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Bible Commentaries
Ephesians 4

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) " I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you " (parakalo oun humas ego ho desmois en kurio) "I therefore the prisoner in the Lord (in chains) call you alongside me," as a friend, a brother, one with compassionate concern. This begins the second half of Ephesians. The first half focused on the eternal and spiritual aspects of redemption, while the second half considers earthly conduct of saints.

2) "That ye walk worthy" (aksios peripesai) "To walk worthily," to walk progressively in an upright, moral and ethical manner, in the sense of being governed in every step of conduct by Divine motives, made possible by grace. To walk worthy is to do three things: 1) to please the Lord, 2) to be fruitful in good works, and 3) to increase in the knowledge of God. See Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; Philippians 1:27.

3) "Of the vocation wherewith ye are called" (tes kleseos hes eklethete) "Of the calling of or (with) which ye were called," or since ye are called, behave yourselves as those called to heaven and holiness.

As in other epistles of Paul, this chapter and verse follows the first three doctrinal chapters and divisions of the book by an appeal for a life of practical living and service in harmony with eternal and spiritual truths and values, 1 Corinthians 1:26; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

Verse 2

1) "With all lowliness and meekness" (meta pases; peinophrosunes kai prautetos) “With all (manner) of humility and meekness," distinctive Christian graces to be cherished and followed, Galatians 5:22-23. This expresses moral dispositions that should accompany Christian conduct to enrich Christian and church fellowship in every kind" or "All possible" lowliness, Romans 12:10.

2) "With longsuffering" (meta makrothumias) "With longsuffering:” endurance and constancy, faithfulness in the presence of illness, misunderstanding, and trouble, Colossians 1:11; 2 Timothy 3:10; Romans 2:4; James 5:10.

3) "Forbearing one another in love" (anechomenoi allelon

en agape) "Forbearing one another or (learning to get along with one another) in love;" by which true discipleship is photographed; See John 13:34-35.

Verse 3

1) "Endeavouring to keep" (spoudazontes terein) Being eager of your own accord to keep or guard;" or working hard to keep or guard, with watchful care, to preserve the testimony of the church-saint commitment, to and in....

2) "The unity of the Spirit" (ten. enoteta tou pneumatos) "The unity, oneness, or harmony of the Spirit;" unity which the Spirit produces or works in the redeemed in the church body, appropriate to the oneness in the doctrine of Christ, Ephesians 2:22; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Corinthians 12:27.

3) "In the bond of peace" (en to suncesmotes eirenes) In the joint-bond or tie of peace;" the bond by which peace is kept (to wit, love). In Colossians 3:14 love is considered to be the bond of perfectness or completeness, Colossians 3:12-15.

Verse 4


1) "There is one body, and one Spirit" (en soma kai en pneuma) "There exists a) one body (church body) and b) one Spirit (Holy Spirit)." The “one body" means one kind of body (a local assembly), institutionally called “the church," and "one Spirit," the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Colossians 1:18; John 14:16-17.

2) "Even as ye are called" (kathos kai eklethete)

Just as ye were called," entirely in harmony or accord with their calling to salvation and an heir-setting with Christ through the church, Ephesians 1:18.

3) "In one hope of your calling" (en mia elpidi tes kleseos humon) "In one hope of your calling." The object or end purpose of the Divine hope and eternally purposed call of the Ephesians was to "heir-service" to the Lord, through the church, Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 5

1) "One Lord ’ (eis kurios) "One Lord or Master" The law of Moses or Hebrew program of worship and service was no longer Lord or Master over any believer, but Jesus Christ was. He is Lord and Master, John 13:13; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 6:9.

2) "One faith" (mia pistis) "One faith;" One system of teachings or doctrines; those of Christ, 2 Corinthians 13:5; Judges 1:3, not Moses -- not Mohammed - not Zoraster -- not Confucius, etc. Embraced in this system of faith is the gift of faith, 1 Corinthians 13:13.

3) "One baptism" (hen baptismal "One f) baptism," water baptism, or immersion, commanded of the Lord, to be administered by His church to believers until the end of the Gentile dispensation, Matthew 28:18-20. The church was baptized of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, Acts 1:1-4; once for all, sanctified and dedicated to administer the one water baptism until Jesus returns.

Verse 6

1) "One God and Father of all" (eis theos kai pater panton) "One g) God, even Father of all." The seventh bond of unity to be guarded in this body of church and Christian truth is that there exists but one true God. Any other or admission of such a possibility is a breach of the bond of unity, Exodus 20:1-3; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6.

2) "Who is above all" (ho epi panton) "The one (God) who is or exists over all." Other "gods" and “lords" are dumb, deaf, lifeless, etc., Psalms 115:1-9. He is transcendent over, supreme over, and sovereign over all that are called "gods" and "lords." All die or have died, but He is life.

