EPHESIANS CHAPTER FOUR

OBSERVATIONS

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand in accordance with the framework in which it was written: a framework which is defined by the normative rules of language, context and logic - rules which do not impose undue, unintended meanings to the text , and which largely limit the observer to the content offered by Paul's epistle to the Ephesians and his other writings. In order for any passage from elsewhere to be considered, it must have a relationship with the context at hand, such as a Scriptural quotation or a specific cross reference in the passage at hand by the author. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

****** EXCERPT FROM EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3 *****

.............OR MOVE TO FIRST VERSE OF CHAPTER FOUR

[(Eph 3:14-19) For This Reason I Bend My Knees In Prayer Before The Father, From Whom Every Family In Heaven And On Earth Derives Its Name, That He Would Grant You Gentile Believers According To The Riches Of His Glory, To Be Strengthened With Power Through His Spirit In The Inner Man, That Christ May Dwell In Your Hearts Through Faith; That You, Being Rooted And Grounded In Love, May Be Able To Comprehend With All The Saints What Is The Breadth And Length And Height And Depth, And To Know The Love Of Christ Which Surpasses Knowledge, That You May Be Filled Up To All The Fullness Of God]:

(Eph 3:13 NASB) "Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. (Eph 3:14 NASB) For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, (Eph 3:15 NASB) from Whom every family in heaven and on earth [lit. is being named] derives its name, (Eph 3:16 NASB) that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, (Eph 3:17 NKJV) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (Eph 3:18 NASB) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (Eph 3:19 NASB) and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." =

[(Eph 3:14-19) Commentary On Eph 3:14-19]:

(Eph 3:13 NASB) "Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. (Eph 3:14 NASB) For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, (Eph 3:15 NASB) from Whom every family in heaven and on earth [lit. is being named] derives its name, (Eph 3:16 NASB) that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, (Eph 3:17 NKJV) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (Eph 3:18 NASB) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (Eph 3:19 NASB) and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." =

Eph 3:14 declared that those Gentiles who come to faith in Christ as a result of Paul's preaching have become Paul's glory. Paul begins Eph 3:14 as he did Eph 3:1 with "For this reason" followed by "I [Paul] bend my knees before the Father in prayer." The phrase rendered "For this reason" in verse 1 signified a continuation of the context of Eph 2:19-3:1, i.e., that the Gentiles are no longer strangers and aliens; but they are fellow citizens with the saints and are of God's household. And then in verse 14 that same phrase served to give notice that author Paul was commencing once again to pray a prayer of thanksgiving before God the Father which prayer would indicate that the Gentile believers were a fulfillment of Paul's new eternal purpose before God - a gracious honor and glory which God bestowed upon him.

Then in Eph 3:15, Paul declares that it is God the Father from Whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

[(Eph 3:15) Bible Knowledge Commentary]:

(Eph 3:15 NASB) "from Whom every family in heaven and on earth [lit. is being named] derives its name,"

"A better translation [of Eph 3:15] both grammatically and theologically is "from Whom every family" (cf. ASV, NASB, RSV). Paul was not saying that God is the Father of all but rather that He is the Prototype of all fatherhood. "Father" is derived from God, not man. He is the first Father, the only One with "underived" fatherhood. Thus every human family derives its name, that is, exists as a family with a father, because of Him. It is to this Father that Paul prayed."

[(Eph 3:14-19) Commentary On Eph 3:14-19 cont.]:

(Eph 3:13 NASB) "Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. (Eph 3:14 NASB) For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, (Eph 3:15 NASB) from Whom every family in heaven and on earth [lit. is being named] derives its name, (Eph 3:16 NASB) that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, (Eph 3:17 NKJV) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (Eph 3:18 NASB) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (Eph 3:19 NASB) and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." =

Then in verse 16, Paul stipulates that God would grant Gentile believers [and all believers] according to the riches of His glory, i.e., out of His glorious riches, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man - in the human spirit  - the location of the indwelling Holy Spirit ;

and in Eph 3:17, Paul's prayer to the Father continues on behalf of Gentile believers that Christ may dwell in their hearts in the sense of dwelling constantly in the mindset of the believers - deeply rooted in their lives through faith, rooted like a plant and grounded like a building yet grounded in agape / godly self-sacrificial love. All three verbs are perfect participles indicating past action with continuing results. The Greek word "katoikēsai" rendered "dwell" refers not to the beginning of Christ's indwelling at the moment of salvation which occurred at the moment of faith in the gospel, (cf. Eph 1:13-14 ); instead it denotes Paul's desire that Christ may literally "be at home in," that is, at the very center of or deeply rooted in, believers' lives. They are to let Christ become the dominating factor in their attitudes and conduct through faith in His directing of their lives, (cf. Pr 3:5-6 ).

