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EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4

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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 truth, but good works can be forged, and so can charisma. When God reveals Himself to a person, and that person conveys what he has learned to other people, the Holy Spirit follows obedience to His 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 it for ourselves, and to know it we must obey it. Each person needs to develop his own relationship with God, so when we come together, we have something to offer each other. Truth is synonymous with freedom; if people have pursued freedom in virtually every war, shedding blood throughout the ages in hope of attaining it, 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! As we wholeheartedly seek God, He discloses Himself to us, and when He does, we come to know the truth, and as we develop a relationship with Him, we have something to share with the brethren, which causes unity to grow between us. “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 these two 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 “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 it is God waiting for us to make a commitment to the word of God and prayer. See also: Spirit and the Word (Spirit reveals God's word); 1Tim 4,7-11; 116a

(126l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Patience >> Be patient with your brother – What did James say? We are quick to anger and quick to give up on the attributes of God, the fruits of the Spirit. What is Paul asking us to do but be patient with God, who asks us to be patient with the brethren and use the tools He has given us to love them. Faith is a mystery; Paul talked about the mystery of godliness (1Tim 3,8-16), which is perhaps the greatest mystery of all. It is easy to believe in God, but how many people believe in Him enough to receive His faith? God calls us to live by walking in the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5,22-25), and this is translated as being tolerant with our brother. 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 at times is seven times more that God tolerates us; and if it weren't for His grace and mercy, none of us would see the Lord (Heb 12-14). 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 defined by the Holy Spirit; how much more is it defined by unity when we choose to live in peace with one another? Unity is not defined by one member’s freedom but by one body’s freedom consisting of many members. Enforcing the acceptance of certain rules, doctrines, attitudes and values is a humanistic unity, resembling a cult, and there is no freedom in it, but the freedom of genuine unity is led by the Spirit.

(131h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependence >> Being selfless toward one another – If there is genuine unity in the Church, it is the result of being led by the Spirit. Social functions and chumming with friends at church is one thing, but "unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" is another. Attributing sociability to unity is a travesty. Claiming to have some level of unity just because we like to jibber-jabber about anything but God exposes humanism in our Churches. This is one of Satan’s tactics keeping us from pursuing genuine unity, thinking we already have it. The term “Secular Humanism” is redundant, since all humanism is secular. People are good at socializing; it comes naturally to us, and that which comes natural originates from the flesh, and that which is of the flesh opposes God. When the chips are down and people come looking for answers in the Church and find nothing but social functions, it is like visiting a cemetery and seeking hope from the dead.

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

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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 to submit to Him, though a whip had often torn his back 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. This is the kind of loyalty that 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 wants 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 Paul was completely devoted to evangelizing even his persecutors in hope that they would escape the torments of hell to be instead counted in 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 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 this epistle. 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, compelled by the Spirit, yet Paul’s will was perfectly intact so he could rebel if he wanted. Paul wrote about being 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 jail, but that we should be committed enough to doing the will of God that it affects the world around us.

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

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 that are in order of importance, love being top, joy being second and peace third. It is down the list a ways; yet note its significance. How much more important is joy and love? Living in this world and in the flesh we will meet resistance, and when it comes, peace is the one fruit that keeps us 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. If we make the necessary sacrifices in our flesh to keep it subdued, and if we protect unity through this bond of peace, love and 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 – Unity of the Spirit is the essence of freedom, contained in the bond of peace. Although we have a new will to serve God, there is a point that we must force ourselves to obey Him, because we live in the weakness of sinful flesh. Coercing our flesh to do the will of God represents the bond of peace. Sometimes it is not easy to live in peace, and in those moments we must hold our tongue and force our flesh to submit to one another in love.

(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 the body of Christ, and each person in the true Church is considered a member of His body. The Holy Spirit is in each person and in the body as a whole. We are members of His body that God has made to accomplish certain things to help other members accomplish their work. As we collectively fulfill His calling, it establishes unity, which 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 bride. There is only one bride; not many, and she has a collective soul in unity, which is the soul of Christ. He shares His soul with us in the Holy Spirit, and we share our soul with Him in all the souls of the Church united as one. Christ will marry the unity between us, just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are perfectly unified. The the bride of Christ is not mentioned anywhere else but in heaven, suggesting that here on earth in the flesh we are considered His body, 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 the bride, whose members have melded into one.