3) "And through alI" (kai dia panton) "And through all." Second, the one true God is imminent or always present, animating, giving sustaining physical and spiritual life to His saints, Acts 17:26.

4) "And in you all" (kai en pasin) "And in (you) all." Third, this speaks of the one God, our heavenly Father, who dwells in us in the person of the Holy Spirit, 1 John 4:13; Romans 5:5; John 14:16-17.

Verse 7


1) "But unto every one of us is given grace" (eni de hekasto hemon edothe he charis) "But to each one (individual) of tis was given grace." The gift of grace is doled out to every man, sufficient to meet every person’s need to overcome carnal sins of pride, envy, jealousy, etc., sins so destructive to the Christian walk and influence. Where sin abounds, grace is available, Romans 5:15; Romans 5:20.

2) "According to the measure of the gift of Christ" (kata to metron tes doreas tou christou) "According to the measure of the gift of Christ." God gives not the Holy Spirit "by measure," for the Holy Spirit is a person (undivided) who dwells in and seals the believer forever; but grace, the unmerited favor of God, is measured out or doled out, daily, available according to man’s need; Re the Spirit, John 3:34; John 14:17; Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30; Re. His Grace -- It is manifold, 1 Peter 4:10; It is sufficient, 2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Corinthians 3:5; It is a field in which one may grow, 2 Peter 3:18; It is a teaching favor from God, Titus 2:11-14. Through God’s grace, special charismatic gifts were given to members of the New Testament church to help them in confirmation of their testimony of Christ. These gifts continued until the Bible was completed as the full revelation of Jesus Christ in God to the world and the church, at which time all special charismatic gifts of grace ceased except three: 1) faith, 2) hope, and 3) love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Verse 8

1) "Wherefore he saith" (dio legei) "Wherefore he says," or "in confirmation of which he affirms. "’ There follows an Old Testament quotation to establish the ancient purpose and plan of God in carrying on His work of grace and redemption through the church, Psalms 68:18.

2) "When he ascended up on high" (anabas eis hupis) "Having ascended to height - This refers to the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ and His ascension into heaven, His former and present habitation, after He effected victory for the redeemed. This is a prophetic fulfillment of Israel’s triumphant ascent to Zion, Acts 2:33; Hebrews 1:3.

3) "He led captivity captive" (echmaloteusen aichmalosian) "He led captive captivity," or the captivator, death. The term "aichmalosian" means a "body of captives" as used in Judges 5:12, suggesting nothing of who they were. Since the term "a body of captives" is indefinite, it is best that commentators leave it that way, rather than conjure up visions of taking souls or bodies of dead saints out of a self-created portioned place called Paradise and moving them up to heaven. Perhaps nothing more is affirmed than that Christ conquered sin, Satan and death forever, Revelation 1:18.

4), "And gave gifts unto men" (edoken domata tois anthropois) "And he gave gifts to men." The dispensing of charismatic gifts to men in the church began according to promise, on the day of Pentecost and lasted only until the Bible was completed and became man’s complete or perfect rule of faith in practice, John 14:17-18; John 16:7-11; Acts 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:1-27; 1 Corinthians 13:13; James 1:25.

Verse 9

1) "Now that he ascended" (to de anebe) "Moreover the one who ascended." The idea is "now the Word (Jesus Christ) He ascended," implying a previous descent from the heavens, His former position of riches and royalty, Acts 1:10-11; 1 Corinthians 8:9.

2) "What is it but that he also descended" (ti estin ei, me hoti kai katebe) "What is it except that also he descended." The idea is what does it mean except or unless He first descended or came down to earth from heaven, John 3:13. From royalty and glory He came to shame and poverty for all, Philippians 2:5-11.

3) "First into the lower parts of the earth?" (eis ta katotera mere tes ges) "Into the lower parts of the earth?" The phrase "lower parts of the earth" seems to refer to the earth, in contrast to heaven, not of a specific or definite place or a part of the earth, any more than that He ascended from a specific place in heaven.

It was not from "hades" (either the grave or a place of departed spirits) He ascended, but from Bethany on the Mount of Olives. Luke 24:50-51. As in Philippians 2:5-10, our Lord’s humiliation and incarnation are contrasted.

It may therefore be concluded that neither in Psalms 68:18 nor in contextual connection with this passage is sheol, hell, or the grave specifically mentioned. It is the person of Jesus Christ who ascended from the earth scene back to His native heaven scene from where He descended that is contrasted, after which, on Pentecost, He began giving the charismatic gifts to men.

Verse 10

1) "He that descended" (ho katabas autos) "The one himself descending or having descended," come down from heaven at His incarnation, virgin birth, John 3:31; John 6:33; John 6:38; John 6:41-42; John 6:50-51; John 6:58. He descended to redeem. He ascended to intercede, judge, and reign.

