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EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4

KJV    NAS

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1&2 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 

 

Eph 4,1-4

(91g) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> Walking along the narrow way >> Responding to the call of God

Eph 4,1-3

(71e) Authority >> Ordained by God >> Worthiness of man >> Perfecting the worthiness He has given us

(77h) Thy kingdom come >> Tapping into the power of God through humility >> The high position of a humble servant

(93d) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> Walk in a manner worthy of your calling – A person might ask, ‘What about good works, don’t they play a part in unity?’ Yes they do; good works are a manifestation of the truth. However, keep in mind that good works can be forged, but revelation knowledge cannot be forged, because it has the unction of the Holy Spirit appended to it as a seal, proving it originated from the Holy Spirit. When God reveals His truth to a person, and that person conveys it to other people, the Holy Spirit follows the truth. Before we build unity in the Church we must share the truth with one another, and before we can share the truth we must know the truth for ourselves. Each person needs to develop his or her own personal relationship with God, so when we come together, we will have something to offer one another. How can we know the truth if we don’t pursue it? Truth is synonymous with freedom; if people have pursued freedom in virtually every war that has ever been fought, shedding blood for it throughout the ages, then what makes us think we will not have to pursue God's freedom with the same veracity in order to achieve unity? 

(99m) Thy kingdom come >> Perseverance >> Persevere in ministering to the body of Christ

(105k) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Led by the Spirit to the truth >> Spirit will lead you to Christ – There is a word that Paul often used throughout this chapter, “truth.” Does the truth have anything to do with unity? You bet it does! The truth works in the members of the body of Christ to create unity between us. As we seek God with all out hearts, He discloses Himself to us, and when He does, we will come to know the truth, and as we develop a relationship with the truth, we will have something to share with one another, which will cause unity to spontaneously grow between the members of the body of Christ. Part of our problem is we not only don’t know the truth, we don’t even know the nature of truth. “What is truth?” was the question Pilate asked Jesus at His crucifixion. “Truth” is best understood in contrast to its cousin “fact.” What’s the difference between fact and truth? People use those two words interchangeably, but according to Scripture there is a world of difference between them. Facts should remain in the domain of worldly knowledge. Science, for example, knows many facts about the natural universe, but it doesn’t know the truth, because “truth” comes from God. Everyone has an opinion, and so does God, and His opinion is the truth. Therefore, If God does not reveal the truth to us, then we don’t know it. “Truth” is the product that results from combining the Holy Spirit with the word of God, and we do this through prayer, so it is not so much that we are waiting for God to reveal His truth, as much as it is God waiting for us to make a commitment to the word of God and prayer. 

(126l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Patience >> Be patient with your brother – What did James say? Mankind is quick to anger, quick to give up on the attributes of God and fish in the bucket of his own attributes and hook something depraved to use as a weapon against his brother, pulling up intolerance of every kind. What is Paul asking us to do but be patient toward God, who asks us to be patient with our brother, and give Him a chance to create the tools in us that we will use to minister to others. Faith is a mystery; Paul talked about the mystery of godliness (1Tim 3,8-16), which is perhaps the greatest mystery of all. People make faith look hard by the few who truly have it, and they often don’t make it look easy to maintain. God calls us to live by faith and walk in it by walking in the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5,22-25). This is translated as being tolerant with our brother by reaching into the arsenal of God’s attributes and pulling out patience and applying it to his circumstances. Next time we want to give up on somebody, we need to remember that God has not given up on us. Intolerable as our brother seems to us at times is seven times more intolerable we would be to God if it were not for His grace and mercy. As it is, He is happy to help us, and the only thing he asks from us is genuine faith from a sincere heart.

(128e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Gentleness >> Be gentle in all your ways >> Put gentleness in your character

(129f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> love perfects unity >> Love is the mortar between the blocks – How do we know when we have a bona-fide unity growing among us, and how do we distinguish it from mere socializing? Our freedom in Christ is virtually defined by the Holy Spirit; how much more is it defined by unity when we choose to live in peace with one another? It is no longer one member’s freedom but one body’s freedom consisting of many members. We know there is a human liberty where people force themselves to agree upon certain doctrines and assume similar attitudes and values. This is a humanistic unity, more resembling a cult, and there is no freedom in it. The freedom of unity that the Holy Spirit creates among the people of God comes not through a human will but through the will of the Spirit who dwells in us, which is a new and better will to serve God. We don’t serve Him by compunction but joyfully in the freedom of Christ. 

(131h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependence >> Being selfless toward one another – If there is any genuine unity in the Church, it is to be of the Spirit. Ice-cream socials and other social functions, getting together and talking about our family members, chumming with our friends in your favorite cliques at church, this is one thing, but unity of the Spirit is another. To attribute our many sociabilities to the unity of the Spirit is a great human travesty that occurs all across America in our churches today. Claiming to have some level of unity just because we like to socialize exposes humanism in our Christianity. This is Satan’s fist step in keeping us from pursuing unity in the first place, because we think we already have it. The term “Secular Humanism” is redundant. There is no such thing as secular humanism; there is just humanism, for all humanism is secular. People are good at socializing; it comes naturally to them. That which comes naturally to us inherently comes from our flesh, and that which is of the flesh is never of the Spirit. When the chips are down and people look for answers in the Church; if it has sown nothing but humanism in its social functions, then it would be like looking for answers among the dead. Those who are desperate for answers should look elsewhere. We don’t need God to help us socialize, but we do need Him to procure unity, and to preserve it. 

(139b) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Encouragement >> The adversity of our brothers encourages us

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Eph 4-1,2

(4j) Responsibility >> The choices you make >> Accountable for your deeds

(96h) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having an attitude of humility

Eph 4-1

(12g) Servant >> Bond servant >> Their relationship with God – The Lord never forced Paul under submission, though a whip had often been put across his back by his persecutors, but it was for doing the Lord’s will, and for this reason Paul said in Gal 6-17, “I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus,” as though Christ Himself wielded the cat-o-nine-tails. Paul’s love for God was so great that He could even have Paul whipped and it wouldn’t change his loyalty toward Him, and Paul is our example of Christianity. This is the kind of trust we need to show the Lord, knowing that God wants only the best for us, but He also wants the best for those around us and is willing to use us to reach them. The question is, are we willing to endure ill-treatment for the sake of winning some to Christ? We live in a world that hates God, and people would line up to wield a torture device against the likes of Paul, who was completely devoted to evangelizing even his persecutors in hope that they would escape the torments of hell to be one day counted on the rolls of heaven. This indicates the importance of our salvation; the fact that we are born-again and going to heaven is worth sacrificing our earthly lives if necessary, just that some may be saved.

(53g) Paradox >> Opposites >> Preaching freedom in bondage

(61a) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Prisoner—In jail / Of God’s will – Paul called himself a prisoner of the Lord, and he happened to be in jail when he wrote it. He was in jail as a result of doing the will of God, preaching the gospel to every creature that came within earshot of him. Everybody heard the gospel wherever he went; Paul made sure of it; he was the greatest evangelist the world has ever known. He was the Lord’s prisoner, not just in jail, but also a prisoner of the Lord’s will, a bondslave of Christ. He was addicted to the will of God, being compelled by the Spirit, yet Paul’s will was perfectly intact so he could rebel if he wanted, but Paul’s love for God guaranteed that he would not deviate from the course. Paul wrote about being slaves of sin and slaves of righteousness in Romans chapters six and seven, and this is what he meant, not that we should do the will of God until it lands us in a jail cell, but that we should be committed enough to doing the will of God that it affects the world around us. When Paul heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, he knew it was God speaking to Him and dropped everything and did whatever he was told. The best example of this is in Act 16-9,10 “A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” The word immediately means they didn’t wait until morning but packed up that instant and started on their way in the middle of the night. Now that is commitment!

(246b) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Literal bondage to Christ

 

3&4 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 

 

Eph 4-3

(6b) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Jesus’ yoke of love – It is interesting that Paul chose peace of all the fruits of the Spirit, which are in order of importance, love being at the top, joy being second and peace third. It is down the list a ways; yet note its significance. Therefore, how much more important is joy and love? When we get to heaven, all these points of resistance will be gone, but here in this world and in the flesh we will meet resistance, and when it comes to the unity of the body of Christ, peace is the one fruit that keeps us all in one piece without falling apart. Without peace we cannot have unity. Bickering and constant friction is the antithesis of unity. It is what brings down the house. We could say that it was a lack of love or a lack of joy, but a lack of peace describes a decimated battlefield better than any of them. Peace is one of those things we most often force ourselves to enjoy. If we make the necessary sacrifices to our flesh to keep it subdued, and if we protect unity through this bond of peace, the love and the joy will follow, and we will enjoy the fruits of our labor and sacrifices.

