20 “But that is not the way you learned Christ! — 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,” (Ephesians 4:20–21 (ESV).
Believers in Christ are to no longer be callused, sensual and greedy (Ephesians 4:19). That was the way, to a greater or lesser extent, we used to live. It was our life prior to our justification by grace alone, through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-5:11). It was our living prior to our sanctification unto holiness by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6-8).
The Apostle Paul gives his readers three words describing the new birth (John 3:1-8). He provides three phrases describing the inner change which God has accomplished in our souls. First is the word learned; But that is not the way you learned Christ! The second word is heard; But that is not the way you learned Christ! — 21 assuming that you have heard about him.
The third word is taught; 20 “But that is not the way you learned Christ! — 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,”
To be taught (διδάσκω; didasko) means to be instructed. Due to the fact that this verb is in the passive voice, to be taught presumes the existence of one who provides the instruction ((Matt. 11:1; Luke 11:1; Rom. 2:21; Col. 1:28; 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:12; 4:11; 2 Tim 2:2; Heb. 5:12; 1 John 2:27). This refers us back to the role and responsibility of pastor/teachers (Ephesians 4:11).
The instruction in question has to do explicitly with the person and work of Jesus Christ. This instruction is not about one’s personal experience but rather about the identity of and the completed work accomplished by Jesus Christ alone.
Truth (ἀλήθεια; aletheia) refers to that which is in accord with what really happens, facts that correspond to a historical reality (Luke 4:25; Acts 4:27).
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “In contrast (de) with the “old man” (vv. 17–19) believers did not come to know (lit., “learn”) Christ that way. Their minds are no longer darkened; their lives are no longer alienated from God; their hearts are no longer hardened and impure. Christ is the Subject (you heard of Him) and the Sphere (you were taught in Him) of a believer’s learning. This teaching and learning is in accordance with the truth, because He is the Truth (John 14:6).”
Is Jesus Christ the subject and sphere of your life and living? Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!