by Bible League International
Verse of the Day and Devotion
Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. – Ephesians 4:19 NIV
In his instructions to the Ephesian Church, the Apostle Paul says, “I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do.” (Ephesians 4:17) What was wrong with the Gentile way of life in Paul’s mind? He says, “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.” (Ephesians 4:18)
As a result of this hardening, Paul goes on to say in our verse for today, they have lost all “sensitivity” and they have given themselves over to “sensuality.”
What does this mean?
First of all, they have lost all sensitivity. They have lost, that is, all sensitivity to anything outside of their own selfish wants and desires. They have lost, for example, all sensitivity to the Lord God and what He wants from them and expects of them. Paul says elsewhere, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
They have also lost all sensitivity to the people around them, to the creatures below them, and even to their own true selves. Due to their hardened hearts, they have lost all sensitivity to the way things should go in all of the relationships they have in life.
Secondly, they have given themselves over to sensuality. They have given themselves over, that is, to the selfish indulgence of their sinful selves. Insensitive to everything and everyone around them, even to their own true selves, all that is left is to cater to their selfish desires. This is more than sexual lust. It includes, as Paul says, “every kind of impurity,” even greed.
Although we used to live like the Gentiles live before we became Christians, Paul says that we should live that way no longer. We should give up our sensual instincts and become more sensitive. We should give up every sensual desire to indulge the sinful self that may still be lurking within us and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we should become sensitive to those around us, especially to the Lord God.