Ephesians 4: 17-24

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“How busy we have become…and as a result, how empty…

Soul surgery transpires as serenity replaces anxiety.”
Charles Swindoll

Lesson 6

The study in the first sixteen verses of chapter 4 revealed God’s plan for believers to walk in unity. This week we will begin our examination of a second characteristic of the walk of the Christian – Holiness. In Ephesians 4:17-24, Paul shows us the difference between the “old man” (unsaved) and the “new man” (Christian) – who is re-created in Christ Jesus.


  1. In your own words, identify the main idea of the following verses:

    1. Ephesians 4:17-18

    1. Ephesians 4:19

    1. Ephesians 4:20-21

    1. Ephesians 4:22-24a

    1. Ephesians 4:24

  1. What command does Paul give in Ephesians 4:17?

    1. Using your study tools or your dictionary, look up the following words and record your findings:

      1. Walk (#4043)

      1. Futility (#3153 - vanity)

    1. What does it mean to walk in vanity or futility of mind?

4. Who are the Gentiles (#1484)? You can look up this word using your study tools or dictionary.

  1. How is the mind of unsaved Gentiles described in verses 17 & 18?

  1. What does 2 Peter 2:18 say about this?

Noise and words and frenzied, hectic schedules dull our senses, closing our ears to His still,

small voice and making us numb to His touch.”

Charles Swindoll

  1. Give a current example of walking in vanity or futility of mind. (Please don’t share any names).

The final result of all life apart from God is emptiness and meaningless. Because life is purposeless and meaningless without Him, people who do not know Him struggle to find fulfillment in pleasure, success, education, wealth, work…whatever. The book of Ecclesiastes describes the finest this world has to offer and yet says, apart from God; all of it proves to be empty and meaningless.

This passage contains an astounding truth—believers are neither Gentiles nor Jews; they are a third race of people. Therefore, they are not to walk like mere men; they are to walk like Christ. “We are His own special people” (Titus 2:14)

  1. In your own words how does Ephesians 4:18 describe the Gentiles’ relationship to God?

    1. How does 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 describe a darkened understanding?

      1. What is one result of being ignorant of God’s commands according to Romans 1:24?

  1. In Ephesians 1:18 Paul says that unbelievers are alienated from God. What does alienation from God result in according Genesis 2:17b (Spiritually)?

  1. What does Hebrews 3:12-15 say about “hardness of heart?”

    1. What causes “hardness of heart?”

Note: Hardness of Heart is also translated as blindness of heart. This term is used to refer to the callus that forms around a broken bone – a callus that is harder than the bone itself. It also refers to a loss of sensation.

    1. Has a hardened heart presented conflicts or struggles for you or someone you know?

6. Go back over today’s lesson and highlight the Scripture or concept that ministered to you most and tell why.


  1. As we continue to look at the behavior of the “old man” apart from Christ, how does Paul describe the behavior and response of people who are totally lacking in moral and spiritual attitudes (Spiritual insensibility)?

    1. What has happened to their hearts according to Acts 28:27? (modern language – “heart is calloused”)

    1. What is their behavior like according to Romans 1:29-31?

  1. Look up the word lewdness (#766 – lasciviousness- KJV) from Ephesians 4:19 using your study tools or dictionary.

    1. When an individual gives himself or herself over to lewdness, what does God sometimes do according to 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12?

  1. To have a clear picture of the “old man”, who lives apart from God, compare the following Scriptures in the chart below. Record the points that are emphasized in each of these sections. If you don’t have time to look up all the scriptures, choose one to compare to Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:17-19

Romans 1:21-25

1 Peter 4:3

Be still, and know that I am God…”

Psalm 46:10
4. Go back over today’s lesson and highlight the Scripture or concept that ministered to you most and tell why.