[(Eph 3:15-17) The Trinity Is Once Again In View In Paul's Writings]:

Note that the Trinity once again is in view in this passage and the following passages:

(a) 1:13-14; (b) 1:17; (c) 2:18; (d) 2:22; and (e) 3:4-5 -  the Father (3:14), the Spirit (3:16), and the Son (3:17).

[(Eph 3:14-19) Commentary On Eph 3:14-19, (cont.)]:

(Eph 3:13 NASB) "Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. (Eph 3:14 NASB) For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, (Eph 3:15 NASB) from Whom every family in heaven and on earth [lit. is being named] derives its name, (Eph 3:16 NASB) that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, (Eph 3:17 NKJV) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (Eph 3:18 NASB) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (Eph 3:19 NASB) and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." =

So then in Eph 3:18-19 Paul prays for believers that the Father "would grant [them], according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in [their] hearts through faith; that [they] being rooted and grounded in apape love, (Eph 3:18-19): may be able to comprehend with the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that [they] may be filled up to all the fullness of God."

Note that it is only by godly strength - the power of the Spirit in the inner man through Christ indwelling in their hearts / minds that the believers may be able / enabled to comprehend the breadth, length, height and depth and knowledge of the love of Christ which surpasses [human] knowledge, that [they] may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

The last phrase of Eph 3:18 describes the love of Christ in figurative language for all believers, (plural). Each of the four descriptions refers to the unfathomable greatness of the love of Christ for believers - Gentile and Jew alike - four different aspects: the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love for all believers. None of the descriptions are stipulated or implied as identical or equal to one another. They are common experiences of a plurality of persons in the sense that all believers in Christ receive the unsurpassable love of Christ for them - the breadth and length and height and depth of it - each believer in God's own way for that particular individual: a plurality of persons sharing a common experience which is expressed in Eph 3:19: "to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." Therein lies the unity amongst all believers.

Note that from a positional standpoint - as opposed to an experiential temporal standpoint - all believers have a standing / position with God which is equal with one another in that their standing is in Christ Who is unique relative to forgiveness of sins unto eternal life .

[(Eph 3:18-19) [Bible Knowledge Commentary]:

'''The purpose of the request is that they may have power (exischysēte, "have inherent strength"), together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. These measurements most likely describe not the thoroughness of comprehension but the immensity of the thing to be comprehended...

The content of this comprehension is to know experientially the love of Christ that supersedes all knowledge (cf. Phil. 4:7). The more a Christian knows about Christ, the more amazed he is at Christ's love for him.

The final purpose is that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. The KJV and RSV translations, "that you may be filled with all the fullness of God," wrongly imply that the whole fullness of God can be contained in a believer's life. But this ignores the Greek preposition eis which denotes a goal; this is translated accurately in the NIV: "to the measure." The fullness of the Godhead is only in Christ, and only through Him is a believer made complete (Col. 2:9-10). Though in Christ this divine fullness is ideally a believer's already, Paul prayed that it might be experientially realized in each one (cf. Eph. 4:13). Experiencing God's moral excellence and perfection causes Jewish and Gentile believers to love each other. Positionally they are one in Christ; experientially they are to love each other as one in Him.'''

[(Eph 3:20-21) Now To Him Who Is Able To Do Far More Abundantly Beyond All That We Ask Or Think, According To The Power That Works Within Us, To Him Be The Glory In The Church And In Christ Jesus To All Generations Forever And Ever. Amen!]:

(Eph 3:14 NASB) "For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, (Eph 3:15 NASB) from Whom every family in heaven and on earth [lit. is being named] derives its name, (Eph 3:16 NASB) that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, (Eph 3:17 NKJV) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (Eph 3:18 NASB) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (Eph 3:19 NASB) and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (Eph 3:20 NASB) Now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, (Eph 3:21 NASB) to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."

