Ephesians chapter 4

Ephesians chapter 4 DEFAULT

Ephesians

CHAPTER 4

Unity in the Body.1* I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,a2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love,b3striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace:c4* one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call;d5one Lord, one faith, one baptism;e6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.f

Diversity of Gifts.7But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.g8Therefore, it says:

“He ascended* on high and took prisoners captive;

he gave gifts to men.”h

9What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended into the lower [regions] of the earth? 10The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.

11* And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,i12to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,* for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,* to the extent of the full stature of Christ,j14so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming.k15Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head,l Christ,*16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love.m

Renewal in Christ.*17So I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds;n18darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance, because of their hardness of heart,o19they have become callous and have handed themselves over to licentiousness for the practice of every kind of impurity to excess.p20That is not how you learned Christ, 21assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, 22that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires,q23and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,r24and put on* the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.s

IV. Daily Conduct, an Expression of Unity*

Rules for the New Life.25Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are members one of another.t26Be angry but do not sin;u do not let the sun set on your anger,*27and do not leave room for the devil.v28The thief must no longer steal, but rather labor, doing honest work* with his [own] hands, so that he may have something to share with one in need.w29No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear.x30And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.*31All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.y32[And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.z

* [4:1–16] A general plea for unity in the church. Christians have been fashioned through the Spirit into a single harmonious religious community (one body, Eph 4:4, 12; cf. Eph 4:16), belonging to a single Lord (in contrast to the many gods of the pagan world), and by one way of salvation through faith, brought out especially by the significance of baptism (Eph 4:1–6; cf. Rom 6:1–11). But Christian unity is more than adherence to a common belief. It is manifested in the exalted Christ’s gifts to individuals to serve so as to make the community more Christlike (Eph 4:11–16). This teaching on Christ as the source of the gifts is introduced in Eph 4:8 by a citation of Ps 68:18, which depicts Yahweh triumphantly leading Israel to salvation in Jerusalem. It is here understood of Christ, ascending above all the heavens, the head of the church; through his redemptive death, resurrection, and ascension he has become the source of the church’s spiritual gifts. The “descent” of Christ (Eph 4:9–10) refers more probably to the incarnation (cf. Phil 2:6–8) than to Christ’s presence after his death in the world of the dead (cf. 1 Pt 3:19).

* [4:4–6] The “seven unities” (church, Spirit, hope; Lord, faith in Christ [Eph 1:13], baptism; one God) reflect the triune structure of later creeds in reverse.

* [4:8–10] While the emphasis is on an ascension and gift-giving by Christ, there is also a reference in taking prisoners captive to the aeons and powers mentioned at Eph 1:21; 2:2; 3:10; 6:12.

* [4:11] Concerning this list of ministers, cf. 1 Cor 12:28 and Rom 12:6–8. Evangelists: missionary preachers (cf. Acts 21:8; 2 Tm 4:5), not those who wrote gospels. Pastors and teachers: a single group in the Greek, shepherding congregations.

* [4:12] The ministerial leaders in Eph 4:11 are to equip the whole people of God for their work of ministry.

* [4:13] Mature manhood: literally, “a perfect man” (cf. Col 1:28), possibly the “one new person” of Eph 2:15, though there anthrōpos suggests humanity, while here anēr is the term for male. This personage becomes visible in the church’s growing to its fullness in the unity of those who believe in Christ.

* [4:15–16] The head, Christ: cf. Col 1:18 and contrast 1 Cor 12:12–27 and Rom 12:4–5 where Christ is identified with the whole body, including the head. The imagery may derive from ancient views in medicine, the head coordinating and caring for the body, each ligament (perhaps the ministers of Eph 4:11) supporting the whole. But as at Eph 2:19–22, where the temple is depicted as a growing organism, there may also be the idea here of growing toward the capstone, Christ.

* [4:17–24] Paul begins to indicate how the new life in Christ contrasts with the Gentiles’ old way of existence. Literally, the old self (Eph 4:22) and the new self (Eph 4:24) are “the old man” and “the new man” (anthrōpos, person), as at Eph 2:15; cf. note on Eph 4:13.

* [4:24] Put on: in baptism. See note on Gal 3:27.

* [4:25–6:20] For similar exhortations to a morally good life in response to God’s gift of faith, see notes on Rom 12:1–13:14 and Gal 5:13–26.

* [4:26] If angry, seek reconciliation that day, not giving the devil (Eph 6:11) opportunity to lead into sin.

* [4:28] Honest work: literally, “the good.” His [own] hands: some manuscripts have the full phrase as in 1 Cor 4:12.