(7g) Responsibility >> Protecting the gospel >> Defending your territory 

(9c) Responsibility >> Prevent disunity within the body of Christ >> Prevent discord within the Church

(46c) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Knowledge is our weapon

(54j) Paradox >> Opposites >> Freedom with fences – This unity of the Spirit is the essence of freedom, but it is contained in the bond of peace, meaning that though we have a new will to serve God, there is a point that we must force ourselves to obey Him, because we do live in the weakness of human flesh, even though the majority of our walk with Him is by a faith that He has given us that is strong as any of our fleshly desires. Eph 6-13,14 says, “Having done everything to stand firm… stand firm therefore.” This is like building a fort, and when the enemy comes and leans on it, if the walls begin to buckle, we rush to support them. Sometimes we must push through the obstacles of our flesh to the other side, where the Spirit of God waits for us in freedom. Coercing our flesh to do the will of God represents the bond of peace. Sometimes it is not easy to live in peace; sometimes we must force our flesh to submit to one another in love; sometime we must hold our tongue.

(96j) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a peaceful attitude

(126h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Peace >> Anointing of peace

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Eph 4,4-10

(130d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Being in one accord >> Having one origin

Eph 4,4-6

(136a) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Similarity in the body >> The things we have in common >> Common faith -- These verses go with verse 13

(255h) Trinity >> Father, Son and Holy Spirit >> Three in one >> There is only one God

Eph 4-4

(136g) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Jesus’ spiritual body – The Church worldwide is called the body of Christ and each person in heaven is considered a member of His body, and there is only one Spirit. The Holy Spirit is in each person and also in the body that comprises the members. The members and the body are two separate things. We are members of His body that God has made to accomplish certain things in order for the other members to accomplish their work. When we collectively fulfill God’s plan and purpose for which we were born, it establishes unity, and unity itself represents the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit’s role in the individual is to help establish unity, while His role in the body is to present the Church to Christ as a reflection of Himself, and that reflection renders an image of a female, the bride of Christ. There is only one bride; not any one member represents her but collectively, and she has a soul, which is the unity that made all into one. Christ will marry the unity between us, just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are perfectly unified. The Bible does not mention the bride of Christ anywhere except in heaven, suggesting that here on earth in the flesh we are considered the body of Christ, doing His work through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, suggesting also that the goal of the Holy Spirit is to collectively prepare us for the heavenly transformation into His bride. This mystery is great, though the answer is partially given in our understanding of sexual intercourse, which is a type of spiritual intercourse that we will collectively enjoy in heaven with Christ as the wife of the Lamb, whose members have melded into a single entity.

 

5-7 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

 

Eph 4-5

(66c) Authority >> Lordship of Christ >> Jesus is Lord of His people

(118c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Seeing through the eyes of your spirit -- This verse goes with verse 13

(130c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Being in one accord >> Having one faith – There is only one Jesus, though there are many religious beliefs, and though each denomination believes a little differently from the other, yet there is only one true faith. We all have a mixture of fallacy and truth, and our goal is to truncate the fallacy along with its deeds and keep the truth in the one true faith. In contrast, baptism does not change much from one denomination to another, though some believe in sprinkling and others believe in emersion. There is infant baptism, but once we come to believe in Jesus for the salvation of our souls, we should be baptized again. Baptism is concrete compared to faith, since there are so many different beliefs, though the method of baptism has few variations. Therefore, to the degree that we understand that there is only one baptism is the degree to which we should understand that there is only one true faith. Most people in the Church today assume they properly understand the doctrines of God’s grace, but in fact many of the teaching about grace have been distorted just as much as all the other teachings of the Bible, if not more, and the one true faith really does revolve around the subject of grace. We all believe in Jesus’ blood sacrifice for the remission of sin, which is the one thing most of us get right because the Bible was so explicit about it. Imagine the doctrines that would have hatched had the Bible not majored on the cross.

(191a) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Baptism >> Immersed in His Spirit

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Eph 4-6

(54ea) Paradox >> Opposites >> Creation does not know its creator (Pantheism) – Some might say that this verse validates the teaching of pantheism, the teaching that God lives and dwells in His creation; that is, He lives in rocks, trees and debris, so to worship the creation is to worship God. For example, the druids worship trees because they believe God lives in them. Paul said that God is “over all and through all and in all.” Do they misunderstand this verse? If God the Father is in all, then doesn’t that mean He is in the forest and in the earth, stars, planets and moon; doesn’t it mean that? How could it not mean that! So in a sense pantheism is not completely wrong. A common problem of man is that people come to the right conclusions but aimlessly wander through the implications of what they understand. For one thing, both Old and New Testaments condemn worshipping the creation, calling it idolatry. God doesn’t want man worshipping anything except Himself, especially not our representations of Him. If we take one step from Him and worship that instead, He considers it the worship of sin. In this technological age with the I-phone that holds our attention, it is so obvious that people worship this thing, but if God is in all, then why can’t we? God divested Himself from the creation after the fall of Satan and man; His presence is no longer in the creation, though His power does remain within it, and He uses it to hold all things together (Col 1-17). God exists in the creation, but not in terms of His personality and character. When it says that God holds all things together, it is in reference to Him being in all things, including the tiny particles that scientists have found in the elements themselves. They have studied the nucleus of the atom and have concluded that there is a force that holds all the particles unnaturally close together within the nucleus; this is the same force that is released in an atomic bomb. This force is in reference to God being present in His creation, but His Spirit dwelling in his people is different from the manner in which He dwells in the rest of His creation.

Eph 4,7-16

(227h) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Depending on Jesus to impart His gifts into us >> He gives us what we give to each other Unity is more than just coming into agreement with each other, more than just getting along, more than just being in the same room together; unity is a spiritual coupling of believers, so they are hooked together as train cars are hooked to each other along a rail. They are connected and interconnected by spiritual bonds that transcend every relationship we have ever known in the flesh, including the marriage relationship, relationships with family members and friends. This is something completely unique and different. It is the result of the power of God giving us hope to bear fruit that gives us hope to believe in Jesus with a spiritual understanding that only God can give. Note that hope is mentioned twice, denoting a catch-22: we need hope to bear fruit and we need fruit to have hope. This is where a special work from God is needed to provide the initial spark, a divinely inspired hope, which ignites the fruit of the Spirit. It is the sharing of these things with one another that make the connection between each other, in that as we share our relationship with God, we come to the realization ourselves that these things are true, and we realize that our brothers and sisters also have a special relationship with God that is different from ours, yet founded on the same principles of God’s kingdom and can be found nowhere else but among the saints. By sharing our gifts and spiritual abilities with one another we develop trust, and that trust builds bonds. This is what God expects from His people, especially in the last days, prior to His return.

Eph 4-7,8

(28a) Gift Of God (Key verse for entire chapter) – God's many gifts are our only true possessions. He ultimately intends to give us His entire kingdom through Christ. His generosity portrays His limitless love and approval, illustrated no better than at the cross, where He demonstrated His benevolent nature to His creation. This chapter systematically addresses the many facets of God's grace and mercy through a comprehensive list of references, so the reader can understand the vastness of His heart and His eternal favor upon mankind.

(31i) Gift of God >> Grace >> Having the ability to respond to the word

Eph 4-7

(116i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Working God’s kindness

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

8-10 Therefore it says, "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN." 9 (Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)

 

Eph 4,8-10

(237h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The ascension >> Jesus’ ascension

(248e) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Jesus is first >> Jesus has first place in everything

Eph 4-8

(57f) Paradox >> Opposites >> To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord

(216c) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God takes advantage of your love for Him >> He forces you by your desire for His calling

Eph 4-9,10

(103i) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> God purifies His church >> Jesus goes through God’s purifying process – There is a teaching that Jesus went to hell after He died on the cross. This may well be true, and this verse attests to it. To descend into the lower parts of the earth is to go to hell; whether by analogy or by fact hell is at the center of the earth, he went as far as the human soul could possibly go from God. He visited the place of the dead of those who are incapable of repenting, and preached to them the hope they missed, and proved how wrong they were in their decisions that led them to reject the Lord. After He announced His victory over death and hell, He then ascended far above all the heavens, “that he might fill all things.” Now there is nothing that God has not experienced and no place where God has not gone; this is what the cross has done for God. It allowed Him to experience all of man’s experiences, so His creation cannot say it knows things that God has never known.