2) “Is the same also that ascended" (estin kai ho anabas Is also the one ascending or having ascended Jesus Christ as risen Lord and Master, Acts 1:11-12; Hebrews 1:3; To intercede, Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; To judge, 2 Timothy 4:1-2; and eventually To reign, 1 Corinthians 15:24-25; Revelation 5:9-10.

3) "Up far above all heavens" (huperano panton ton ouranon) "Far above all the heavens." From His death, burial, and resurrection our Lord ascended to the most elevated, exalted, heights of the heavens indicating His supremacy in right of sovereign reign.

4) "That he might fill all things" (hina plerose ta panta)” In order that he might fill all things," prophesied of Him. He was exalted that He might with high priestly and kingly sway pervade and energize His people and His church, "as head over all things," to the church, Ephesians 1:20-23. Let it be reflected that the giver of grace gifts, Ephesians 4:7-8; became lowly and forbearing and longsuffering before He was exalted, to give gifts to men. This is fulfillment of the prophetic Messianic element of Psalms 68:18.

Verse 11

1) "And he gave some, apostles" (kai autos edoken tous men apostolous) "And he gave (grace-gifts) to some, to be apostles." The emphatic "He gave" refers to Jesus Christ, though the instrument or means of giving the gifts was through the Holy Spirit, as promised and confirmed, John 16:13-14; Acts 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.

2) "And some, prophets" (tous de prophetes) "Moreover he gave to some (grace-gifts) to be prophets." The subject is spiritual gifts. It was the special "gifts" of apostleship and prophecy Paul affirmed were given by Jesus Christ to church believers, when He had ascended on high, 1 Corinthians 12:28-31.

3) "And some, evangelists" (tous de evangelistas) "Then to some he gave the gift of evangelists." These special gifts were given to men in different churches, according to the particular need of the church. One needed the "evangelist leader," another the "prophet leader," another the " pastor- teacher leader." By the gifts of the Spirit these men of God were "set” in the churches, Acts 13:1-2; Acts 16:6-7.

4) "And some, pastors and teachers" (tous de poimenas kai didaskalous) "Moreover to some (He gave) grace gifts of pastors, even or also teachers," or teaching pastors, The two functions of pastoring and teaching seem to coincide or be combined in the one settled guardian or overseer of the local congregation; the term does not seem to refer to two distinct orders or functions, but to two qualifications of special gifts to the same leader-person, Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4.

Verse 12


1) "For the perfecting of the saints" (pros ton katartismon ton hagion) "To or toward the perfecting or maturity of the saints," to aid in the spiritual growth of the body of saints (the church), or to equip, prepare, or furnish the church-saints, as Jesus desired of the church from His first sermon to them, on the Mount, Matthew 5:48.

2) "For the work of the ministry" (eis (ergon diakonias) "with reference to the work of the common physical ministry of the church," , the work of ministration, or common service in the church. Let it always be understood that the purpose of all spiritual gifts was and is f or the honor of God in effecting Divine services, Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 2 Timothy 4:2; 2 Timothy 4:5.

3) "For the edifying of the body of Christ" (eis oikodomen tou somatos tou christou) "With relationship to the building up or strengthening of the body (church assembly) of Christ" To edify means to strengthen or build up as in Romans 14:19; Romans 15:2; 1 Corinthians 14:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

The spiritual gifts were given members of the early church to supplement their needs so that every member might offer his profitable contribution to the church in worship and service in building up the body so that none might be said to be unnecessary, 1 Corinthians 12:22.

Verse 13

1) "Till we all come in the unity of the faith" (mechri katantesomen hoi pantes eis ten enoteta tes pisteos) "Until we all arrive at or attain to, with relationship to the unity or oneness of the faith," the body of revealed truth, for which the church is "earnestly to contend," Judges 1:3; and for which Paul was continually “set,” and fought and guarded, Philippians 1:17; 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

2) "And the knowledge of the Son of God" (kai tes epignoseos tou kuriou tou theou) "And of the full knowledge of the Son of God," or even to the full knowledge of the Son of God --- the completion of the Bible, revelation of all truth, to which Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would guide His church, John 16:7; John 16:13. He did give gifts, including that of inspiration, until the church had been guided into all truth to perfectly equip them, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

3) "Unto a perfect man" (eis andra teleion) "Unto a complete, mature, perfect, or finished man," the grown male person, one who acts responsible as a grown man before God and his fellow man; that is these gifts were to last until the Word of God, fully revealing God’s will for man in Christ, was completed, 1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 14:20; Hebrews 5:14.

4) "Unto the measure of the stature" (eis metron helikias) "Unto a measure of the stature," a clause in apposition with a perfect, finished, or complete man (teleion), referring to the magnitude of Christ when completely revealed by the completion of the book of Revelation, Revelation 1:11; Revelation 1:19; Revelation 5:1; Revelation 5:8-10; Revelation 22:9-10; Revelation 22:16; Revelation 22:18-19.

5) "Of the fulness of Christ" (tou pleromatos tou christou) "Of that which fulfills Christ." and His work in the church. It was until the church received God’s Word, His complete revelation, that the spiritual gifts were to be doled out, after which they were to be and were terminated, except three -- faith, hope, and charity, 1 Corinthians 13:11-13.

Verse 14

1) "That we henceforth be no more children" (hina meketi omen nepioi) " In order that we may be no more mental infants or infantile." This is a statement of aim, purpose, or goal for which spiritual gifts were given, for a limited time and purpose.

2) "Tossed to and fro" (kludonizomenoi) "Being blown or tossed like a seaball." Gifts such as wisdom, knowledge and prophecy, were to help members of the church overcome immaturity of Christian conduct and withstand assaults of false teachers, 1 Corinthians 14:3; 1 Corinthians 14:5-6.

3) "And carried about with every wind of doctrine" (kai peripheromenoi panti anemo tes didaskalias) "And being carried around by every (kind of) wind of teaching," like a tumbleweed --- unstable --- against such Paul had expressed concern, Acts 20:29-30; Matthew 11:7.

4) "By the sleight of men" (en te kuneia ton anthropon) “In the sleight of men," or under the deceitful control of men, manipulation of truth for personal end; who with lavish treachery, covert deception, and fraud of carnal dice-playing-like men, deceive, 2 Peter 2:1-22; Judges 1:1.

5) "And cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (en panourgia pros ten methodeian tes planes) "In cleverness with relationship to the craftiness of error," by scheming and deceitful ways (false prophets, ignoring or perverting the Word of Christ), may no longer deceive. These deceivers and apostates may now be recognized and exposed by the use of the Word of God, completed, perfectly equipping to every good work, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:25; 1 John 4:1.

Verse 15

1) "But speaking the truth in love" (aletheuontes de en agape) "But speaking truth in love;" but on the other hand, in contrast with crafty deceivers, "dealing truly, holding the truth in love," or confessing the truth in love, Galatians 4:16.

2) "May grow up into him in all things" (auksesomen eis auton ta panta) "We may grow with relationship to him in all respects or all points," in knowledge, grace, works, and experience, Ephesians 2:10; 2 Peter 3:18.

3) "Which is the head, even Christ." (hos estin he kephale christos) " Who is the head, even Christ," the head of the church which is the body (assembly) of Christ, Ephesians 4:12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:27. He is the Master and Lord over His church who one day will return to require an account from her, Mark 13:34-37.

Verse 16

1) "From whom the whole body" (eks ou pan to soma) "Out of whom the whole body (congregation)," church or assembly. From or "out of whom" Christ, the source of growth and fruitbearing, John 15:5.

2) "Fitly joined together" (sunarmologoumenon) “Being fitted or knitted together," actively, progressively by Jesus Christ, through the vice-gerency of the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

3) "And compacted by that which every join supplieth” (kai sunbibazomenon dia pases aphes tes epichoregias) "And being brought together (in cohesion) through every bond of supply," Colossians 2:19; Philippians 1:19.

4) "According to the effectual working in the measure of every part" (kat energion en metro enos eksstou merous) "According to the operation (an efficiency) in measure of each one apart," or proportion, Ephesians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13.

5) "Maketh increase of the body," (ten auksesin tou somatos) "Makes the growth of the body (church assembly)," Galatians 5:22; Romans 12:1-2; Romans 12:4-8.

6) "Unto the edifying of itself in love" (eis oikodomen heautou en agape) "With relationship to the building up itself in love," Acts 20:32.

Verse 17


1) "This I say therefore" (touto oun lego) "This therefore I say, In the light or context of the fact that spiritual gifts were available for their edification and growth, Paul turned again to exhort the brethren to practical Christian conduct, which he began, Ephesians 4:1-3.

2) "And testify in the Lord" (kai marturomai en kurio) "And witness or bear witness in the Lord," as said by or in the words of Christ Himself, Romans 9:1; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:1.

3) "That ye henceforth walk not" (meketi humas peripatei) "That you walk no more," a negative injunction or exhortation that they behave not unworthy of their profession.

4) "As other Gentiles walk" (kathos kai ta ethne peripatei) “Just as even the heathen or races walk," in a manner devoid of worth or reality, Ephesians 2:2; 1 Peter 4:3.