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 about Him, and though each denomination believes a little differently from another, 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 intact with the true faith. Most people in the Church assume they properly understand the doctrines of God’s grace, but in fact many of the teaching about grace have been distorted just as all the teachings of the Bible, if not more-so, 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.

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

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Eph 4-6

(54ea) Paradox >> Opposites >> Creation does not know its creator (Pantheism) – Some might say that this verse validates the teaching of pantheism that says God lives and dwells in His creation; that is, He lives in rocks, trees, etc; 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,” so do they misunderstand this verse? If God the Father is in all things, then doesn’t that mean He is in the forest and in the earth, stars, planets and moon? In a sense pantheism is not entirely wrong; God exists in the creation but not like pantheists say He does. A common problem of man is that people come to the right conclusions but stumble over the implications. For one thing, the Bible condemns worshipping the creation, calling it idolatry. God doesn’t want man worshipping anything but Him; if we take one step from Him and worship something else, He considers it idolatry. Man worships this technological age, and if God is in all things, then why can’t we worship our I-phone? Most people are not thinking about God when they surf the web. God divested Himself from the creation after the fall of Lucifer and then kicked man into the curse when he fell too. His presence is no longer in the creation, though His power remains, holding all things together (Col 1-17). 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 force that is released in an atomic bomb. After He makes all things new fully reinvesting Himself into the new creation, He still doesn't want us worshipping it. See also: God cursed the creation through Satan; 1Tim 5-21; 15g

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 agreeing with each other, more than getting along, more than being in the same room together; unity is an interconnection of people with spiritual bonds, resulting from God giving us power to bear fruit that gives us hope to believe in the truth. Note that hope is mentioned twice, denoting a catch-22: we need hope to bear fruit and we need to bear fruit to have hope. This is where a special work from God is needed to provide the initial spark, a divinely inspired hope that lights our lamp. It is the sharing of our light that makes the connection between us so special, in that we are sharing our relationship with God, and it increases our faith in the truth. Our brothers and sisters also have a special relationship with God that is unique as ours. In sharing our gifts we develop trust, and trust builds bonds.

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 creation. His generosity portrays His limitless love and approval, illustrated no better than at the cross, where He demonstrated His benevolent nature to His people. 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

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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 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 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 darkness that led them to reject God and His plan for mankind. 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 God hasn't experienced and no place He hasn't gone; this is what the cross has done for God. It allowed Him to suffer all of man’s experiences, so His creation cannot say it knows something that He doesn't know.

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

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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 fight the demon forces of this evil age, often clothed in human flesh. Through discipline we guarantee a deeper relationship with Christ, which in turn ensures the proliferation of the Church, causing it to grow and protecting it from extinction. Although it is largely God’s job to ensure the Church endures from generation to generation until His return, we have a part in working with Him to mature the body.

(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; rather, the people have a vital purpose. They are to mature to a point that they can minister to each other. The people are greater in number and have just as vital a role in the ministry as the shepherds. Paul paints a word-picture of a well-oiled machine, a healthy body with all its working parts in place, no one sick, no broken bones, no feeble body parts or limbs out of place, but all pushing forward in one direction. If there were thousands of people in the Church who all played a part in the growth of the body, the leaders would help develop their ministries with the goal of establishing God's kingdom, maturing in the faith, reaching the lost, causing the growth of the body spiritually and numerically. So we see that it is not just the five-fold ministry in charge of the development of God’s church but is the people themselves, whose ministries are in charge of their own maturity. The purpose of church leadership is to constantly raise the bar and ensure the bar is met, never arriving but always striving for higher truth. Through the hope of sharing their gifts, they see the results and watch the brethren grow in the faith. 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; but if that were the case, prophets would not be mentioned in the book of Revelation. Will they suddenly reappear? Prophets don't suddenly appear; God makes them by a meticulous process over a course of many years. Paul mentions prophets in his letters, proving they were around during his time and were meant to remain, so if there are no prophets it's not God's fault, but the result of being suppressed and oppressed by the Church, by their own people, until their ministry is squelched. The spirit of prophecy is a gift to the body, and all the gifts are meant to lead the body into the fruits of the Spirit, which can only be achieved through an environment of hope. Longsuffering, for example, is one of the fruits of the Spirit, but hope is required to suffer for long periods or to be patient beyond our ability. Hope encourages us to produce the fruits of the spirit, and love gives us hope. Leadership equips the saints with everything they need for life and godliness (2Pet 1-3), while the people produce 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 is a product of the fruits of the Spirit and grows alongside knowledge that only the Spirit of God can reveal. These are the things that make for unity and are therefore the most important aspects of the Church. See also: Prophets; Heb 11-35; 233a