Eph 4-9

(47h) Judgment >> God Judges the world >> Hell >> Prison of the bottomless pit

Eph 4-10

(253b) Trinity >> Relationship between Father and Son >> Jesus is equal with the Father >> Jesus has all the external qualities of the Father >> Son is infinite and eternal like the Father

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

11&12 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

 

Eph 4,11-16

(6j) Responsibility >> Being spiritual >> Ministering to each other by the strength in your Spirit

(7h) Responsibility >> Defend God’s cause >> Protecting the Church – Part of protecting the Church is ensuring the maturity level of the people by helping them grow spiritually so they can become vital members of the body. Through discipline you guarantee a potentially deeper relationship with Christ, which in turn will ensure the proliferation of the Church, protecting it from extinction. Although it is largely God’s job to make sure that the Church endures from generation to generation until His imminent return, we still have a part by working with Him.

(43h) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Perfect (mature) – The purpose of leadership is to mature the body of Christ. That doesn’t mean the congregation should be sponges and just take in the ministry; on the contrary, the people have a vital purpose. They are to mature to a point that they are able to minister to one another. This is the real ministry. There are only so many leaders who can stretch their ministries so far, but the people are greater in number and have just as vital a role as the leadership, and just as great a potential to effectively minister. Paul paints a word-picture of a well-oiled machine, a healthy body with all its working parts in order, no limb out of place, no broken bones, no one sick or feeble, but all pushing forward in the things that make for peace. If there were thousands of people in the Church who all matured and ministered and caused the growth of the body of Christ into conformity with Jesus Christ, which is the ultimate goal of Christianity, then the leaders would develop in their own ministry, causing the entire church to move forward. The Church should be marching step-by-step to possess the land, one step by the leadership and the other by the congregation, maturing in their faith reaching the lost, causing the growth both spiritually and numerically. So we see that it is not just the five-fold ministry in charge of the development of God’s church; it is the people themselves, who have ministries and are in charge of their own maturity. The purpose of church leadership is to be constantly raising the bar and making sure that bar is met as shepherds of the flock, so that people never arrive but forever strive for higher truth. Through the hope of sharing their gifts with others, they will immediately see the results and watch their brothers and sisters grow in the faith. These things also happen in heaven as Jesus said, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” (Mat 6-10). However, it is more important to see these things happen here on earth than in heaven, because we are creating the standard for our own experiences in eternity. Every member of the body makes a vital contribution, “according to the proper working of each individual part,” denoting responsibility and accountability among the saints.

(68a) Authority >> Doing God’s work under His authority >> Ministry of helps >> Help God’s people

(80j) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word to minister to people >> To edify one another

(110ja) Thy Kingdom Come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit of revelation >> Revelation of the truth >> Revelation of the true Church – Some say that the ministry of apostles and prophets is no longer with the Church; if that were the case then prophets would not be mentioned in the book of Revelation. Will they suddenly reappear? Paul mentions prophesying and prophets in his letters as though they were around during his time and were meant to stay in the congregation. These are all gifts of the spirit that were meant to lead the body of Christ into the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and the like, all of which can only be achieved through an environment of hope. Longsuffering, for example, is one of the fruits of the Spirit, but it takes hope to be able to suffer for long periods of time or to be patient beyond our ability. Hope encourages us to produce the fruits of the spirit, and love, joy peace patience… gives us hope, while leadership equips the saints with everything they need for life and godliness (2Pet 1-3). Producing the fruits of the Spirit, according to the working of each individual part (v16), attains “to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man.” Unity gives us a Revelation of Jesus Christ, a divine ability to know God. Unity is a product of the fruits of the Spirit and grows alongside the revelation of Jesus Christ, knowledge that only the Spirit of God can reveal. These are the things that make for unity and are therefore the most important aspects to the Church.

(129e) Unity (Key verse) -- Definition: a mutual exchange of spiritual wisdom and insight through a common state of maturity.

(131jc) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Many members but one body >> Many bricks but one temple -- These verses go with verse 25. It says, “From whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies…” What is “that?” That refers to the anointing, which every joint supplies. The anointing and truth are interchangeable terms, not facts and truth, but anointing and truth. We speak the truth as the body of Christ and the anointing ensues, which God uses to fit and hold together the members of His body by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part….” This cannot happen in a few faithful Christians to generate any hope of spiritual growth. Rather, unity can form only when the entire body of Christ works together to accomplish the spiritual goal of maturity. Unity comes from God. It is more valuable and thus more rare than gold. Unity has a power, not the kind of unity that we have seen in the world, such political or social unity as in the United States, where people band together under a single idea to get their point across and their will established. Rather, unity in the Church engendered by the Holy Spirit is different; it is a spiritual entity. It can only happen when every member of the body of Christ plays his part and is faithful in his relationships with God and man and seeks the truth for himself in order to have something to share with his brother and sister in Christ, “causing the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” The process of building up itself in love refers to synergy. Once the momentum builds in favor of unity, it begins to establish itself on its own; God begins to take over and empowers the body of Christ to do His will. These are things we have rarely seen in church, because we have not been faithful to Christ. On occasion some churches have seen a divinely inspired unity for short periods, but then complacency and disobedience take over and unity dissolves.

(137m) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturing with our brothers >> Employing your gifts to mature the body – All the members in the five-fold ministry have different levels of truth and have different ways of expressing the truth. Apostles possess all five gifts; prophets possess four, evangelists three, and so-on. The more gifts a person has the fewer positions they hold in the Church, whereas the fewer the gifts a person has the more positions that are available to them in the Church; this is why there should be more teachers than pastors. For this reason each church should have at least twice as many teachers as pastors. This would cure pastor burnout, as is common among churches. Apostles establish churches, prophets establish truth in churches, evangelists establish people in churches, pastors oversee the work of the ministry, and teachers help the pastor.

(140g) Temple >> Temple made without hands >> Christ builds the temple from the bricks of the Church – Paul addresses the five-fold ministry: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, saying that God, “gave some as apostles…” some what? What did God give to make them apostles? Billy Gram called it unction whereas the Bible calls it anointing. This is where the anointing makes its clearest impression on the Church. This spiritual unction is a divine ability to know the truth from God and to do His will. He has given a portion of the anointing to apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists…. Please don’t misinterpret the Scriptures and think there were pastors and God gave them an anointing. Rather, God gave them an anointing and they became pastors, based on the way their anointing led them. The anointing is for equipping the saints to establish the truth among people in the Church. Submitting to this anointing empowers the assembly to receive the truth from the five-fold ministry “for the work of service, to the building up of itself in love.” 

(245a) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestation of Jesus Christ >> Manifesting the body of Christ

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Eph 4,11-13

(8k) Responsibility >> Responsible to defend God’s cause >> Preparing for the ministry – This is a list of job titles in the Church that are coveted by people for various reasons, but the only good motive for wanting one of these positions of the five-fold ministry is for building up the body of Christ. The Church should reach a maturity level of edification that will eventually influence the world around them to love God and love their fellow man. The ministry of the clergy is to prepare the saints for this ministry. The job of building up the body of Christ is too much for one man, so to take off pressure from the pastor, he should aim at mentoring a small group of people who understand their calling from God, take them under his wing, and train them to help other people in the Church realize their calling.

(101k) Thy kingdom come >> Ambitious to promote the Kingdom of God >> Building up the body of Christ -- These verses go with verse 16

(152ia) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> Church operates under a prophetic anointing >> Delivering a prophetic message from God

Eph 4-11,12

(13e) Servant >> Serve the body >> Promoting its health >> Serve as a covering for others

(149f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Preaching the gospel to the world >> Preach "Thy kingdom come" – Pastors are simply not able to wear all five hats. Most pastors attempt to wear both his hat and the teacher’s hat; thus he considers having two of the five ministries in his church. He might occasionally form a posse and seek to win souls within his community in evangelism efforts, and that way wear three of the five hats, but Church structure was not set up for one person to wear all five hats, but that there should be five separate and distinct ministries conducted by five gifted people. For example, Paul is talking about a concerted effort in reaching the lost, not a mere event when people knock on doors, and an hour later met back at the Church for cookies and milk, but actually reach people with the gospel, and there needs to be an actual evangelist who has the gift of evangelism. He should not be just somebody who is willing to accept the role, but someone who has a heart for the lost and desperately wants to see people come to Christ. Conversely, it is useless to evangelize communities to win souls if we don’t have some plan in place to mature the people of God, otherwise they will walk in one door and out the other. Without a plan of maturity in place new converts will count Christianity a mistake, and we will lose them forever. This has happened many times when people become enlightened, but because there is no structure in place in the church to mature in the faith, they get discouraged and stop coming and eventually fall away from the faith altogether, and at that point it is almost impossible to win them back to Christ.