5) "In the vanity of their mind" (en mataioteti tou noos auion)ln the emptiness (vanity) of their mind;" or without purpose, useless, or in an unfruitful manner or state, Proverbs 30:8; Ecclesiastes 6:11; Romans 1:2. The vanity of heathen sins is to think or be delusioned to accept that true pleasure exists in the practice of sin, Isaiah 57:20-21.

Verse 18

1 Having the understanding darkened" (eskotomenai te dianoia ontes) "Having been darkened in their intellect or intelligence;" blinded by the god of this world in their higher intellectual nature, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Acts 26:18.

2) "Being alienated from the life of God" (apellotriomenoi tes zoes tou theou) "Having been alienated from the life of God," or being in an alienated state or condition from God life, by the fallen state of sin, Ephesians 2:12.

3) "Through the ignorance that is in them" (dia ten agnoian ten ousan en autois) "Through the ignorance that exists in them," by nature of their existence, denoting an ignorance of Divine things, a lack of knowledge, involving moral blindness, Acts 3:17; Acts 17:30; 1 Peter 1:14.

4) "Because of the blindness of their heart" die ten porosin tes kardias auton) "On account of the hardness, obstinacy, enmity, callousness, or rebellion of their heart,“ meaning mental or moral hardening against God and holiness, Mark 3:5; Romans 11:25; Proverbs 29:1.

Verse 19

1) "Who being past feeling" (oitines; apelgekotes) "Who having ceased to care or be concerned," as men past feeling, void of moral sensibility, 1 Timothy 4:2; seared conscience, apathy toward righteousness and holiness.

2) "Have given themselves over unto Lasciviousness" (heautous paredokon te aselgeia) "Gave themselves over to or alongside of lewdness," Romans 1:26. God gave them over, removed restraints of conscience only after they did not want God in their mind and conscience, Romans 1:21; Romans 1:24; Romans 1:28; Romans 1:32.

3) "To work all uncleanness with greediness" (eis ergasian akatharstas pases en pleoneksia) "With reference to work uncleanness of all (kinds) in greediness," or in a manner of gluttony of carnal appetite, self-serving, unbridled greed, Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:5-7.

Verse 20

1) "But ye have not" (humeis de ouch) "But you all (of the church of Ephesus) have not," in contrast with the unconverted Gentiles.

2) "So learned Christ" (houtos emathete ton christon) “So or thus learned the Christ," Acts 2:36; who taught them holy living, maturity of life, Matthew 5:48; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 1:19; Galatians 1:16; Philippians 1:15.

Verse 21

1) "If so be that ye have heard him" (ei ge auton ekousate) "If indeed ye heard him," His Divine voice and self they heard or heeded, as Paul in Acts 9:5-7, or if “as I assume it to be the case," the inference is that they certainly had heard Christ

2) "And have been taught by him ’ (kai en. auto edidachthete) "And in or by him ye were taught," or instructed, in His way of salvation, worship and service. In fellowship with Christ they had been taught in His church as Paul had preached to them, Acts 20:21; Acts 20:27.

3) "As the truth is in Jesus" (kathos estin aletheia en to ieso) “Just as truth exists in Jesus," John 16:13-14; John 14:6; John 17:3; John 17:17. To accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord calls for "putting off" the old man. This is the tenor, the essence of the appeal, Luke 9:23-24.

Verse 22

1) "That ye put off" (apothesthai humas) "That you put off or put aside, away from you," as laying aside a soiled garment, ragged clothes, or refuse, or "ye have put off," Romans 6:6. As one professes Christ he commits himself to put off willful practice of sin.

2) "Concerning the former conversation" (kata ten proteran anastrophen) "As regards, concerning, or relating to your former course of conduct, behavior," Colossians 3:8-9. The best way to be free of certain sins is to put them off, not thresh them out or beat them to death, such as --- anger, hate, jealousy, gossip, talebearing, evil speaking, and lying.

3) "The old man" (ton palaion anthropon) "The old (former) man, humanity." This old nature, carnal nature, nature of original sin or natural birth disposition, is to be put aside, under subjection, domination, or control by the power of choice of the new man, the new nature of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.

4) "Which is corrupt" (ton phtheiromenon) "The old, former corrupted man," corrupted by nature of birth, contracted or inherited corruption, a condition that debars or quarantines one from entrance into heaven except he be born again, and keeps him from sanctified service after salvation, except he keep the old man under subjection, Romans 12:1-2.

5) "According to the deceitful lusts" (kata tas epithumias tes apates) "According to the lusts of deceit," of the eye, ear, tongue, the members of the corrupt body. These are lust channels that deceive, ensnare, and trap the unwary, Galatians 6:8. The influence of the life of a Christian may be ruined, if he does not exercise his stronger will to stand against deceitful lusts through the power of the Word and Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Deceived by lusts of the old nature, one is robbed and sapped of physical, mental, and spiritual strength and left dead or unfruitful in Christian service, 2 Peter 1:4-11.