* [4:30] See note on Eph 1:13.

a. [4:1] 3:1; Col 1:10.

b. [4:2] Col 3:12–13.

c. [4:3] Col 3:14–15.

d. [4:4] Rom 12:5; 1 Cor 10:17; 12:12–13.

e. [4:5] 1 Cor 8:6.

f. [4:6] 1 Cor 12:6.

g. [4:7] Rom 12:3, 6; 1 Cor 12:28.

h. [4:8] Ps 68:19; Col 2:15.

i. [4:11] 1 Cor 12:28.

j. [4:13] Col 1:28.

k. [4:14] 1 Cor 14:20; Col 2:4, 8; Heb 13:9; Jas 1:6.

l. [4:15] 1 Cor 11:3; Col 1:18; 2:19.

m. [4:16] Col 2:19.

n. [4:17] Rom 1:21.

o. [4:18] Col 1:21; 1 Pt 1:14.

p. [4:19] Col 3:5.

q. [4:22] Rom 8:13; Gal 6:8; Col 3:9.

r. [4:23] Rom 12:2.

s. [4:24] Gn 1:26–27; Col 3:10.

t. [4:25] Zec 8:16.

u. [4:26] Ps 4:5 LXX; Mt 5:22.

v. [4:27] 2 Cor 2:11.

w. [4:28] 1 Thes 4:11.

x. [4:29] 5:4; Col 3:16; 4:6.

y. [4:31] Col 3:8.

z. [4:32] Mt 6:14; Col 3:12–13.

Sours: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/ephesians/4
Ephesians 4
1
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
3
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
4
There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called--
5
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
8
This is why it [1] says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." [2]
9
(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions [3] ?
10
He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)
11
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
12
to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
13
until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
16
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
17
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
18
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
19
Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
20
You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.
21
Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23
to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
26
"In your anger do not sin" [4] : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27
and do not give the devil a foothold.
28
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
  1. [8] Or God
  2. [8] Psalm 68:18
  3. [9] Or the depths of the earth
  4. [26] Psalm 4:4


Sours: http://web.mit.edu/jywang/www/cef/Bible/NIV/NIV_Bible/EPH+4.html
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1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

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

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

4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

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

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

9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

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.

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

20 But ye have not so learned Christ;

21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

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

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

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

27 Neither give place to the devil.

28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

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

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

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



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Sours: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Ephesians-Chapter-4/
Ephesians 4 (Part 1) :1-3 The Character of a Worthy Walk

Ephesians 4

New International Version

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

4 As a prisoner(A) for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy(B) of the calling(C) you have received.Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another(D) in love.(E)Make every effort to keep the unity(F) of the Spirit through the bond of peace.(G)There is one body(H) and one Spirit,(I) just as you were called to one hope when you were called(J);one Lord,(K) one faith, one baptism;one God and Father of all,(L) who is over all and through all and in all.(M)

But to each one of us(N) grace(O) has been given(P) as Christ apportioned it.This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high,
    he took many captives(Q)
    and gave gifts to his people.”(R)

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?10 He who descended is the very one who ascended(S) higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)(T)11 So Christ himself gave(U) the apostles,(V) the prophets,(W) the evangelists,(X) the pastors and teachers,(Y)12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ(Z) may be built up(AA)13 until we all reach unity(AB) in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God(AC) and become mature,(AD) attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.(AE)

14 Then we will no longer be infants,(AF) tossed back and forth by the waves,(AG) and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.(AH)15 Instead, speaking the truth in love,(AI) we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head,(AJ) that is, Christ.16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows(AK) and builds itself up(AL) in love,(AM) as each part does its work.

Instructions for Christian Living

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer(AN) live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.(AO)18 They are darkened in their understanding(AP) and separated from the life of God(AQ) because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.(AR)19 Having lost all sensitivity,(AS) they have given themselves over(AT) to sensuality(AU) so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off(AV) your old self,(AW) which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;(AX)23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;(AY)24 and to put on(AZ) the new self,(BA) created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.(BB)

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully(BC) to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.(BD)26 “In your anger do not sin”:(BE) Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,27 and do not give the devil a foothold.(BF)28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work,(BG) doing something useful with their own hands,(BH) that they may have something to share with those in need.(BI)

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,(BJ) but only what is helpful for building others up(BK) according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,(BL) with whom you were sealed(BM) for the day of redemption.(BN)31 Get rid of(BO) all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.(BP)32 Be kind and compassionate to one another,(BQ) forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.(BR)