(152d) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Fruitful results prove apostleship

(152ka) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> The Church holds the position of a prophet >> True prophets >> Called as prophets

(239i) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers >> The gift of teaching >> Teachers are a gift to the body – They call this the five-fold ministry, and every church should have these five qualities. An apostle is essentially a missionary, establishing churches, and evangelism is part of that effort. Between the apostle and the evangelist is the prophet. The prophet has two purposes: he goes with the apostle to help make converts, and his second role is in the church to give specific direction in the ministry. That is, the prophet works both on the frontlines making new converts and in the Church ensuring their maturity. Pastors and teachers also work hand-in-hand. Every church has a pastor, and he is the only one of the five that is generally being used today. The other four are hit and miss; some churches have teachers to accompany and enhance the pastoral ministry; some churches consider themselves as having a prophet in their midst; some organize an evangelism committee to reach their communities with the gospel. Not every church has these things, but Paul is saying that every church should have all five. If not every church has a prophet, then there should be an itinerate prophet that circles between churches to give them the word of the Lord, that they might have a standard by which to measure themselves, and that they might give God an opportunity to judge them and spiritually cleanse them.

(240b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Pastor (Shepherd) >> Pastor has a shepherd’s heart – The difference between a pastor and a teacher is that one of them is a shepherd, who leads the people into a victorious life in Christ Jesus, while the other leads the people into the true doctrines of the faith. Many pastors and parishioners think that the height of the pastoral ministry is the sermon, but we need to remember that his main role is with people. The role of the pastor is to shepherd the people in whatever need they have, while the teacher prepares them to understand the true doctrines of the faith. However, many pastors prefer to minimize their job as merely someone who preaches in the pulpit on Sunday morning, and if someone calls them and has a need or a problem or a question, they are often unavailable. Years ago, we could walk into a church any day of the week without an appointment and the doors would never be locked, but now go to church on a weekday and the doors will be locked because of a heightened frequency of crime. This has played into the hands of many pastors who didn’t want to be badgered by those who would seek his help anyway. Not even his own people can spontaneously come to him without an appointment, and we know that hardship and trouble don’t need an appointment. Often we go to a church and the pastor is nowhere to be found; it would be one thing if he had another job and was working, but more likely he is playing golf and enjoying the day while his parishioners are in hot, smelly factories working for a living.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

13-16 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

 

Eph 4-13

(118c) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Eyes of your spirit >> Seeing through the eyes of your spirit -- This verse goes with verse 5

(136a) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Similarity in the body >> The things we have in common >> Common faith -- This verse goes with verses 4-6

Eph 4-14

(76b) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Seeking authority for security >> Motives based on desire for power

(159m) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit God >> Counterfeit truth – As a result of knowing the truth we no longer need to fear false doctrine, but we know immediately when we hear a lie. We can discern the truth by the Spirit of God, and in so doing we can also discern what is errant. The Holy Spirit teaches us what is right and wrong, so as soon as we hear a word that does not correspond with the things God has taught us, we know that it is a lie and that it comes by the evil motives of deceitful schemers. We don’t have to question what is true because we already know and have become convinced of the truth from God, so no one can lie to us.

(162a) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Carried Away >> Carried away by the storms of the devil – Paul said in this same book of Ephesians (1-18,19), “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Paul hoped that we would understand the word of God by revelation knowledge in our pursuit of unity among the body of Christ. As we grow to understand these things, “we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming,” but if these things are not happening, we become susceptible to unscrupulous men, which accounts for the many false doctrines that constitute our beliefs and for the many denominations that have fractured the Church. We will fall prey to their devices and come under bondage to their knowledge spawned by demons. They will ravage us and make us their slaves taking everything from us that is dear and valuable and make us so we can hardly know God. One way to tell if we are among a ravaged people is to speak the truth in love, and if they rebuke us and condemn us for it, that is proof they are a ravaged people. They have been deluded into these things and are believing lies, and they will hate us for knowing the truth.

(162k) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> In bondage to the burdens of men >> In bondage to religion – The shepherds of today don’t see that there is a ministry among the saints, but consider their own ministry the only one in the Church, and if there were another ministry, it would be to fold chairs and clean bathrooms and do the grunt work that the pastor doesn’t want to do. This is what they consider to be the ministry of the saints, and this is why the Church isn’t growing; this is why the people of God have no hope at all. There is no excuse for the way leadership is conducting the body of Christ today. One day they will pay dearly for the benefits they are now receiving and for the deceptions they have forged against the people of God, as Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full” (Mat 6-2). They have taken away their ministry as Jesus said in Lk 11-52, “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.” The vast majority of churches today are being led by modern-day Pharisees, who withhold the ministry from the people. Jesus said in Jn 10-1,2, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.” Every person who enters by the door is a Christian and a shepherd of the sheep, everyone, not just the leaders. There are obviously main shepherds consisting of church leaders, but the people themselves are also to shepherd one another, which implies a ministry similar to the pastor.

(182g) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Three causes of interpreting Scripture falsely >> Because they want to be approved by men

(196f) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Immaturity >> Not mature enough to seek God >> Unable to know the mind of Christ

Eph 4-15,16

(4l) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Being accountable to your brother – There are many elements to unity; one of them is trust. Building trust between people involves a high degree of predictability in our behavior and response to adversity, which speaks volumes about our character. Therefore, we construct unity among the members of the Church by building character in our lives, so when we love God and our fellow man, we don’t tear down with our left hand what our right hand is building.

(91h) Thy kingdom come >> The called >> Walking along the narrow way >> Those who walk in their calling are united

(95g) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> An attitude that fosters unity -- These verses go with verses 25-32

(136d) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Variation in the body

(137a) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Jesus is the foundation >> Jesus is head of the Church

(229f) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> God uses us to cause the growth – What God has revealed to each one of us is the truth, so what happens when we all comprehend the truth together? We grow up in all aspects unto Christ. We need to take the form of Jesus Christ as a body of believers. We need to begin to act like Him and behave like Him; God will even empower us to perform miracles as He did. “Speaking the truth in love,” that doesn’t sound too complicated. Just speak the truth in love to our brothers and sisters in the Lord; that’s all we need to do, but first we must know the truth, and that takes discipline. The truth is not interchangeable with facts; truth and facts are not the same. He didn’t tell us to speak the facts of the Bible to each other in a loving way. He told us to speak the truth, which comes from God. Speak the revelation of Jesus Christ to one another and combine it with love as a manifestation of truth. Pour the fruits of the Spirit on each other as Samuel poured the oil of anointing on Kind David, so we can grow up in all aspects unto Christ.

Eph 4-15

(85i) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> That are spoken in faith >> Will justify you -- This verse goes with verse 25

(107i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Church is of the truth >> God’s people speak the truth -- This verse goes with verse 25

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

 

Eph 4,17-21

(172e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Tares among the wheat >> Communion between the world and the Church >> The Church in the world – It is one thing to commit sin, but it is another thing to revel in it. Lots of people commit sin and have regrets, and they wish for a way of escape from the lifestyle and mindset of the world. If they knew of a way of escape from this thin veneer of reality, they would take it, and this opens the door to receive the gospel of Christ. They hate their sin and seek righteousness, and they hear about God that He has made a way for us to escape the sentence of hell and made a way for us to live a better life through the Spirit, shunning evil to spite the sinful nature that lives in the flesh. In their contempt for sin they seek God and find Him in Christ and are saved, but there are others who revel in their sin, who wouldn’t want to live any other way. They are the difference between night and day, the difference between those who love God and those who hate Him, and the difference resides in their hearts more than in their behavior. Satan is ruler of those who do evil and God is ruler of those who do good. God and Satan are opposites of each other in ways we cannot imagine. Satan is the father of reprobates, the maker of psychopaths, the very essence of evil, while Jesus is the essence of good.

