Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Here we have the same word for prisoner as in the last chapter. I  should mention that prisoner is  fine translation for this word I just wanted to point out that the word means bound to.
The word vocation is the Greek word klēsis It means to have a calling. We are to walk worthy of our calling. What does that mean? We all, this first means that we heard God's call like it talks about in 1 Timothy 2:4. When we got saved we were given certain abilities and we are to use them for the benefit of the body of Christ 1 Corinthians 12:12 ff, Matthew 10;8,  and 1 Corinthians 14:5. This involves operations of all 9 manifestations.

The word ‘are’ can also be translated were. We were called in the past tense.

2 With all lowlines as and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

The word lowlines means we are to keep our minds in check. Remember all that was expounded in chapters 1-3 about how it is all by grace we had nothing to do with our being saved.. It was because of what Jesus Christ did.

Meekness does not mean being a whimp. Jesus Christ was the meekest person who ever lived but he was no mealy mouthed whimp! He confronted the heads of the temple and told them the truth about themselves. He called them hypocrite’s, whited sepulchres (Matthew 23:27) They were of their father the devil (John 8:44). Meekness simply means you understand there is something bigger than you are. There is something worth you dedicating your life to.

Longsuffering means we have patients.

Forbearing means we stand erect and firm we don’t move off the word we stand for God. We withstand the assault or onslaught. Of course it is done with God’s love the same love he loves us with.

I like the ESV translation:

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The word endeavouring means to put forth a great effort. It is the same Greek word we translate as Study in 2 Timothy 2:15.  We need to put forth a great effort in all we do in the word. We are to keep the unity of the spirit.

We put forth great effort to keep ourselves unified on the spirit we also need to keep the bond of peace.

The word used for unity is only used twice in the bible here and in verse 13.  Both times it is talking about unity of the spirit. The word bond is used of the ligaments in the body being tied together.

4 There is one body, and one Spirit, 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.

There are 7 things listed here

1. There is only one body of Christ and the living saviour he is the head of that body. No person is any more important than anyone else that is within that body.

2. There is one spirit.

3. There is one hope

4. There is one Lord Jesus Christ

5. There is one faith.

6. There is one baptism

You may remember that in Acts 1:5 it says: “For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

7. There is one God and father above all and in you all

The number one is used seven times. The number seven is the number of spiritual perfection. The last item listed the seventh is God. Jesus sits in the middle between God  and man the body. He is the bridge and the mediator between God and man.

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Again we are told we are given grace. No place are our works even mentioned. We get the same measure that Christ got. That is the full measure, all spiritual blessings.

8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

The REV reads as follows on verse 8
Therefore he says, When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to people.

The gifts will be listed shortly.

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.)

Verses nine and ten are pointing out who led the the ones who were captive.

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
There are five gift ministries listed.It never says that these people are to be lauded in any fashion. These are functions or jobs people end up serving in. We all tend to function in these capacities at times. If you have ever told someone new about Jesus Christ you have functioned in the same way an evangelists operates.

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:

This is the purpose for those who have these ministries. They are there and will be there till we are become that perfect man till we become Christ like. This will occur after 1 Thessalonians occurs.

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.

This is the function of those gift ministries to bring us to this point. Where you fulfill your function and give that which you supply.

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.

In verse 17 the word testify is the Greek word martyromai it comes from the Greek word martyrs it is pronounced mä'r-tüs It is where we get our word martyrs. This word is only used three times in Acts 20:26, Galatians 5:3, and here.

We are no longer gentiles we are of the church of the body but these Christians were once and were surrounded by these gentile’s. Paul was reminding them not to fall back to what they once were.

The word vanity is from one of the words Paul (or God) made up from two other words. It means what is devoid of truth and appropriateness, perverseness, depravity

If we walk that way our understanding will be darkened we will be alienated from the life God has made available to us. It is all because of ignorance or moral blindness it is only used twice here and in Acts 3:17 and here. It is all because of the blindness of their hearts.

These gentiles have given themselves over to the darkness because they have refused to see the light.

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:

There is a significant truth most people never really realize in verse 21 that it is Jesus Christ is the one who teaches us. You may remember that in Galatians 1 we get revelation from him as well.

We are now going to start into the practical application of what we have learned so far in Ephesians.

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

We are to put off or as Bullinger translates it put away. We are to put away our former behavior. Old English can have a different meaning than how we use certain words. Conversation in our day would be better translated behavior.

The old man is the nature that came down from Adam. The sin nature, the natural man way of living. This is reaffirming what was said in Romans 12:1,2. Don’t go back to the scheme of the world be renewed in your thinking. We have changed don’t go back to where you were.

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

We have put off or put away the Adam nature we now need to put on the Christ like nature, the new man the one who was created in righteousness and true holiness  and renew our minds as it says in Romans 12. How do we do that? I’m glad you asked because the answer is right here starting in verse 25.

25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Your heart doesn't lie to your little toe and we are all members of that same body.

26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27 Neither give place to the devil.

It does not say we should never get angry or if we do that it is sin. Like all things it is not what you are that is the problem it’s what you do with it. Like a knife is used to cut things as long as it isn't humans or something else you are not suppose to be that you cutting it will most likely be okay.

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.

This is a thing you see in the early chapter of the book of Acts that the brethren would give to each other if there was need. No one was asked to give up what they needed they just gave as they could with some exceptions.

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.

Corrupt communication is far more than just swearing it would include gossiping or tearing down some other believer. We speak things that build. We are suppose to build and strengthen the body of Christ. The human body never tear itself down. That would be a form of disease that would break down the body. Bullinger translates this word as putrid 


The word communication is the Greek word logos. One definition I have heard of logos is  words without regard to what is being said.

Edification is the Greek word oikodomēn means to build a house. We are to build each other up.

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Don’t case your father sorrow by breaking the unity of the spirit

I really like King James on this verse:

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Here we have a figure of speech to draw attention to this verse. From the Companion Bible: Appendix 6 Figures of Speech
Po'ly-syn'de-ton; or, Many Ands
The repetition of the word "and" at the beginning of successive clauses, each of independent, important, and emphatic, with no climax at the end (Compare Aysndeton and Luke 14:13).

There are other figures that do have a climax it just means these are equally, in this case destructive force.

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

There are 7 instructions we are given here. The context however continues into the next chapter which we will pick up next time.

  1. Put off or stop lying instead speak the truth because we are member of the body.
  2. If you are angry sin not do not let it sit unresolved don’t give the devil a chance to use your anger against you.
  3. We are not to steal but instead we are to work so we can give to those in need.
  4. We are to let no corrupt communication come from us we instead build the body with our words.
  5. We are not to grieve the God by breaking the unity of the spirit
  6. Put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking
  7. Be kind, tender hearted and forgiving.

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