Ephesians 4

Considering to what state and condition God has called us in Christ Jesus, let us approve ourselves good Christians, living up to our profession and calling. As members of His Body, the Holy Spirit will endue us with spiritual gifts for His service that we might confirm and build up others in the faith and that we might dispense the saving doctrines of His grace to the unsaved.

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.

Ephesians 4:1-10, Keeping the “Unity of the Spirit”

   Paul here admonishes lowliness in the presence of another’s excellence; meekness in suffering injury; long-suffering under provocation; forbearance toward the trying mistakes and failures of others. Remember that the unity of the Church, as the body of Christ, is already made; but it is for us to maintain it. We must avoid whatever in word or deed would break it. There are seven different bonds of unity, but of these the greatest is the nature of God, which is transcendent, who is above all; penetrant, through all; and immanent, in all. Each saint has some grace or gift; use it. On the whole, after we reach maturity, we had better center on what we can do best.
   What a magnificent conception is given in Ephesians 4:8-9 of the ascended Christ! The original conception was supplied by Deborah in her noble song. Descending from her morning vigil on Tabor, she summoned Barak to lead captive the foe who for so long had held the land in captivity. But in Jesus’ ascension, a long procession of yet mightier foes was led captive by Him. Among them were Death, the Grave, and Hades, the underworld. It is from the hands of Jesus that even the rebellious may obtain their gifts. There is no depth to which Jesus will not go to save; no height to which He will not lift us. – Through the Bible Day by Day

Ephesians 4:9—He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth.

​   We fill a cup or bucket from the bottom upwards. And Jesus obeyed a universal law when, in his desire to fill all things, He first descended into the place of a servant, the death of the cross, the lowly bed of a borrowed grave, and thence into the abyss of Hades. “He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth”, by which we mean, of course, Hades, the place of disembodied spirits. If we would sit with Him in the heavenlies, we too must be subordinated to the same law. We must also descend.
   There is the low place of contrition for sin.—We must go thither; lying in the dust before God; placing the leper’s covering on our lips; smiting on our breasts. Be willing that the Spirit of God should reveal all the selfishness, the subtlety, the impurity, of your heart. Let your cry ever be that God would not spare your eyes and heart from the pain of knowing what you are in his sight. From this low place you shall ascend to the bosom of God. “Blessed are they that mourn” (Matthew 5:4).
   There is the low place of humility.—Be willing to take the lowest place with no mock modesty, but because you have learnt to esteem others better than yourself. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Be willing to perform lowly deeds of service to your brethren and sisters in Christ. Reckon that you have not attained. Ascribe all that is good in you to the grace of God. God giveth peace to the humble; He raiseth up the poor out of the dust.
   There is the low place of death.—The more we are delivered to the death of Jesus the more will his life be manifested in our mortal flesh. Life through death, ascent after descent, the glory after the cross of shame. “If it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24). —Our Daily Homily

Ephesians 4:11-19 – ​Building up the “Body of Christ”

   Apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, are the gifts of the risen Christ to His Church. There should be no rivalry among them. Each has his own work to do, as each wheel in a watch has its special function. None can do the work of another, and none should try to do it. The Apostles laid the foundations of the City of God, and the work of each is represented by a different stone. The pastor prepares the ground and sows the seed for the harvest which the evangelist reaps; but God will proportion the reward between them. The teacher is as much needed as the evangelist, but neither is so essential as God, who giveth the increase. Without that all labor would be in vain.
   We learn from Ephesians 4:12 that the prime duty of all these agents is not to baptize, marry, and bury the saints, to comfort and console them, and to get them somehow into heaven, as the Arab guides get travelers to the top of the Pyramids. Their duty is to perfect, that is, to adjust the saints for the work of ministry, that they may contribute to the building up of the Church. A minister is a failure if he does all the work himself. The people must all be at work—in the quarries, or shaping the stones, or fitting them into their places. —Through the Bible Day by Day


Every man has two natures. Under the influence of one he descends to the carnal and base, under the influence of the other he ascends to the spiritual and noble. It is within the power of any man to pursue the former or the latter. To assist him in achieving the latter he is offered a model or a pattern by which he may work. In the person of Christ, God has shown us what a man ought to be.

Ephesians 4:13

Ephesians 4:20-32 – ​Putting on the “New Man”

   The Lord Jesus is our text-book and our teacher, the schoolhouse in which we are taught, and the object lesson in which all truth is enshrined. But all is in vain unless we definitely and forever put away the old man; that is, our old manners and customs in so far as they are contrary to the Spirit of Christ. With equal decision we are called upon to seek the daily renewal of our spirit and the outward conformity of our mode of life to the example of Jesus. But it should never be forgotten that the latter will be a dry husk unless it is energized from the true vine. There can be little of Christ without unless He dwells without a rival within. But the Holy Spirit will see to this, if only we grieve Him not.
   What a transformation immediately ensues! Truth instead of falsehood, gentleness for anger, earnest toil for dishonesty, cleansed instead of filthy speech. If all believers were to live like this, the world would know that the Son of God has come. It is not enough that a man should believe to secure deliverance from the wrath of God; he must daily seek to attain to such resemblance of Jesus as shall make men recall Him to mind. —Through the Bible Day by Day