Eph 4,17-20

(19h) Sin >> Having the mental disease of the world >> Worldly influence on the mind

(92h) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> What kind of trail is this? >> The wrong gate is wide and many enter by it – Paul used the word “gentile”, though he was referring to both Jews and gentiles, so why did he use gentiles to include them both; was he referring to mere unbelievers or to those of a reprobate mind? What gives it away is the statement he made, “have given themselves over to….” He spoke the same way in Romans chapter one referring to those of a reprobate mind when he said, “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity” and “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions” (Rom 1,24-26). We must remember that the gentiles were Paul’s primary ministry, and if every gentile fit this description, Paul would have reached no one with the gospel. Paul was describing someone who was immune and indifferent to the teachings of Christ. No matter how long we talked to them and no matter what we said, none of it ever gets through their defenses. Another clue to the kind of people Paul had in mind was in the fact that they had hardened their hearts; they stood belligerently and willfully ignorant of God’s love and mercy, and Paul was telling the Ephesians not to walk in the futility of their minds, bringing them shame in the things that are destined to perish. Not everybody is like this; Paul would enter a city and start preaching Jesus and people would fall on their faces and rejoice in the love of God. Some people fear death, while others refuse to acknowledge their mortality, but one thing is sure: those who value things that are destine to perish with perish themselves, unless they repent. Paul said not to be like them, because when these people die, they will go straight to hell, and that will be the end of their story. Paul warned the Ephesians about these things after he told them about the wonderful future of those who believe in Jesus, that God intends to seat them with Him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 1,18-23; 2,1-7). These passages are probably the most profound statements in the Bible regarding our eternal future, yet after saying this he told them not to develop a reprobate mind. These two teachings are so distant from each other, yet he was writing to the same people. This epitomizes the contrast of living in a body of sinful flesh, being given a tremendous hope and then told not to drop it for worldly pleasures and treasures and hardening their hearts against the Lord. We must be vigilant and keep the faith and never quit believing in Jesus, because we know He loves us, but He allows us to be tested prior to receiving a kingdom that He has promised is worthy of a temporal life full of hardship.

(156K) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Living an ungodly lifestyle >> Practicing sin

(167j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not conform to the world >> The world of sin

(169f) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Willful blindness

Eph 4,17-19

(19b) Sin >> Twisted thinking >> Evil is good >> Darkness of man’s thinking

(79b) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind >> Satan will control your mind if you don’t

(135a) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Immorality >> Sexual perversion >> A mixed bag of impurities

(153e) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Shame >> Hiding under a cloud of guilt >> Preferring darkness over the light

(162g) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Addicted to sin >> Being a slave to the sinful nature -- These verses go with verse 22. We must not only pursue the truth, we must also repress our fleshly desires, implying that the Church is subject to decay if we don’t seek unity. We either walk in the Spirit or we walk in the flesh, and the two cannot coexist. If we give in to our flesh, it will strip us of our faith, and leave us with only a shell of a belief system. Sin has the power to take everything we received from God and lower us to a reprobate mind that can no longer believe in God. Our flesh will never be satisfied until it dictates full reign over us and sits as king of our decision-making process, just like a rich man is never satisfied with his money but always wants more. However, we have power over our flesh, and we are not obligated to its tyrannical lordship. We are lord of our flesh and not the other way around; we call the shots and tell it what to do. With the Holy Spirit at our side, we have all the power we need to decide the right things for our lives, which will benefit everyone around us.  

(171c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance >> Vanity >> Vain experience >> Things you do in the absence of God

(184a) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Darkness >> Hiding behind your own imagination >> Hiding behind a false partition

(211a) Salvation >> Jews and gentiles are being saved >> Gentiles included >> Fellow heirs with Israel (Spiritual Jew) >> We are one in Christ – When Paul used the word “gentiles”, we should remember that the Ephesian Church consisted of gentiles, so by “gentiles” he meant sinners. God had Israel understand that they were set apart from the world to be God’s chosen people and become an example to the world that man should seek God through them as they furnished the world with a model of behavior, but Israel rejected God’s purpose for themselves. When the new covenant came, it had an evangelical side, and Paul went preaching salvation through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When he reached the city of Ephesus, he told them not to act like the gentiles, meaning they were not to live like sinners, but to live as God had chosen them, to be separate from the world, as Israel was called, set apart from sinners, and to live above the elementary principles of the world. In other words, Paul was addressing the Ephesians in this letter as spiritual Jews. When we look into all of Paul’s letters, we see this concept reiterated.

(217d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> God’s will over man >> God gives up on you >> When you give yourself over to sin – “Callous” refers to a toughened growth that forms on the skin with use, and in their case it is a toughened growth that forms on their hearts from abuse. They have become hardened to the things of God, so when we speak to them about Jesus and about His love and mercy, grace and kindness, it just bounces off them. Since they seem incapable of accepting the Scriptures or believing anything true about God, they have willingly surrendered to their sins. This kind of language Paul used also in Rom 1-28, once they became resolute in their sins, “God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.” This is a process, starting with willful ignorance, sinning as a way of life, darkening their understanding and hardening their heart to God’s truth, and through their callousness they surrendered to their sins.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

18-21 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,

 

Eph 4-18,19

(74k) Thy kingdom come >> Heart of man is sinful >> The heart determines which light is in you

Eph 4-18

(26d) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Death is separation from God’s life

(57b) Paradox >> Opposites >> World’s perspective versus God’s perspective

(176c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Ignorance >> Ignorance lurks in darkness – Normally we use the word “darkness” in terms of people’s lack of understanding and education, but Paul is saying almost the opposite, that everything they know and understand is not only wrong but wicked and evil and has hence darkened their understanding. If they didn’t know anything at all, it would be to their advantage, for their knowledge has made them completely ignorant; it has led them astray. Ignorance is the engine that runs their knowledge. They look into the sky and see sun, moon and stars, and they say that all these things have come into existence through time and chance, which is the deity they worship. Their false knowledge has excluded them from the life of God and from the potential to be saved. In them is layer upon layer of self-deception, paganistic beliefs and satanic delusions, conglomerated into a single mental framework they call "truth", shielding them from God like carbon monoxide shields the lungs from oxygen. Hard as we try to reach them, it is impossible; they are marked out for destruction, sons of the devil, objects of God’s wrath, prepared for destruction. Satan has deliberately led them into this horrible fate, and they ignorantly follow him. Jesus said that anybody who builds their house on a rock is wise, so they build their reality on the foundation of their stony hearts, in denial of God, in denial of His existence, of His love and sacrifice for them, who was brutally tortured and murdered by people of similar worldview.

(221e) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Kingdom hidden behind the veil from the world >> God hides from the mind of man >> He hides the truth from man’s understanding

Eph 4-19

(22d) Sin >> Greed takes without consideration for others >> The worldliness of greed

Eph 4,20-24

(78i) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind by the word >> Spirit renews as the flesh decays – Paul talks about laying aside the old man and dying to self, putting it away like folding up a shirt and retiring it to the drawer. Our bodies are attracted to the “lusts of deceit,” and all lust is deceitful. We haven’t done anything to make our flesh desire evil; it is just what our flesh does, and it can get us in trouble if we don’t learn to control it. We have an animal body that rages within us. It is corrupted from birth, and has a natural affinity for the deceptions of addiction. If it gets deceived, we get deceived, because we are intimately attached to our flesh and subsequently responsible for everything it does. Paul is telling us to lay aside its evil desires, that we may pursue God, because we cannot lift up God without first laying down our flesh, be renewed in the Spirit of our minds, and pick up the new self in that order. We are called to put it on like a new shirt, “which has been made in the likeness of God, created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

(110g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Born of the Spirit by the truth >> Conceived by the Spirit of truth

(230d) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Partaking >> Partaking of the power of God >> Partaking of the ministry of the Holy Spirit

Eph 4-20,21

(106n) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Purpose of hearing from God >> God gives us instruction – Everybody in the Ephesian Church has heard of Christ, but Paul didn’t ask if they heard of Him but whether they “heard Him,” personally. We Christians have heard the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking in our hearts, and it caused us to be born-again. The Holy Spirit teaches us about Christ, as truth is in Jesus. There are pastors who stand in the pulpit and preach their sermons at us every week, and we say that they are our teachers, but we have only one teacher, who is Christ, and we are all brothers (Mat 23-8). The fact of being able to hear the voice of God in our heart acts as a seal of our salvation. It is like a mother and her child who go to the county fair and the child is separated from his mother, and he starts crying for her, and the mother keeps calling to her child. He can hear her voice, and by that he knows they will eventually reunite. The crowd of people in which he is lost represents various teachings and religions about God that are untrue. Our heavenly Father keeps calling for us and we hear His voice, and so long as we can hear Him we know that one day we will unite; this is Christianity in a nutshell. In the process of hearing His voice, He teaches us about the word of God.