Cross references

  1. Ephesians 4:1 : S Eph 3:1
  2. Ephesians 4:1 : Php 1:27; Col 1:10; 1Th 2:12
  3. Ephesians 4:1 : S Ro 8:28
  4. Ephesians 4:2 : Col 3:12, 13
  5. Ephesians 4:2 : ver 15, 16; Eph 1:4
  6. Ephesians 4:3 : S Ro 15:5
  7. Ephesians 4:3 : Col 3:15
  8. Ephesians 4:4 : S Ro 12:5
  9. Ephesians 4:4 : 1Co 12:13; Eph 2:18
  10. Ephesians 4:4 : S Ro 8:28
  11. Ephesians 4:5 : 1Co 8:6
  12. Ephesians 4:6 : Dt 6:4; Zec 14:9
  13. Ephesians 4:6 : S Ro 11:36
  14. Ephesians 4:7 : 1Co 12:7, 11
  15. Ephesians 4:7 : S Ro 3:24
  16. Ephesians 4:7 : S Ro 12:3
  17. Ephesians 4:8 : Col 2:15
  18. Ephesians 4:8 : Ps 68:18
  19. Ephesians 4:10 : Pr 30:1-4
  20. Ephesians 4:10 : Eph 1:23
  21. Ephesians 4:11 : ver 8
  22. Ephesians 4:11 : 1Co 12:28; Eph 2:20; 3:5; 2Pe 3:2; Jude 17
  23. Ephesians 4:11 : S Ac 11:27; Ro 12:6; 1Co 12:10, 28; 13:2, 8; 14:1, 39; Eph 2:20; 3:5; 2Pe 3:2
  24. Ephesians 4:11 : Ac 21:8; 2Ti 4:5
  25. Ephesians 4:11 : Ac 13:1; Ro 2:21; 12:7; 1Co 12:28; 14:26; 1Ti 1:7; Jas 3:1
  26. Ephesians 4:12 : S 1Co 12:27
  27. Ephesians 4:12 : S Ro 14:19
  28. Ephesians 4:13 : ver 3, 5
  29. Ephesians 4:13 : S Php 3:8
  30. Ephesians 4:13 : S 1Co 2:6; Col 1:28
  31. Ephesians 4:13 : Jn 1:16; Eph 1:23; 3:19
  32. Ephesians 4:14 : S 1Co 14:20
  33. Ephesians 4:14 : Isa 57:20; Jas 1:6
  34. Ephesians 4:14 : Eph 6:11
  35. Ephesians 4:15 : ver 2, 16; Eph 1:4
  36. Ephesians 4:15 : S Eph 1:22
  37. Ephesians 4:16 : Col 2:19
  38. Ephesians 4:16 : 1Co 12:7
  39. Ephesians 4:16 : ver 2, 15; Eph 1:4
  40. Ephesians 4:17 : Eph 2:2
  41. Ephesians 4:17 : Ro 1:21
  42. Ephesians 4:18 : Dt 29:4; Ro 1:21
  43. Ephesians 4:18 : Eph 2:12
  44. Ephesians 4:18 : 2Co 3:14
  45. Ephesians 4:19 : 1Ti 4:2
  46. Ephesians 4:19 : Ro 1:24
  47. Ephesians 4:19 : Col 3:5; 1Pe 4:3
  48. Ephesians 4:22 : ver 25, 31; Col 3:5, 8, 9; Jas 1:21; 1Pe 2:1
  49. Ephesians 4:22 : S Ro 6:6
  50. Ephesians 4:22 : Jer 17:9; Heb 3:13
  51. Ephesians 4:23 : Ro 12:2; Col 3:10
  52. Ephesians 4:24 : S Ro 13:14
  53. Ephesians 4:24 : S Ro 6:4
  54. Ephesians 4:24 : Eph 2:10
  55. Ephesians 4:25 : Ps 15:2; Lev 19:11; Zec 8:16; Col 3:9
  56. Ephesians 4:25 : S Ro 12:5
  57. Ephesians 4:26 : Ps 4:4; S Mt 5:22
  58. Ephesians 4:27 : 2Co 2:10, 11
  59. Ephesians 4:28 : Ac 20:35
  60. Ephesians 4:28 : 1Th 4:11
  61. Ephesians 4:28 : Gal 6:10
  62. Ephesians 4:29 : Mt 12:36; Eph 5:4; Col 3:8
  63. Ephesians 4:29 : S Ro 14:19
  64. Ephesians 4:30 : Isa 63:10; 1Th 5:19
  65. Ephesians 4:30 : 2Co 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:13
  66. Ephesians 4:30 : Ro 8:23
  67. Ephesians 4:31 : S ver 22
  68. Ephesians 4:31 : Col 3:8; 1Pe 2:1
  69. Ephesians 4:32 : 1Pe 3:8
  70. Ephesians 4:32 : Mt 6:14, 15; Col 3:12, 13
Sours: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%204&version=NIV

