (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 408-409).
“Boasting is the outward form of the inner condition of pride.” John Piper
Social media has many statuses of ‘humble boasting’. See how many you can spot today!
The desire to get attention for how small we are proves we are in fact not small enough.
When you become small, you choose to become hidden, you decide to promote others and you take your name off things so that it looks like you were not there.
Influence is small for it to be influence. The influencer is not seen, only the one that has been influenced. If God exalts you to a higher platform then the battle is how to become small when more people can see you. It is easier to become small when you haven’t ever done anything. Trying to become small after achievement is another thing. The task is to become small with a big God in your life who does big things through small seeds of faith.
So put off falsehood, either to be less or more than who God says you are.