(129e) Unity (Key verse) -- Definition: a mutual exchange of spiritual wisdom and insight from all members of the body of Christ in 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…” (v16; NASB; 1977). What is “that”? That refers to the anointing, which every joint supplies. "Anointing" and truth are interchangeable words; we speak the truth and God uses it to fit together the members of His body by what 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 works together to accomplish the spiritual goal of maturity. Unity comes from God; it is more rare, thus more valuable than gold. Unity has power, not political or social unity, where people band together under a single idea to get their point across and their will established. Unity in the Church engendered by the Holy Spirit is different; it is a product of the Spirit. It can only happen when all the members play their part and seek the truth to have something to share with others, “causing the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” The process of building up itself refers to synergy. Once the momentum builds in favor of unity, it begins to establish itself on its own; God takes over and empowers His body in the world. 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 their truth. Apostles possess all five gifts; prophets possess four, evangelists three, and so-on. The more gifts a person has the fewer their numbers in the Church, whereas the fewer the gifts a person has the more people like them in the Church; this is why there should be more teachers than pastors in every church. 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 ministry, and teachers are the ministry. That is, every member in the body is a teacher (Jn 10-2), but there are also Teachers who mentor the teachers.

(140g) Temple >> Temple made without hands >> Christ builds the temple from the bricks of the Church – Paul addresses the five-fold ministry, saying that God, “gave some as apostles…” some what? What did God give to make them apostles? Billy Gram called it unction, while 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 an anointing based on the measure of Christ's gift to apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, for the purpose of equipping the saints to establish the truth among saints. 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 five-fold ministry positions is for building up the body of Christ. This five-fold ministry is designed to help the Church reach a maturity level through edification that would eventually influence the world around them to love God and love their fellow man.

(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 of these hats. Most pastors attempt to wear his hat and the teacher’s hat to the exclusion of the other three, and 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, still there are two hats he has not addressed at all: the prophet and the missionary. This five-fold ministry should consist of separate and distinct people. For example, Paul is talking about a concerted effort in reaching the lost, not a mere event when people occasionally knock on doors, and an hour later meet at the Church for cookies and milk. They should not be just somebody who is willing to accept the role, but people who actually have the gift of evangelism, and the same is true for all the gifts. Conversely, it is useless to evangelize communities to win souls for Christ if we have no plan in place to mature them in the faith, otherwise they will just walk in one door and out the other. Churches that do not place edification as top priority will find that people get discouraged and stop coming to church and eventually fall away from the faith altogether, making it 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 – Every church should have these five qualities. An apostle is essentially a missionary who establishes churches, and evangelism is part of that effort. Between the apostle and the evangelist is the prophet who has two purposes: he works both on the frontlines making new converts and in the Church edifying the saints. Pastors and teachers also work hand-in-hand, but too often in the Church today the pastor is the only one of the five who has a significant ministry. Some churches have teachers to accompany and enhance the pastoral ministry; this dynamic duo is extremely effective.

(240b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Pastor (Shepherd) >> Pastor has a shepherd’s heart – Many pastors and parishioners think the height of the pastoral ministry is the sermon, but his real purpose is a shepherd, who leads the people into a victorious life in Christ Jesus, while the teacher leads the people into the true doctrines of the faith. Years ago, we could walk into a church any day of the week without an appointment and the doors would be unlocked, but go to any church on a weekday now and the doors will be locked tight under pretence of a high crime rate. This has played into the hands of many pastors who don't want to be bothered with people's questions and problems. It would be one thing if the pastor were unavailable because he works a second job, but more likely he is out of his office playing golf and enjoying the day while his parishioners are in hot, smelly factories working for a living.