4 ephesians chapter

Ephesians 4:1–32

Unity in the Body of Christ

4 I therefore, ma prisoner for the Lord, urge you to nwalk in a manner worthy of othe calling to which you have been called, 2 with all phumility and qgentleness, with rpatience, sbearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in tthe bond of peace. 4 There is uone body and vone Spirit—just as you were called to the one whope that belongs to your call— 5 xone Lord, yone faith, zone baptism, 6 aone God and Father of all, bwho is over all and through all and in all. 7 But cgrace was given dto each one of us eaccording to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says,

f“When he ascended on high ghe led a host of captives,

and he gave gifts to men.”1

9 (hIn saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into ithe lower regions, the earth?210 He who descended is the one who also jascended kfar above all the heavens, that he might lfill all things.) 11 And mhe gave the napostles, the prophets, the oevangelists, the pshepherds3 and teachers,412 qto equip the saints for the work of ministry, for rbuilding up sthe body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to tthe unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, uto mature manhood,5 to the measure of the stature of vthe fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, wtossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in xdeceitful schemes. 15 Rather, yspeaking the truth in love, we are to zgrow up in every way into him who is athe head, into Christ, 16 bfrom whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, cwhen each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

The New Life

17 Now this I say and dtestify in the Lord, ethat you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, fin the futility of their minds. 18 They gare darkened in their understanding, halienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to itheir hardness of heart. 19 They jhave become callous and khave given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you llearned Christ!— 21 assuming that myou have heard about him and nwere taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to oput off pyour old self,6 which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through qdeceitful desires, 23 and rto be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on sthe new self, tcreated after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you uspeak the truth with his neighbor, for vwe are members one of another. 26 wBe angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and xgive no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather ylet him labor, zdoing honest work with his own hands, so athat he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 bLet no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give cgrace to those who hear. 30 And ddo not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, eby whom you were sealed for the day of fredemption. 31 gLet all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 hBe kind to one another, tenderhearted, iforgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

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Sours: https://biblia.com/bible/esv/ephesians/4
The Holy Bible - Ephesians Chapter 4 (KJV)

Ephesians chapter 4

New International Version

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

8 This is why it says: 'When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.'

9 (What does 'he ascended' mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

English Standard Version

1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”

9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

King James Version

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

2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 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.

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

New American Standard Bible

1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

8 Therefore it says, 'WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE the captives, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO PEOPLE.'

9 (Now this expression, 'He ascended,' what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

17 So I say this, and affirm in the Lord, that you are to no longer walk just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their minds, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves up to indecent behavior for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former way of life, you are to rid yourselves of the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

25 Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you with his neighbor, because we are parts of one another. 26 BE ANGRY, AND yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 The one who steals must no longer steal; but rather he must labor, producing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with the one who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

New Living Translation

1 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.

7 However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.

8 That is why the Scriptures say, 'When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.'

9 Notice that it says 'he ascended.' This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

17 With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

20 But that isn't what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God--truly righteous and holy.

25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And 'don't sin by letting anger control you.' Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Christian Standard Bible

1 Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to live worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope at 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 all.

7 Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.

8 For it says: When he ascended on high, he took the captives captive; he gave gifts to people.

9 But what does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower parts of the earth? 10 The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things. 11 And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God's Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ's fullness. 14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head--Christ. 16 From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.

17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.

20 But that is not how you came to know Christ, 21 assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, the one created according to God's likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.

25 Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin. Don't let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don't give the devil an opportunity. 28 Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30 And don't grieve God's Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

Sours: https://www.bibleref.com/Ephesians/4/Ephesians-chapter-4.html

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Ephesians 4 – Living to God’s Glory

A. A call for unity among God’s people.

1. (1) The foundation for all exhortation.

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

a. Therefore: Paul spent three chapters spelling out in glorious detail all that God did for us, freely by His grace. Now he brings a call to live rightly, but only after explaining what God did for us.

b. Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called: When we really understand how much God did for us, we will naturally want to serve and obey Him out of gratitude.

i. Understanding who we are is the foundation of this worthy walk. “Luther counsels men to answer all temptations of Satan with this only, Christianus sum, I am a Christian.” (Trapp)

ii. The idea is clear. We don’t walk worthy so that God will love us, but because He does love us. It is motivated out of gratitude, not out of a desire to earn merit.

iii. “Every believer is God’s first-born; and so higher than the kings of the earth, Psalm 89:27. He must therefore carry himself accordingly, and not stain his high blood.” (Trapp)

2. (2-3) The character of a worthy walk.

