being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;Ephesians 4:18(NASB)
As children of God and joint heirs with Christ, the conduct that is expected of all members of the Body of Christ, is clearly laid out in the later chapters of Ephesians, and Paul implores us to walk worthy of the calling with which we have been called.
We are to walk in unity of spirit and humility of heart... with gentleness and patience. We are to endeavour to pursue the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace, and are reminded that as God's children, we have received grace according to the measure of Christ's gifts to each one of us, and are encouraged to use each spiritual gift appropriately.
We are to strive to seek a deeper knowledge of the Son of God's love so that we do not become double-minded or are tricked into evil works through man's craftiness, nor tossed about by every wind of doctrine.
We are also exhorted to rejoice with exceeding great joy, for the position, privileges, and promises that are ours in Christ, but Paul is equally keen that we never forget the depths of depravity and sin from which we have been rescued.
Paul is careful to rehearse both the positive side of our Christianity, and the negative. He is equally diligent to encourage us to do the good, whilst simultaneously identifying areas, attitudes, or activities, that are detrimental to our spiritual growth and dishonouring to our Heavenly Father.
Having presented the eternal benefits and positive virtues of our great salvation, Ephesians 4:17-24, gives a serious reminder of the kind of lives we once lived in our pre-salvation existence: "Darkened in their understanding and excluded from the life of God - because of the ignorance that was in them."
May we thank God, that the blindfold of unbelief has been lifted from our eyes and the illusions of the world's tempting treats have been exposed to our understanding. May we readily and willingly distance ourselves from the deep-seated ignorance and hardness of heart from which we have been so graciously delivered.
Indeed, such hardness of heart remains embedded in the fallen nature and will of the unsaved and is something we should never forget, lest we lose sight of the responsibilities that remain ours in Christ.
Let us never forget the earlier chapters of Ephesians, which provide us with a veritable feast of all that is ours in Christ. We discover our position, individually and corporately, and rejoice to hear of the multiplied privileges and precious promises from God, which are all 'yes' and 'amen' in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have opened my understanding to the futility of what I was. Thank You that You have exposed the satanic trap from which faith in Christ has delivered me. May I never forget the position, privileges, and promises that are mine in Christ, by grace through faith. Thank You for opening my eyes to the truth of Your Word. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.