Thoughts on Ephesians Chapter 4

THE CHURCH OF EPHESUS AND
PAUL’S LETTER OF SPIRITUAL
INSIGHT FROM GOD
The following is a short study of Ephesians Chapter 4.  It includes my personal commentary throughout.  I pray the Lord reveal some of its wonders to you, through me, as I elaborate on its revelations.

In Roman times it was situated on the northern slopes of the hills Coressus and Pion and south of the Cayster (Küçükmenderes) River, the silt from which has since formed a fertile plain but has caused the coastline to move ever farther west. The Temple of Artemis, or Diana, to which Ephesus owed much of its fame and which seems to mark the site of the classical Greek city, was probably on the seaboard when it was founded (about 600 BC), one mile east by northeast of Pion (modern Panayir Da{g hacek}). In Roman times a sea channel was maintained with difficulty to a harbor well west of Pion.

For more on the history of Ephesus see: http://www.believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=257
The scripture below is from the Amplified Bible which transliterates the original Greek expanding on its intended meaning since direct translation from Greek to English is not possible with accuracy.
Also it is important to note that Paul mentions he is a captive unto the Lord.  This is both a spiritual reference and a worldly reference because at the time of much of Paul’s writings he was in prison for his beliefs.  It is thought proving to consider that without Paul being in prison, much of the New Testament (Covenant) would not have been written.  Funny how most of us would have seen this as punishment from the Lord.  How unfortunate we cannot perceive the greater importance of our worldly captivity.
My thoughts are italicized and indented.
And here we go!

Ephesians 4

I THEREFORE, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service,

2 Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another.

3 Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace.

Note here that Paul is literally begging the members of the Christian church to “lead a life” worthy of their calling.  This means that he knew it was more than likely they might behave like normal men and go about their daily business like normal men.  It is important to understand that we all have that challenge and we all must be reminded of our calling unto God.  On a spiritual realm, it is critical to God’s purpose in your existence on Earth. If you were called by God, you are part of a privileged few and you were chosen before the Earth was created (predestined).  Paul is warning them they must not mess up this awesome opportunity.

4 [There is] one body and one Spirit — just as there is also one hope [that belongs] to the calling you received —

5 [There is] one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 One God and Father of [us] all, Who is above all [Sovereign over all], pervading all and [living] in [us] all.

7 Yet grace (God’s unmerited favor) was given to each of us individually [not indiscriminately, but in different ways] in proportion to the measure of Christ’s [rich and bounteous] gift.

Notice here Paul underscores that each of them received a “calling”.  Again this is a very special privilege.  He reminds them that it is by the “grace” of God they were called.  He reminds them the Spirit of the Lord is “living” within us and measures of this supernatural grace was given out to each of us for God’s purpose.  Collectively, not separately, we chosen members of the Body of Christ have supernatural powers which are a part of a “single Spirit” – the “breath” of the Almighty God.  This is an awesome power and suggests a astonishing responsibility. 

8 Therefore it is said, When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [He led a train of vanquished foes] and He bestowed gifts on men. [Ps 68:18.]

Here he confirms Christ’s ascension and the endowment of supernatural powers to men thereafter. He does this by referring to Psalms 68:18 for confirmation. 

REMEMBER THIS!  The Old Testament is the New Testament “concealed” and the New Testament is the Old Testament “revealed”! The Word of God, written by 40 authors over thousands of years – confirms itself.

9 [But He ascended?] Now what can this, He ascended, mean but that He had previously descended from [the heights of] heaven into [the depths], the lower parts of the earth?

10 He Who descended is the [very] same as He Who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things (the whole universe, from the lowest to the highest).

Here Paul explains the enormity of the power of the Almighty God.  In fact later he tries to describe multiple dimensions using common Hellenistic terms of the time.  When Paul says the one who descended is the same spirit as the one who ascended, he is confirming that Jesus Christ is actually YHWH God and they are one in the same.  And by coming to the Earth in the first place, Jesus (God) filled the entire universe with his almighty power and shared that power with an elect, small and privileged group of people.  If you don’t feel unbelievably privileged – then you are simply “not getting it”.

11 And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.

12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church),

13 [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.

Again Paul points out that those who are “born again and baptised in the Holy Spirit” unto Jesus Christ are automatically given supernatural gifts. While some of those gifts are specialized endowments listed in 1 Corinthians 12, others are gifts spoken of here in verse 11. These gifts / endowments include being preachers, teachers, missionaries and the like.

When you look at the full collection of these supernatural gifts from God it is awesome. Some of these gifts include the Gift of Prophecy, Wisdom, Knowledge, Discernment, Faith, Healings, Miracles, Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues. A prerequisite to receiving all these gifts is being “Baptised in the Holy Spirit” which usually results immediately with the gift of tongues, but sometimes it can manifest at a later time (but it probably won’t happen unless you actively seek it under the right circumstances). But you MUST be specifically “Baptized in Fire / Baptized in the Holy Spirit” and this is a unique, separate and special event that does not happen lightly and is not part of some “salvation” dialogue when you first give yourself to the Lord. It does not happen when you are a baby. It is a gift from God, unique and glorious, and you should seek it out!

Paul then explains the importance of understanding that with the endowment of all these gifts, the Lord is building a powerful church that is well rounded with his supernatural power. He explains that as a collective group, working as ONE in the spirit, all using the powers given to us – we are a very strong supernaturally powered army when UNITED unto God’s work.

