To Ephesians Chapter Three
Paul begins this chapter[ 1 ] with a discussion of unity (Eph 4:1-6). He then lists spiritual gifts given in order for the early church to come to the unity of the faith (Eph 4:7-16). In the next section, he discusses the sinful way of life and urges Christians to forsake it and "put on the new man" (Eph 4:17-24). The final section catalogs sins to "put away" with an encouragement to be kind and forgiving (Eph 4:25-32).
WALKING WORTHY OF THE CALLING
4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord [I, a prisoner for the Lord, in the Lord].[ 2 ] As in Ephesians 3:1, Paul says he is "the prisoner of the Lord" (compare Eph 3:1; Col 4:10; 2Ti 1:8; Phm 1:1, 9, 23). When he was first commissioned to go and preach, he was warned that he would suffer (Ac 9:15, 16). His present imprisonment was a direct result of his appointment as a gospel preacher and apostle (compare 2Ti 1:8-12). It was God's will that he become ambassador in chains [EN HALUSEI, in a chain] see Eph 6:20).
Beseech you [beg you, exhort you].[ 3 ] Paul begs and encourages his readers to improve their daily lives.
To walk worthy of the calling [that ye walk worthily, to lead a life worthy of the calling, worthy of the vocation].[ 4 ] The worthy walk has at least seven features. Those mentioned in the present context are all inner qualities that relate to other people and to God. The latter two from the Colossian letter relate to pleasing God by fruit-bearing and increasing in knowledge (see charts QUALITIES OF THE WORTHY WALK; A WALK THAT PROMOTES UNITY).
Because of His grace, God honors the constant effort of Christians. Even though imperfect, He counts them worthy. "Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling" (2Th 1:11).
QUALITIES OF THE WORTHY WALK
- Lowliness (Eph 4:2).
- Meekness (Eph 4:2).
- Longsuffering (Eph 4:2).
- Bearing with one another in love (Eph 4:2).
- Endeavoring to keep unity of the Spirit in bond of peace (Eph 4:3.
- Fruitful in every good work (Col 1:10).
- Increasing in knowledge of God (Col 1:10).
[4:2] With which you were called [wherewith ye, to which you, have been called].[ 5 ] The blessing of being counted worthy by God Himself is given only to those who have been called and saved by the gospel (2Th 2:13, 14).
With all lowliness.[ 6 ] The first quality of the worthy walk is lowliness or humility (see Ac 20:19; Php 2:3).
And gentleness [and meekness].[ 7 ] Gentleness or meekness is an attitude toward God as well as toward others. God's chastening is for the purpose of purifying the life (see Heb 12:3-8). A gentle person accepts that and patiently endures whatever may be His providential will. David exhibited the traits of lowliness and gentleness when Shimei cursed him. He said, "Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him" (see 2Sa 16:11; compare 19:21, 22).[ 8 ]
With longsuffering [with patience].[ 9 ] Longsuffering or patience is a dual quality. It suffers pain and trials without murmuring. It is the grit to tolerate insults without becoming angry. It is the ability to choose to suffer while doing right rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin. It is the ability to keep on resisting temptation.
Bearing with one another in love [forbearing one another in love].[ 10 ] One reason for bearing with another person is to become like Christ. A second reason is to build another up. "Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification" (Ro 15:2; see note on Eph 4:29).
A WALK THAT PROMOTES UNITY
- Gentleness, meekness.
- Longsuffering, patience.
- Bearing with one another in love.
- Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
[4:3] Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit [giving diligence, using diligence, to keep, eager to maintain, the unity of the Spirit].[ 11 ] Because pagans had many gods, there was little or no unity among them. Contrast their pitiful state with the beautiful unity of the Holy Spirit.
In the first century, the Holy Spirit empowered various members of the church with miraculous gifts (verse 11). The various gifts supported and encouraged the unity of the body of Christ (see 1Co 12:4, 5, 11, 20). God's message of unity came by the Spirit's inspiration. It is a unity of love between Jew and Gentile, male and female, rich and poor in the one body (see verse 4; Ga 3:27, 28; Jas 2:1-9). All are baptized into the one body as a result of the Spirit's teaching (see note on 1Co 12:13). Unity of the Spirit implies love between members of diverse ages, various stations and dissimilar backgrounds (1Pe 1:22).
In the bond of peace [in the uniting bond of peace].[ 12 ] Miraculous powers were given for a specified period of time. Their purpose was to reveal the word, confirm it and build up as one the body of Christ (Mk 16:20). In every age of the church, the unifying fruit of the Spirit continues to be borne in the lives of faithful believers. A part of that fruit is peace (Ga 5:22, 23). The chain of peaceful fellowship should be kept tight and strong in each congregation. Christians have different degrees of education, tastes and personalities. The God of hope wants to fill each one "with all joy and peace in believing" (Ro 15:13). In cooperation with Him, Christians work at maintaining peace (see Eph 2:14-18; Col 3:14, 15). It is a constant concern. No Scriptural effort should be spared in order to keep peace and unity in the church.
ONE BODY AND ONE SPIRIT
4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were 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 is one body. The one body is the one church of Jesus Christ (see Ro 12:5; 1Co 12:20; Eph 1:22, 23; 2:16; 3:6; 4:25; 5:23; Col 1:18; 3:15). The divisive denominational concept is contrary to NT teaching (see Joh 17:20, 21; 1Co 1:10; see chart PLATFORM OF UNITY). The multiplicity of denominational bodies are not acceptable to the Lord.
PLATFORM OF UNITY
- One body of baptized believers
- One Spirit inspiring the same truth for all.
- One hope of heaven.
- One Lord, the ruler of the church.
- One faith, the entire body of truth revealed by the Holy Spirit.
- One baptism, immersion in water for remission of sins.
- One God, the heavenly Father of all.
And one Spirit. The same Holy Spirit given to Jews on Pentecost was subsequently given to Gentiles (see Ac 15:8). "For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father" (Eph 2:18). The Spirit-inspired word guides every member of the church toward the goal of peace, love and harmony. There is no discord in the one Spirit. Let there be none in the body in which He dwells (1Co 3:16, 17; 6:19).
Just as you were called [even as also ye were, as ye have been also, even as ye are, called]. The calling is not called some mysterious, better-felt-than-told experience. It is nothing more than the gospel call (2Th 2:14; compare Joh 6:44, 45). The Ephesians became Christians just like the Corinthians. "And many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized" (Ac 18:8; 19:5).
In one hope of your calling [to the one hope that belongs to your call]. The "calling" is according to God's purpose (Ro 8:28). One intent of it is to "gather together in one" all things in Christ (Eph 1:10, 11). The one heavenly hope is the result of the one calling (see Eph 1:17, 18). As Christians walk in unity on earth, they embrace the one hope for heaven. In the sense that Christ dwells in them, they have hope. "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27). He is "our hope" (1Ti 1:1; Tit 1:2).
THE ONE LORD
- All authority (Mt 28:18; 1Pe 3:22).
- Lord of all (Ac 10:36).
- Same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him (Ro 10:12).
- Died for all (2Co 5:14).
- Do all in His name (Col 3:17).
[4:5] One Lord. Since the one God is mentioned separately, we are certain that the one Lord is Jesus. When people submit to Him they become one in Christ (see Ro 10:9, 10; chart THE ONE LORD).
THE ONE FAITH
- Can be heard (Ac 24:24).
- Can be obeyed (Ac 6:7).
- Can be preached (Ga 1:23).
- Can be striven for (Php 1:27).
- Can be contended for (Jude 3).
One faith. The one faith is "the word of faith" (Ro 10:8). The completed NT is "the unity of the faith" (Eph 4:13). "The faith" is the word of God (Col 2:7). It was revealed once for all and should be contended for (see chart THE ONE FAITH; notes on Ga 1:23; Jude 3).
One baptism.[ 13 ] From the Greek it is not possible to determine whether the one baptism is water or Holy Spirit baptism. The Greek word means immersion, dipping, or overwhelming. The following may help to resolve this problem. About thirty years before Paul wrote, there were two baptisms being performed, Holy Spirit baptism and water baptism (see Ac 2:1-4; 38). When Paul wrote the Ephesian letter, there was only one. Suppose you met a woman in the park with two handsome young sons, Spiro and Walter. Thirty years later, you see her again and ask about her two sons. She replies that she has only one son, Walter. You immediately and correctly conclude that something happened to Spiro, the other son.
Now, suppose someone living in AD 30 when the church began on Pentecost knew of the two baptisms (Spirit and water). Thirty years later, an inspired apostle says there is one baptism. You would know immediately that something happened to one of the baptisms. Which one?
Think for a moment about Holy Spirit baptism. John the Immerser had given one of the identifying marks of Christ. That mark was, "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Mt 3:11). No one else could administer Holy Spirit baptism. That function was Christ's alone (see Mk 1:8; Joh 1:33; in Lu 24:49; Joh 15:26; 16:7). He also sends the Holy Spirit. Certainly no human being could do it. Holy Spirit baptism was never commanded. It was promised by Christ and received only by certain people in the first century, especially the apostles. Jesus said to the eleven:
For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now (Ac 1:5).
HOW MANY BAPTISMS TODAY?
- Two baptisms on Pentecost (AD 30).
- Holy Spirit baptism (Ac 1:5; 2:-4).
- Water baptism (Ac 2:38).
- Only one baptism in Ephesians (AD 62).
- Holy Spirit baptism had been discontinued.
- Water baptism was age-lasting (Mt 28:19, 20).
Consider water baptism. Baptism for remission of sins is commanded. Peter commanded Cornelius to be baptized in water (Ac 10:47, 48). It was to be performed in the name of the Lord. Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is "for the remission of sins" (Ac 2:38). In other words a purpose of it is to "wash away" sins (Ac 22:16). In summary, water baptism is commanded and is for the remission of sins (see chart HOW MANY BAPTISMS TODAY?).