With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

a. With all lowliness and gentleness: A worthy walk before God will be marked by lowliness and gentleness, not a pushy desire to defend our own rights and advance our own agenda.

i. Before Christianity, the word lowliness always had a bad association to it. In the minds of many it still does; but it is a glorious Christian virtue (Philippians 2:1-10). It means that we can be happy and content when we are not in control or steering things our way.

b. Longsuffering, bearing with one another: We need this so that the inevitable wrongs that occur between people in God’s family will not work against God’s purpose of bringing all things together in Jesus – illustrated through His current work in the church.

i. Chrysostom defined longsuffering as the spirit that has the power to take revenge, but never does. It is characteristic of a forgiving, generous heart.

c. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: This humble, forgiving attitude towards each other naturally fulfills this gift of the unity of the Spirit.

i. We must endeavor to keep this unity – we do not create it. God never commands us to create unity among believers. He has created it by His Spirit; our duty is to recognize it and keep it.

ii. This is a spiritual unity, not necessarily a structural or denominational unity. It is evident in the quick fellowship possible among Christians of different races, nationalities, languages, and economic classes.

iii. We can understand this unity of the Spirit by understanding what it is not. In a sermon on this text, Charles Spurgeon pointed out some of the things that the text does not say.

· It does not say, “To endeavor to maintain the unity of evil, the unity of superstition, or the unity of spiritual tyranny.”

· It does not say, “Endeavoring to keep up your ecclesiastical arrangements for centralization.”

· It does not say, “Endeavoring to keep the uniformity of the Spirit.”

iv. Structural unity can even work against true unity of the Spirit. We can perhaps see a purpose God has in preventing a structural unity of the church right now, to keep misdirected efforts of the church (such as ambitions for political power) from fulfillment. “It is not a desirable thing that all Churches should melt into one another and become one; for the complete fusion of all Churches into one ecclesiastical corporation would inevitably produce another form of Popery, since history teaches us that large ecclesiastical bodies grow more or less corrupt as a matter of course. Huge spiritual corporations are, as a whole, the strongholds of tyranny and the refuges of abuse; and it is only a matter of time when they shall break to pieces.” (Spurgeon)

v. “For the church fellowship in which the Gentile and Jewish believers were united was no mere enrollment on a register of membership; it involved their union with Christ by faith and therefore their union with each other as fellow-members of his body.” (Bruce)

vi. We are confident that this unity is found in Jesus Christ, by the Spirit of God. “We want unity in the truth of God through the Spirit of God. This let us seek after; let us live near to Christ, for this is the best way of promoting unity. Divisions in Churches never begin with those full of love to the Savior.” (Spurgeon)

3. (4-6) The description of the unity of the Church.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

a. There is one body and one Spirit: We have unity because of what we share in common. In Jesus we share one body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one Father. Each of these common areas is greater than any potential difference.

b. One baptism: Some think that because Paul says there is one baptism that the idea of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a subsequent experience is invalid. But Paul only spoke here of the baptism by water which is the visible token of God’s common work in every believer, and thus a basis of unity. There aren’t separate baptisms for Jew and Gentile.

i. The concept of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is spoken of clearly in Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:5 and 11:16. This may be considered an initial (and sometimes dramatic) experience one has with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, a filling God wants to continue through a person’s Christian life.

B. The way God works unity: through spiritual gifts of leadership in the church.

1. (7-10) The giving of spiritual gifts to the church.

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”

(Now this, “He ascended”; what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

a. Grace was given: We all have grace given to us according to the measure of Jesus’ gift. This is basis for God’s distribution of spiritual gifts through His church: grace, the free, unmerited giving of God. No one deserves or has earned spiritual gifts.

b. When He ascended on high: This giving happened (as described prophetically in Psalm 68:18) when Jesus ascended to heaven. This was evidence of His triumph over every foe (the leading of captivity captive).

i. Bruce on the picture from Psalm 68: “One may picture a military leader returning to Jerusalem at the head of his followers, after routing an enemy army and taking many prisoners.”

ii. As Jesus said, It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you (John 16:7).

c. When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men: Paul did not quote the passage exactly as it appears in Psalm 68. Either he altered it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit or under similar inspiration he quoted from an ancient translation (called a Targum) that quotes the Psalm in this manner.

i. Psalm 68:18 reads: You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men. There is certainly enough room in the language of the original Hebrew to allow Paul’s reading, even though it is unusual.

ii. “It is enough for me that the apostle, under the inspiration of God, applied the verse in this way; and whatever David might intend, and of whatever event he might have written, we see plainly that the sense in which the apostle uses it was the sense of the Spirit of God.” (Clarke)

d. Now this, “He ascended”; what does it mean: In this, Paul demonstrated how the words He ascended in Psalm 68:18 had reference to the resurrection of Jesus, speaking first of His rising from the lower parts of the earth, and secondly of His ascension far above all the heavens.

i. Some think that the phrase lower parts of the earth refers to Jesus’ preaching to the spirits in prison described in 1 Peter 3:19 and 4:6. While this aspect of Jesus’ ministry in Hades following His work on the cross is true (and prophesied in Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 4:18), Paul did not necessarily refer to it here.