[(Eph 3:20-21) Commentary On Eph 3:20-21]:

(Eph 3:20 NASB) Now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, (Eph 3:21 NASB) to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." =

In Eph 3:20-21, Paul's doxology and closing prayer is evidently the climax of the first half of this letter and its climax in terms of spiritual fervor, which letter thereafter concentrates on practical teaching. So Paul writes in his prayer to the Father, to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or even are able to think - according to the power of God that resides and works within us Gentile & Jewish believers, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

[(Eph 3:20-21) Bible Knowledge Commentary]:

"Paul closed this prayer with a doxology. He praised God who is able to do far more than one could ask or imagine, according to the standard of His power (dynamin; cf. v. 16; 1:19) that is at work (energoumenēn; cf. 1:19) within us. No human or angel (cf. 3:10) would ever think that Jews and Gentiles could function together in one body. But with God's power of love in each believer's life, Paul was confident that Jewish and Gentile believers can function and love one another. This is astounding and though it is not naturally possible, God is able to accomplish it. Paul therefore ascribed to God glory which is to be manifest in the church, where the miracle of love will occur, and in Christ Jesus, who made the union of Jewish and Gentile believers possible.

Praise to Him for this accomplishment is to continue throughout eternity (cf. Rom. 11:36; 2 Tim. 4:18). This doxology serves as a fitting conclusion not only to this prayer but also to this book's first three chapters."

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3 *****

I) [Eph 4:1-32]:

(Eph 4:1 NASB) "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you [were] called,"

(Eph 4:2 NKJV) with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,

(Eph 4:3 NASB) being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

(Eph 4:4 NASB) There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

(Eph 4:5 NASB) one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

(Eph 4:6 NASB) one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all.

(Eph 4:7 NASB) But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

(Eph 4:8 NASB) Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' [Ps 68:18a]

(Eph 4:10 NKJV) He Who descended is also the One Who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things)

(Eph 4:11 NASB) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

(Eph 4:12 NASB) for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

(Eph 4:13 NASB) until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

(Eph 4:14 NKJV) 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 of deceitful plotting,

(Eph 4:15 NASB) but speaking [lit., holding to or being truthful in] the truth in love, we are to grow up [lit., let us grow up] in all aspects into Him Who is the head, even Christ,

(Eph 4:16 NASB) from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together [lit., through every joint of the supply] by what every joint supplies, according to the [lit., working in measure] proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

(Eph 4:17 NASB) So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

(Eph 4:18 NASB) being [lit., having been] darkened in their understanding, [lit., having been] excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

(Eph 4:19 NASB) and they, having become callous, [gave] themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

(Eph 4:20 NASB) But you did not learn Christ in this way, 

(Eph 4:21 if [= since] indeed you have heard Him and [were] taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

(Eph 4:22 NKJV) that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

(Eph 4:23 NASB) and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

(Eph 4:24 NKJV) and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

(Eph 4:24 NASB) and put on the new self [lit. man], which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

(Eph 4:29 NASB) Let no unwholesome [lit., rotten] word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

(Eph 4:30 NASB) Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by [lit., in] whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

(Eph 4:31 NASB) Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

(Eph 4:32 NASB) Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

A) (Eph 4:1-6) Therefore In View Of This Dispensation Of The Mystery Of The Gentiles - The Body Of Christ, The Church - Being Fellow Partakers In It - Through Faith In Him; Paul, The Prisoner Of The Lord, Implores Them To Walk In A Manner Worthy Of That Calling; With All Lowliness And Gentlesness, With Longsuffering, Bearing With One Another In Agape Love, Being Diligent To Preserve The Unity Of The Spirit In The Bond Of Peace. There Is One Body And One Spirit, Just As Also You Were Called In One Hope Of Your Calling; One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God And Father Of All, Who Is Above All, And Through All, And In All.

(Eph 4:1 NASB) "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you [were] called,

(Eph 4:2 NKJV) with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,

(Eph 4:3 NASB) being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

(Eph 4:4 NASB) There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

(Eph 4:5 NASB) one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

(Eph 4:6 NASB) one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all.