WASHING OF WATER STILL IN EFFECT
Paul called baptism "the washing of water by the word." Was the baptism that was the washing of water by the word still in effect when Paul wrote the Ephesian letter? Yes, of course. He mentioned it in Ephesians 5:26 (see also Tit 3:5; Heb 10:22). Beyond a shadow of doubt, water baptism was then in effect and still is. Could it be the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5?
GREAT COMMISSION BAPTISM AGE-LASTING
Think about it from a different standpoint. The baptism of the Great Commission was something the apostles could perform. They were commanded to do it (Mt 28:18-20; compare Ac 10:48). The baptism of the Great Commission was not only to be performed by human beings but it was for the purpose of being saved. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mk 16:16). Great Commission baptism to be saved is equivalent to baptism for the remission of sins (Ac 2:38).
From the paragraphs above, we infer that baptism for the remission of sins was water baptism. Therefore, water baptism for the purpose of being saved is age-lasting. Not only that, but the Great Commission, with its baptism, is for all nations (see charts IS THE ONE BAPTISM WATER BAPTISM?; IS THE ONE BAPTISM HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM?).
IS THE ONE BAPTISM WATER BAPTISM?
- Water baptism is commanded (Ac 10:48).
- Performed only by men.
- In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19).
- For the remission of sins (Ac 2:38).
- Age-lasting (Mt 28:20).
IS THE ONE BAPTISM HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM?
- Holy Spirit baptism was a promise (Ac 1:5).
- Performed by Christ (Mt 3:11).
- When it occurred, no mention was made of the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Not for the remission of sins (see Ac 11:14).
- Discontinued by AD 62 (implied by Eph 4:5).
The church and the kingdom are one and the same (see notes on Mt 16:18, 19). The kingdom is entered by a birth of water and the Spirit (Joh 3:3, 5). This means that water baptism is the door into the kingdom of heaven. Since the church is the kingdom, the way into the church has to be by immersion in water performed according to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. This coincides perfectly with 1 Corinthians 12:13. The kingdom of Christ was in existence when Paul wrote the letter to Colossae (see Col 1:13). Entrance into it and into the one body, the church, is by the same means, by water baptism. As long as the kingdom exists on earth, water baptism is the door of entrance into it (see chart WHAT IS THE ONE BAPTISM?).
WHAT IS THE ONE BAPTISM?
- A command (Ac 10:48).
- Performed only by men.
- In name of Father, Son, Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19).
- For remission of sins (Ac 2:38).
- To end of age (Mt 28:20).
- A promise (Ac 1:5).
- Performed by Christ (Mt 3:11).
- Names not mentioned.
- Not for remission (Ac 11:15).
- Ended before AD 62 (Eph 4:5).
The one baptism of Ephesians 4:5 is water baptism. It is the act of obedience by which people are admitted into the one body, the one church of Christ. It is the occasion when the precious blood of Christ is applied to wash away sins. The one baptism has a unifying effect throughout the church age (see notes on Ga 3:26-29). Churches that claim to have two or more baptisms foster division. So do those who teach a different design or purpose for baptism.
[4:6] One God and Father of all [one God and Father of us[ 14 ] all].[ 15 ] The OT teaches over and over that there is one God (see De 4:35; 6:4; 32:39; 2Sa 7:22; 1Ch 17:20; Ps 83:18; 86:10; Isa 43:10; 44:6; 45:18). The NT teaches the same truth (see Mk 12:29; 1Co 8:4; 1Ti 2:5; 1Jo 5:7). Malachi asked, "Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?" (Mal 2:10). Paul answers, "We are the offspring of God" (Ac 17:29).
Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him (1Co 8:6 NASB).
Who is the one God? He is "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Eph 3:14, 15).
It was not popular for Paul to preach one God. In spite of that, he boldly proclaimed it. Today it is unpopular to preach one body, one faith and one baptism but faithful men preach the truth on these subjects anyway. The temple of the one God is the one true church (see note on Eph 2:22). God works in each member of it "both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Php 2:13).
GOD OVER ALL
- Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power (Ps 21:13).
- He is greatly exalted (Ps 47:9).
- Be exalted, O God, above the heavens (Ps 57:11).
- Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His footstool; for He is holy (Ps 99:5; compare Ps 108:5; 118:28; Isa 12:4; 25:1; 33:5).
- He is over all (1Co 15:27, 28; Eph 4:6).
Who is above all [who is over all] (see chart GOD OVER ALL).
And through all, and in you all [and through all, and in all, and in us all]. God is everywhere present (see Ps 139:7-12). He dwells in fellowship within every faithful Christian (1Co 3:16; 2Co 6:16; Eph 2:22).
GRACE ACCORDING TO MEASURE OF CHRIST'S GIFT
4:7, 8 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men."
But to each one of us grace was given [but unto every one of us was the grace given, is given grace, but grace was given to each of us, has been given grace]. "Each one of us" refers to those in the first century who received miraculous powers (see Eph 1:19, 20; 3:8). The "grace" given to them was miraculous. Those who received it exercised the gifts mentioned in verse 11 (see chart MIRACULOUS GRACE; compare 1Co 12:4-11).
- Paul received grace and apostleship (Ro 1:5).
- He spoke through the grace given to him (Ro 12:3).
- The gift of the grace of God given by the effective working of His power (Eph 3:7).
- Grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. . . . He gave some to be apostles (Eph 4:7, 11).
- To this end I also labor, striving according to His working that works in me mightily (Col 1:29; compare Eph 3:7).
According to the measure of Christ's gift [according to the measure of the gift of Christ, the Christ].[ 16 ] "Each one" of the Christians at Ephesus had been given "grace" according to the measure of Christ's gift. Christ gave them different gifts of grace.[ 17 ] "Grace" has a special meaning in this context. It is not forgiveness or salvation as in other passages. It is a supernatural gift. These miraculous gifts have now been withdrawn (see note on 1Co 13:10). Christians today are strengthened but do not have power to perform instantaneous miracles to confirm the word (see Col 1:11).
WHAT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO CHRIST
- All things have been delivered to Me of My Father (Mt 11:27; Lu 10:22).
- All authority (Mt 28:18).
- The Lord God shall give to Him the throne of His Father David (Lu 1:32).
- The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand (Joh 3:35).
- Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands (Joh 13:3).
- You have given Him authority over all flesh (Joh 17:2).
- A name above every name (Php 2:9).
[4:8] Therefore He says: When He ascended on high [wherefore he saith, it is said, having ascended up on high]. The Holy Spirit applies a verse in Psalms to the giving of miraculous gifts in the early church.
You have ascended on high, you have led captivity captive; you have received gifts among men, even from the rebellious, that the LORD God might dwell there (Ps 68:18).
"Received gifts" is parallel to Jesus receiving from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit (Ac 2:33). He "received" (Ps 68:18; Ac 2:33) in order to "give" (Eph 4:8).
He led captivity captive [he has led a host of captives].[ 18 ] "Captivity" refers to sin and death (compare Heb 2:14, 15). After Jesus' victory over death, a large number of angels accompanied Him to the gates of heaven. They cried, "Lift up your heads, O you gates! And lift them up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in" (Ps 24:9).
And gave gifts to men [and he gave, has given, gifts unto men]. Jesus said, "For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you" (Joh 16:7). It was after His ascension that the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the apostles (see Ac 2:1-4; compare Tit 3:6). Subsequently, gifts were imparted to others by the laying on of their hands (see notes on Ac 8:17, 18).
CHRIST ALSO FIRST DESCENDED
4:9, 10 (Now this, "He ascended"-- what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
Now this, He ascended [in saying, now that, but that, He ascended]. Paul begins an explanation of the statement in Psalm 68:18, "You have ascended on high."
What does it mean but that He also first descended? [what is it but that he had, he also, descended, descended first?]. Jesus came "down from heaven" (Joh 3:13). He lived among men on earth (Joh 1:14). He died, was buried, descended into Hades, arose from the grave and ascended to heaven.
LOWER PARTS OF EARTH
- Mary's womb (see Ps 139:15).
- Jesus' sojourn on earth.
- Jesus' death.
- Jesus' descent into Hades (Ps 16:10; Ac 2:31).
- All of these?
Into the lower parts of the earth.[ 19 ] Marvin Vincent thought the "lower parts of the earth" alluded to Jesus' descent into Hades.[ 20 ] Several others refer it to His incarnation on the earth. The view from here is that it is a figurative expression primarily meaning Jesus' death (see chart LOWER PARTS OF EARTH).[ 21 ]
[4:10] He who descended is also the One who ascended [he that descended is he, is the same, is the same also that, who also, who has also, ascended] (see chart JESUS DESCENDED AND ASCENDED).
JESUS DESCENDED AND ASCENDED
(Eph 4:9, 10)
- He came "down from heaven" (Joh 3:13; 6:38).
- Before coming to earth, Christ was "with God" (Joh 1:1) and was "above all" (Joh 3:31).
- He died, was buried.
- "Who will descend into the abyss?" is applied by the Holy Spirit to bringing "Christ up from the dead" (De 30:13; compare Ro 10:7).
- He ascended into heaven (see Mk 16:19; Lu 24:51; Joh 20:17; Ac 1:9; Heb 4:14; 9:24; 1Pe 3:22).
Far above all the heavens [up far above all heavens, up above all the heavens].[ 22 ] Jesus passed through the air, through the celestial sphere and entered heaven where God dwells (see chart JESUS FAR ABOVE THE HEAVENS).
JESUS FAR ABOVE THE HEAVENS
- Passed through the heavens (Heb 4:14).
- Has become higher than the heavens (Heb 7:26).
- Entered "into heaven itself" (Heb 9:24).
- Is at the right hand of God (Eph 1:20).
- Far above all the heavens (Eph 4:10).
That He might fill all things. Jesus is at the right hand of God (Eph 1:20). He received in order to give (see note on Eph 4:8). He "fills all in all" (Eph 1:23). He filled the apostles and others with spiritual gifts (1Co 12:6). They received His fullness (see Joh 1:16). Christians today who are filled with "all the fullness of God" do not possess miraculous powers such as the apostles used to confirm the word (see Eph 3:19).
