Paul's Letter to the Ephesians

Chapter 4

Paul exhorts to unity, 1-6; and declares that God therefore gives various gifts to men, 7-10; so that his church might be edified, 11-15, and grow up in Christ, 16, 17. He calls them from the impurity of the Gentiles, 18-23; to put on the new man, 24; to cast off lying, 25-28; and corrupt communication, 29-32.

1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you that you walk worthy of the vocation by which you are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, 3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling, 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in you all.

7 But to each of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Therefore, he says,

"When he ascended on high,/
he led captivity captive,/
and gave gifts to men.

9 Now that "he ascended," what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same also who ascended far above all heavens so that he might fill all things. 11 And he gave some, apostles; some, prophets; some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers, 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 Until we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 That we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried around by every wind of doctrine and by the trickery of men and cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, 15 But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, who is the head, even Christ, 16 From whom the whole body properly joined together and united by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love.

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you from now on do not walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart, 19 Who, being callous, have given themselves over to lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not learned Christ in this way, 21 If indeed you have heard him and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus. 22 Concerning the former manner of life, [you were taught] to put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

25 Therefore, putting away lying, "each of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. 26 "Be angry, and do not sin." Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath, 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole no longer steal, but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, so that he may have [something] to give to him who needs. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying so that it may minister grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil-speaking be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Ephesians, Chapter 4[➚]


[v.8a] - Quoting Psalm 68:18 (LXX—paraphrased).

[v.8b] - "gave gifts to men" - From John Calvin's Commentary: "There is rather more difficulty in this clause; for the words of the Psalm are, 'you have received gifts for men,' while the apostle changes this expression into 'gave gifts,' and thus appears to exhibit an opposite meaning. Still there is no absurdity here; for Paul does not always quote the exact words of Scripture, but, after referring to the passage, satisfies himself with conveying the substance of it in his own language. Now, it is clear that the gifts which David mentions were not received by God for himself, but for his people; and accordingly we are told, in an earlier part of the Psalm, that 'the spoil' had been 'divided' among the families of Israel (Psalm 68:12). Since therefore the intention of receiving was to give gifts, Paul can hardly be said to have departed from the substance, whatever alteration there may be in the words."

[v.13] - "mature" - Literally, "full-grown." That is, "until we rise to the same level of knowledge which we ascribe to a full-grown man, until we can be compared to a full-grown man" (Thayer's Greek Lexicon).

[v.20] - "But you have not so learned Christ" - In other words, "That is not the manner in which you have learned Christ." Christ expects His followers to learn from Him (Matthew 11:29). In doing so, Christ said that those who would follow Him must, "...deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).

[v.22] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning. Implied from verses 20 and 21.

[v.23] - Reference, Romans 12:2.

[v.25] - Quoting Zechariah 8:16 (LXX).

[v.26] - Quoting Psalm 4:4 (LXX).

[v.28] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning.