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4. Unity in the Body of Christ

1I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, 2with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. 7But unto each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8Wherefore he saith, When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, And gave gifts unto men. 9(Now this, He ascended, what is it but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: 13till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; 15but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ; 16from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love. 17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; 19who being past feeling gave themselves up to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20But ye did not so learn Christ; 21if so be that ye heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: 22that ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, that waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit; 23and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. 25Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. 26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27neither give place to the devil. 28Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have whereof to give to him that hath need. 29Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear. 30And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice: 32and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you.

5. Living as Children of Light

1Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; 2and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell. 3But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints; 4nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting: but rather giving of thanks. 5For this ye know of a surety, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no man deceive you with empty words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience. 7Be not ye therefore partakers with them; 8For ye were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord: walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10proving what is well-pleasing unto the Lord; 11and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them; 12for the things which are done by them in secret it is a shame even to speak of. 13But all things when they are reproved are made manifest by the light: for everything that is made manifest is light. 14Wherefore he saith, Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee. 15Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; 16redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; 19speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ. 22Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. 24But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; 26that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, 27that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: 29for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; 30because we are members of his body. 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. 32This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church. 33Nevertheless do ye also severally love each one his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see that she fear her husband.

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29. corrupt—literally, "insipid," without "the salt of grace" (Col 4:6), so worthless and then becoming corrupt: included in "foolish talking" (Eph 5:4). Its opposite is "that which is good to edifying."

communication—language.

that which, &c.—Greek, "whatever is good."

use of edifying—literally, "for edifying of the need," that is, for edifying where it is needed. Seasonably edifying; according as the occasion and present needs of the hearers require, now censure, at another time consolation. Even words good in themselves must be introduced seasonably lest by our fault they prove injurious instead of useful. Trench explains, Not vague generalities, which would suit a thousand other cases equally well, and probably equally ill: our words should be as nails fastened in a sure place, words suiting the present time and the present person, being "for the edifying of the occasion" (Col 4:6).

ministerGreek, "give." The word spoken "gives grace to the hearers" when God uses it as His instrument for that purpose.

30. grieve not—A condescension to human modes of thought most touching. Compare "vexed His Holy Spirit" (Isa 63:10; Ps 78:40); "fretted me" (Eze 16:43: implying His tender love to us); and of hardened unbelievers, "resist the Holy Ghost" (Ac 7:51). This verse refers to believers, who grieve the Spirit by inconsistencies such as in the context are spoken of, corrupt or worthless conversation, &c.

whereby ye are sealed—rather, "wherein (or 'in whom') ye were sealed." As in Eph 1:13, believers are said to be sealed "in" Christ, so here "in the Holy Spirit," who is one with Christ, and who reveals Christ in the soul: the Greek implies that the sealing was done already once for all. It is the Father "BY" whom believers, as well as the Son Himself, were sealed (Joh 6:27). The Spirit is represented as itself the seal (Eph 1:13, for the image employed, see on Eph 1:13). Here the Spirit is the element IN which the believer is sealed, His gracious influences being the seal itself.

unto—kept safely against the day of redemption, namely, of the completion of redemption in the deliverance of the body as well as the soul from all sin and sorrow (Eph 1:14; Lu 21:28; Ro 8:23).

31. bitterness—both of spirit and of speech: opposed to "kind."

wrath—passion for a time: opposed to "tender-hearted." Whence Bengel translates for "wrath," harshness.

anger—lasting resentment: opposed to "forgiving one another."

clamour—compared by Chrysostom to a horse carrying anger for its rider: "Bridle the horse, and you dismount its rider." "Bitterness" begets "wrath"; "wrath," "anger"; "anger," "clamor"; and "clamor," the more chronic "evil-speaking," slander, insinuations, and surmises of evil. "Malice" is the secret root of all: "fires fed within, and not appearing to by-standers from without, are the most formidable" [Chrysostom].

32. (Lu 7:42; Col 3:12).

even as—God hath shown Himself "kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving to you"; it is but just that you in turn shall be so to your fellow men, who have not erred against you in the degree that you have erred against God (Mt 18:33).

God for Christ's sake—rather as Greek, "God in Christ" (2Co 5:19). It is in Christ that God vouchsafes forgiveness to us. It cost God the death of His Son, as man, to forgive us. It costs us nothing to forgive our fellow man.

hath forgiven—rather as Greek, "forgave you." God has, once for all, forgiven sin in Christ, as a past historical fact.

Eph 5:1-33. Exhortations to Love: And against Carnal Lusts and Communications. Circumspection in Walk: Redeeming the Time: Being Filled with the Spirit: Singing to the Lord with Thankfulness: The Wife's Duty to the Husband Rests on that of the Church to Christ.

1. therefore—seeing that "God in Christ forgave you" (Eph 4:32).

followersGreek, "imitators" of God, in respect to "love" (Eph 5:2): God's essential character (1Jo 4:16).

as dear childrenGreek, "as children beloved"; to which Eph 5:2 refers, "As Christ also loved us" (1Jo 4:19). "We are sons of men, when we do ill; sons of God, when we do well" [Augustine, on Psalm 52]; (compare Mt 5:44, 45, 48). Sonship infers an absolute necessity of imitation, it being vain to assume the title of son without any similitude of the Father [Pearson].

2. And—in proof that you are so.

walk in love—resuming Eph 4:1, "walk worthy of the vocation."

as Christ … loved us—From the love of the Father he passes to the love of the Son, in whom God most endearingly manifests His love to us.

given himself for usGreek, "given Himself up (namely, to death, Ga 2:20) for us," that is, in our behalf: not here vicarious substitution, though that is indirectly implied, "in our stead." The offerer, and the offering that He offered, were one and the same (Joh 15:13; Ro 5:8).

offering and a sacrifice—"Offering" expresses generally His presenting Himself to the Father, as the Representative undertaking the cause of the whole of our lost race (Ps 40:6-8), including His life of obedience; though not excluding His offering of His body for us (Heb 10:10). It is usually an unbloody offering, in the more limited sense. "Sacrifice" refers to His death for us exclusively. Christ is here, in reference to Ps 40:6 (quoted again in Heb 10:5), represented as the antitype of all the offerings of the law, whether the unbloody or bloody, eucharistical or propitiatory.

for a sweet-smelling savourGreek, "for an odor of a sweet smell," that is, God is well pleased with the offering on the ground of its sweetness,and so is reconciled to us (Eph 1:6; Mt 3:17; 2Co 5:18, 19; Heb 10:6-17). The ointment compounded of principal spices, poured upon Aaron's head, answers to the variety of the graces by which He was enabled to "offer Himself a sacrifice for a sweet-smelling savor." Another type, or prophecy by figure, was "the sweet savor" ("savor of rest," Margin) which God smelled in Noah's sacrifice (Ge 8:21). Again, as what Christ is, believers also are (1Jo 4:17), and ministers are: Paul says (2Co 2:17) "we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ."




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