Verse 23

1) "And be renewed" (ananeousthai de) "And to be renewed," renovated, restructured, Romans 10:2; Psalms 51:10. This refers to the transformed life from uselessness to usefulness for Christ

2) "In the spirit of your mind" (to pneumati tou noos humon) "In the spirit (attitude) of your mind," an attitudinal transformation of temperaments, passions, emotions, thoughts, and actions-toward moral values and ethical conduct or behavior.

By the "spirit of your mind" phrase is meant man’s spirit, begotten of God’s Spirit, is to control the determinations of choice, John 6:63.

Verse 24

1) "And that ye put on the new man" (kai endusasthai ton kainon anthropon) "And to dress up in, put on the new man, the new creature!" Outward reformation is to reflect an implanted new nature. Genuine morality is to be cultivated by inner power and influence of the new nature --- not by environmental social reform from without. Putting on and putting off are acts of choice while renewal is a process of inner change effected by the Holy Spirit, John 6:63. The Spirit quickens, makes alive, 2 Corinthians 3:6.

2) "Which after God" (ton kata theon) "Which according to God," God’s pattern of creation or God’s nature of holiness.

3) "Is created in righteousness and true holiness" (ktis henta en dikaiosune kai hosioteti) "Was created (the new man) in (a state or condition of) righteousness and or even holiness of being," 1 John 3:9. His righteousness is in the new man, the new creature, 2 Peter 1:4; Colossians 3:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10.

Verse 25

1) "Wherefore putting away lying" (dio apothemenoi to pseudos) "Wherefore (in the light of what has just .been asserted) putting off or laying aside the lie, the natural old-man tendency to lie, falsify, and deceive." A faithful person will not lie, Proverbs 14:5. Satan incites men to lie, John 8:44; Acts 5:3; Colossians 3:9; Revelation 21:27.

2) "Speak every man truth with his neighbor" (laleite aletheian hekastos meta tou plesion autou) "Speak ye each one truth with (or in association with) his neighbor." Such as are saved, have professed, and learned of Christ should put away, stop resorting to lying and speak only the truth, or speak not at all; for a pious fraud is a serious sin that cheapens character, Proverbs 12:22; Zechariah 8:16; Revelation 21:8.

3) "For we are members one of another" (hoiti asmen allelon mele) "Because we are members (body or church members) of or belonging to one another, of like kind," Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:27.


In this age of competition, hurry and rush, Christians must be cautious not to over-sell their own piety and self- righteousness, lest they hurt their influence. Christians should put away bad habits, but be cautious about claiming they have none. For instance-A Boston minister passing along the street noticed a group of boys clustered around a shaggy dog. "Well, what are you fellows up to?" the preacher asked, with a friendly smile. "Swapping lies," volunteered one of the boys. "The feller that tells the biggest one gets the pup." “Boys, boys!! I’m shocked," said the minister. "When I was a boy, I never thought of telling an untruth.” "You win," chorused the boys; "the dog’s yours."

Ephesians 4:5 reads, "Putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor."

--365 Sunrays of Help

Verse 26

1) "Be Ye angry, and sin not" (orgizesthai kai me arnartonete) "Be ye wrathful and sin not, or do not miss the level of holiness or righteousness in your wrathful state," even if the wrathful state be incited because of wrong. Two wrongs do not make for right, truth or holiness. Anger at sin is a holy virtue, best if one is angry or trembling in anger. The injunction is --- sin not. A righteous anger or wrath was expressed by our Lord, yet Without sin, Mark 3:5; Mark 10:14.

2) "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath" (ho helios me epidueto epi parorgism humon) "Do not permit the sun to set or go down upon your provocation." Get rid of your anger, provocation, and emotional wrath, ere darkness falls; by putting it away, laying it aside as soiled garments of stench, by praying for the objects of your provocation ere, you lie down to rest This is God’s charge for Christian church members. Be quickly reconciled! How important this is in the Christian home life for husbands and wives, parents and children, Proverbs 19:11; Proverbs 16:32; James 1:19.


Two good men on some occasion had a warm dispute, and remembering the exhortation of the Apostle, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath," just before sunset one of them went to the other; and knocking at the door, his offended friend came and opened it, and seeing who it was, started back in astonishment and surprise; the other, at the same time, cried out, "The sun is almost down." This unexpected salutation softened the heart of his friend into affection, and he returned for answer, "Come in, brother, come in." What a happy method of conciliating matters, of redressing grievances, and of reconciling brethren.

__G ray-Adams Commentary

Verse 27

1) "Neither give place" (made dodote topon) "Do not give a camping place, a campground, or a recreation center or building site," or room of opportunity, Romans 12:19.

