"Surely you heard of Him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus." Ephesians 4:21 NIV
Do you celebrate your dog's birthday? We don't but if my daughter knew when each of my three were born I'm sure she would want to. Right now she wants a cat, or another dog if we would allow it. She has no idea how much work it is to care for an animal.
Work is not the worst part. It's the vet bills that cause me to say I have no hobbies, or vacations because I have dogs. Celebrating birthdays doesn't seem to make any sense under these circumstances. I love my dogs but I have no desire to celebrate their birthdays. I hope you are ok with this.
Paul is encouraging the Ephesian church in this verse to move on with their walk with God. Some have tried to mix worldly ways with their christianity. Remember the church is a brand new baby at this time. Putting on a new nature was not taught in old testament times.
The Ephesians are mostly unfamiliar with Jewish traditions anyway. Their knowledge base comes only from new believers who have been redeemed just as they were. Paul wants to make sure this church understands the basis for faith before he goes to a deeper teaching. Jesus is the only one who can forgive sin and shame to set the captive free.
This truth has to be in place before Paul can go further. We can't change ourselves. We might have some success but to be truly transformed it has to come from above. The spirit of God does the transforming over time as we allow Him to work. This process can be painful if we aren't yielded.
While on the Women's Retreat a few weeks ago the speaker Ellie Lofaro said it this way:"You can't hurt me, I'm already dead." She was referring to taking offense at what others say to us. God changes us and we aren't offended by what others say, because we only care about what He says about us. His opinion is what counts.
Maybe you haven't come to this conclusion yet. I don't think I have, but I understand the concept, and agree with it. We are all diamonds in the rough. As time moves ahead we will detect a difference and know we aren't who we used to be. I like a quote from Joyce Meyer that says: "I'm not what I want to be but thank God I'm not who I used to be." Well said, Joyce.