TILL THE UNITY OF THE FAITH
4:11-16 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles [and he gave some, has given some, and his gifts were that some should be, apostles]. [ 23 ] The apostles and prophets were "ministers . . . as the Lord gave to each one" (1Co 3:5). The apostles received a direct outpouring of the Holy Spirit that enabled them to preach by inspiration and write the NT (see Ac 2:1-4; Tit 3:6). Among the "signs of an apostle" was the ability to impart miraculous gifts to others (2Co 12:12). NT prophets received their gift by the laying on of the apostles' hands (Ac 8:18; 19:6). It was by miraculous power that they, plus inspired evangelists, pastors and teachers[ 24 ] carried out their special work in the first century church (see Ro 12:7; 1Co 14:6, 26; see chart TEACHERS OF THE TRUTH IN LOVE).
TEACHERS OF THE TRUTH IN LOVE
WHY TEACH TRUTH IN LOVE (A)
- PROS for the equipping of the saints (Eph 4:12).
- EIS to work of ministry (Eph 4:12).
- EIS to edifying of the body of Christ (Eph 4:12).
- Till we come EIS to unity of the faith (Eph 4:13).
- KAI and [that is, to] the full knowledge of the Son of God (Eph 4:13).
- EIS to a perfect man (Eph 4:13).
- EIS to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:13).
WHY TEACH TRUTH IN LOVE (B)
- That we should no longer be children (Eph 4:14).
- [Not] tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14).
- But speaking the truth in love (Eph 4:15).
- May grow up in all things into Him who is the head-- Christ (Eph 4:15).
- Every part does its share (Eph 4:16).
- Causes growth of the body (Eph 4:16).
- For the building up of itself in love (Eph 4:16).
Some prophets [and some, prophets].[ 25 ] Prophets were gifted men and women who spoke and/or wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The four prophets who wrote NT books were James, Jude, Luke and Mark. Since the first century, the church has had no inspired prophets on earth.
Some evangelists [and some evangelists].[ 26 ] Evangelists, pastors and teachers continue throughout the church age. However, since the close of the first century, they have served without divine inspiration (see 2Ti 2:2). Evangelists (preachers) are not the same as pastors (elders). It is my understanding that both evangelists and elders have a Scriptural precedent to work together in a congregation. Support for this view is suggested by the fact that Epaphroditus was being sent to Philippi, a church that had "bishops" or elders (Php 1:1; 2:25).
And some pastors and teachers [and some shepherds and teachers].[ 27 ] Because of the construction of the Greek sentence, some scholars wisely translate this phrase, "and some teaching-pastors." The elders are to pastor, tend, guard and feed by teaching (see 1Ti 5:17). One of the qualifications of a pastor (elder) is to be apt to teach (1Ti 3:2). That means he is to be a good teacher. Pastors are shepherds. The Chief Shepherd "did" and then taught (Ac 1:1). He was often called "Teacher" (see Mt 8:19; 9:11; 12:38;19:16; 22:16, 24, 36; 13:1; 14:14; Joh 1:38; 3:2; 11:28; 13:13, 14; 20:16). In NT times, pastors and elders were the same.[ 28 ] This is established by the admonition of Paul to the Ephesian elders to tend or "pastor" the flock of God (see Ac 20:17, 28).[ 29 ] Churches that follow the NT pattern make no distinction between pastors, elders and bishops.
[4:12] For the equipping of the saints [to equip, for the perfecting of, the saints].[ 30 ] The purpose of equipping or perfecting the saints was to enhance their work of ministering to the end of building up the church. Faithful, uninspired persons, by the careful instruction of inspired men, were also equipped via instruction to perform certain works or duties in the early church (2Ti 2:2). "Equipping" or "perfecting" implies not only placing persons in a suitable work but correctly fitting together of circumstances, events, activities and persons into a proper working order (see 1Co 14:40).[ 31 ]
The perceptive student will recognize in this one verse authorization for restoring the NT church.
For the work of ministry [unto the work of ministering, with a view to the work of the ministry].[ 32 ] The "work of ministry" is service rendered by such workers as apostles, prophets, elders and evangelists (see verse 16). "Ministering" has a broad meaning. It also embraces the work of deacons, Bible class teachers, song leaders, those who take care of the meeting place, those who provide food for the hungry and various other works of the church. There is a humility that goes with ministry. It is not wise to exalt every servant by giving them titles such as "minister of music," "minister of counseling," and "minister of benevolence." Members of the household of Stephanas "devoted[ 33 ] themselves to the ministry of the saints" (1Co 16:15). Jesus put Paul into the ministry primarily to preach and teach the gospel (1Co 1:17; 1Ti 1:12).
FOR EDIFYING THE BODY OF CHRIST
For the edifying of the body of Christ [for, unto, with a view to, building up, the building up, of the body of Christ].[ 34 ] Jesus said, "I will build My church" (Mt 16:18) but He, personally, does not do all of the work involved in building. Paul became "a wise master builder" in the sense that he built up or edified the church upon the one foundation (1Co 3:10). He did this by inspired teaching. Most edification is done by loving communication. "He who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men" (1Co 14:2). Knowledge without love puffs up but love builds up (1Co 8:1; compare 1Co 13:1, 2; Eph 4:15). "He who prophesies edifies the church" (1Co 14:4). Edification is so important that Paul wrote, "Let all things be done for edification" (1Co 14:26).
TO THE UNITY OF THE FAITH
[4:13] Till we all come to the unity of the faith [till, until, we all arrive at, we all come in, attain unto, the unity of the faith].[ 35 ] The "unity of the faith" is not the ideal when everyone agrees on every little opinion. Will such unanimity ever dawn on brethren in this life?[ 36 ] If not that, then what? The answer is the divine side of unity as outlined in Scripture. The unity of the faith is presented in the pages of the NT. The completed revelation is "that which is perfect" (1Co 13:10).[ 37 ] Christians come to the unity of the faith when they sincerely profess faith in the NT pattern for the church. There are two steps in unity. First, there must be a sincere, personal acceptance of the Scriptural pattern. Secondly, there must be a loving application of it. Their dedication to the pattern is essential to practical unity. It may take patient study in order to gain a perfect understanding of every point. Christians are united when they agree to the extent that they "speak the same thing" (1Co 1:10). First, there is a concept of the ideal unity that God desires. Then there is the functional application of it.
Notice in verse 3 that unity was to be kept. Now, it is to be attained. In the two contexts, the words have slightly different connotations. In verse 3, it is "the unity of the Spirit" that Christians are to strive to keep. In verse 13, it is the "unity of the faith" to which Christians come or attain. Verse 3 looks at a unity revealed and encouraged by the Spirit with the emphasis upon man's part in maintaining it in the days before the written NT was completed.[ 38 ] The present verse looks at the same ideal of unity but from the viewpoint of the revelation being completed. Emphasis is upon the divine ideal to be reached only when the NT was completed. Christians attain unity in their faith as they humbly accept all the NT teaches.[ 39 ]
"Till" gives a hint as to how long the miraculous gifts were to last. They were to last "till" something happened and no longer. It is my understanding that when the NT revelation was completely written there was no longer a requirement for inspired men to continue writing Scripture. After it was confirmed, there was no requirement that miracles keep on confirming it. Miraculous gifts lasted until the NT revelation was completed and no longer. James Macknight correctly understood their duration:
"Till [the church] was so enlarged, and so well instructed in the doctrine of the gospel, as to be able to direct and defend itself without any supernatural aid. This advanced state of the church, the apostle termed perfect manhood and the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; at which when the church arrived, the supernatural gifts of the Spirit were to be removed as no longer necessary."[ 40 ]
There is an emphasis upon "we all." No age group of Christians is disregarded, no race passed by, no individual overlooked. Not one person has direct inspiration in the present century but the written word, to one degree or another, is available to all. All who have access to it have no excuse for not maturing in knowledge.
And of the knowledge of the Son of God.[ 41 ] The direct revelation of knowledge of Christ was fully given in the completed NT (see note on 2Pe 1:3). Knowledge is power only when it is transferred from a book into the minds of men and women and then put into practice.
To a perfect man [unto, to, at, a fullgrown man, mature manhood, the full-grown man].[ 42 ] In the present verse, the connection is with that which makes perfect, the word of God itself (see 1Co 13:10). It was the prayer and aim of Paul to present every man perfect in Christ (see Col 1:28).
For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete (2Co 13:9).
To the measure of the stature [unto the, at the, measure of the stature].[ 43 ] The Greek word HEELIKIAS stature is sometimes translated "age" (see Joh 9:21, 23). Sarah was "past HELIKIAS age" (Heb 11:11; compare Luke 12:25). At a certain "age" or period of development of the church, the measure of the fullness of Christ was received.
Of the fullness of Christ [of the fullness of the Christ].[ 44 ] We recall that the church is the fullness of Christ (Eph 1:23) but it does not make sense to say that Paul desires the church to attain to the church. The church received the fullness of Christ when it received His completed revelation (see note below on May grow up (verse 15). That revelation equips completely for every good work (2Ti 3:16).
[4:14] That we should no longer be children [that we may be, no longer, in order that we may be no longer, that we henceforth be no more, so that we may no longer be, babes].[ 45 ] Christians develop normally by studying the putting into practice completed revelation. They need remain no longer as unskilled or untaught spiritual babies. The first century church was made up of former atheists and religious people, including idolaters. Some were uneducated slaves. When they were baptized, most were spiritual children.[ 46 ] The Greek present tense of "we may be" does not condemn babes in Christ but counsels that they do not remain that way.
TOSSED TO AND FRO
Tossed to and fro [tossed].[ 47 ] Picture a group of youngsters with little or no understanding of sailing. The boat full of terrified children is being tossed about by the boisterous wind and waves. All the children do is try to hang on. They do not to steer or propel the boat. It bobs up and down and drifts aimlessly in whatever direction. Some untaught Christians are like that.