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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 are no longer susceptible to false doctrine but know immediately when we hear a lie. We discern the truth by the Spirit of God, and in so doing we also discern what is errant. Just as the Holy Spirit teaches us right from wrong in our behavior, so He teaches us right from wrong in our knowledge. The moment we hear a word that does not correspond with the things God has taught us, we know it is a lie that comes from evil and deceitful schemers. We don’t question what is true because we have become convinced, knowing from whom we have learned it (2Tim 3-14). See also: Spiritual warfare; 162a

(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 Eph 1-18,19 that he hoped we would understand the word of God by revelation of the Holy Spirit, and in this passage he said that it is for the sake of securing unity among our fellow saints. However, if we are not achieving these milestones, 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 if we are not diligent to fight off these wolves. They will ravage us and make us their slaves, taking every truth dear to our heart. 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, it is proof they believe a lie and hate us for knowing the truth. See also: Spiritual warfare; 162k

(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 – Shepherds today don’t see there is a ministry among the saints but consider their own ministry the only viable one and subsequently oppress all other ministries in "his" church. This is why the Church isn’t growing, and it is why God's people have no hope. There is no excuse for the way leadership views and treats the body of Christ today. One day they will pay dearly for the the deceptions they have forged against the Church, as Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full” (Mat 6-2). The vast majority of churches today are 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; not just the leaders are leaders. See also: Spiritual warfare; Eph 4,17-21; 172e

(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 being 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 – God has revealed the truth to each of us for the purpose of comprehending it together. When we grow up in all aspects unto Christ, we take His form as a body of believers as we behave like Him. “Speaking the truth in love” doesn’t sound too complicated, but first we must know the truth, and that takes discipline. He didn’t tell us to speak the facts of the Bible to each other, for truth and facts are not the same. He told us to speak the truth, which comes from God, speaking the revelation of Jesus Christ to one another and combining it with love as a manifestation of truth, pouring 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 Him.

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. Paul says we should speak the truth in a loving way that benefits others. The Bible often speaks about “faith” and love together, because they are one, but in this case Paul put together “truth” and love. Is there a way to speak the truth apart from love? No, in that if we didn’t have love, we wouldn’t know the truth, because faith and love operate together, and, like love, faith only believes the truth. Faith is the definition of God. In contrast, believing is man’s version of God’s faith. Faith is the composition of the Father; He is made of faith; He consists of it. People believe everything imaginable, but the truth stands by itself, and there is no fellowship with God apart from faith, and nobody knows the truth except by faith, and to speak the truth apart from love proves we don’t know the truth. People call us Bible thumpers, who think we pound on people with the Bible, but this is not speaking the truth in love, and those who do this prove they don’t know the truth, though they may know the Bible.

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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 to escape the lifestyle and mindset of the world. If they knew the 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 our 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. 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 maker of goodness, righteousness and truth, and of those who practice these things are His children. See also: Spiritual warfare; Eph 4,17-20; 92h

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 referred to both Jews and gentiles, so why did he use gentiles to include them both? What gives it away is this statement, “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 should 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 indifferent to the teachings of Christ. No matter what we tell them, none of it ever gets through their defenses. Another clue to the kind of people Paul had in mind was the fact that they had hardened their hearts; they belligerently stood in their godless behavior, willfully ignorant of His love and mercy, and Paul was telling the Ephesians not to walk in their futility, bringing down shame upon anyone who would emulate them, 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 fear death, while others refuse to acknowledge their mortality, but one thing is sure: those who value things that are destine to perish will perish with them, unless they repent. Paul said not to be like them, because when these people die, they go to hell, and that is the end of their story. Paul warned the Ephesians about these things after he told them about the wonderful future waiting for those who believe in Jesus (Eph 1,18-23; 2,1-7), being some of the most profound statements in the Bible regarding our eternal future, yet after saying this he warned them about following the impulses of their flesh. These two teachings are opposite each other, yet he was writing to the same people, epitomizing the contrast of receiving promises from God while living in a body of sinful flesh, 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 promised is worthy of suffering temporal hardship. See also: Spiritual warfare; Eph 4,17-19; 162g

(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. We either walk in the Spirit or we walk in the flesh with these two opposing one another. If we surrender to our flesh, it will strip us of our faith, and leave us with only a shell of a belief system, but if we submit to the Spirit of God, it is tantamount to being inducted into the army and fighting a spiritual war against the sinful passions and desires of our own flesh. If we let it, sin will 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 to subject our flesh to the will of God, having no obligation to submit to its tyranny as it would have us believe. We are lord of our flesh and not the other way-round; 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 make right decisions for our lives, which will benefit everyone around us. See also: Spiritual warfare; 217d

