“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service. Ephesians 4:1 AMP
If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior then you are washed in the blood of Jesus and you are free from the bondage of sin, fear and death. Before Jesus, sin had control over you and therefore guilt, fear, and death as well. You cannot yield to sin and control it at the same time – either you master it by resisting it or it masters you when you give in to it. It is like a drug addict claiming that they are in control of their drug use or an alcoholic claiming that they are in control of their alcohol consumption. They claim that they can quit if they wanted to, but that is simply not true because it has complete control of them, they just can’t or won’t admit it. Sin is not something you can play with – sin’s whole intention is to utterly dominate and control you and with sin automatically comes fear and death. If you want to be free from the bondage of sin then you must quit yielding to it.
So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds. Ephesians 4:17 AMP
As a Christian – little anointed one – you are called to a divine calling – summoned to God’s service. Not only does God call you to lead a life worthy of His calling, but He has empowered you by His Holy Spirit to do so. You no longer live your life as you did in the world. You are free from that web of deceit and bondage. You are now free from the folly, vanity, and emptiness of your previous existence. Do not continue to walk and talk like a sinner.
Their moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature]. Ephesians 4:18 AMP
Sin alienates you from God. Sin causes you to have a hard heart, to be insensitive to the Holy Spirit, and even insensitive to your own conscience. Therefore, you are deeply ignorant of the truth. Because of this, your reasoning is beclouded, and you have absolutely no moral understanding. You have become blind by choice.
In their spiritual apathy they have become callous and past feeling and reckless and have abandoned themselves [a prey] to unbridled sensuality, eager and greedy to indulge in every form of impurity [that their depraved desires may suggest and demand]. Ephesians 4:19 AMP
It is a vicious cycle. Sin causes spiritual apathy and spiritual apathy causes you to become callous and reckless, with no more feelings and no more conscience that might otherwise have caused you to be sensitive to others and cause you to do the right thing. If you have no feelings for others and no sensitivity to what they are feeling, then there is nothing stopping you from hurting them. These kinds of people are eager to abandon themselves to fulfilling every perverted, impure, depraved desire that their flesh can come up with, with no thought to the damage being done to either them or others.
But you did not so learn Christ! 21 assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him], 22 Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; 23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], 24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another. Ephesians 4:20-25 AMP
You did not learn to do these things from Jesus. He has taught you a different way of life, free from your old nature. Strip yourselves of your former sin nature, your old unrenewed self, which has been corrupted through lusts and desires that spring from delusion. Continue to renew your mind with the washing of the water of God’s word. You are created in the image of God – put on your new nature. Reject the lies of the devil and embrace the truth of God!