2) "To the devil" (to diabolo) "To the devil," the slanderer, the Father of lies, the murderer from the beginning. Do not permit him to control your passions and temperaments, James 4:7-8; Ephesians 6:11.

Verse 28

1) "Let him that stole steal no more" (ho klepton meketi klepteto) "The one given to stealing, let him steal no more (at all)," Exodus 20:15; 1 Corinthians 6:10; Genesis 31:27; 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Peter 4:15.

2) "But rather let him labour" (mallon de kopiato) "But rather or instead let him labor," 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:8-12. The professed Christian who would not work was not to be fed by either the church or individual Christians.

3) "Working with his hands the thing which is good" (ergazomenos tais idiais chersin to agathon) "Working with his own hands (in) good, ideal, or wholesome work," not stealing or robbing the hands of others. Labor, work to-sustain livelihood, is of Divine command and order. It is honorable in all, Exodus 20:9; Ecclesiastes 5:12; Luke 10:7; 1 Corinthians 4:12.

4) "That he may have to give" (hina eche metadidonai) "in order that he may have, hold, or possess (things) to share with or give to," Galatians 6:6; Luke 6:38; Proverbs 19:17; Proverbs 28:27.

5) "To him that needeth" (to chreian echonti) "The one having a (in) or having a need," Luke 14:12; Acts 20:35.


Dr. Grenfell tells of an old fisherman, rich in trust, who was "given to hospitality." He was seventy-three years of age, and had fed many hungry folk during the "hard" winters; and when times grew unusually hard this old man of faith brought forth twelve dirty, well-worn five-dollar bills, as a last resort. This money, his entire savings, he gave to the missionary to buy food for needy neighbors But Dr. Grenfell remonstrated: "You are getting old, and you shouldn’t cut the last plank away yet" Then the hardy fisherman of many perils answered: "He’ll take care, doctor, guess I can trust Him. It wouldn’t do not to have used that sixty dollars, and have sent folks away hungry, would it, doctor."" It would look as if I didn’t much trust in Him."

--Southern Churchman


The Re Samuel Kilpin, a minister of Exeter, says, in his life: --- When seven years old, I was left in charge of my father’s shop. A man passed, crying, "Little lambs, all white and clean, at one penny each." In my eagerness to get one, I lost all self-command, and taking a penny from the drawer, I made the purchase. My keen-eyed mother inquired how I came by the money. I evaded the question with something like a lie. In God’s sight it was a lie, as I kept back the truth. The lamb was placed on the chimney-shelf, and was much admired. To me it was a source of inexpressible anguish; continually there sounded in my ears and heart, "Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not lie." Guilt and darkness overcame my mind; and in sore agony of soul I went to a hay-loft, the place is not perfectly in my recollection, and there prayed and pleaded, with groanings that could not be uttered, for mercy and pardon. I entreated for Jesus’ sake. With joy and transport I left the loft from a believing application of the text, "Thy sins, which are many, are forgiven." I went to my mother, told her what I had done, and sought her forgiveness, and burned the lamb, while she wept over her young penitent.

--Gary-Adams Commentary

Verse 29

1) "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth" (pas logos ek tou stomatos humon me ekporeuestho) "Let not a corrupt word come out of your mouth (intentionally) or of your own accord." The term "sopros" rendered "corrupt" means rotten, obnoxious, like rotten fruit or decaying fish, foul language, Ephesians 5:4; Colossians 3:8; Colossians 4:6.

2) "But that which is good" (alla ei tis agathos) "But what is good, proper, or ideal," Colossians 4:6; Proverbs 25:11.

3) "To the use of edifying" (pros oikodomen tes chreis) "To improvement or building up to provide for a need." But use communication, language, suitable and serviceable of practical value to Christian influence, 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Colossians 3:16.

4) "That it may minister grace unto the hearer (hina do charin tois akouousin) "In order that it (good works) or communication may give grace to those who hear," or render help, benefit, favor, or gracious kindness in service, 2 Corinthians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 8:6; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; Proverbs 16:7.


The first ingredient in conversation is truth; the next, good sense; the third, good humor; and the fourth, wit.

--W. Temple

Verse 30


1) "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God (kai me lupeite to pneuma to hagion tou theou) "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God."- The attribute of grief indicates the personality of ’the Holy Spirit, who has personal, feeling qualities regarding sin and righteousness. Foul language grieves the Holy Spirit as speech originates not in the brain but the heart, Matthew 15:18.

2) "Whereby ye are sealed" (en ho euphragesthete) "By whom ye are sealed," Ephesians 1:13-14. This refers to the believer as the marked, identified property of Jesus Christ, incontestably, until the redemption jubilee of the body from the grave, Romans 8:11; Romans 8:23.