A divided church is the enemy of God’s mission on Earth. Topics that divide the church are the work of the devil when the people and their leaders fail to “buck up” and read the scripture to learn what was intended instead of twisting the scripture to suite their own selfish feelings of inadequacy. Praise Jesus!

14 So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.

15 Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Here Paul is simply saying that we should grow up in the spirit and fight off worldly lusts.  Accept our gifts with dignity and “love” one another from the depths of our hearts.  Remember that was the soul commandment of the Lord Jesus given at the Last Supper.  We are to “grow up” spiritually, with these supernatural powers into Jesus-“like” persons.

16 For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

Again he underscores the importance of the unity of the church (Holy Spirit filled believers) and how it is able to conquer all darkness through love.

17 So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds.

18 Their moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature].

19 In their spiritual apathy they have become callous and past feeling and reckless and have abandoned themselves [a prey] to unbridled sensuality, eager and greedy to indulge in every form of impurity [that their depraved desires may suggest and demand].

20 But you did not so learn Christ!

21 Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him],

Take special note of Paul’s tone in the above verses 17 – 21.  Do you not detect a bit of admonition?  Do you not see the exclamation point at the end of verse 20?  My take on this is that Paul realizes these men, even though they are specially chosen, predestined (like us), Baptized in the Holy Spirit, and endowed with supernatural gifts from God, have the potential to MESS IT UP!!  He is explaining that WE are DIFFERENT and we are SPECIAL and we have a DUTY to ACT like it.

22 Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;

23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],

Stop here!  Notice in verse 23 the word “renewed”.  Paul is telling these Holy Spirit filled men that they must take “special action” to “renew” their SPIRIT!  This is not automatic.  He is warning them that if they are not proactive, and flushing out the worldly garbage of day to day life by communing with the Holy Spirit and God through prayer, they will FALL.  They will MESS IT UP.  We must consciously FLUSH the worldly toilet!  Me must actively regenerate our “spiritual” side.  Do not depend on your “church” to do this for you.  Wake up in the morning, and start PRAISING THE LORD with all your might. Realize this world you live in is but a persistent illusion and trivial when compared to the eternity before you.  Make sure you PASS THE TEST!

24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another. [Zech 8:16.]

Again confirming the Word with references to the Old Testament (“Covenant”).  Reminding them to walk in God’s image and act like Jesus as best as they can.

26 When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.

27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

Notice here that Paul is not telling them that they cannot get angry. On the contrary! He is simply telling them to “let your anger pass” and don’t “dwell on it”. He is warning you that when you dwell in a state of anger, it puts your spirit in danger of attack from the devil.  He is telling them to “shake it off” and regenerate their spiritual awareness and love of the Lord – at least before the day comes to a close.

28 Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need.

STOP!  This is HUGE.  Get this.  Paul is explaining that the MAIN PURPOSE for followers of Jesus Christ to work is so they can give to those in need.  Did you hear that?  He even implies that if you do not give to those in need you are like a thief!  We are to work in order to GIVE it away to people in need!  What a concept?  When is the last time you handed a $20 dollar bill to a hungry homeless person and reminded them that God loves them more than anything? 


Repeat after me.


1. I am the Son of God
2. I am the Master of the Devil
3. I am the Servant of Man

29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.

Ouch.  You best watch your tongue here.  I cannot believe how the Lord cleaned up my mouth since he blessed me with his recent “call back” from a back slidden life.  I am so unbelievably blessed. Praise his Holy Name. We are so close to his coming.  We are so lucky to be alive that we might actually witness his coming.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).

Now this verse brings tears to my eyes.  When I consider the love of the Holy Spirit and the sacrifice of Jesus AND I REALIZE how DARK the future is going to be for those who do not receive this GIFT of GRACE, it stirs my heart. How can we be so ambivalent to this fabulous, astonishing, unspeakable gift of love and everlasting life?  We human beings do not deserve this grace.  We are so blind.  Playing video games and watching television.  If I was the Lord God I would be PISSED OFF AT EVERYONE.  He gave his Son to die for us!  Man – NOW THAT’S LOVE!  THAT’S FORGIVENESS!  That is completely supernatural and fully beyond my understanding.

31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).

32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

WOW

AND I CLOSE WITH THIS THOUGHT

You best take a second look at your behavior because this letter was not written to unsaved sinners.  This letter was written to the Church of Ephesus.  This was a really awesome group of Born Again, Holy Spirit filled believers in Jesus Christ. 

If I am right and we only have about 6 years before the Antichrist takes his thrown, then we have very little time to unite in the power of the Lord and get our supernatural powers exercised.  If you are Fire Baptized, then you received supernatural gifts.  Are you exercising them?  If you aren’t, then they will be useless for the dark battles we are going to face during these scary times ahead.  You NEED TO EXERCISE THEM.  This means deep prayer, talk to God like he is your own FATHER, and ask him to teach you about them.  Ask him to AMPLIFY those gifts for you.  Be brave and ask him to use you. Do it now.

If you are NOT sure you have been Baptized in the Holy Spirt – you better hurry up and get yourself to a Pentecostal or Non-Denominational “Spirit Filled”, “tongue speaking” church and GET IT DONE NOW. 

Do not hesitate.

Author: admin

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