Ephesians 4:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 4:27, NIV: and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4:27, ESV: and give no opportunity to the devil.

Ephesians 4:27, KJV: Neither give place to the devil.

Ephesians 4:27, NASB: and do not give the devil an opportunity.

Ephesians 4:27, NLT: for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Ephesians 4:27, CSB: and don't give the devil an opportunity.

What does Ephesians 4:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has just instructed Christians not to let anger sit unresolved. Being angry is not a sin, in and of itself, but it can open us to sin if we don't handle it in a spiritual way. Paul's warning here flows from anger, specifically, to the broader idea of not giving Satan any openings into our lives. The following verses will offer ways to apply this teaching specifically.

It is interesting that the one other mention of the devil in this letter is found in Ephesians 6:11. There, we will read, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil." The devil "schemes" or seeks to deceive (Ephesians 4:22). The believer must diligently work to keep the devil from having an opportunity or advantage.

The Greek word topon, translated "opportunity," can also refer to a "place," or "room." Believers should strive to keep Satan out of every aspect of our lives. Any "open space" for the Devil is too much open space. As believers, we're susceptible to the lie that we can grow in one spiritual area at a time, while letting others lie unattended. However, we must guard against any area of life that could be used to compromise our integrity and witness for Christ. "The devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). We must constantly be on guard.