In this chapter the Apostle Paul exhorts the saints at Ephesus to “practical living.” In the first 3 chapters he had taught them many precious doctrines concerning God’s grace in choosing them to salvation (1:3-12), bringing them to faith in Christ (1:13-14; 2:1-10)), and how they were now members of the body of Christ, the true church of God (2:11-3:21).  In 4:1 he encourages them to “walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,” which simply means they were to “put into practice what God has made you to be in Christ.” We can’t quote or comment on every verse in this long chapter, so we will present a short outline with brief thoughts in our summary.

Verses 1-6: They were to walk “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (verses 2-3). In order to manifest their salvation in Christ and their membership in the body of Christ, they would need to be humble and show love to one another. The truth of UNITY is further expressed in “7 unities” in verses 4-6 (One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism and One God and Father of all).

Verses 7:16: In these verses Paul teaches them that they each have “a special place for specific work” in the body of Christ and in order to do the work the Lord has called each one to do Christ has given them “spiritual gifts” (verses 7-11; see also 1st Corinthians 12:4-18). We see in verse 11 the primary gifts of: 1) APOSTLES (men who laid the foundation of Christianity…see 2:20…by teaching the vital truths about Christ and the church); 2) PROPHETS (men who helped the apostles lay the foundation by receiving and then communicating direct revelations from God); 3) EVANGELISTS (men who preach the gospel to lost sinners so they can be saved); 4) PASTORS (men who have a real heart for the “sheep of Christ” and who “feed the flock of God”…see Acts 20:17-28); and 5) TEACHERS (men who have the special ability to interpret and explain the Bible to fellow-believers). In verses 12-16 we see the purpose of these gifts is to “equip the saints” so they too can serve the Lord with the gifts He has given them (verse 12). This promotes “spiritual growth; a “building up of the body of Christ” (verses 13-16).

Verses 17-32: In this passage Paul addresses their “individual walk” with very pointed exhortations to HOLY LIVING. They were NOT to “walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind” (verse 17), whose minds and hearts are blinded (verses 18-19). They had learned the truth about Jesus Christ (verses 20-21) and thus they should demonstrate to this to the world by “putting on the new man” they have become by first “putting off the old man” they once were before their conversion to Christ (verses 22-24). This would involve putting away: 1) LYING (verse 25); 2) SINFUL ANGER (verses 26-27); 3) STEALING (verse 28); 4) SPEAKING FILTHY and UNEDIFYING LANGUAGE (verse 29). These things misrepresent the truth of what the believer is “in Christ” and they “grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (verse 30). The chapter ends with a summary of what should be “put away” (verse 31) and how they should be replace with being “kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (verse 32).

In closing, what a blessed testimony we would be to everyone around us if we, by the grace and power of God, would put these instructions into our DAILY WALK. An older brother used to put it this way, “the truths we learn should be TRANSLATED INTO SHOE LEATHER!”  (478.5)  (DO)