In Eph 3, Paul had just finished emphasizing the riches of the grace, mercy, and love of Christ which surpasses knowledge. The next words are “I, therefore.” My old pastor in Colorado used to say, when you find a “therefore” in Scripture, you have to discover what it is there for. Because of the richness of His grace and love, pay attention to how you walk. “Walking” is a Hebrew metaphor for your behavior, conduct, and manner of life – works, in other words.
You see, none of are saved or brought into God’s family, by our works. We are saved by the richness of Christ’s grace, mercy, and love. But salvation involves a change of nature (2 Cor 5:17), and out of our new nature, or new man, as Paul calls him, our way of walking changes. The new man walks differently than the old man.
This chapter begins to delineate those differences. The new man is lowly, gentle, patient, and bearing long with others. The new man seeks for love, unity, and peace. The new man speaks the truth – but in love, not in contempt, derision, or scorn. The new man speaks truth in order to edify and build up, not tear down. The new man is kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving.
The old man is blind and ignorant of the things of God, and of truth. The old man is lewd, unclean, and greedy, untruthful, wrathful, corrupt in speech, bitter, angry, malicious, and accusatory.
If you see old man characteristics in your own conduct, repent of them! Go to God and confess your sins, for that manner of walking is sin. Ask Him to empower you to walk worthy of your new nature and your calling. And then be renewed in the spirit of your mind – pray and read the Scriptures daily to give your mind new food to chew on. The new man repents of sins, while the old man remains in them.