2. (11-12) The offices of spiritual leadership in the church and their purpose.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

a. He Himself: This means that Jesus established these offices. They are the work and appointment of Jesus, not men. Though pretenders may lay claim to them, the offices themselves are a Divine institution and not a human invention.

b. Gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers: Paul described four offices (not five, as in the commonly yet erroneously termed “five-fold ministry”).

i. Apostles, who are special ambassadors of God’s work, though not in the same authoritative sense of the first century apostles. Those first century apostles were used to provide a foundation (preserved as the New Testament) as described in Ephesians 2:20.

ii. Prophets, who speak forth words from God in complete consistency with the foundation of the Old and New Testaments. Sometimes they speak in a predictive sense, but not necessarily so, and they are always subject to the discernment and judgment of the church leadership (1 Corinthians 14:29). As with the apostles, modern prophets do not speak in the same authority as the first century prophets brought God’s foundational word spoke (Ephesians 2:20).

iii. Evangelists, who are specifically gifted to preach the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.

iv. Pastors and teachers (or, pastor-teachers; the ancient Greek clearly describes one office with two descriptive titles), who shepherds the flock of God primarily (though not exclusively) through teaching the Word of God. “Teaching is an essential part of the pastoral ministry; it is appropriate, therefore, that the two terms, pastors and teachers, should be joined together to denote one order of ministry.” (Bruce)

v. These gifts are given at the discretion of Jesus, working through the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11). The importance of having “all four in operation” in any church body is up to Jesus who appoints the offices. The job of responsible church leadership is to not hinder or prevent such ministry, but never to “promote it into existence.”

c. For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry: The purpose of these gifts of leadership is also clear. It is that saints (God’s people) might be equipped for the work of ministry (service), so that the body of Christ would be built up (expanded and strengthened).

i. Equipping also has the idea of “to put right.” This ancient Greek word was used to describe setting broken bones or mending nets. These ministries work together to produce strong, mended, fit Christians.

ii. God’s people do the real work of ministry. Leaders in the church have the first responsibility to equip people to serve and to direct their service as God leads.

iii. “The primary purpose of the Church isn’t to convert sinners to Christianity, but to perfect (complete and mature) the saints for the ministry and edification of the Body.” (Smith)

3. (13-16) The desired goal of God’s work through church leadership and equipped saints.

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; 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, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ; 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.

a. Till we all come to the unity of the faith: This is the first goal of God’s work through the gifted offices and equipped saints. This is consistent with both the ultimate purpose of God (Ephesians 1:10) and the mystery of God revealed through Paul (Ephesians 3:6).

i. Again, by clearly stating that this is a unity of the faith, Paul did not command a structural or organizational unity, but a spiritual unity around a common faith.

b. And of the knowledge of the Son of God: When the gifted offices work right and the saints are properly equipped, Christian maturity increases and there is greater intimacy in the experience of God.

c. To a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: The gifted offices and equipped saints bring the saints to maturity, according to the measure of Jesus Himself. As years pass by, we should not only grow old in Jesus, but more mature in Him as well, as both individuals and as a corporate body.

d. We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine: The gifted offices and equipped saints result in stability, being firmly planted on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20).

i. Those who do not mature in this way are targets of deceivers, who are effective precisely because they operate with trickery and cunning craftiness – and they lie in wait to deceive. They are out there like land minds that the mature can avoid.

ii. The ancient Greek word for tossed to and fro is from the same words used to describe the stormy Sea of Galilee in Luke 8:24 (raging of the water). We can wrongly value movement over growth; mere movement is being tossed to and fro, but God wants us to grow up in all things.

iii. By the trickery of men: “The words… refer to the arts used by gamesters, who employ false dice that will always throw up one kind of number, which is that by which those who play with them cannot win.” (Clarke) Running after spiritual fads always leaves one a loser.

e. Speaking the truth in love: This speaks to not only how we are to relate to one another in God’s family, but also to how leaders and saints are to deal with deceivers. We should deal with them in love, but never budging from the truth.

f. May grow up in all things into Him who is the head: Another way maturity is described is as the growing up into Jesus, who is the head. Again, this defines the direction of maturity. We never grow “independent” of Jesus, we grow up into Him.

i. “A church that is only united in itself, but not united to Christ, is no living church at all. You may attain to the unity of the frost-bound earth in which men and women are frozen together with the cold proprieties of aristocracy, but it is not the unity of life.” (Spurgeon)

ii. Adam Clarke on grow up… into Him: “This is a continuance of a metaphor taken from the members of a human body receiving nourishment equally and growing up, each in its due proportion to other parts, and to the body in general.”

g. According to the effective working by which every part does its share: The evidence of maturity – that the leaders and the saints are all doing their job – is this effective working. This means every part and joint provides what it can supply in a coordinated effort. When this happens, it naturally causes the growth of the body (both in size and strength), but especially growth for building itself up in love.

i. Some people think of the church as a pyramid, with the pastor at the top. Others think of the church as a bus driven by the pastor, who takes his passive passengers where they should go. God wants us to see the church as a body, where every part does its share.