(109i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit the teacher >> Spirit trains us to be like Jesus

Eph 4-21

(107e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Truth of the trinity >> Jesus is truth

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

22&23 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 

 

Eph 4,22-32

(6h) Responsibility >> Being spiritual >> Ministering to God by submitting to the Holy Spirit

(46f) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Fall of Satan >> Resisting Satan’s deception

Eph 4,22-24

(6d) Responsibility >> Advocate God’s cause >> Jesus’ yoke of death

(41g) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Be like Jesus >> God’s righteousness is His doing

(42i) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Transformed >> Conform to the mind of Christ – It says that the old self is being corrupted according to the lusts of deceit. People who walk in their flesh go from one level of corruption to another. By the end of their lives they are grumpy and cranky as a result of accumulating sin. Paul is telling Christians to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” The spiritual Christian meditates on the thoughts of God by putting on the new self.

(59e) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> The new self -- Holy Spirit dwelling in the believer / The person we are destined to become – This phrase “new self” has two implied meanings. First, the new self is considered the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer becoming, a new influence in our lives. Another meaning of this “new self” is what Paul addressed in Eph 2-10, “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” To walk in these good works is to wear them as clothes. Our clothes are the most external part of our physical being, like our works; they cover our shame. Our clothes are what people see. These good works that Paul is beckoning us to wear covers our nakedness and is defined as the new self. We are what we say and do. James said that the tongue directs the whole body, for what we say is part of our deeds. Our works define us, and Paul is saying to put on the new self by performing the good works that God has prepared from the foundation of the world. Therefore, another meaning of this verse is to become the person that God has predestined for us.

(86h) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience >> Be doers of the word >> Clothe yourself with the word of God >> Obey the truth – To believe in Jesus and continue in our old lifestyle is attempting to operate in two opposite realms that contradict and each other and ultimately cancel each other. Our “former manner of life,” the lifestyle we practiced before we were saved, we are called to lay it aside. It is called the old self, suggesting that it is still alive in us. When Paul talks about dying to self, he is not referring to actually killing it, but forcing it into a torpid state of hibernation, which means like a hungry bear it could awaken at any time and ravage our lives and those around us if we rouse it. That is, we have every opportunity to continue walking in our old ways. God doesn’t carry us to heaven the moment we get saved but leaves us here, giving us opportunities to prove our love for Him. The Bible uses clothes symbolically to represent our works of both the sinful and divine nature. It says to take off the sinful nature like you take off your clothes, and put on the divine nature. Paul said that we are corrupted by the lusts of deceit; that is, sin deceived us into continuing in our old lifestyle (see: Rom 7-11; Heb 3-13).

(113e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Heaven’s clothes >> Garments of the new creation

(133c) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holiness >> God is holy >> The Holy Spirit

(139k) Temple >> Temple made without hands >> Hiding place >> Abiding in Jesus

(155k) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> You will know them by their fruits >> You will know them by their good deeds >> Good works that prove we belong to Christ

(183g) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Spirit of the broad road >> Spirit of the world

(187h) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Spirit versus the flesh >> Deny the flesh to walk in the Spirit >> More the flesh dies, more the spirit lives – The “old man” refers to the way we once lived, how we spent our time, our pursuit of pleasure, our anger and quest for revenge. Paul commands us to die to these things, to become as it were a martyr, not to actually physically die, but to die to the sinful nature and to our sinful ways that we once entertained. The old man doesn’t die just because we got saved. The old man and the new man regularly clash; they cannot live together in any sense of harmony; one must submit to the other, and since our sinful flesh will not submit, we must subject it to the authority of Christ. Only one can live within us: the new man or the old man. It is our choice who remains, and we only have one good choice. Our reward for subjecting it to the authority of Christ is a ministry. The ministry that God wants to give us would conflict with our sinful ways if we allowed them to remain; they would destroy whatever we built in Christ’s name, so they must die. We should show them no compassion or pity.

(228i) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> God works in the new creation

(238e) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The kingdom is transferred to the Church >> New creation >> The new creation is our spiritual identity – When the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in our soul, the two spirits join to become one, and in that sense we are married to Christ. This is the new self. Christ takes one Spirit that is common to all (the Holy Spirit) and places Him in each member of His body, creating a new person. He doesn’t create the same new person in each of us but something unique, not like adding the same color to a spectrum of colors, which would produce many colors with the same tint. Our Christian brothers and sisters who have a deep and abiding love for God are often closer to us than our own family members, especially if they aren’t saved. If we are the only Christian in our family, most likely we are closer to those in the Church who love God with all our hearts, because we share a common Spirit and have the same heavenly Father and the same savior who is also our big brother.

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

Eph 4-22

(2o) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> Get out of His way >> Quit sinning

(22g) Sin >> Lust (craving pleasure) >> Fleshly mind

(159d) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Counterfeit righteousness

(162g) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Addicted to sin >> Being a slave to the sinful nature -- This verse goes with verses 17-19. The elementary principles of the world come naturally to us, but as Christians we must contemplate our lives, because the Christian walk does not correspond with our nature. We must develop a spiritual mind, for the Christian walk will never make sense to the natural mind. The world can stop us in our tracks and make us think about everything we have sacrificed for our faith in Jesus. We sacrifice our sinful ways in order to gain Christ, but there are days when we want to revisit our past. We fall to this temptation occasionally, and when we return to Christ, invariably we realize that it wasn’t worth it. We need to remember that during the times of our temptation, we are being deceived, in that sin never delivers as advertised, and even if it did, the outcome would be death (separation from God). We learn more by falling to our temptations than we do by overcoming them; however, the question is, how many times will it take to learn? When we overcome our temptations, we can look back and say, ‘We dodged a bullet,’ but when we fall to our temptations, we must suffer the consequences, which are far greater than the non-Christian, for when we commit sin, it deeply affects our relationship with God.

(166l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind cannot discern between good and evil >> The old mind

(190d) Undressing (Key verse)

(190e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Circumcision >> Undressing >> Take off your sins -- This verse goes with verse 25. Paul was talking about the ramifications of circumcision, which symbolizes taking off our sins like we take off our clothes; we lay aside our sinful ways, which have a corruptive influence in accordance with the lusts of deceit (Heb 3-13). Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the symbol of circumcision is an aspect of the male genital. It is the body part that is most difficult to control. We cut off the foreskin of the eight-day-old male child and fling it from him, which represents being separated from his sinful ways. Since the Bible divides the sinful nature into three major classes: greed, lust and pride, we can say that a man’s desire for money and materialism is geared to attract a female or to keep the one he has happy; lust goes without saying, and a man’s pride is grounded in his sexual prowess.

(191i) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Set apart >> Set apart from sin – Abraham and all the men of the Old Testament may not have interpreted circumcision as Paul did, though Paul affirms that it is a sign of faith, Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Gal 3-6), but Paul described it as being separated from the old man as a form of dying to self. Sanctification means separation and death also is a form of separation, in that when a person literally dies, he is separated from his body. Likewise, when a person sins, he is severed from his relationship with God, and when a person goes to hell, he is severed from every aspect of God. Conversely, when we submit to the process of sanctification, God separates us from our sins; He sets us apart from the world. Sanctification begins on the day we are born-again as a life-long process with the goal of setting us apart from our sins and from the world. Paul called this dying to self. On the day of our natural death, God will separate us from our sinful nature and give us a new body with a new nature that seeks only to please Him.