And carried about with every wind of doctrine [and carried about by every wind of that teaching].[ 48 ] False doctrine is like the wind that blows in any direction. False teachers are so varied that almost every "itching ear" can find an error that pleases (see 2Ti 4:3). Even some of the elders at Ephesus were speaking "perverse things" (Ac 20:30). The false doctrines of Cerinthus and other gnostics took root at Ephesus. Some of the local Christians had left their first love (Re 2:4). The winds of false doctrine were blowing.
By the trickery of men [by the sleight, which is in the sleight, the cunning, of men].[ 49 ] Because "sleight" is related to "sly" and not "slight," the NKJV wisely translated the word as "trickery." In the young churches of Christ, the apostles recognized certain insincere "peddlers" of the word of God. They specifically identified as destructive false prophets, most of whom were cunning and crafty (see 2Co 2:17; 2Pe 2:3).
In the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting [in craftiness, in cunning craftiness, in unprincipled cunning, by their craftiness, after the wiles of error, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, in deceitful wiles, with a view to systematized error].[ 50 ] The false teachers to whom Paul alludes were tricksters and deceptive schemers. Some were personable and good speakers. In the days of miraculous powers, the gift of discerning of spirits helped faithful Christians cull them out (1Co 12:10; 1Pe 4:1).
SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE
[4:15] But, speaking the truth in love [rather, holding the truth, speaking truth, in love].[ 51 ] A failure to love the truth can lead to the worst kind of apostasy (see 2Th 2:10-12). The apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor-teachers countered error by speaking the truth in love (see verses 11, 12). Faithful men to whom the word is committed also speak the truth in love (see 2Ti 2:2).
May grow up in all things [we are to grow up, we may grow up, may grow up, in every way, in all things].[ 52 ] The fullness of Christ (verse 13) is the fullness of love (Eph 3:18, 19). His fullness is also grace and truth (Joh 1:14). "All things" compare with "every part" of the body (verse 16). The preponderance of the work of the apostles was prayer, preaching and teaching (see Ac 6:4). In Ephesians 2:21, the "whole building" or "each several building" was the church growing into a holy temple.
Into Him who is the head--Christ [to him which is the head, into Christ, even Christ, the Christ].[ 53 ] In Ephesians 4:16, each person is to grow in the body of Christ unto His standard. Jesus "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Lu 2:52). Christians are to "grow up in all things into Him." The truth spoken firmly causes positive growth (see note above on Of the fullness of Christ (verse 13; see also Eph 1:22, 23).
[4:16] From whom the whole body [from whom all the body]. The antecedent of "whom" is Christ. His body is His church. The church was developing steadily. In the first century, the exercise of spiritual gifts aided its progress. Today, the revealed word taught faithfully and lovingly accomplishes the kind of increase God desires.
Joined [fitly framed, fitly joined, fitted, together].[ 54 ] The present participle of "joined" indicates a continuous process of harmonious and adaptive "joining." The conviction of truth plus the love all members have for each other hold the church together and promote its growth. Love and the truth promote church growth, both spiritually and numerically.
And knit together [and compacted, and connected].[ 55 ] As above, the present participle indicates a compacting, a continuous solidifying of the body of Christ. As members grow, they become more and more like the Savior. As they mature, the unity of the many members becomes complete in Him.
By what every joint supplies [when, with which, by which, every joint of supply, every joint supplieth, with which it is supplied].[ 56 ] Every member of the church needs to be doing his share in order that the church may function in a healthy manner.
According to the effective working [according to the working, the effectual working, the working in the measure, in its measure, due measure, is working properly].[ 57 ] The increase that God gives is according to, but not necessarily proportionate with, the working of individual members (see 1Co 3:7; compare Luke 8:4-15).
By which every part does its share [through that, by that, by what, when, each, of each, part, each several part, one part].[ 58 ] The increase that God gives is according to, but not necessarily proportional with, the working of individual members (see 1Co 3:7; compare Luke 8:4-15). Every member of the church needs to be doing his share in order that the church may function in a healthy manner.
Causes growth of the body [causes growth, maketh increase, the increase, of the body, works for itself the increase of the body].[ 59 ] "Growth of the body"b comes about as a result of the coordinate activities of God and the members of His church. True growth comprises both a strengthening and number augmentation. It is a function of faith, prayer and gospel obedience. God gives the increase (1Co 3:7). Madison Avenue techniques may not, to avoid saying will not, produce the kind of church growth that pleases Him.
For the edifying of itself in love [to its self-building up, unto the building up of, makes bodily growth and upbuilds, itself in love].[ 60 ] The church building itself up has been termed "mutual edification." In my judgment, this does not preclude using regular preachers on Sunday (see note on verse 11).
NO LONGER AS GENTILES WALK
4:17-19 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
WALKING IN SIN
- According to the course of this world (Eph 2:2).
- Many walk, of whom I told you often . . . the enemies of the cross of Christ (Php 3:18).
- The time past may suffice . . . to have walked in lasciviousness, lusts, winebibbings, revellings, carousings, and abominable idolatries (1Pe 4:3).
- Who walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement (2Pe 2:10; compare 2Pe 3:3).
- Mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts (Jude 18).
This I say, therefore [now this I affirm].[ 61 ] The fact that Paul both affirms and testifies indicates the earnestness of what he writes.
And testify in the Lord.[ 62 ] The word "testify" means a solemn attestation with the suggestion that it is backed up by Paul who was himself an eye-witness.
That you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk [that ye no longer walk, that ye henceforth walk not, that you must no longer live, as the Gentiles also, as other Gentiles, as the rest of the nations, walk, as the Gentiles do]. "You" is every member of the church. "The rest of the Gentiles" or "other Gentiles" is not a racist or biased expression. It is a simple statement of fact. As a whole, unconverted Gentiles walked in sin (see 1Jo 5:19; chart WALKING IN SIN).
WALKING IN MENTAL SIN
- He blesses himself in his heart, saying, "I shall have peace, even though I walk in the imagination of my heart"--as though the drunkard could be included with the sober" (De 29:19).
- Did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward" (Jer 7:24).
- The heart is deceitful above all things. It is exceedingly corrupt. Who can know it? (Jer 17:9).
- Eyes full of adultery, and cannot cease from sin (2Pe 2:14).
In the futility of their mind [in the vanity of their mind, their minds, in the vanity of their mind].[ 63 ] The unconverted Gentiles "walked" in mental sin (compare Ge 6:5; see chart WALKING IN MENTAL SIN). The word "futility" or "vanity" may allude to idolatry (see Jer 8:10; 18:15; Ho 12:11; Ac 14:16).
[4:18] Having their understanding darkened [the understanding darkened, being, they are, darkened in understanding, in their understanding].[ 64 ] How is understanding darkened? There is no single answer to this question (see charts DARKENED UNDERSTANDING A, B and C).
DARKENED UNDERSTANDING (A)
- Leaving paths of righteousness (Pr 2:13).
- The way of the wicked is like darkness (Pr 4:19).
- Transgressing and denying the Lord (Isa 59:9-13).
- When land is full of adulterers (Jer 23:10-12).
- Because people sinned against the Lord (Zep 1:17).
DARKENED UNDERSTANDING (B)
- If eye is evil, unsound (Mt 6:23).
- Blind leaders of the blind (Mt 15:14).
- Failure to comprehend the True Light (Joh 1:5).
- Loving darkness rather than light (Joh 3:19).
- Fellowshipping unfruitful works of darkness (Eph 5:8-11).
DARKENED UNDERSTANDING (C)
- Trying to rationalize and excuse sins (Ge 3:12, 13; 1Sa 15:20, 21).
- Rejecting a risen Savior (Ac 17:32).
- Worshipping idols (Ro 1:21-23).
- Disbelieving in spite of overwhelming evidence (Ro 1:18-21, 28).
- Ignorance and hardened hearts (Eph 4:18).
Being alienated from the life of God [alienated, estranged, from the life of God].[ 65 ] The life of God is the sphere in which people are spiritually alive. Among those who are spiritually alive are little children (see Mt 19:13, 14; Ro 7:9). Other spiritually alive persons are believers who have been baptized into Christ (see Ro 6:4; Eph 2:1). The Greek perfect tense of "alienated" suggests that sinners were not born alienated but, at some time in the past, became so and then remained in that condition. Gentiles were not only alienated from commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12) but from the life of God (Eph 4:18; see chart ALIENATED FROM GOD).[ 66 ]
ALIENATED FROM GOD
- Wicked are estranged from womb, go astray as soon as born, speaking lies (Ps 58:3)
- Your iniquities have separated you from your God (Isa 59:2)
- Have gone far from me (Jer 2:5)
- All estranged from Me by their idols (Eze 14:5)
- Their heart is far from Me (Mt 15:8)
- Alienated from the life of God (Eph 4:18)
- Alienated, hostile in mind through evil works (Col 1:21)
Because of the ignorance that is in them [through, by reason of, the ignorance which is in them].[ 67 ] Peter also wrote of "former lusts" and the time of "ignorance" (1Pe 1:14; see chart IGNORANCE). The careful student will notice while ignorance is a partner of sin, knowledge accompanies salvation (compare 2Pe 1:3).
Because of the hardening of their heart [by reason of, due to, the blindness, the hardness, their hardness, of heart, of their hearts].[ 68 ] Hearts may be hardened by a multiplicity of causes, all of which relate to personal responses or decisions. Some precursors of hardened hearts are blaming God, putting Him to the test, a strong desire to continue in sin, a resentful attitude toward warnings and indifference toward encouragement (see charts HARDENING OF GENTILES; HOW HEARTS BECOME HARDENED).
HOW HEARTS BECOME HARDENED
- Tempting or testing God (Ps 95:8, 9)
- Failure to fear God (Pr 28:14)
- Being often reproved (Pr 29:1)
- Ignoring God's discipline (Isa 42:25)
- Turning a deaf ear to exhortation (Heb 3:13)
HARDENING OF GENTILES
(Eph 4:18, 17)
- Walking in the futility of their mind.