1) [(Eph 4:1-3) Commentary On Eph 4:1-3]: Therefore In View Of This Dispensation Of The Mystery Of The Gentiles - The Body Of Christ, The Church - Being Fellow Partakers In It - Through Faith In Him; Paul, The Prisoner Of The Lord, Implores Them To Walk In A Manner Worthy Of That Calling; With All Lowliness And Gentlesness, With Longsuffering, Bearing With One Another In Agape Love, Being Diligent To Preserve The Unity Of The Spirit In The Bond Of Peace]:

(Eph 4:1 NASB) "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you [were] called, (Eph 4:2 NKJV) with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, (Eph 4:3 NASB) being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." =

The word rendered, "Therefore" views back to the mystery of what Paul has revealed to Gentile believers in chapter 2, especially verse 19: that Gentile believers together with Jewish believers of this age are one body, one new man comprising part of God's household - the Church, (Eph 2:19); and in Ephesians chapter 3, especially verses 2 & 5, that this dispensation / economy of the grace of God in which Gentile believers are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body of Christ and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Whereupon, Paul entitles himself, "the prisoner of the Lord."

a) [Compare Eph 3:1b]:

(Eph 3:1 NASB) "For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles -

In Eph 3:1b quoted above, Paul states, "(For this reason) I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles -" which refers to Paul's imprisonment in Rome because of his service for Christ, (cf. 4:1; 2 Tim 1:8; Philemon 1, 9, and more particularly because of his ministry as the apostle to the Gentiles (2 Tim 1:11-12). Because of his faithfulness to the administration given to him by God - to the Gentiles - there arose against him bitter Jewish opposition from those Jews who had not believed in Christ and were enraged at the inclusion of the Gentiles in Paul's message, and especially at the implication that they were equal with Jews before God - that the Law was not a factor in salvation unto eternal life. This persistent rioting and violence resulted in Paul being imprisoned and put on trial in Caesarea and in Rome, (cf. Ac 9:29; 13:50; 14:5; 14:19; 16:22; 18:12; 21:36: 22:22; 23:10; 1 Cor 4:12; 2 Cor 4:9; 11:24; 2 Tim 2:9; 3:11, etc.).

Whereupon, in Eph 4:1, the apostle, author and prisoner of Jesus Christ implores "you" = Gentile believers (and all believers (cf. Ro 1:16 ; Ac 28:1ff)) to walk in a manner worthy of God's calling with which you Gentiles were called.

All believers of this Church Age (and of all ages, each one with his own particular calling by God) - all of them chose of their own volition to exercise a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life. Those believers of the Church Age thereby become part of the eternal household of God - part of the body of Christ - each one with a specific calling as part of that household to be faithful in order to corule with Christ which will then come to pass in accordance with their particular choices and efforts to be faithful, (ref. 2 Ti 2:12 ). And in accordance with the absolute sovereignty of God, each believer called of God to be faithful will choose of each ones own volition.

So all believers are nevertheless called by God to believe and to be faithful without impugning anyone's free will, and without contradicting the Sovereign election of God .

Whereupon in Eph 4:2, Paul continues his train of thought stipulating personal traits of a worthy walk beginning with the phrase rendered "all lowliness," [lit., all humility] in the sense of a pervasive self-sacrificial attitude toward others as opposed to a self-serving or prideful one;

and an attitude of [all] gentleness in the sense of all considerateness which includes restraint;

and longsuffering / patience / forbearance due to suffering persecution and ostracism from unbelievers and carnal believers in the life of believers as a result of persevering in the faith, (Gal 5:22; Col 1:11; 3:12; 2 Tim 4:2; Jas 5:12).

b) [Compare Jas 5:12]:

(Jas 5:11 NASB) "We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful."

Whereupon Paul writes at the end of Eph 4:2 relative to believers walking in a manner worthy of the calling with which they are called with all lowliness, gentleness with longsuffering, bearing with one another in agape love implying that this is evidence of their longsuffering patience for one another in the faith by evidencing a self-sacrificial agape / godly love for one another .

Whereupon Paul concludes in Eph 4:3 that while believers are walking in a manner worthy of their calling; because of their willingness to endeavor to learn the doctrines of the faith and apply them to their lives, albeit imperfectly; it is by the grace of God that they are declared as "being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit" reflecting a unity with the godly character of the Spirit in the bond with Him of a godly peace  - a position and experience which is in harmony with Him - His godly nature. So believers have a positional unity with the Spirit as a result of their faith in the gospel, having been sealed with Him at the point of faith, (cf. Eph 1:13-14), "as a pledge / deposit of our eternal inheritance to the redemption of God's own possession" - a new positional reality which believers are exhorted to demonstrate in their experience by walking by faith .