C. Putting off the old man, putting on the new man.

1. (17-19) The character of the old man.

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, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

a. Therefore: This makes the connection, not only with the glorious spiritual privileges laid out in Ephesians 1 through 3, but also with the high call of a unified, mature body as described in Ephesians 4:1-6. Because of this high calling, we should walk (live) in a different way than the world around us does.

i. There is a constant tendency for Christians to display to the world that we really aren’t so different after all. This is usually a misguided effort to gain the world’s “respect” or approval. This must be resisted at all costs, because the goal in itself is both undesirable and unachievable.

ii. This principle of compromise can be illustrated by the exchange between a liberal scholar theologian and a Christian professor. The liberal agreed, “I’ll call you a scholar if you’ll call me a Christian.” The trade isn’t worth it.

b. No longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk: The Gentile walk is characterized by the futility of their mind. In the end, their thinking is futile because their understanding is darkened – because they are alienated from the life of God.

i. This is not to say that man, in his rebellion against God, is not capable of mighty intellectual achievements. Instead it is to say that all such achievements fall short of true wisdom, because the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).

ii. Futility: “The thought is not that unregenerate minds are empty. It is that they are filled with things that lead to nothing.” (Vaughan)

iii. As Christians, we have a proper way and place to walk. It is as if Jesus turned us around and put us in the right direction, and now we have to walk and progress in that direction.

c. Because of the blindness of their heart: Fundamentally, the ignorance and lack of understanding of man is a heart problem. It is shown not only in a foolish denial of God, but also in his moral failures (licentiousness, uncleanness, greediness).

i. The Gentiles Paul speaks of were either atheists or they believed in gods who were themselves immoral. Therefore in their denial of the true God, they denied any standard of morality that they must answer to.

ii. Past feeling has the idea of one’s skin becoming callous and no longer sensitive to pain. It is the logical result of the blindness of their heart. Blindness can also be understood here as hardening, and this ancient Greek word “is used medically to denote the callus formed when a bone has been fractured and reset. Such a callus is even harder than the bone itself.” (Wood)

iii. Licentiousness is sin that flaunts itself, throwing off all restraint and having no sense of shame or fear; uncleanness is a broad word, mostly with reference to sexual impropriety.

iv. Barclay elaborates on the Greek word aselgeia, translated licentiousness: “The great characteristic of aselgeia is this – the bad man usually tries to hide his sin; but the man who has aselgeia in his soul does not care how much he shocks public opinion so long as he can gratify his desires.” (Barclay)

2. (20-24) Putting on the new man.

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

a. Put off… the old man… put on the new man: This has the same idea of putting off or putting on a set of clothes. The idea is to “change into” a different kind of conduct.

i. Think of a prisoner who is released from prison, but still wears his prison clothes and acts like a prisoner and not as a free man. The first thing to tell that person is that they should put on some new clothes.

ii. Even as putting on different clothes will change the way you think about yourself and see yourself, even so putting on a different conduct will start to change your attitudes. This means that we shouldn’t wait to feel like the new manbefore we put on the new man.

iii. Fundamentally, Paul says that for the Christian, there must be a break with the past. Jesus isn’t merely added to our old life; the old life dies and He becomes our new life.

b. You have not so learned Christ: The repetition of this idea shows that putting on the new man has a strong aspect of learning and education to it. You have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus… and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

i. Our Christian life must go beyond head knowledge, but it must absolutely include head knowledge and influence our whole manner of thinking. This is not just in the sense of knowing facts, but the ability to set our minds on the right things. This is so fundamental to the Christian life that Christian growth can even be described as the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).

ii. The Ephesians learned Christ, not only learning about Jesus, but also learning Him. This means a living, abiding knowledge of Jesus will keep us from the kind of sinful conduct Paul speaks of. Just knowing about Jesus isn’t enough to keep us pure.

iii. “So, if you want to know the Lord Jesus Christ, you must live with him. First he must himself speak to you, and afterwards you must abide in him. He must be the choice Companion of your morning hours, he must be with you throughout the day, and with him you must also close the night; and as often as you may wake during the night, you must say, ‘When I awake, I am still with thee.’ ” (Spurgeon)

c. Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness: The new man is the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) created in us at conversion. It is the person created according to the image of Jesus Christ and instinctively righteous and holy. It is in contrast to the old man, who is the person inherited from Adam and who instinctively rebels against God.

3. (25-32) The conduct of the new man.

Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. 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 no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

a. Therefore, putting away lying: The new man tells the truth. The motive for doing this is because we are members of one another, therefore there is no place for lying.

i. A body can only function properly if it tells itself the truth. If your hand touches something hot but your hand tells your brain that the thing is cool, your hand will be severely burned. That’s why telling the truth is so important, because we are members of one another.

b. Be angry, and do not sin: The new man may get angry, but he does not sin. The new man knows how to let go of his wrath, thus giving no opportunity to the devil.

i. “Here it is suggested that anger can be prevented from degenerating into sin if a strict time limit is placed on it: do not let the sun set on your anger.” (Bruce)

ii. The devil’s work is to accuse and divide the family of God, and to sow discord among them. When we harbor anger in our heart, we do the devil’s work for him.

c. Let him who stole steal no longer: The new man does not steal, but he works with his hands. He does this not only to provide for his own needs, but also to have something to give him who has need.

i. Let him labor: Labor is literally “to exert himself to the point of exhaustion.” This is the kind of working heart God commands those who used to steal to have. Paul’s idea is that we should work so that we can give. The purpose for getting becomes giving.

d. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth: The new man knows how to watch his tongue, speaking only what is good for necessary edification, desiring to impart grace to all who hear him.

i. Corrupt communication: “Not only obscene vulgarity but slanderous and contemptuous talk.” (Bruce)

e. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God: The new man will not grieve the Holy Spirit, knowing that He is our seal both in the sense of identification and protection.

i. There are many ways to grieve the Holy Spirit. We can neglect holiness and grieve the Holy Spirit. We can think in purely materialistic terms and grieve the Holy Spirit. The Spirit exalts Jesus (John 15:26); when we fail to do the same, we grieve the Spirit.

ii. “I think I now see the Spirit of God grieving, when you are sitting down to read a novel and there is your Bible unread… You have no time for prayer, but the Spirit sees you very active about worldly things, and having many hours to spare for relaxation and amusement. And then he is grieved because he sees that you love worldly things better than you love him.” (Spurgeon)

iii. The Holy Spirit’s grief is not of a petty, oversensitive nature. “He is grieved with us mainly for our own sakes, for he knows what misery sin will cost us; he reads our sorrows in our sins… He grieves over us because he sees how much chastisement we incur, and how much communion we lose.” (Spurgeon)

f. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you: The new man has control of his emotions (bitterness, wrath, anger and so forth). When such things do emerge, he is able to deal with them in a manner glorifying to God.

i. Aristotle defined bitterness as “the resentful spirit that refuses reconciliation.”

ii. Wrath speaks of an outburst of the moment; anger speaks of a settled disposition. Both must be put away.

g. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another: The new man seeks to show the same kindness, tender heartedness and forgiveness to others that God shows him. If we treat others as God treats us, we fulfill every thing Paul told us to do in this chapter.

h. Just as God in Christ forgave you: Our forgiveness to others is patterned after the forgiveness of Jesus towards us. When we think of the amazing way God forgives us, it is shameful for us to withhold forgiveness from those who have wronged us.

· God holds back His anger a long time until He forgives. He bears with us for a long time though we sorely provoke Him.

· God reaches out to bad people to woo them to Himself, and attempts reconciliation with bad people.

· God always makes the first move in forgiveness, trying to reconcile even though the guilty party is uninterested in forgiveness.

· God forgives our sin knowing that we will sin again, often in exactly the same way.

· God’s forgiveness is so complete and glorious that He grants adoption to those former offenders.

· God, in His forgiveness, bore all of the penalty for the wrong we did against Him. He was innocent yet He bore the guilt.

· God keeps reaching out to man for reconciliation even when man rejects Him again and again.

· God requires no probationary period to receive His forgiveness.

· God’s forgiveness offers complete restoration and honor. He loves, adopts, honors, and associates with those who once wronged Him.

· God puts His trust in us and invites us to work with Him as co-laborers when He forgives us.

i. The older King James Version puts it like this: even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. This gives us an assurance of forgiveness – that it is for Christ’s sake. “God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven thee. Get hold of that grand truth, and hold it, though all the devils in hell roar at thee. Grasp it as with a hand of steel; grip it as for life: ‘God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven me,’ – may each one of us be able to say that. We shall not feel the divine sweetness and force of the text unless we can make a personal matter of it by the Holy Ghost.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “If anyone here who is a Christian finds a difficulty in forgiveness, I am going to give him three words which will help him wonderfully. I would put them into the good man’s mouth. I gave them to you just now, and prayed you to get the sweetness of them; here they are again! ‘For Christ’s sake.’ Cannot you forgive an offender on that ground?” (Spurgeon)

iii. It isn’t that we must forgive because Jesus will forgive us. We forgive because He has forgiven us. “It is the historical fact of Christ once for all putting away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, which is alluded to.” (Moule)

©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Sours: https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/ephesians-4/


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