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Bible Commentaries
Ephesians 4

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

Therefore ; on account of the glorious truths revealed in the gospel.

Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called ; in a manner corresponding with its high and holy nature.

Verse 3

The unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace ; be united in affection and live in peace, according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The privileges and blessings graciously bestowed upon believers, lay them under peculiar obligations to be meek and lowly in heart, patient under trials, forgiving of injuries, and active in promoting the union and harmony of all friends of God.

Verse 4

One body ; the church, the body of Christ, of which all true believers are members.

One Spirit ; one Holy Spirit dwelling in the hearts of all, and animating all.

One hope ; hope of heaven, through faith in the divine Redeemer.

Verse 5

One Lord ; Jesus Christ.

One faith ; in respect to both its object, its origin, and its inward character. It is faith in the one gospel of Christ, it is wrought in our souls by the one Spirit of God; and it is one in its nature and effects, being a faith which works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world.

One baptism ; for all are baptized into one Saviour.

Verse 6

In you all ; by his Spirit to enlighten, comfort, strengthen, sanctify, and save you. John 14:23 ; John 17:23 .

Verse 7

But unto every one of us is given grace ; here, as in Romans 12:3-8 , and 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 , the apostle exhibits, in connection with the essential unity of believers, the diversity of their particular gifts; for grace here is grace qualifying us for particular offices.

According to the measure of the gift of Christ ; according as Christ has measured out to each his gift.

Verse 8

He saith ; Psalms 68:18 . The apostle does not quote literally, but gives the spirit and scope of the passage, which is, that the gifts received by the ascended Saviour he bestows upon men.

Ascended up ; into heaven.

Led captivity captive ; triumphed over all his foes, and led multitudes captive as trophies of his victory.

Verse 9

The lower parts of the earth ; understood by some simply of his humiliation in descending from heaven to earth. But the words more naturally mean his descent into Hades, or the world of spirits, which is mentioned as the extreme of his humiliation.

Verse 10

Far above all heavens ; to the highest state of heavenly dignity, authority, and glory. Matthew 28:18 .

Fill all things ; as God, with his omnipresent power and grace.

Verse 11

Apostles-prophets , etc; see notes to the parallel passage in 1 Corinthians 12:28 .

Verse 13

Till we all come ; come fully.

In the unity of the faith , and of the knowledge of the Son of God ; better, as the margin, "into the unity," etc.; meaning that unity which full establishment in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God gives. For the greater the measure of our faith and knowledge, the greater our unity in that faith and knowledge, and thus our unity with God and each other.

Unto a perfect man ; a full-grown, mature man, in contrast with babes in Christ. Verse Ephesians 4:14 .

The fulness of Christ ; the fulness that belongs to Christ; that is, Christ considered in his body the church. The kind and the measure of the different gifts which God bestows upon different Christians are according to his wise eternal purpose, and designed to promote the holiness and happiness of his kingdom. All these gifts therefore should be so employed as is best adapted to accomplish this end.

Verse 14

They ; men who practise sleight and cunning craftiness; meaning the false teachers, who sought to unsettle believers in faith.

Verse 15

Speaking the truth ; the original word means rather, walking in the truth, being truthful in word and deed.

May grow up into him ; so as to become mature men in him. Verse Ephesians 4:13 .

In all things ; in all parts of our Christian character.

Verse 16

From whom ; as the head and source of life. These words are to be connected immediately with the close of the verse, "maketh increase," etc. Compare the parallel passage, Colossians 2:19 .

Every joint supplieth ; to the nourishment and growth of the body.

According to the effectual working ; the vital energy which is in the measure of every part ; according as God has measured out to each part its office. The church is beautifully compared in this verse to the human body under the direction of the head, and rendered perfect by every member performing its appropriate office, so that there is a common interest, a common sympathy, and what promotes the good of one promotes that of all.

Verse 17

In the vanity of their mind ; devoted to vain and sinful pursuits.

Verse 18

The life of God ; which God gives, and which is in communion with God.

Blindness ; hardness and perversity. Their ignorance then is sinful, because it has a sinful cause.

Verse 19

Past feeling ; having become insensible to moral and religious impressions.

Verse 20

Learned Christ ; the knowledge of Christ includes the knowledge of his doctrine; for we know him as our teacher, as well as our Lord and Saviour.

Verse 22

Concerning the former conversation ; as respects your former life.

The old man ; so thorough and radical is the change, that it is best described as a putting off of our former selves.

Deceitful lusts ; literally, lusts of deceit, lusts which have their ground in error and self-delusion. Compare note to verse Ephesians 4:24 .

Verse 24

After God ; after God’s image.

Is created in righteousness and true holiness ; literally, in righteousness and holiness of truth, in that righteousness and holiness which have their ground in the knowledge and obedience of the truth. Even Christians have need of being often exhorted to be renewed in the spirit of their minds, to put off the old man, and put on the new; for they are at best only partially sanctified, and must make great advances in knowledge, piety, righteousness, and true holiness, before they will be fitted for heaven.

Verse 25

Members one of another ; belong to one body, have one interest, and should no more deceive one another than ourselves.

Verse 26

Sin not ; by being in anger without or beyond just cause; or by indulging it too long, in a wrong spirit, or for a wrong end.

Verse 27

Neither give place ; hearken not to the devil, who will tempt you to hate such as injure you, and to seek revenge.

Verse 28

The thing which is good ; in a lawful and useful business.

Verse 29

Minister grace ; tend to promote the salvation of those who hear you speak.

Verse 30

Grieve not the Holy Spirit ; by refusing or neglecting to follow his directions.

Sealed ; marked as the property, and distinguished as the children of God, by the effects which the Holy Spirit produces in you.

Redemption ; final and complete salvation.

Verse 32

Sacred regard to truth; freedom from violent, revengeful, or protracted anger; strict and conscientious integrity; diligence in lawful and useful business; compassion towards the needs, and a disposition to aid them-are all essential to completeness of Christian character: and no one has any more true religion than he has in these respects likeness to Christ.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Ephesians 4". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/ephesians-4.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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