3) "Unto the day of redemption" (eis hemeron apolutroseos) "For or unto a day of redemption," the redemption day of the body, Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:23. Wherever redemption or adoption is referred to as future, it refers to the resurrection of the physical body or of natural Israel, each empowered by the Holy Spirit, Ezekiel 37:11-14.

Verse 31

1) "Let all

(a) bitterness" (pasa pikria) "All bitterness, fretting, spitefulness, encompassing scope of emotional disposition toward a wrong attitude.

(b) "And wrath" (kai orge) "And wrath," or provocation, an acute attack of passion or temperament, fury, Romans 12:19.

(c) "And anger" (kai thumos) "And anger," a chronic, recurring passion of temperament, Nehemiah 9:17; Proverbs 15:18; Proverbs 16:32.

(d) "And clamour" (kai krauge) "And clamour," violent assertion of rights and wrongs, real or supposed, Proverbs 9:13.

(e) "And evil speaking" (kai blasphemia) "And blasphemy or evil speaking against one," slanderous or injurious speech, intentional indignity or reviling heaped on a person or position of high honor or dignity, 1 Timothy 1:20; James 2:7.

(f) "Be put away from you " (artheto aphhumon) "Let it removed from you all," or carried away from you, set aside, James 3:8-16; Romans 2:8; Colossians 3:8-9.

(g) "With all malice" (sun pase kakia) "With all kinds of evil," ill-will and malignity of attitude toward others. These five sins cannot be threshed out, beat to death, defended, or excused. In personal, family, church, and business life these are five sins to be "put aside," confessed to God, not explained, not defended, not held in the heart or rolled on the tongue. Like filthy rags from putrefying sores, corrupt coverings from infectious leprosy, like unusable old clothes, they must simply be put off or laid aside. This is God’s way and God’s command, 1 Peter 2:1; 1 Corinthians 5:8; 1 Corinthians 14:20.


"Is she a Christian?" asked a celebrated missionary in the East, of one of the converts who was speaking unkindly of a third party. "Yes. I think she is," was the reply. "Well, then, since Jesus loves her in spite of that, what is it that you can’t?" The rebuke was felt, and the fault-finder instantly withdrew. Some days later the same party was speaking to the missionary in a similar spirit about another person. The same question was put --- "is she a Christian?" In a half-triumphant tone, as if the speaker were beyond the reach of gunshot this time, it was answered, "I doubt if she truly is." "Oh, then," rejoined the missionary, "I think that you and I should feel such tender pity for her soul, as to make any harsher feeling about her quite impossible."

--Fam. Treasures

Verse 32

1) "And be ye kind one to another" (ginesthe de eis allelous chrestoi) "And become ye kind one toward another," of like kind and faith, of your own fellowship, of sweet disposition, Colossians 3:12-13; 1 Peter 3:8-9; or "Show yourselves to each other."

2) "Tenderhearted" (eusplagchnoi) "Become ye tenderhearted," There is no better rendering. Colossians 3:12, to show a feeling of mercy, compassionate care or understanding.

3) "Forgiving one another" (charizomenoi heautois) "Continually forgiving yourselves, or one another among you all," as in turn each will have to do. The abiding need for mutual forgiveness of brother to brother is always at hand, Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25; Matthew 18:21-22; Colossians 3:13.

4) "Even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you

(kathos kai ho theos en christo echarisato humin) "Just as God in Christ forgave you." Let it be noted that divine forgiveness to the believer is a present fact; an hortative, appealing basis for the redeemed to forgive one another, so very necessary for sweet fellowship in the church, Matthew 18:33-35; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 1:9. When God forgives, He forgives all, holds in remembrance against us No More; Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 10:17; Psalms 103:3; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14.


The ocean covers seventy-two per cent of the earth’s surface to an average depth of 11,500 feet. Its greatest depths are the Sigsbee’s Deep, 13,200 feet and Nares Deep, 28,200 feet, in the Atlantic; and the Japan Trough, 29,136 feet, Tonga Deep, 30,132 feet, and Nero Deep, 31,614 feet, off the island of Guam, in the Pacific. If Mount Everest were dropped into the Nero Deep, the water would still cover it by half a mile. If God graciously, for Christ’s sake, will pardon our sins and cast them into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:18-19), where even the- penetrating rays discovered by Milliken cannot reach them, then we may rejoice in our freedom.

--J.M., in the Missionary Worker


How oft shalt thou forgive thy brother? That depends:

How often has thy Lord forgiven thee?

Thy debt was great: it could not greater be,

And yet thou art forgiven and set free!!

Wilt thou not then forgive thy brother? Who offends? Or, wilt thou thrust him in the darksome jail And cause him at thy ignominy to quail Until he pays thee all thou doest entail?


Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ephesians 4". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ephesians-4.html. 1985.
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