Verse 1 – I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
Verse 2 – with all lowliness and gentleness with longsuffering bearing with one another in love,
A Christian’s life, walk, should be of the characteristics of humbleness, gentleness, and love. These are not behaviors that we do sometimes, these are to be a part of who we are.
Verse 3 – endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Verse 4 – There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
There is one body of believers – one church on earth, so there ought to be unity. There is one Spirit, the Holy Spirit – He is in each believer: which awakens all; convicted all; and converted all. Christians all have one hope; look forward to the same heaven; they hope for the same life beyond the grace.
Verse 5 – one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
The theme here is the same – Christians have one Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ; the one faith in Christ brings unity. One baptism – this does not affirm that there is one mode of baptism but refers to “the thing itself.” They are all baptized in the name of the same Father, and Savior and Holy Spirit. They have all in this manner been consecrated unto God, and devoted to His service.
Verse 6 – one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
People who worship many gods, cannot hope to unite. However, Christians have one supreme God and our attachment through Jesus brings unity.
Verse 7 – But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
God has bestowed on each sincere believer means of living as they ought to, and has in His gospel made ample provision that they might walk worthy of their vocation. Grace is bestowed on each Christian, and all have enough to enable them to live a life of holiness.
Verse 8 – Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” (Psalm 68:18)
As Victor over sin and death, Christ gives gifts to His new devoted followers.
Verse 9 – (Now this, “He ascended” – what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
Verse 10 – He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
The Redeemer came down from God and returned to Him, fulfilling all things by His influence and direct wisdom and power.
Verse 11 – And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
The description here is more about gifted people than about spiritual gifts. Apostles and prophets are foundational for the churches work. The apostle primarily refers to people sent with a divine mission or task, bringing new revelation and understanding to the church.
Prophets revealed God’s will to believers for the present and predicted future events. All apostles were prophets, but not all prophets were apostles.
Evangelists were gifted to spread the gospel and plant churches. Evangelists proclaimed the good news in word and deed and instructed others in evangelism.
Pastors and teachers shared similar responsibilities. Pastors provided oversight, comfort, and guidance as the church’s shepherds. Teachers instructed and helped apply God’s revelation to the life of the church.
Purpose of the Gifts
Verse 12 – for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Verse 13 – till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Ministry is intended to move believers toward accomplishing three goals: (1) unity of faith and full knowledge of God’s Son, (2) maturity, and (3) the fullness of Christ. Maturity and unity are measured in of the relationship of the body to the Head, Jess Christ.
Verse 14 – that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in to deceive,
Verse 15 – but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ –
Verse 16 – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
All Christians should speak the truth to avoid error. This may be uncomfortable for some to hear, but we do it in love. This truth should never be in a harsh manner. When someone is in error of Scripture, first show the person you care, then its easier for them to take what you say to heart. That’s how we grow as a body.
Verse 17 – This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,
Verse 18 – having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart;
Don’t be surprised when people can’t grasp the gospel. Your faith and the gospel will seem foolish to those who rely on their own understanding. People’s understanding becomes darkened because of their indulgence in sin.
Verse 19 – who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to licentiousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
This is the description of the heart of the lost. They are past the point of any emotion or feeling of guilt for their sin, hard as a rock. They do this voluntarily. They do what they want, when they want and everything is for themselves.
Verse 20 – But you have not so learned Christ,
Verse 21 – if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:
But a true Christian has been taught a different way to life, the truth. You listened to the gospel and believed in Jesus Christ. then the Holy Spirit, Jesus, continues to teach you.
Verse 22 – that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
As a new believer in Christ, we are not to be driven by past desires and impulses. Our conduct has to change! We have a new direction in life and have a new way of thinking and responding. If a new born-again believer does not do these things, it won’t be long before there will be no sign of Christianity in their life.
Put On the New Man
Verse 23 – and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
(and how are you going to renew your mind if you don’t get in God’s Word everyday?)
Verse 24 – and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.
This change is so great that a person, a “new creature,” with new principles and new desires, new practices in everything that pertains to their moral character.
Verse 25 – Therefore, putting away lying, each one speaks truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.
Lying to another causes distrust and conflicts. It definitely will destroy relationships in a church and outside.
Verse 26 – “Be angry, and do not sin,” do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
If anger is not dealt with properly, it will lead to sin or revenge, which is sin.
Verse 27 – nor give place to the devil.
If you don’t deal with that anger, it will give the devil a foot-hold and a person will end up doing or saying something that they will later regret! If you don’t handle that anger, you soon will build up resentment and that my friend, will turn into bitterness.
Verse 28 – Let him who stole, steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
People steal because they want something another has and they don’t want to work for it themselves!
Verse 29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
This is more than just “bad language.” This also implies what may corrupt another.
Grieve Not the Holy Spirit
Verse 30 – And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
This is addressed to “all” Christians. Do not act in a way that would cause sorrow or pain to the Holy Spirit, Jesus, who loves you. As a course of ingratitude and sin this would cause pain in the heart of an earthly friend, and cause them to leave you. Here are some things that will grieve the Holy Spirit: (1)open and gross sins (2)anger (3) licentious thoughts and desires (4) ingratitude (5) neglect (6) resistance.
Verse 31 – Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Verse 32 – And be kind to one another, just as God in Christ also forgives you.
The Christians’ conduct will be the result of love, good-will, and a desire of the happiness of others, and this will prompt to the kind of conduct that will render their conversation with others agreeable and profitable!