- Understanding darkened.
- Alienated from the life of God.
- Because of ignorance in them.
- Because of hardening of their heart.
[4:19] Who, being past feeling [they have become callous, who having cast off all feeling].[ 69 ] Insensibility to the gospel may come about rapidly when people plunge into sin. It may come about gradually by continued rationalization and justification of "small" infractions. In short, by ignoring the word of God and conscience, people reach the point where they no longer care about what is right. One person said, "When the sheep run with the goats, they can't tell sneeze-weed from clover!" (see chart WHY HEARTS BECOME HARDENED; note on 1Ti 4:2).
Have given themselves over to lewdness [gave themselves, and have given themselves up, to, unto, lasciviousness, licentiousness].[ 70 ] In the present context, Gentiles were hardened because they had "plunged" into sin. Specifically, they gave themselves over to sexual sins.
Parents who endorse a double standard make a sad mistake. For example, if daughters are taught to be pure while sons are allowed, expected or even encouraged to "sow their wild oats," the children may become so hardened that the gospel will not reach their stony hearts. Even worse is the practice of putting daughters on "the pill" with the expectation that they will go out and "have fun."
To work all uncleanness with greediness [greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness, with greedy, unsatisfied lust].[ 71 ] The Greek word for "uncleanness" sometimes means "excess" of any kind but, in the present context, it means immoral sex. Gentile sinners engaged in it without restraint. Apparently, they did not become bored. Apparently, they kept on greedily pursuing it.
PUTTING OFF THE OLD MAN
4:20-24 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
But you have not so learned Christ [but ye did not, you did not, so learn, so learned, thus learnt, the Christ]. Some try to make learning Christ different from learning His truth. This is unwise. He is the truth! (Joh 14:6). When Philip went down to Samaria to preach the gospel, he "preached Christ to them" (Ac 8:5). The Samaritans believed his preaching "concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ." Then both men and women were baptized (Ac 8:12). Preaching "Christ" includes instruction about the church of Christ (the kingdom of God), the authority of Christ (the name of Jesus Christ) and baptism into Christ (obedience to Christ). When Philip taught the Ethiopian treasurer, he preached to him "Jesus" (Ac 8:35). Soon the man desired to be baptized. People are led to obedience when they learn "Christ."
[4:21] If indeed you have heard Him [if so be that ye heard, if ye have heard, him, assuming that you have heard about[ 72 ] him].[ 73 ] Since Christ had already returned to heaven, how could the Gentiles in Ephesus have heard Him? They heard Him only as they heard Him preached. When people hear His teachings, they hear Him. What Paul preached was the revelation of Jesus Christ (Ga 1:12). Even though he himself did the preaching, he said it was Jesus who "came and preached peace" (Eph 2:17). To "hear Christ" does not require the listening to His literal voice. To illustrate this, the voices of the prophets were heard when they were read (Ac 13:27).
And have been taught by Him [and were taught in him, and been instructed in him]. Jesus said to His disciples, "He who hears you hears Me" (Lu 10:16). Paul himself had taught the Ephesians for three years (Ac 20:31). The very people to whom he was writing had heard the word of truth "in" Him (Eph 1:13).
As the truth is in Jesus [even as, according as, truth, the truth, is in Jesus]. Jesus is "full of grace and truth" (Joh 1:14). He is the truth (Joh 14:6). He came to bear witness to the truth (Joh 18:37). The truth is "in" Him in the sense that in Him that "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden" (Col 2:3). In the present context, the truth in Jesus has to do with godly living.
PUTTING OFF THE OLD WAYS OF SIN
[4:22] That you put off, concerning your former conduct [put off, that ye put away, namely your having put off, as concerning, according to, which belongs to, your former manner of life, the former conversation].[ 74 ] The Greek infinitive translated "put off" is sometimes used of taking off clothes.[ 75 ] Christians are to decisively and actively put off all their old ways of sin, not just hide them or pretend they are gone. They are not to wear old, soiled, sin-stained garments underneath a white robe.
The old man which grows corrupt [the old man, that waxeth, which is, and is, corrupt, which corrupts itself].[ 76 ] Paul's metaphor speaks of putting off something more personal than old, ragged clothes. The "old man" is a part of one's self. Some call it the old self. A comfortable bond with him may have developed. The old man of sin may become so deeply ingrained that getting rid of him is drastic and painful, like tearing out a part of one's own body.[ 77 ]
According to the deceitful lusts [after the lusts of deceit, through deceitful lusts].[ 78 ] "The old man" is biased. He has to be in order to give encouragement to "the lusts of deceit." A deceived mind can be led into all kinds of sin. Sin had its beginning because of deceit. "The woman being deceived, fell into transgression" (1Ti 2:14; see chart LUSTS OF DECEIT).
LUSTS OF DECEIT
- Intoxicating drink arouses brawling, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise (Pr 20:1)
- Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me (Ro 7:11)
- Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived (2Ti 3:13)
- Once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another (Tit 3:3)
- Exhort one another daily . . . lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13)
RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND
[4:23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind [and being, and that ye be, renewed, in the spirit of, your minds][ 79 ] (see note on Ro 12:2).
[4:24] And that you put on the new man [and, and that ye, put on, your having put on, the new nature, the new man].[ 80 ] It is not enough for the Christian to "put off" something. The Greek imperative indicates he must replace it with something new and good. The new "something" is to be more personal than a new robe or sandals. It is to be a new heart, a new spirit, a new inner being. It is the heart Jesus Christ Himself (see Ga 2:20; 4:19; Eph 3:17).
"Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and longsuffering; accepting one another, and forgiving each other, if anyone has a complaint against someone; just as the Lord forgave you, you do the same" (Col 3:12, 13).
Which was created according to God [that, after God, according to God, created, is created, hath been created, after the likeness of God]. When a person obeys the gospel, he is renewed spiritually. When he is baptized into Christ, he becomes a part of the new creation. He renounces sin and begins to live a new, righteous life. "Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new" (2Co 5:17; compare Ro 6:4).
In true righteousness and holiness [in righteousness and holiness of truth, and true holiness, in truthful righteousness and holiness] (see note on Col 3:10).
PUTTING AWAY LYING
4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.
Therefore, putting away lying [wherefore, having put off falsehood] (see chart ACTIVITIES TO AVOID). The sin of lying will land one in hell (see Re 21:8).
ACTIVITIES TO AVOID
- Lying (Eph 4:25)
- Do not let the sun go down on your wrath (Eph 4:26)
- Nor give place to the devil (Eph 4:27; compare Ro 12:19; Jas 4:7)
- Stealing (Eph 4:28)
- Corrupt communication (Eph 4:29)
- Grieving the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30)
- Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and all malice (Eph 4:31)
Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor [speak ye truth each one, every one, speak every man truth, let every one speak the truth, with his neighbor]. As part of the body of Christ, men and women are to be truthful (see Zec 8:16; Col 3:9; 4:5; chart GODLY ACTIVITIES).
- Speak truth (Eph 4:25)
- Honest work (Eph 4:28)
- Giving (Eph 4:28)
- Communication for necessary edification (Eph 4:29)
- Communication that imparts grace (Eph 4:29)
- Kindness, tenderheartedness (Eph 4:32)
- Forgiveness (Eph 4:32)
For we are members of one another [because we are members one of another]. Christians are members of Him who is the way, the truth and the life.
BE ANGRY AND DO NOT SIN
4:26, 27 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.
- Moses' anger when children of Israel were dancing and worshipping the golden calf (Ex 32:21, 22)
- Moses' displeasure because of the misuse of a goat sin-offering (Le 10:16-20)
- Moses' anger at Korah's rebellion (Nu 16:15)
- Samson's anger at the Philistines (Jg 14:19)
- Saul's anger at the Ammonites (1Sa 11:1-7)
- Nehemiah's anger because of usury (Ne 5:6, 7)
- Paul's anger at Elymas (Ac 13:9, 10)
Be angry, and do not sin [be ye angry, and sin not, but do not sin]. Some examples of approved anger may be seen in the chart RIGHTEOUS ANGER. I have not stressed Jesus' righteous anger because some say we are not the Lord and are thus excused from following His example. Actually, His example is set forth in Scripture for the express purpose for Christians to follow (see 1Co 11:1; 1Pe 2:21).
A very interesting case of righteous anger is recorded in Nehemiah 13:23-25. Some of the Jews had married women of Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. Nehemiah "contended with them and cursed[ 81 ] them" (Ne 13:25). He "struck some of them."[ 82 ] He also "pulled out their hair" (Ne 13:25). He "made them swear by God."[ 83 ] Of Sanballat's son-in-law Nehemiah said, "I chased him from me!" (Ne 13:28).
Most teaching on righteous anger is directed toward others but it is not a bad idea to be angry at oneself from time to time for getting involved in sinful and shameful things. Paul buffeted his own body (1Co 9:27).
Do not let the sun go down on your wrath [let not the sun go down, set, upon your wrath, on your anger]. Do not hold on to anger. Do not enjoy it or sleep on it. Deal with it. Get over it. "A fool utters all his anger, but a wise man keeps it back and stills it" (Pr 29:11). Do not even think about taking revenge. Do not hate anyone. When the sun sets on one's anger, he may be sure it is not righteous indignation.
A REASON TO DEAL WITH ANGER
[4:27] Nor give place to the devil [neither give place, and give no opportunity, neither give room, for the devil]. If a Christian misuses anger or wrath, it gives the devil a place, an opportunity, to harm his own life and that of others. If he resists, the devil will flee (Jas 4:7). A major abuse of wrath is the taking of vengeance. Let God take care of that. Instead of giving place to the devil, "Give place to the wrath of God" (Ro 12:19).