 

24-26 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 

 

Eph 4-24

(255e) Trinity >> Holy Spirit’s relationship between Father and Son >> God’s word is Spirit >> God is Spirit

Eph 4,25-32

(78n) Thy kingdom come >> Putting your heart on display >> The result of a renewed mind

(95g) Thy kingdom come >> Attitude >> Having a cooperative attitude >> An attitude that fosters unity -- These verses go with verses 15&16

(158d) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Divide and conquer >> Strife >> Disagreements

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Eph 4,25-31

(192j) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Repent >> Stop practicing sin >> Stop sinning – When we get away from God, it is amazing how quickly the mind of Christ erodes and the fleshly mindset takes over our worldview. When we neglect our spirit, it is only a matter of two weeks and we are thinking and talking and acting just like the world, and all that is left is a shell of Christianity. We still believe in God and the doctrines of our faith and we still are saved, but our mind has forgotten how to believe. We need to develop the mind of Christ and maintain it. The soul of Jesus was the soul of God, and for this reason He naturally understood His Father, so before He received His anointing at the baptism of John, His mind was already in tune with God. We are not like that; our mind naturally understands the world, the flesh and the devil. Those of us who belong to God have the Spirit of God, who cries in our hearts “Abba Father,” but when we let our mind off its leash, it goes right back to the world, the flesh and the devil. It is like cleaning up a pig and then taking off its leash; it heads straight for the mud hole. Our flesh cannot comprehend the mind of Christ, anymore than a pig understands that it just had a bath and needs to keep clean.

Eph 4,25-27

(163j) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Used by Satan to destroy your own life

Eph 4-25

(85i) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> That are spoken in faith >> Will justify you -- This verse goes with verse 15

(107i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Church is of the truth >> God’s people speak the truth -- This verse goes with verse 15. Take the truth in the form of a revelation of Jesus Christ and speak the oracle of God to one another. The things that God has revealed to us by the Spirit, this is the truth and it is the main ingredient of unity within the body of Christ.

(131jc) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Many members but one body >> Many bricks but one temple -- This verse goes with verses 11-16

(136h) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Body of Christ consists of individual members >> We should live as Christ lived

(190e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Circumcision >> Undressing >> Taking off your sins -- This verse goes with verse 22

Eph 4-26,27

(62a) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Responding cleverly to your enemies >> Outwit them – Before you go to bed, make sure you have forgiven everyone you know and love, and make sure that everyone has forgiven you. You cannot control other people’s lives, but you can control your own, and you can determine in your heart to forgive everyone who has offended you before the sun goes down. Don’t go to bed angry or bitter, and do not give the devil an opportunity. You don’t want anger to turn to bitterness; that is a trick of the devil, and we are aware of his schemes. Bitterness is an ugly thing; it is unforgiveness. We wanted God to forgive us and he did; therefore, “Do unto others what we would have them do unto us” (Lk 6-31).

(215b) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> God Has Good Timing >> God’s time is sufficient – One day is enough to be angry, and then God tells us that tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to live apart from chronic anger. When we sleep on it, we distance ourselves from our problems, so we have a better perspective on our problems and can better deal with them and make better decisions, our emotions being in a better state. For the person who is chronically angry, though, one day is the same as the next, and they always know what to expect; they rob themselves of all the blessings of God. They need to remember that the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God (Jm 1-20). Angry people are not interested in righteousness, let alone God’s righteousness, so maybe they should trade their anger for His righteousness. Every time God wants something from us, it is always based on a process of substitution, because we have nothing to give; otherwise, it wouldn’t take long before we gave everything away and we would have nothing. God never wants to take anything from us, because He knows we have nothing; that is why He came to save us, so when He asks something from us, we can expect a substitutionary process, and in this case God wants to substitute His righteousness for our anger. Therefore, we need to pursue the righteousness of God in place of anger before our head hits the pillow.

Eph 4-26

(8b) Responsibility – When we get upset, we must keep profanity from spewing from our mouths. Here Paul is acknowledging the fact that many of us have this problem and advises us to take that critical moment when we are angry and resolve to give a blessing instead. This is a substitutionary process, which correlates very closely with the concept of Dying to self.

(69e) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Righteous anger >> Church is angry at sin

 

27&28 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

 

Eph 4-27

(158a) Works of the devil >> Excerpts of the greatest verses of this chapter

Eph 4-28,29

(128a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Doing good for the sake of your brother – There will always be needy people in the Church and in the world; it is inevitable. Jesus said, “you always have the poor” (Mat 26-11). Those who campaign for government office say they will rid poverty in order to get votes, but they never mention it again once they are elected because it is impossible to rid poverty. On the contrary, the vast majority of poverty stricken people in the world are the result of political corruption. The trickle-down theory works great for attitudes and values but not so well for money, otherwise poverty would be solved. We cannot solve poverty; we can only help those in need. Actually, poverty is given by God as an opportunity for those who have a surplus to exercise charity. It also allows the poor man to exercise faith in requesting help from God. Some Christians complain about a performance-oriented gospel; they say that if people think about it that way, then it is no longer faith-oriented, but apparently they don't understand that the things we do for Christ are an expression of our faith.  

(235d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Offerings >> Help your weaker brother -- These verses go with verses 1-5

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Eph 4-28

(13h) Servant >> Support the body >> Serve selflessly

(25h) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Thief >> Stealing from some one – A Christian thief may be the ultimate oxymoron. In this day and age it is not always easy to know who is truly poor because of so many government handouts and scams. Just because someone on a street corner is waving a piece of cardboard with some writing on it doesn’t mean they are poor; it might just be their job. They may be just as ambitious as the next guy who gets up in the morning and goes to work. One way to tell if a person is poor is to take him to a McDonalds and buy him a hamburger. After doing that a few times, if he is not actually poor, he may turn down your offer to save his appetite for steak dinner later that night. Thievery was happening in the Church even in Paul’s day, and note that Paul didn’t get all bent out of shape about it. He told the thief to stop, turn around and walk the other way. Instead of taking, learn to give. The definition of repentance is to do an about-face. The Bible’s cure for kleptomania was to substitute giving for taking. God does not want to take anything from us; He wants to fill us with Himself and replace what He takes of our sin with His righteousness. He is telling us to help meet the needs of others and not become a burden to anyone. Note that Paul didn’t say we should give money, because who knows where that would go. The world falls in line with the elementary principles of nature, whereas the Church corresponds with their future life in heaven. Sometimes, knowing who is in need requires us to look for needs and lending assistance; this is the opposite of looking for things to steal. The vast majority of people in the Church in the first century were godly, making the thief appear obvious, and they eventually isolated him and gave him an ultimatum to either stop stealing from the saints or leave the community of the Church. Practicing thieves should not be allowed to remain among the people of God unless they repent, and in that case they should be welcomed to return.

(101j) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Ambitious in the business world of this life – It seems that the business world of this life and managing God’s business of the gospel have certain things in common. Where the world and the Church meet is in the fact that if we can’t be useful in some way, we are good for nothing. People would say that about those who don’t work and expect the government to support them when they are fully capable of holding down a job. Usually it is the very same people who are good for nothing on a spiritual level too. They add nothing to the Church; instead, they take from everyone. It is just their way of getting through life, but this is not God’s way. His ways are just the opposite; He is a giving person and He expects us to be giving especially to those in need, ‘that we may be children of our Father who is in heaven’ (Mat 5-45). He doesn’t want us to be in need, even though it is practically inevitable that some day we too may be in need. He wants us to help others, so when it is our turn to be on the receiving end of assistance, we won’t have to feel like parasites. This translates to getting a job and being paid more than we need, so we might have a surplus as our offering to God that we can use to help those in need. This is Christianity. Those who live out their Christianity in this way understand the gospel well as any scholar.

(119g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Debt free

(130f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Committed to caring for the needs of the body >> Committed to supporting one another

(131c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Brother depends on you >> To care for his needs – To him who steals, go the opposite way. Instead of stealing from people, accumulate value through hard work, so that you may have something to offer those in need. If we are called to share the truth we receive from God to help build up the body of Christ, then we should also have something of physical value to help them. No matter how spiritual we are, we still live in a physical body and have physical needs, and God wants us to help one another, both in the spiritual and in the physical realm, for this is love.

(213f) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> Jesus owns you >> We are his instruments >> We are tools in the hand of God >> We are extensions of His body


29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 

 

Eph 4,29-32

(139h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Edification – Once we learn the art of unity by speaking the truth in love, do not proceed to tear it down using the same orifice we used to build it up. Doesn’t the Church grieve the Holy Spirit when it disallows unity to form? We must ask whether our church is united or if it is just socially inclined. Those who are working with God to build up the body of Christ know the difference between unity and sociability. Remember what Jesus said, if we do not forgive one another, then God will not forgive us. How can we be Christians and not forgive? This makes for unity, truth being the main component, but there are other things that correspond with unity, and forgiveness is one of them. Always have something to share with one another, both of a physical nature and of a spiritual nature. Whatever your brother or sister needs, these are the things we should be committed to providing them. Edify means edifice, another word for house. Make sure your words edify; make people feel at home with you. Let the anointing emanate as you speak the truth in love, and let that anointing convince the brethren that what you are telling them the truth, that they may be blessed and glorified, that they too may be enraptured in the knowledge of God, that God Himself may reveal His truth to them even as He has revealed it to you, that unity may exponentially multiply in His church.