(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 furnish the world with a model of behavior, but Israel rejected God’s purpose for themselves. When the new covenant came, it had an evangelistic side, and Paul went preaching salvation through the blood of 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's chosen people, 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, and 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 from repetitious use, and in their case it is a toughened growth that forms on their hearts from repetitious abuse. Paul was protecting them from becoming hardened to the things of God, so when they heard about the love and mercy of Christ, the message wouldn't just bounce off them. He was proactively teaching them to accept the Scriptures and believe the truth about God, instead of surrendering to their sins. Paul didn't want them espousing a willful ignorance, sinning as a way of life, darkening their understanding and hardening their hearts to God’s truth. See also: Spiritual warfare; Eph 4-18; 176c

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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 darkened their understanding. If they didn’t know anything at all, it would be better than believing a lie, for their knowledge has made them completely ignorant and 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. In them is layer upon layer of self-deception and satanic delusions, conglomerated into a single mental framework they call "truth". 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's love and mercy, who was brutally tortured and murdered by people of similar worldview. See also: Spiritual warfare; Eph 4,20-24; 78i

(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 sin; our flesh does this on its own, and it can get us in a lot of trouble if we don’t learn to control it. We have an animal body that wants absolute freedom to do whatever impulses it feels. Our flesh is corrupted from birth, having a natural affinity for the deceptions of addiction. If we let it off its leash, it easily deceives us to let it continue down the dark path of its choosing, making us responsible for everything it leads us to do. Paul is telling us to lay aside its evil desires, that we may pursue God. We are called to put on Jesus Christ like putting on a new shirt, clothing our sinful flesh with the good works that God has prepared for us, “which has been made in the likeness of God, created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” See also: Spiritual warfare; Eph 4,22-24; 42i

(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 about Him but whether they “heard Him,” personally. We Christians have heard the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and obeying His voice has caused us to be born-again, and the Holy Spirit teaches us about Christ, as truth is in Jesus. There are pastors who stand in the pulpit and preach their sermons every week, and we say 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, who teaches us as our heavenly Father. We can hear His voice, and by that we are safe. When we get lost in a crowd, the people represent various false teachings. Our heavenly Father keeps calling us to Himself and we hear His voice; and so long as we can hear Him, we know that one day we will be united; this is Christianity in a nutshell.

(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

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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 the flesh go from one level of corruption to another. By the end of their lives they are grumpy and cranky as a result of accumulated 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. See also: Spiritual warfare; 59e

(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 Holy Spirit dwells in the believer to become a new influence in our lives, and the second meaning of the “new self” is what Paul addressed in Eph 2-10, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” To walk in these good works is to wear them like we wear our clothes to cover our nakedness. Our clothes are an extension of our bodies, just like our works, except that our clothes don't define us as much as merely represent us in the world, and our works do that too, being what people see of us. James said that the tongue directs the whole body, for what we say is part of our deeds. Therefore, another meaning of this verse is to become the person that God has predestined of us from the foundation of the world. See also: Spiritual warfare; 86h

(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 lay aside. It is called the old self, suggesting that it is still with 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 the countryside if it is roused. That is, the opportunity to walk in our old way is ever-present. God doesn’t carry us to heaven the moment we get saved but leaves us here, giving us opportunities to prove our loyalty and faithfulness. The Bible uses clothes symbolically to represent our works of both the sinful and the divine nature. It says to take off the sinful works like we would take off your clothes and put on the new self, consisting of the divine nature. See also: Spiritual warfare; 187h / Contrast of two natures; Col 3-9,10; 228i

(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 lived before we were saved; it refers to how we spent our time pursuing pleasures, getting angry over the smallest things and going on quests for revenge. Paul commands us to die to these things. The old man doesn’t die just because we got saved; rather, these forces of the old and new man regularly clash; they cannot live together in any sense of harmony; one must submit to the other, and since our sinful flesh refuses to submit, we must subject it to a dying process through the the force of our own will, coupled with the power of Christ who dwells within us. The sinful nature or the divine nature, only one can be the dominant figure in our lives, and it is our choice which one emerges on top, and we have only one good choice. Our reward for subjecting the flesh is a ministry, but if no ministry comes of it, it erases any incentive to become free. This is the fault of the Church in these evil times. See also: Spiritual warfare; Eph 4,25-31; 192j

(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 spirit, the two 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 person in each but a new and unique person, not like adding the same color to a spectrum, which would produce the same tint. Our Christian brothers and sisters who have a deep and abiding love for God are often closer to us than to our immediate family members if they are not saved, because we share a common Spirit and have the a common heavenly Father and a common Savior who is our big brother.