2) [(Eph 4:4-6) There Is One Body And One Spirit, Just As Also You [Gentiles] Were Called In One Hope Of Your Calling; One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God And Father Of All, Who Is Above All, And Through All, And In All]:

(Eph 4:4 NASB) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;

(Eph 4:5 NASB) one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

(Eph 4:6 NASB) one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all."

a) [(Eph 4:6) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:6]:

WH, NU, p46, Sinaiticus, A, B, C, P, 082, 33, 1739*, cop have "all in all"

D, F, G, Psi, (1739(c), 0278, Maj, it, syr have "and in us all"

it(k), Theodoret Chrysostom have "and in you all"

In context, Paul was affirming that there is "one God and Father of all, the one over all and through all and in all" (per the WH, NU readings). The other two readings were created by scribes who were trying to make the text not sound pantheistic or were attempting to restrict the "all" to believers. "You" is carried over from 4:4, and "us" aligns with the following verse (4:7). Of the two, "us" has better attestation, for it is found in several western witnesses and in the majority of late manuscripts. By comparison, "you" is barely supported (appearing in no Greek manuscripts), yet it found its way into TR and has been perpetuated in KJV and NKJV.

b) [(Eph 4:4-6) Commentary on Eph 4:4-6]: There Is One Body And One Spirit, Just As Also You [Gentiles] Were Called In One Hope Of Your Calling; One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God And Father Of All, Who Is Above All, And Through All, And In All]:

(Eph 4:4 NASB) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (Eph 4:5 NASB) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Eph 4:6 NASB) one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all." =

i) [One body]:

(Eph 4:4 NASB) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (Eph 4:5 NASB) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Eph 4:6 NASB) one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all." =

In Eph 4:4-6, Paul wrote of seven singularly unique things beginning with "There is one body" referring not to individual human bodies which are many, but to all believers in this age who are joined into one singularly unique body. This singularly unique body is exclusive to believers of this age. It is of no one else, nor of any other age. This was a heretofore undisclosed mystery hidden from all - a unity of both Jew and Gentile joined together by the Holy Spirit into one body in Christ Jesus as Paul addressed earlier in this letter to the Ephesians:

****** EXCERPT FROM EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2 ******

(Eph 2:14-15) Paul Goes On To Declare That Christ Has Made Both Groups - Jewish Believers And Gentile Believers - Into One Group Which Is Neither Jew Nor Gentile, But One New Creation In Christ Jesus - Christ Having Abolished In His Flesh, The Dividing Wall Between The Two Groups - The Law

(Eph 2:14 NASB) "For He Himself is our peace, [having made the both] groups into one and [having abolished] the [dividing wall of the] barrier [of enmity (v. 15)] between us [- the Law], (Eph 2:15 YLT) [having abolished (v. 14)] the enmity [between both groups] in His flesh, [having annulled] the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances ... that the two [groups] He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace," =

Eph 2:14 declares that it is Jesus Christ Himself Who is "our" peace in the sense that Jewish and Gentile believers - those who are in Christ Jesus as a result of their moment of faith in Him for eternal life have been placed by God into an eternally secure position which is characterized by peace with one another and with God, (cf. Ro 5:1 ). The enmity between the two groups having been abolished "in His [Christ Jesus'] flesh." Although eternal and temporal peace has been created / established between Jewish and Gentile believers by Christ Jesus, the temporal peace is potential and depends upon the moment to moment faithfulness and confession of each individual believer by the grace of God.

Eph 2:14-15 goes on to declare that Christ has made, in the sense of created, both groups - Jewish believers and Gentile believers - into one group which is neither Jew nor Gentile, but one new creation in Christ Jesus, (cf. Gal 3:28; 2 Cor 5:17) - Christ having abolished in His flesh, (Eph 2:15), the dividing wall - literally, the middle wall of the partition in the sense of the dividing wall that is the barrier, the "enmity" between the two groups, (Eph 2:15) - the Law - resulting in no godly reason for there to be enmity between one another in this temporal life and abolished in eternity. Neither Jew nor Gentile believer in Christ Jesus can claim superiority over the other. Both must rely on the grace of God for the temporal and eternal life ...

Any individual who believes in Christ Jesus has become a new creation in Christ Jesus ...

