Chapter
1 2 3 4 5 6
Verse

Ephesians chapter 4

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2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8Wherefore 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? 10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till 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: 14That 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; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16From 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.
17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20But ye have not so learned Christ; 21If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27Neither give place to the devil. 28Let 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. 29Let 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. 30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

What does Ephesians chapter 4 mean?

Chapter 4 describes both the unity of believers and the new hope which Christians have in Jesus. The passage begins with Paul's mention of his imprisonment and his focus on Christian unity (Ephesians 4:1–16). There, he appeals to Christians to live in a way which reflects the grace we've been given by God. The second part of this passage develops the concept of the new life believers have in Jesus (Ephesians 4:17–32). Paul begins to assign specific actions and attitudes to the "new self" all believers ought to take on.

The first part of the chapter (Ephesians 4:1–6) begins a new section in which Paul urges his readers to live according to the calling they have received as believers (Ephesians 4:1). This includes humility, gentleness, patience, and love (Ephesians 4:2). Unity and peace were essential (Ephesians 4:3), with Paul noting the importance of one Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, God, and Father of all (Ephesians 4:5–6). Grace is given to each as Christ desires (Ephesians 4:7).

Paul then quotes from Psalm 68:18 (Ephesians 4:8) as the basis for his next teaching. He contrasts ascending and descending, referring most likely to Christ coming from heaven to earth. However, some have understood this as Christ descending "below" the earth in some type of activity during the three days between His death and resurrection. Verse 11 begins an importance discussion of church leaders. Paul includes apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Some interpreters believe that pastor–teacher is a single category. These leaders have one main purpose: to equip believers for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12). This work builds up the church, and increases unity, knowledge, and maturity (Ephesians 4:12–13). So, not only are spiritual gifts blessings, but those whom God has raised up to lead the church are gifts in their own way, as well.

Maturity is important because it keeps believers from being "up and down" in their walk with God. It also helps us avoid being deceived by false teachings (Ephesians 4:14). Instead, mature believers can speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), focusing on Christ who keeps the body of Christ together (Ephesians 4:16).

The second part of this chapter (Ephesians 4:17–32) focuses on the new life believers have in Christ. Believers are to no longer live sinfully "as the Gentiles do" (Ephesians 4:17). In this context, Paul is using the term "Gentiles" to refer to those who do not have a saving knowledge of Christ. Non-believers lack understanding and are separated by God due to a hardness of heart (Ephesians 4:18). They are calloused to sin (Ephesians 4:19). Believers must not be known for this way of life (Ephesians 4:20–21). Instead, believers put off this "old self" and set their minds on spiritual things (Ephesians 4:23), putting on the "new self" of godly living (Ephesians 4:24).

As part of this "new self," each believer is called to speak truth to "his neighbor" since we are family (Ephesians 4:25). We are not to sin when angry (Ephesians 4:26), not giving the Devil an opportunity or advantage in our lives (Ephesians 4:27). Believers are to work honestly (Ephesians 4:28), speak encouragement (Ephesians 4:29), and not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Believers are called to put away sinful practices and attitudes (Ephesians 4:31), being kind to one another and forgiving, as Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32).

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