STEAL NO LONGER
4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
Let him who stole steal no longer [let him that stole, the thief, the stealer steal no more, no longer steal].[ 84 ] A robber may be a bandit, a bank robber, one who breaks and enters, one who takes money out of a purse or one who steals with a computer (see Mt 24:43; Joh 12:6). False religious leaders who "climb up some other way" are thieves and robbers (Joh 10:1). Someone who steals goods or money in order to avoid labor is particularly in view here.
- To support oneself (Ge 3:19; Pr 12:11)
- Not slothful in business, serving the Lord (Ro 12:11)
- To give (Ro 12:13; Eph 4:28)
- To lay up for children (2Co 12:14)
- To walk becomingly toward outsiders (1Th 4:11, 12)
- It is commanded (2Th 3:12)
- If any provides not for his own . . . he has denied the faith (1Ti 5:8)
But rather let him labor [but rather let him toil]. Christians, young and old, ought to work. Honest toil has always been praiseworthy and pleasing to God. Even before the fall, man was to dress and keep the garden (Gen 2:15). "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might" (Ec 9:10; see chart WHY WORK?).
Working with his hands what is good [working the thing that, which, is good, doing honest work, what is honest, with his hands]. Physical labor is honorable. Jesus was a carpenter (Mk 6:3). Lydia was a seller of purple (Ac 16:14). Paul, Priscilla and Aquilla were tentmakers (Ac 18:2, 3; see also Pr 6:6; 10:4, 5; 12:11; 13:4, 11; 20:13; 22:29). Luke was a doctor (Col 4:14).
That he may have something to give [that he may have whereof to give, so that he may be able to distribute, to give]. A person who gives that which cost him honest labor may be more pleasing to God than he who gives only from effortless increment or inherited income (see 2Sa 24:24).
Him who has need [to him that hath need, that needeth, to those in need]. It is a privilege to help the needy. Christians are expected to do so (see notes on Mt 25:34-40). However, laziness is not to be subsidized (see 2Th 3:10).
SPEECH THAT IMPARTS GRACE
4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth [let no corrupt speech, corrupt communication, no evil talk, proceed out, come out, go out, of your mouths].[ 85 ] Putrid or pornographic language must never pass the lips of a faithful Christian. Neither should foul, evil or unwholesome speech. Ribaldry (dirty jokes) should be buried like the filth it is and not repeated.
But what is good for necessary edification [but such, but only such, but that which, as fits the occasion as the need may be, as is good, is good, for, to the use of, edifying, but if there be any good one for needful edification].[ 86 ] The speech of a Christian should always encourage and build up others. This may be done by several methods (see chart NECESSARY EDIFICATION). Foul, obscene and offensive language is never edifying. It is destructive to one's influence as well as to the mind of the evil speaker.
- Follow after things that make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another (Ro 14:19)
- Pleasing others for their good (Ro 15:2)
- Love builds up (1Co 8:1)
- By singing and teaching (1Co 14:26)
- Apostolic authority (2Co 10:8)
- "All things" for edification (2Co 12:19)
- Exhorting, comforting one another (1Th 4:18; 5:11)
That it may impart grace to the hearers [that it may give grace, minister grace, to, unto, them, those, that hear, that hear it, who hear, the hearers].[ 87 ] Talk that imparts grace is pleasant and/or helpful speech.[ 88 ] It is a blessing to those who hear it. "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one" (Col 4:6).
DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God]. When people rebelled and sinned against the Law they "grieved His Holy Spirit" (Isa 63:10; Ps 78:40). God said He was grieved with them. "Forty years long was I grieved with that generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known My ways: wherefore I swore in My wrath, that they should not enter into my rest" (Ps 95:10, 11; compare Heb 3:11). We conclude that a heart that rebels against any command of God grieves the Holy Spirit. Especially is this so when one rebels against the commands in the immediate context.
By whom you were sealed for the day of redemption [in whom, with which, whereby, ye are sealed, have been sealed, unto the day of redemption]. For the word "sealed," see notes on Ephesians 1:13, 14. The day of redemption refers to the resurrection day (Ro 8:23).
ALL TO BE PUT AWAY
4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Let all bitterness.[ 89 ] "Bitterness" is animosity or harshness. Zerr calls it "strong hatred." In the OT, is associated with idolatry (De 29:17).
Wrath [and wrath, and heat of passion].[ 90 ] Wrath is furious rage or passion.
Anger [and anger, and wrath][ 91 ] (see note on verse 26).
Clamor [and clamor].[ 92 ] Clamor is loud threatening or noisy quarreling, often with shouting or yelling back and forth.
And evil speaking [railing, slander, and injurious language].[ 93 ] Evil speaking is slander, assassination or defamation of character. A Christian should never speak to, or about, another with the intent of doing him harm.
Be put away from you [be removed from you].[ 94 ] Putting away evil is to be done decisively. The process is not to be dragged out like cutting off a dog's tail an inch at a time. The evil intents and practices mentioned in this context should be quickly and permanently put away from one's mind, as far as the landfill is from the city.
With all malice.[ 95 ] "Malice" is a broader term than most of the above words. It is ill will or malignity. One writer said it was badness in general. Christians try to be calm and serious. Harsh contentions, strife, brawls and tumults are to be unknown among them. Slander, backbiting and tale-bearing all are to be put away.[ 96 ]
BE KIND AND FORGIVING
4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
And be kind to one another [and be ye kind one to another, and be to one another kind].[ 97 ] Especially when there is a temptation to be angry or to say harsh words, the Christian recalls this command to be kind (see Ga 6:1).
Tenderhearted [compassionate].[ 98 ] Christians have good manners and good speech but not with a hollow heart. The values in verses 15, 25-29, 32 are a part of the inner being of one who has the Spirit of Christ (see note on 1Pe 3:8).
Forgiving one another [forgiving each other]. Like the Savior, Christians maintain a willingness to forgive others until repentance is accomplished. Then completely, freely and permanently they forgive as God forgives them. After a person is forgiven, they treat him as if he had no guilt at all.
Just as God in Christ forgave you [as, even as, God, so as, even as God also, in Christ, for Christ's sake, hath, has, forgiven you]. God desires that all come to repentance (2Pe 3:9). His goodness leads them to do so (Ro 2:4). Christians, like God, desire others to repent. In imitation of God, their tenderness and deeds of kindness may influence even their enemies to do right.
[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV and occasionally another version. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]OUN EGOO HO DESMIOS EN KURIOO, therefore I the prisoner in [the] Lord (Marshall 766); DESMIOS, an adjective, primarily denotes binding, bound, then, as a noun, the person bound, a captive, prisoner [akin to DEO to bind] (Vine 886).
[ 3 ]PARAKALOO HUMAS, beseech you (Marshall 766); beseech, entreat, exhort, encourage.
[ 4 ]AXIOOS PERIPATEESAI TEES KLEESEOOS, worthily to walk of the calling (Marshall 766); AXIOOS=in a manner worthy of (Arndt 78).
[ 5 ]HEES EKLEETHEETE, of (with) which ye were called (Marshall 766); EKLEETHEETE is second person plural, first aorist passive indicative of KALEOO (Han 360).
[ 6 ]META PASEES TAPEINOPHROSUNEES, with all humility (Marshall 766); lowliness of mind (Vine 569; with perfect humility (Williams).
[ 7 ]KAI PRAUTEETOS, and meekness (Marshall 766); in all humility (Arndt 804), accepting God's dealings without questioning or disputing, and receiving insults or injuries from men as from God to chasten or purify.
[ 8 ]Shimei was not guiltless when he cursed King David. He was later punished for it by Solomon at David's request (see 1Ki 2:8, 44-46).
[ 9 ]META MAKROTHUMIAS, with longsuffering (Marshall 766); a very strong and patient holding out under trial, and restraint from passion, especially anger (Vincent 1.761).
[ 10 ]ANECHOMENOI ALLEELOON EN AGAPEE, forbearing one another in love (Marshall 766); to put up with one another (Arndt 65); support one another (Clarke 6.451).
[ 11 ]SPOUDAZONTES TEEREIN TEEN HENOTEETA TOU PNEUMATOS, being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit (Marshall 766); SPOUDAZONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of SPOUDAZOO; TEEREIN is the present active infinitive of TEEREOO (Han 360); literally, to make haste, hence to be eager, earnest, diligent, attentive, to make every effort (Vine 358); endeavoring is not strong enough (Vincent 3.386); be zealous or eager, take pains, make every effort (Arndt 763); intensely labor (Clarke 6.451).
[ 12 ]EN TOO SUNDESMOO TEES EIREENEES, in the bond of peace (Marshall 766).
[ 13 ]HEN BAPTISMA, one baptism (Marshall 766); baptism, consisting of the process of immersion, submersion and emergence [from BAPTOO to dip] (Vine 88); see note on Ac 2:38.
[ 14 ]The RSV translates, "father of us all." There is no word for "us" in any of the Greek texts available to me. Why did not the RSV translators put it in italics to show that it was supplied?
[ 15 ]HEIS THEOS KAI PATEER PANTOON, one God and Father of all (Marshall 766).
[ 16 ]KATA TO METRON TEES DOOREAS TOU CHRISTOU, according to the measure of the gift of Christ (Marshall 766, 767; in accordance with the measure of Christ's gift (Williams); according to the measure of the gift of Christ; the genitive seems to be objective: our endowment is in accord with the measure of the gift bestowed upon Christ (Lenski 516); a supernatural gift (Zodhiates 491).
[ 17 ]Because the gift of salvation is the same for all, we may infer that, in the present context, "grace" has an altogether different meaning. The writer is not absolutely certain that each and every Christian at Ephesus had a miraculous gift.
