Rooted & Fruitful (Part 16)

Speaker: Serene Lim


To recap the Epistle to the Ephesians thus far:

Paul started with praise! God had chosen the saints to be adopted as His children in and through Jesus Christ (1:3-14). He then reminded them of their previous spiritual deadness and their deserving of wrath (2:1-3) to emphasise God’s love, mercy, and grace in Christ (2:4-10) so that Jews and Gentiles might recognise their newfound unity (2:11-22). Paul declared His mission to preach the mystery of the love of Christ, highlighting once again the inclusion of the Gentiles into the chosen people of God (3:1-21). He then outlines how this glorious unity is to come, i.e. through the gifts and people with which God has provided the church, that all may grow to become mature (4:1-16).

In this section, then, Paul stresses to the Gentile saints in Ephesians the work they must undertake to be fully included in the people of God. As saved and converted Gentiles, they needed to be different from the unsaved and unconverted Gentiles who lived amongst them and from their old lives. They could not be comfortable in their identity as mere Gentiles. Instead, they needed to put off their old selves, renew their minds, and put on their new selves. They needed to live a life worthy of their new calling (4:1).

If one does not change after calling oneself ‘Christian’, has one truly decided to follow Christ? Has one’s allegiance moved away from the prince of the power of the air (2:2) to the King of Kings?


  1. Read Ephesians 4:17-24.

    How does Paul describe the Gentile believers’ former way of life? Why does he ask them to stay away from it?

    b. In what ways might the Gentile believers’ former way of life be similar to ours?

    c. Have you had success in putting off your old selves and putting on new selves? 

    (i) If yes, share your success stories.

    (ii) If no, how might others help you in reaching success?

    d. How might you know if you have put off your old self for good? How might we support each other in discerning our degree of success?

    e. What way of life did you learn when you heard about Christ and were taught in him (v20)? How did you learn this way?

    f. Who in your circles might you share about and teach the way of life in Christ? How would you go about doing so?


The renewed and converted Gentile mind should have characteristics opposite to an unrenewed and unconverted Gentile mind. Notice that the specific and practical examples Paul raises later in the passage are primarily interpersonal (4:25-5:2).

Will we commit to consciously living different aspects of life in a new way that is in accordance with the way of the life of Christ?

  • Family
  • School/Work/Vocation
  • Money
  • Relationships
  • Church Life
  • Social Life and Recreation
  • Retirement

How can you ensure that it is sustainable? Will we keep each other accountable?


(You are) to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)