DNA Guide: Ephesians 4:17-32

These guides are designed to help DNA groups engage the Scriptures from the sermon on Sunday and deepen conversations and growth around the gospel. If you missed this sermon, you can listen here as a primer for your DNA time or personal study.


At first glance, this passage feels like a speed bump, “Why did Paul go so negative?” In reality he gives us a warning to remember the truths of Jesus and constantly remind one another to pursue a constant renewal of our lives in the gospel—refusing to go return to the slavery of sin and the tyranny of a life with ourselves as god.


Read Ephesians 4:17-32 out loud.

What is Paul telling us to do and not do? Why?

Why does God care about our lives?

Who are we supposed to be?

Who is God in the midst of our obedience and rebellion? Our remembering and our neglecting? (vs. 32)


“The psychology of the old life can take much longer to shift than its theology.”  Sinclair Ferguson

In verses 25-32, Paul describes in more detail what taking off the old self and putting on the new self looks like as we grow into the likeness of Christ and live holy and righteous lives. He has several pairings. These outward actions readily overflow from our inward lives; they reflect what we believe. They demonstrate how we feel and believe and are truly our gut responses in life’s circumstances. Which of these pairings stands out in your own life this past month, what does it tell you about what you believe (Vs. 17-24)?

Falsehood vs. Speaking Truth to Neighbors

Just Anger vs. Judgmental Anger

Stealing for Yourself vs. Labor for Others

Corrupt Talk vs. Building Each Other Up

Malice & Wrath vs. Kindness & Tenderheartedness

Bitterness vs. Forgiveness

What are the effects on those around you when you live in the new self vs the old self? What does that feel like? What helps you pursue Christ in all of life?


What would it look like to pursue remembering Jesus in your everyday life?

How will you pursue putting off your old self and putting on your new self in the power of the Holy Spirit?