[ 18 ]EECHMALOOTEUSEN AICHMALOOSIAN, he led captive captivity (Marshall 767); AICHMALOOSIAN, captivity, abstract for the body of captives. The captives are not the redeemed, but the enemies of Christ's kingdom, Satan, Sin and Death (Vincent 3.388); captivity, the abstract noun in contrast to AICHMALOOTOS one taken by the spear, the concrete, is found in Revelation 13:10 and Ephesians 4:8, where "He led captivity captive" (margin "a multitude of captives") seems to be an allusion to the triumphal procession by which a victory was celebrated, the captives taken forming part of the procession (see Jg 5:12). The quotation is from Psalm 68:18, and probably is a forceful expression for Christ's victory, through His Death, over the hostile powers of darkness. An alternative suggestion is that at His Ascension Christ transferred the redeemed OT saints from Sheol to His own presence in glory (Vine 159); EECHMALOOTEUSEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of AICHMALOOTEUOO (Han 360); signifies to make a prisoner of war . . . the only meaning used in the NT, Ephesians 4:8 (Vine 160).
[ 19 ]EIS TA KATOOTERA MEREE TEES GEES, into the lower parts of the earth (Marshall 767); the comparative degree of KATOO beneath, is used in Ephesians 4:9, of Christ's descent into "the lower parts of the earth;" two of the various interpretations of this phrase are (1) that the earth is in view in contrast to heaven, (2) that the region is that of Hades, the Sheol of the OT (Vine 695, 696). Is the genitive appositional, the lower parts=the earth? . . . . Is the genitive partitive or ablative "lower than the earth"? (Robertson 499).
[ 20 ]Vincent 3.389.
[ 21 ]Those who sought Jesus' life went "into the lower parts of the earth." That is, they fell by the sword (see Ps 63:9, 10; compare Ps 55:14, 15; Eze 32:18, 24).
[ 22 ]HUPERANOO PANTOON TOON OURANOON, far above all the heavens (Marshall 767).
[ 23 ]KAI AUTOS EDOOKEN TOUS MEN APOSTOLOUS, and he gave some apostles (Marshall 767); and He has given some men to be apostles (Williams); and he, he gave some as apostles (Lenski 525); it is he also who "gave" some as apostles (Bruce 339).
[ 24 ]Teaching-pastors.
[ 25 ]TOUS DE PROPHETAS, some prophets (Marshall 767); preachers and expounders under the immediate influence of the Spirit (Vincent 3.389).
[ 26 ]TOUS DE EUANGELISTAS, some evangelists (Marshall 767); not pastors but preachers of the gospel (Vine 376; Arndt 318).
[ 27 ]TOUS POIMENAS KAI DIDASKALOUS, some shepherds and teachers (Marshall 767); some to be pastors and teachers (Williams); the third TOUS DE makes one class of "shepherds and teachers," that is, pastors of local congregations who were commonly called "elders" (Lenski 528); it is appropriate therefore, that the two terms, "pastors and teachers," should be joined together to denote one order of ministry" (Bruce 348); "pastors" and "teachers" share the same article in the Greek. They are not separated by "and some" as are the others mentioned although a conjunction KAI and appears between the two words.
[ 28 ]Three Greek words give us six or more English words to designate presbyters, elders, bishops, overseers, pastors and shepherds. In NT times all of these terms referred to the same office (see notes on Ac 20:17, 28; Tit 1:5, 6).
[ 29 ]The terms "bishop" and "elder" are used interchangeably (see Tit 1:5, 7).
[ 30 ]PROS TON KATARTISMON TOON HAGIOON, for the perfecting of the saints (Marshall 767); KATARTISMON, rendering fit, complete [ARTIOS, fitted, complete], to mend, restore or set in order, does not always imply breakage but can describe right ordering and arrangement (Vine 212; 846); a medical word for setting a bone (Arndt 418; Vincent 3.390); PROS for denotes the ultimate purpose.
[ 31 ]Compare Weed 162.
[ 32 ]EIS ERGON DIAKONIAS, to [the] work of ministry (Marshall 767); to labor in their appointed service (Conybeare 172); for the work of service (Williams); for ministration work (Lenski 529).
[ 33 ]The word "devoted" is translated "addicted" in the KJV.
[ 34 ]EIS OIKODOMEEN TOU SOOMATOS TOU CHRISTOU, to building of the body of Christ (Marshall 767); literally, to build, whether literally, or figuratively . . . used metaphorically, in the sense of edifying, promoting the spiritual growth and development of character of believers, by teaching or by example (Vine 348).
[ 35 ]MECHRI KATANTEESOOMEN HOI PANTES EIS TEEN HENOTEETA TEES PISTEOOS, until we arrive all at the unity of the faith (Marshall 767); until we, the whole number, arrive at the oneness of the faith; HOI PANTES we all is, literally, "the all" or "the whole number" (Lenski 532).
[ 36 ]The incorrect rendering of the NIV is misleading. The Greek does not justify the paraphrase, "Until we all reach unity in the faith" (compare the KJV, NKJV, ASV, NASB and RSV).
[ 37 ]"The apostle stated both the tenure and the intention of special endowments: 1. the tenure--till the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God through the fullness of revelation came into its completion; 2. the intention--to shield the members of the body, in the absence of complete revelation of the truth from the diverse doctrine of the deceiving men" (Foy E. Wallace, Jr., Versions 716).
[ 38 ]In the first century, before the NT was completed, the early churches had complete and thorough teaching by inspired apostles, prophets and teachers.
[ 39 ]Christians should never surrender the ideal and be satisfied with the weak substitute called "unity in diversity."
[ 40 ]Macknight 335.
[ 41 ]KAI TEES EPIGNOOSEOOS TOU HUIOU TOU THEOU, and of the full knowledge of the Son of God (Marshall 767); EPIGNOOSEOOS is a feminine noun from EPIGINOOSKOO, to recognize. It is more intensive than GNOOSIS, knowledge, because it expresses a more thorough participation in the acquiring of knowledge on the part of the learner (Zodhiates 624); J. Armitage Robinson [on Ephesians] points out that EPIGNOOSIS is "knowledge directed towards a particular object, perceiving, discerning," whereas GNOOSIS is knowledge in the abstract (Vine 629); and of the knowledge [not mere intellectual knowledge is referred to, such as GNOSIS might express, but true heart knowledge] of the Son of God (Lenski 532. 534); and to perfect knowledge of the Son of God (Williams).
[ 42 ]EIS ANDRA TELEION, at man a complete (Marshall 767); to mature manhood (Williams); at a man full-grown (Lenski 532).
[ 43 ]EIS METRON HEELIKIAS, at [the] measure of [the] stature (Marshall 767); At an age measure of (Lenski 532); metaphorically of an attained state of mind fit for a thing . . . the age in which we are fitted to receive the fullness of Christ (Thayer 277).
[ 44 ]TOU PLEROOMATOS TOU CHRISTOU, of the fullness of Christ (Marshall 767); in the NT the body of believers, as that which is filled with the presence, power, agency, riches of God and of Christ (Thayer 518); fullness, that of which a thing is full . . . of all His [Christ's] virtues and excellencies (Vine 467). "Fullness of Christ denotes that completeness of spiritual advancement that Christ makes possible through the complete revelation of the NT" (E. M. Zerr 106).
[ 45 ]HINA MEEKETI OOMEN NEEPIOI, in order that no more we may be infants (Marshall 767); OOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of EIMI (Han 360).
[ 46 ]Some of the Jews who obeyed the gospel were well-educated in the OT. These Bible students were able to advance more quickly in knowledge of NT truth.
[ 47 ]KLUDOONIZOMENOI, being blown (Marshall 767); present middle participle, nominative plural masculine of KLUDOONIZOMAI (Han 360); tossed by billows [KLUDOON a billow], metaphorically, in Ephesians 4:14, of an unsettled condition of mind influenced and agitated by one false teaching and another, and characterized by that immaturity which lacks the firm conviction begotten by the truth (Vine 1157); or like sailors tossed about (Williams 429).
[ 48 ]KAI PERIPHEROMENOI PANTI ANEMOO TEES DIDASKALIAS, and being carried round by every wind of teaching (Marshall 767); PERIPHEROMENOI is the present passive participle, nominative plural masculine of PERIPHEROO (Han 360); and driven around by every wind of doctrine (Williams).
[ 49 ]EN TEE KUBEIA TON ANTHROOPOON, in the sleight of men (Marshall 767); in the gambling of men (Lenski 538); KUBEIA denotes dice-playing [from KUBOS a cube, a die as used in gaming]; hence, metaphorically, trickery, sleight, Ephesians 4:14 (Vine 1053).
[ 50 ]EN PANOURGIA PROS TEEN METHODEIAN TEES PLANEES, in cleverness unto the craftiness of error (Marshall 767); in craftiness after the expert method of the deception (Lenski 538).
[ 51 ]ALEETHEUONTES DE EN AGAPEE, but speaking truth in love (Marshall 767); ALEETHEUONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of ALEETHEUOO (Han 360); truthing; in such a way that the spirit of love is maintained (Arndt 36); signifies to deal faithfully or truly with anyone [compare Ge 42:16 Septuagint, "whether you deal truthfully"].
[ 52 ]AUXEESOOMEN TA PANTA, we may grow in all respects (Marshall 767); AUXEESOOMEN is first person plural, first aorist active subjunctive of AUXANOO (Han 360); get grown up with respect to him in regard to everything (Lenski 542); to grow or increase, of the growth of that which lives, naturally or spiritually . . . of believers individually (Vine 511).
[ 53 ]EIS AUTON HOS ESTIN HE KEPHALEE, CHRISTOS, into him who is the head, Christ (Marshall 768); get grown up to everything, who is the Head, Christ (Lenski 542); growing up into perfect union with Him, that is, Christ Himself who is the Head (Williams).
[ 54 ]SUNARMOLOGOUMENON, being fitted together and being brought together (Marshall 768); SUNARMOLOGOUMENON is the present passive participle, nominative singular neuter of SUNARMOLOGEOO (Han 360); to fit or frame together (Vine 606); is perfectly adjusted (Williams); as being framed together (Lenski 542).
[ 55 ]KAI SUMBIBAZOMENON, and being brought together (Marshall 768); SUMBIBAZOMENON is the present passive participle, nominative singular neuter of SUMBIBAZOO (Han 360); to unite, to knit (Vine 207); and knit together (Lenski 542); and united (Williams).