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Eph 4-29

(8c) Responsibility >> Use time efficiently >> Use wisely this moment – God wants us to be spiritually in tune with Him. Some people say they don’t have the time to hone their spirit because they work to support a family. That is why Paul told us it would be better if we didn’t get married. A person who gets married and raises a family has done a good thing, and they will receive a blessing from God who raise their children in the admonition of the Lord. In the meantime God wants us also to maintain our relationship with God so we can raise our family according to His will. If we could be spiritually in tune with God in the way Paul is telling us, we would raise our children to serve the Lord as a natural outcome of our faith. Our family members always know when our heart is in our faith. God’s primary concern is of the heart; if we serve Him in spirit and truth, we will have the right response for the need of every moment.

(32b) Gift of God >> God is our Father >> Grace >> Word of His grace

(85h) Thy kingdom come >> Words that are spoken in faith >> Verbalize your faith – When Paul said, “let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth,” that itself is a mouthful. We have been called to build up the body of Christ, and if we are not doing that, then whatever we are saying to the contrary must be tearing down the Church. Controlling the words we speak is the most difficult challenge of our lives, and after we finish we will have failed. Nobody has ever been able to perfectly control his tongue, except Jesus Christ, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. When we think of the impossibility of attaining to this command and then realizing that Jesus actually fulfilled this, He never once let an unwholesome word proceed from his mouth, it just shows the miracle of this man who came and demonstrated for us what it is to be a Christian.

(89e) Thy kingdom come >> Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom >> Wisdom is sometimes best unspoken – People talk too much. If we spent more time thinking about what we are going to say than spouting whatever comes to mind, the world would be a better place. The fact that we all stumble by the words we say is an interesting challenge for us. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be meaningful. Many things we say are not edifying, and when it comes to Christianity, things that are not edifying actually work against the body of Christ by default. Hence, before we speak a word, we should test it against the standard that Paul gives, whether it is good for edification, whether it is appropriate for the need of the moment and whether it gives grace to those who hear. If it doesn’t do any of these three things, then we shouldn’t say it. We have God’s grace and forgiveness when we stumble, so the challenge has been placed before us to closely monitor our heart and the words of our mouth.

(116g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Through the words you speak – When it comes to edifying the body of Christ, the words we say are like icing on the cake. When it comes to building up the body of Christ, the foundation and floor, the walls and ceiling are significant, and they are all constructed through the fruits of the Spirit, but after we have done the will of God we can tear down the body of Christ by speaking evil against one another. “Roof” is the literal definition of a shelter. A simple tarp can be made into a lean-to (a roof with one side), which can shelter us from a rainy night of camping. We attach the roof by the words of our mouth that will complete the edifice and make it a house that is livable, safe and secure. The wind and rain represent satanic powers of wickedness that seek to destroy us through exposure to the elementary principles of the world. It is the roof that keeps the elements at bay, yet a poorly constructed roof will leak. A leaky roof will only leak more, and water-damage will weaken the structure until a little wind blows the house into a heap.

(150i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Speak the word of the Spirit >> Speaking the words that God has spoken to you – Of all the passages of the Bible that convict us of sin, verses like this touch everyone. We can certainly monitor the words that proceed from our mouths, but not very successfully, “for we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well” (Jm 3-2). The major reason for stumbling is our spoken words. Our saliva seems to make our words slip from our lips before we can catch them. Before we know it we are slandering a fellow brother or a family member, etc. 

 

30-32 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

 

Eph 4-30

(70e) Authority >> Sin of familiarity >> Familiarity-enemy of discernment >> Spirit grieves over sin

(132d) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> God gives his spirit as a pledge >> His Spirit is a seal – The seal in many respects is like a woman’s hymen. God seals the woman at birth, until her husband on her wedding bed breaks the seal. Her hymen proves the fact that she is a virgin, and that is what we are to God with the seal of the Holy Spirit unbroken. When we get to heaven and He sees that the seal is in tact, He will know that we are spiritual virgins, that we have not joined ourselves with other spirits or played the harlot in spiritual idolatry. We have proof that we are not corrupted by the world, but if He sees that our seal has been broken, it will be like the man at the wedding feast that was discovered not wearing proper attire. It says, “Throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mat 22,11-14).

(226d) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of the Kingdom of Heaven >> Reserved in heaven >> Our inheritance is reserved in heaven

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Eph 4-31,32

(43d) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Conform to the ministry of Christ’s church

(124e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Acts of love >> Do to others as you would have them do to you

(138l) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Exhortation >> Admonishments – There are dozens of admonitions like this speckled throughout the epistles, and it would seem odd that God would put them here if He has given us an anointing to overcome. That is, if we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, why does He need to tell us to obey Him? Again, what is the difference between the Law of the Old Testament and Paul’s exhortations to be good? Doesn’t walking by the Spirit solve everything? Essentially, yes it does on a theological standpoint, but in practice our body is immersed in the sinful nature and is constantly seeking opportunities to express itself in various ways of sin. So we walk by the Spirit in order to counteract these tendencies, but this doesn’t solve every problem, like sweeping the floor doesn’t remove every piece of litter. In Ephesians chapter six Paul talks about putting on the armor of God: the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, and other things to fight the battle of sin. Then he said in Eph 6-13,14, “Having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore….” After we’ve put on our armor, we still must stand firm. Also, in Romans chapter six he speaks about the death of our flesh caused by the Spirit symbolized in baptism; then in verse 12 he says, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts.” Paul is saying that God is helping us in the battle against sin, but we also must be involved by incorporating our will into the battle. It is our responsibility to disallow sin to reign in our flesh, and if we resist the devil on the evil day, God will multiply our strength to help us win each battle.

Eph 4-31

(24l) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Unrighteous anger

Eph 4-32

(12d) Servant >> Father is our example through Christ – According to John 5-19,20 the Father is Jesus’ example, while Jesus is our example, so the Father is our example through Christ. John shows us that we can be like the Father by performing whatever miracles God is willing to do through us, and here in Ephesians it shows the same thing. He commands us to forgive one another just as God has forgiven us in Christ. Being forgiven and being able to forgive are just as important as the ability to perform great miracles through Christ; in fact, you could say that forgiveness is a miracle, both in giving and receiving, and is the greatest of all gifts. The context of these verses continues in Ephesians 5, verses 1 & 2.

(69h) Authority >> Righteous judgment >> Meditate on discernment >> Judging what is pure – If we fulfill the Scriptures, the ability will be given us to discern who is pure and who is not. That is, we will learn people’s hearts and know things about them that we didn’t even know we knew. Discernment is knowing things without the natural means to learn them. Discernment is a spiritual gift, and the more we live like Christ, the more discernment will flourish, and we will become transparent to others and they will be transparent to us. The people we encounter, whether it be an acquaintance or an old friend, we will know their hearts and who to trust, and we will know how to minister to them and be a blessing in ways that would be impossible in our own thinking. If we seek that which is righteous and holy, we will impart these things into other people.

(120d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Forgiveness >> Forgiving your brother >> As God has forgiven you

(123d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Compassion >> Reaching out to those in need

(127a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Kindness >> Be kind like God >> Practice the kindness of God

(128f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Gentleness >> Be gentle in all your ways >> Be gentle toward one another – God has forgiven us and we should forgive each other. We are set free from the vices and devices of the world, the flesh and the devil as God implements His power in our lives—our efforts become His efforts. We exert ourselves to overcome the sinful passions and desires of the flesh, and God applies His strength to our strength, so when we strive to be free from sin, we find that it is actually Him doing it. Seeking freedom from sin by our own volition doesn’t work, for even the desire to please Him is from God; expecting Him to do it all for us is equally wrong thinking; rather, it is a concerted effort with God empowering us with His grace. Jesus died for our sins because we could not find favor with God on our own, so why would we seek freedom from sin on our own? When Paul gives us these admonitions, he implies that we operate through the grace that dwells in us. By this grace God frees us from sin and empowers us to fulfill His purpose and calling as a process of substitution. In verse 31 Paul commands us to stop sinning and in verse 32 he commands us to love the brethren, for we cannot forgive, until we first put away bitterness, wrath and malice.

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