  1. Who is the “learned in Christ”?

  1. From Matthew 7:22-23 is it possible to know about Christ and not be saved?

  1. Paul used the phrase “so learned Christ” in verse 20. How does one learn Christ according to 1 Corinthians 2:12-13?

  1. How does God ask us to respond to Jesus in Matthew 17:5b?

  1. What did Jesus tell us about Himself in John 14:6?

    1. Why must we study God’s Word, the Bible, to become “learned in” the words of Jesus according to John 6:63?

    1. What are Paul’s instructions to us about the words of Jesus in Colossians 3:16?

Many people can learn moral values and ethical principles from Jesus, but the Christian can “take in”

Christ Himself – in her personal fellowship with Him. Take some time right now and praise Him for His truth.

Record what He is revealing to you about Himself and His work in your life at this moment.

  1. According to the following verses, what is the believer to do?

    1. Ephesians. 4:22

    1. Ephesians 4:23

    1. Ephesians 4:24

  1. What does 1 Peter 2:11 say about the way the Christian should live?

    1. What does John 15:4-7 tell you with regards to “how” the new man should walk?

  1. In Ephesians 4:23, Paul commands the Christians to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Using your study tools or dictionary, define the word renewed (#365).

    1. As your mind is being renewed what is happening to your thought patterns?

  1. What do the following verses say about our renewed minds? Read them all and then record the one that speaks to your heart the most.

    1. Romans 12:1-2

    2. Colossians 3:9-11

    1. Titus 3:4-6

The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness,

and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness,

not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

Romans 13:12-14

  1. Go back over today’s lesson and highlight the Scripture or concept that ministered to you most and tell why.


  1. Who made the “old man” into the “new man” according to verse 24?

  1. Using your study tools or your dictionary, look up and define the following words:

    1. Righteousness (#1343)

    1. Holiness (#3742)

  1. In your own words, record what these verses say about the “new man’s” garments of righteousness and holiness.

    1. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    1. Philippians 3:9

  1. What does God promise to those who walk righteously and strive to live holy lives according to James 1:12?

  1. According to Titus 2:11-12 what provision does God give us to accomplish living a godly life?

    1. Apart from saving us, what else does this provision teach all those who believe?

  • To Deny…



  • That we should live…


  • When?

    1. What else does God’s grace teach us to do according to Titus 2:13?

    1. What reasons does Titus 2:14 give for why Jesus Christ gave Himself for us?


    1. Allow this portion of Scripture to sink deep within your heart today! Our abiding in Christ, walking in the Spirit, living righteously or holy, or anything else that is good in the sight of God can’t come from ourselves. It is all by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ and the finished work on the cross! As John 15 says, we can do nothing apart from Him! With this being true, we all need His grace desperately! According to James 4:10 how do we obtain His grace for our daily living?

      1. Look up the word used for humble (#5013) using your study tools or your dictionary. Use your own words to describe the type of heart God is looking for.

Challenge: It is easy to overlook this point of required humility. It is so easy to roll off our tongue, (and have a forced outward show, but no true humility of heart) but let’s look at one of the many examples in the Bible of what happens if a person does not humble himself. Turn to Exodus, chapters 7-10. Read the account of Pharaoh. Notice what Exodus 10:3 states is the problem.

Humility is not thinking poorly of oneself.

Rather, it is having the proper estimate of oneself in the will of God (Romans 12:3).

The person with humbleness of mind thinks of others first and not of himself.”

Warren Wiersbe

  1. Go back over today’s lesson and highlight the Scripture or concept that ministered to you most and tell why.


  1. From verses 17-19 of Chapter 4, list the seven characteristics of the ungodly life.

1) 2)

3) 4)

5) 6)


  1. In verses 22-24, Paul summarizes what the Ephesians had been taught about their walk with Christ. In the following chart, write the three things the Ephesians were taught to do, and a practical way you could put each into practice.

What the Ephesians were taught

Practical application

Verse 22

Verse 23

Verse 24

Challenge: Contrast the two men Paul describes in Ephesians 4:22 & 24, using Titus 1:15-16 and Philippians 4:1,4-9 on the chart below.

Old Man

New Man

Mind Conscience



  1. Go back over today’s lesson and highlight the Scripture or concept that ministered to you most and tell why.

Sin made us poor, but grace makes us rich.” Warren Wiersbe

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