[ 56 ]DIA PASEES HAPHEES TEES EPICHOREEGIAS, through every band of supply (Marshall 768); in (its) measure of each single part (Lenski 542); a full supply, literally, by the supply of every joint, metaphorically, of the members of the Church, the Body of which Christ is the Head (Vine 1108).
[ 57 ]KAT' ENERGEIAN, according to [the] operation (Marshall 768); construe with making increase (Vincent 3.392); according to the working (Lenski 542); and by the proper functioning (Williams).
[ 58 ]DIA PASEES HAPHEES TEES EPICHOREEGIAS, through every band of supply (Marshall 768); in its measure of each single part (Lenski 542); a full supply, literally, by the supply of every joint, metaphorically, of the members of the Church, the Body of which Christ is the Head (Vine 1108); that furnishes its supplies (Williams).
[ 59 ]TEEN AUXEESIN TOU SOOMATOS POIEITAI, the growth of the body makes (Marshall 768); there is brought about the growth of the body (Williams); produces the growth of the body (Lenski 542).
[ 60 ]EIS OIKODOMEEN HEAUTOU EN AGAPEE, for building of itself in love (Marshall 768); literally, building a house . . . metaphorically, in the sense of edifying, promoting the spiritual growth and development of character of edifying, promoting the spiritual growth and suggesting each spiritual progress as the result of patient labor (Vine 348).
[ 61 ]TOUTO OUN LEGOO, this therefore I say (Marshall 768); so I mean this (Williams).
[ 62 ]KAI MARTUROMAI EN KURIOO, and witness in [the] Lord (Marshall 768); testify, bear witness (Vine 1132); MARTUROMAI is first person singular, present middle indicative of MARTUROMAI (Han 360).
[ 63 ]EN MATAIOTEETI TOU NOOS AUTOON, in vanity of the mind of them (Marshall 768); emptiness as to results [akin to MATAIOS void of result], of the mind which governs the manner of life of the Gentiles (Vine 1195).
[ 64 ]ESKOTOOMENOI TEE DIANOIA ONTES, having been darkened in the (their) intellect being (Marshall 768); ESKOTOOMENOI is the perfect passive participle, nominative plural masculine of SKOTOOO (Han 360); darkened, used of heavenly bodies . . . metaphorically, of the mind (Vine 260).
[ 65 ]APEELLOTRIOOMENOI TEES ZOOES TOU THEOU, having been alienated [from] the life of God (Marshall 768); APEELLOTRIOOMENOI is the perfect passive participle, nominative plural masculine of APALLOTRIOOO (Han 360); the Greek perfect tense denotes present state resultant from past action (Machen 451); [APO from, ALLOTRIOS, belonging to another], signifies being rendered an alien, alienated (Vine 37); estranged from the life of God (Williams); being alienated from the life of God (Lenski 552).
[ 66 ]Ephesians 2:12; 4:18 use the word APEELLOTRIOOMENOI having been alienated [from], perfect passive participles, nominative plural masculine of APALLOTRIOOO (Han 359, 360). The perfect tense denotes the present state resultant upon a past action. The Gentiles had become alienated and remained so.
[ 67 ]DIA TEEN AGNOIAN TEEN OUSAN EN AUTOIS, through the ignorance being in them (Marshall 768).
[ 68 ]DIA TEEN POOROOSIN TEES KARDIAS AUTOON, on account of the hardness of the heart of them (Marshall 768); denotes a hardening, a covering with a POOROS, a kind of stone, indicating a process [from POOROOO to make hard, callous, to petrify], used metaphorically of dulled spiritual perception . . . Ephesians 4:18, "hardening" of the heart of Gentiles (Vine 525).
[ 69 ]HOITINES APEELGEEKOTES, who having ceased to care (Marshall 768); APEELGEEKOTES is second person plural, second aorist active indicative of MANTHANOO (Han 360); for in their recklessness (Williams); having lost compunction (Lenski 557).
[ 70 ]HEAUTOUS PAREDOOKAN TEE ASELGEIA, themselves gave up to lewdness (Marshall 768); they have abandoned themselves to sensuality (Williams); gave themselves over to excess (Lenski 557); denotes excess, licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness . . . the prominent idea is shameless conduct (Vine 640).
[ 71 ]EIS ERGASIAN AKATHARSIAS PASEES EN PLEONEXIA, for work uncleanness of all in greediness (Marshall 768); excessive practices of all sorts of immorality (Williams); all uncleanness (Lenski (557); [A negative, KATHAIROO to purify], moral uncleanness (Vine 1178, 1179); MORAL UNCLEANness (Vine 1179).
[ 72 ]The RSV inserted the word "about" but there is no corresponding Greek word for it. If they were going to do that, they should have italicized it.
[ 73 ]EI GE AUTON EEKOUSATE, if indeed him ye heard (Marshall 768).
[ 74 ]APOTHESTHAI HUMAS KATA TEEN PROTERAN ANASTROPHEEN, to put off you=that ye put off as regards the (your) former conduct (Marshall 768); APOTHESTHAI is the second aorist middle infinitive of APOTITHEEMI (Han 361); to put off from oneself (Vine 907); figuratively, lay aside, rid oneself of (Arndt 101).
[ 75 ]Arndt 101.
[ 76 ]TON PALAION ANTHROOPON TON PHTHEIROMENON, the old man being corrupted (Marshall 768); PHTHEIROMENON is the present passive participle, accusative, singular masculine of PHTHEIROO (Han 361); your old self which is on the way to destruction (Williams); which is in the process of corruption (Lenski 562); intransitively, of the old nature in waxing corrupt "morally decaying, on the way to final ruin" (Moule), "after the lusts of deceit (Vine 234).
[ 77 ]I know an unusual man in my city who removed his own tonsils by twisting a wire around them! I read of a celibate priest in another country who threw his bloody testicles out the window. The writer supposes that Jesus spoke figuratively when He said to pluck out an eye, etc. (Mt 5:29).
[ 78 ]KATA TAS EPITHUMIAS TEES APATEES, according to the lusts of deceit (Marshall 768); correctly, lusts of deceit (Vincent 395).
[ 79 ]ANANEOUSTHAI DE TOO PNEUMATI TOU NOOS HUMOON, and to be renewed in the spirit of the mind of you (Marshall 769).
[ 80 ]KAI ENDUSASTHAI TON KAINON ANTHROOPON, and to put on the new man (Marshall 769).
[ 81 ]When Nehemiah cursed the people, he pronounced the words of the Law that included the judgments of God against them.
[ 82 ]In certain cases, beating was commanded in the Law (see De 25:2, 3). Recall Jesus driving out the money changers (Joh 2:13-17).
[ 83 ]Nehemiah caused the men to take an oath that they would not allow their children to intermarry with those who were not of the seed of Israel (Clarke 2.797).
[ 84 ]HO KLEPTOON MEEKETI KLEPTETOO, the [one] stealing no more let him steal (Marshall 769); KLEPTOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of KLEPTOO (Han 361); must stop stealing (Williams).
[ 85 ][PAS LOGOS SAPROS EK TOU STOMATOS HUMOON ME EKPOREUESTHOO, every word corrupt out of the mouth of you let not proceed (Marshall 769); decayed, rotten (Arndt 742); corrupt [akin to SEPOO to make corrupt, to destroy] . . . Trench contrasts this with AMARANTOS and AMARANTINOS unwithering, not fading away (1Pe 1:4; 5:4). These are, however, distinct terms and are not strictly synonymous, though used in the same description of the heavenly inheritance (Vine 236).
[ 86 ]ALLA EI TIS AGATRHOS PROS OIKODOMEN TEES CHREIAS, but if any [is] good to improvement of the need (Marshall 769); for the building up of the need.
[ 87 ]HINA DOO CHARIN TOIS AKOUOUSIN, in order that it may give grace to the [ones] hearing (Marshall 769); profit, or at least pleasure (Macknight 337); help to the faith (Hunter 68); to benefit others (Barnes 7.92).
[ 88 ]Helpful speech is sometimes a rebuke, reproof or correction (see 1Ti 5:20; 2Ti 3:16).
[ 89 ]PASA PIKRIA, all bitterness (Marshall 769); of bitter hatred (Vine 121).
[ 90 ]KAI THUMOS, and wrath (Marshall 769); hot anger, passion (Vine 125).
[ 91 ]KAI ORGEE, and anger (Marshall 769); of the wrath of man (Vine 47).
[ 92 ]KAI KRAUGEE, and clamor (Marshall 769); an onomatopoeic word, imitating the raven's cry [akin to KRAZOO and KRAUGAZOO to cry], denotes an outcry . . . Ephesians 4:31, where it signifies the tumult of controversy (Vine 187).
[ 93 ]KAI BLASPHEEMIA, and blasphemy (Marshall 769); insults (Williams); blasphemy, railing at or reviling . . . the word "blasphemy" is practically confined to speech defamatory of the Divine Majesty (Vine 123).
[ 94 ]ARTHEETOO APH' HUMOON, let it be removed from you (Marshall 769); ARTHEETOO is third person singular, first aorist passive imperative of AIROO (Han 361).
[ 95 ]SUN PASEE KAKIA, with all evil (Marshall 769); badness in quality [opposite of ARETEE excellence], "the vicious character generally" [Lightfoot] (Vine 704).
[ 96 ]Barnes 7.93.
[ 97 ]GINESTHE DE EIS ALLEELOUS CHREESTOI, be And to one another kind (Marshall 769); GINESTHE is second person plural, present middle imperative of GINOMAI (Han 361); you must practice being kind to one another (Williams).
[ 98 ]EUSPLAGCHNOI, tenderhearted (Marshall 769); compassionate, tenderhearted, literally, "of good-heartedness" [EU well, SPLANCHNON bowel] (Vine 857).
Copyright ©2002, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington, U.S.A.
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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise, are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
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