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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 the Christian walk is contrary to our nature. 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 temptation and then return to Christ and realize it wasn’t worth it. We need to remember that during times of 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 about the corrosiveness of sin by falling to our temptations than we do by overcoming them, but how many times does it take to learn this simple fact? When we overcome our temptations, we realize we dodged another bullet. See also: Spiritual warfare; Eph 4-14; 159m

(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, surgically removing the unnecessary skin surrounding the penis that symbolizes taking off our sins like we take off our clothes. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the symbol of circumcision refers to the male genital. It is the body part that is most difficult to control.

(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). According to this context, circumcision is also a sign of repentance. Sanctification means to be set apart (separated) from worldliness to fulfill God's purposes, and death is also a form of separation, in that when a person dies, he is separated from his body. In that sense, 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, we are separated from our sins. Sanctification begins on the day of our spiritual birth as a life-long process with the goal of setting us apart from our sins. Paul called this dying to self.

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 – How is Paul's list of don'ts inherently different from the Ten Commandments? Moses commanded the Israelites to obey God with their flesh, whereas Paul expects us to use the Holy Spirit to put to death the sins of the body (Rom 8-13). When we get away from God, it is amazing how quickly the mind of Christ erodes and the fleshly mindset takes over our perspective. When we neglect our spirit, it is only a matter of weeks, not years, that we are thinking and talking and acting just like the world. We still believe in God, and the doctrines of our faith remain in place, and we are still 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, but 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 dwelling in them, who cries in our heart “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 and watching it head straight for the mud hole. See also: Spiritual warfare; Eph 4-22; 162g

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

(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 >> Being clever >> Responding with wisdom to your enemies >> Outwit them – Before we go to bed, we should make sure we have forgiven everyone we know and love, make sure that everyone has forgiven us, and not give the devil an opportunity. We cannot control other people’s lives; we can only control our own, and we can determine in our heart to forgive everyone who has offended us before the sun goes down. We don’t want anger to turn to bitterness, which is a trick of the devil, for we are aware of his schemes. Unforgiveness and bitterness is an ugly thing. We wanted God to forgive us and he did; therefore, we should forgive others as God has forgiven 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 and can better deal with the circumstances 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 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). Whenever 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 have nothing. God doesn't want to take anything from us, because He knows we have nothing to start; 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. See also: Substitution; Eph 4-28; 25h

Eph 4-26

(8b) Responsibility >> Use time efficiently >> Use wisely the daylight hours – 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 determine to give a blessing instead.

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

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, for Jesus said, “you always have the poor” (Mat 26-11). Those who campaign for government office in order to get votes say they will rid poverty, but it is impossible to rid poverty. On the contrary, the vast majority of poverty stricken people in the world are the result of political and corporate corruption, and for that reason the trickle-down theory works only for attitudes and values, not for money, otherwise poverty would be solved. We cannot solve poverty; we can only help those in need. Actually, those in poverty are an opportunity for others who have a surplus to exercise charity. It also allows the poor man to exercise faith in requesting help from God.

(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 he is poor; it might be his job, but more likely he is in bondage to a deleterious lifestyle that is destroying him, in which case throwing money at him is like throwing it into a black hole. He needs to be freed from his bondage before any good can come to him. 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 our 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 just told the thief to repent. That is, instead of taking, learn to give. The definition of repentance is to do an about-face; i.e., the Bible’s cure for kleptomania was to substitute taking for giving. 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 wants us to help meet the needs of others instead of being a burden, and note that Paul didn’t say we should give money; who knows where that would go. 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 Church in the first century were godly people, easily exposing the thief, isolating him and giving him an ultimatum to either stop stealing or leave the church community. Practicing thieves should not be allowed to remain among God's people unless they can prove they are in the process of repentance. See also: Substitution; Eph 4-32; 128f

(101j) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Ambitious in the business world of this life – The business world of this life and the gospel have a couple things in common. Where the world and the Church meet is in the fact that if we can’t be useful in some way, then 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 are takers. It is their way of getting through life, but this is not God’s way. His ways are just the opposite; He only gives, never takes, and He is calling us to emulate Him, giving 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 find ourselves in need. He wants us to help others, so when it is our turn to be on the receiving end of assistance, we have paid it forward. This translates to getting a job and being paid more than we need, so we have a surplus as our offering to God that we can use to help others in need. This is true Christianity (Jm 1-27). Those who live out their Christianity in this way understand the gospel well as any professionally degreed Bible 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 direction; instead of stealing, accumulate value through hard work, so we 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 offer something of physical value. No matter how spiritual, we still live in a physical world and have physical needs, and God wants us to help others, 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

