Ephesians 4

Unity; One Lord, faith, baptism 1
Spiritual gifts vary 7
The new man 17
Do not grieve the spirit; put away anger 25
Paul turns to the practical application of grace
.1 ¶ I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,   1 - Prisoner See on ep0301.
  1 - Worthy Can we be worthy? Not in ourselves, but Christ adds His worthiness to our humble commitment.
.2 ¶ With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
 3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
  3 - Endeavoring That is, "earnestly striving."
  3 - Unity of the Spirit Beginning in the next verse Paul begins to list areas where we need this unity. A particular group can be united although basing their belief on false doctrines. Then where do we go to find that "one faith"? Jesus spoke of "truth" in the context of unity. See jn1717.
.4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
.5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
.6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
  5 - One baptism It could be argued that there is one purpose of baptism although there are several methods. The problem is that Jesus gave us a specific example being emerged (dipped into the water). mt0315,16 and declared that it would "fulfill all righteousness." Philip understood Jesus' example ac0836-39. Also see notes on Matt. 28. To create a religious ceremony no matter how majestically performed would be offensive to God of verse 6 mt1509, co0221-3.
.7  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
.8  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
 9  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
.10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
  7 - Grace ... gift of Christ The gifts listed in verses to follow are already ours in Christ but their actual possession for use depends on our reception.
  8 - When he ascended ... captivity Those who had been captives of the grave at the time when the earth shook at Jesus' death were now His "captives" as the concurring King, mt2752. Also ps06818.
  The captives represent us all. They are those resurrected at the resurrection of Christ mt2752.
.11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
 12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
.13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
  11 - Gave some For other lists see 1co12.
  13 - Till we all come ... unity "It is a great, a solemn work to obtain a moral fitness for the society of the pure and the blest. . . . Only by conforming to the Word of God can we hope to come to "the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." But we must do this, or we shall never enter heaven. Without purity and holiness of heart, we cannot win the crown of immortal glory. The life of the soul cannot be sustained, except by the right exercise of the affections heavenward, Christward, Godward. Repentance and faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins are essential, but not all that is required. . . . The Christian's life is now but just begun. He must, as exhorted by the apostle, "go on unto perfection." He must bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." (Our High Calling, p. 338).
.14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
.15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
 16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
  14 - Children Literally, infants. See the word at mt1125, ro0220. Compare 1co0301, he0513. Yet we are to become as little children mt1804 in our simple trust, not in impulsively being tossed around.
.17 ¶ This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
 18  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
 20  But ye have not so learned Christ;
 21  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
 22  That ye put off concerning the former conversation ["conduct" or "behaviour" in modern English] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
  17 - Testify in the Lord Paul's testimony which follows is more than his personal opinion.
  17 - Walk not " Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds;" (RSV).
  18 - Understanding darkened Having chosen the darkness they were were willing to be ignorant ro0121. Also ep0418, 1jo0406.
  22 - The old man ro0606, co0308.
  22 - Deceitful lusts Following natural attraction to evil seems so good. Our only safety is in clinging to Christ and praying for His righteousness in us.
.23  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
 24  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
  23 - Renewed See pr0423.
.25  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
.26  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
.27  Neither give place to the devil.
 28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
  26 - Angry and sin not Paul is not approving of anger because anger directed at a person is equivalent to murder 1jo0315. As I understand the principle, we all are tempted. A situation may ignite evil feelings. We must suppress them immediately. I don't mean that we must cover them up while they boil. I mean give them to the Lord in a flash prayer. Thus Paul speaks of the temptation. We must not dwell or act on it for that would be sin.
For more on Anger, search "wrath," "vengeance," and so on.
 29  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
.30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
 31  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
.32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
  30 - Grieve not The Spirit is a person as this term implies. See on mt1231.
  30 - Sealed In a sense this is different from the sealing in preparation to stand through the time of trouble just before the coming of the Lord re0701. That end-time sealing of the 144,000 (a symbolic number) is a character development in preparation for the greatest test of humans. Our verse here says "unto the day of redemption" so it has that in view. It is for the righteous who die in the Lord before the return of Christ. It is for those who are following Christ step by step in the direction of that final development.
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