Ephesians 4: 1-32, Unity in Diversity
Ephesians 1-3, is the doctrine regarding our position in Christ. Jesus broke down the wall between the Jews and the Gentiles to create a one new man in Christ, the Church.
Ephesians 4-6, is the practical application regarding our walk with Christ, our response to the love and grace of Christ.
VV 1-6, 1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Therefore in view of all the positional truths in Ephesians 1-3, Paul implored us to walk worthy of our calling, with humility, lowliness, meekness, patience, tolerance, unity in Spirit and peace. Christians are united in one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God, who is above all, through all and in all.
VV 7-10, 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this, “He ascended”, what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
Paul quoted from Psalm 68:18, “You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the Lord God might dwell there”. When Jesus died, He descended to hell and preached to the dead. 1 Peter 4:6, “For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit”.
VV 11-13, 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Jesus through the Holy Spirit gave to us a diversity of spiritual gifts, apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral, and teaching for one single purpose, to build up, mature, edify, and unite the one new man in Christ, the Church.
Romans 12:6-8, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness”.
1 Cor 12: 7-10, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all, for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues”.
VV 14-16, 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head, Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Do not be shaken and deceived by every kind of controversial doctrines. Grow up in maturity by speaking the truth in love. Speak the truth, with wisdom, mercy, grace, and love. Christ is the head of the body the Church. We are the different parts of the body joined together with Him, synergistically, in unison, by love. Jesus brought everyone together in love so that all may be built up and edified.
VV 17-19, 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Do not walk as the non-believing Gentiles, who were ignorant of the truth, alienated from God, given over to immorality, their minds darkened, their hearts blinded, and their behavior flawed.
VV 20-24, 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Put off the old man and put on the new man, Jesus Christ. Be renewed in your mind and transformed in your character. Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”.
VV 25-28, 25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
Do not lie. If you are angry do not sin by losing control. Let your anger be short lived. Deal with it, take it to the Lord in prayer, and resolve it by the same day. Do not give any opportunity to the devil. Do not steal. If you are jobless, get a job, work with your own hand, and help people in need.
VV 29-32, 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
The words that we speak must edify and impart grace to people. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by harbouring bitterness, wrath, anger, demanding, evil speaking, and malicious acts. Be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving because Christ died for you and forgave you.