Eph 4,29-32

(139h) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Edification – After we have built up each other in unity by speaking the truth in love, we should not tear down our work using the same orifice (Jm 3-11). Are we a united people, or are we just socially inclined? Truth makes for unity, but there are other things that edify: forgiveness. Always have something to share with one another, both physically and spiritually, whatever our brother needs. Edify means edifice, which is another word for house, especially the roof. We should ensure our words edify and offer ourselves as a covering for others, making people feel at home with us, letting the anointing emanate from us as we speak the truth in love, that the Holy Spirit may convince the brethren we are telling the truth, that they may be blessed indeed.

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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 remained single. 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. If we could be spiritually in tune with Him 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. If we serve the Lord 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 it, then whatever we are saying and doing to the contrary is probably tearing down the Church. Controlling the words we speak is the most difficult challenge of our lives; nobody has ever tamed the tongue (Jm 3-7,8), but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. When we think of the impossibility of success and then realizing that Jesus was perfect in speech, never letting any unwholesome word proceed from his mouth, it 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 what to say than saying whatever comes to mind, the world would be a better place. The fact that we all stumble over our words is a major clean-up project for us all; and 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 work against unity by default. Hence, before we speak a word, we should test it against the standard that Paul gave, 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 what we want to say isn't designed to do these three things, we shouldn’t say it. We have God’s grace to help and His forgiveness when we stumble, so the challenge has been placed before us to monitor our words, having the tools to seek perfection best as we can.

(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, 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; it is the roof that keeps the elements at bay, yet a poorly constructed roof will leak, and water-damage can destroy the whole house.

(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 mouth, but not 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 main cause of stumbling is our words. Saliva makes them slippery like a fish, so even if we catch them we still may not be able to secure them in the boat. Before we know it we are slandering a fellow brother or a family member again. 

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 their wedding bed breaks the seal at the consummation of the marriage. Her hymen proves 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 of the Holy Spirit is in tact, He will know that we have come to the right place and are spiritual virgins, that we have not joined ourselves with other spirits or played the harlot in spiritual adultery or corrupted ourselves by the world.

(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 sin. That is, if we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, why does He need to tell us to obey Him? Moreover, 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 every problem? 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. In Ephesians chapter six Paul writes 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 must work with Him to battle these evil forces. It is our responsibility to disallow sin to reign in our flesh, and if we resist the devil on the evil day, the temptations will weaken and God will multiply our strength to help us win the next battle.

Eph 4-31

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

Eph 4-32

(12d) Servant >> Father is our example through Christ – We are to forgive one another as God has forgiven us through Christ. Being forgiven and being able to forgive are just as miraculous as miracles; in fact, we 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 repent and purify ourselves from sin through Christ, we will receive discernment who is pure and who isn't. That is, we will learn people’s hearts and know things about them they don’t know we know about them. Discernment is knowing things without the natural means of learning them. Discernment is a spiritual gift, and the more we live like Christ, the more discernment we will have, and this will also make us transparent to others. The people we encounter, whether it be an acquaintance or an old friend, we will know their heart, who to trust, who not to trust, and we will know how to minister to them and be a blessing in ways they need most. If we seek that which is righteous and holy, we can impart them into others.

(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; therefore, we should forgive one another. 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 seek the freedom of Christ, we find that it is actually Him doing it. On one hand, seeking freedom from sin on our own doesn’t work, for even the desire to please Him is from God. On the other hand, expecting Him to do it for us is equally wrong thinking; rather, it is a concerted effort of God empowering us with His grace as we exercise that grace to become free. When Paul gives us these admonitions, he assumes we will operate through God's grace that saved us and that dwells in us. By this grace God frees us from sin and empowers us to fulfill His purpose and calls us to a process of substitution. In verse 31 Paul commands us to stop sinning and in verse 32 he commands us to love the brethren; we cannot forgive or love the brethren, until we put away bitterness, wrath and malice. See also: Substitution; Eph 4-26,27; 215b / Working the grace of God (Synergy) Rev 5-11,12; 130b

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