[Compare 2 Cor 5:17]:

(2 Cor 5:17 NASB) "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

... neither Jew nor Gentile, whole or in part; but wholly a part of the body of Christ unto eternal life without having to become a spiritual Israelite or to obey the Mosaic Law, uncontaminated or otherwise, for any reason.

So Jewish believers in Christ Jesus are not today, nor were Jewish believers in Christ Jesus of the first century any longer, under the Law of Moses which was annulled in its entirety by what Christ Jesus did by the shedding of His blood, (Eph 2:13), in His flesh, (Eph 2:15). The Mosaic Law in its entirety including its rule of life for Jews during the dispensation / age of the Law was nullified and replaced with the new doctrines and commands of the dispensation of grace - the church age as taught especially in the New Testament epistles with many commands and doctrines carried over from the previous economy of Israel alone under the rule of the Mosaic Law but under the framework of Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ Jesus together as one new man under the auspices of the grace of God, (Eph 2:15) . So all Gentiles and all Jews who have trusted in Christ Jesus have been made an integral part of the body of Christ, the church:

[Compare Col 1:24]:

(Col 1:24 NASB) "Now I [Paul] rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions."

[Compare Gal 3:28]:

(Gal 3:28 NASB) "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2 ******

b cont.) [(Eph 4:4-6) Commentary on Eph 4:4-6]: There Is One Body And One Spirit, Just As Also You [Gentiles] Were Called In One Hope Of Your Calling; One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God And Father Of All, Who Is Above All, And Through All, And In All, (cont)]:

(Eph 4:4 NASB) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (Eph 4:5 NASB) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Eph 4:6 NASB) one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all," (cont.) =

ii) [One Spirit]:

(Eph 4:4 NASB) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;"

The second singularly unique thing Paul wrote of was that there is one Spirit - referring to God the Holy Spirit , a Person of the Godhead - as opposed to the human spirit which are many; or some unbiblical idea of the Spirit as so many religious unbelievers contend, contradicting the doctrine of the Trinity - one God, three Persons .

For it is by one Spirit - God the Holy Spirit - Who permanently indwells each individual believer exclusively of this age alone - sealing each unto the guarantee of receiving the final stage of eternal life to be completed at the time of resurrection and placing each one permanently into Christ at the moment of faith in Him, to form the one singularly unique body of Christ . So all believers exclusively of this age alone - Jew and Gentile - comprise the one singularly unique body of Christ. And so it is by the one singularly unique Spirit of God indwelling the believers of this present age that the body of Christ exists in Jesus Christ Himself.

ii_a) [Compare 1 Cor 12:12-13]:

(1 Cor 12:12 NASB) "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.

(1 Cor 12:13 NASB) For by one Spirit we [believers - members of the church of God, (1 Cor 1:2), the body of Christ] were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."

On the other hand, although God the Holy Spirit, Creator of the Universe , is the singularly unique Spirit to believers of the church age; He has been and continues to operate in accordance with His sovereignty from the beginning of creation concerning all peoples of all the other ages as well, but in a manner not singularly unique to His operation with believers of this church age relative to the formation of the church, the mystery of the body of Christ as stipulated in Eph chapters 2-4 and elsewhere. Hence God the Holy Spirit is singularly unique to individuals of other ages, but in other ways.

iii) [one sure hope]:

(Eph 4:4 NASB) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;"

And the third singularly unique thing Paul wrote of:
"Just as also you were called in one hope of your calling," was a singularly unique and hope to which the believers of the one singularly unique body were all invariably called: Those individuals in this age who chose to believe in Christ for eternal life were all invariably called by the singularly unique God of the Bible to the one singularly unique hope of their calling - the one sure hope of eternal life, which they will all inevitably choose of their own volition to exercise a moment of faith alone in Christ alone in order to have eternal life
  and be incorporated into the body of Christ, the church. For the Greek word "elpidi" rendered "hope" in the original Greek is not the same as in English by definition. In the Greek it signifies a sure hope as opposed to the English "and" which means an indefinite possibility . So individuals of this age, whom God called, having heard the word of the truth of the good news of their salvation - in Whom [Christ, (Eph 1:12)] also their having believed, they received at that moment of faith alone, possession of that salvation unto redemption unto eternal life. For this sure hope was guaranteed, i.e., made sure by the indwelling in them of the Holy Spirit, Who is the pledge / the guarantee of the believers' inheritance of eternal life which their salvation will be completed at their time of resurrection:

iii_a) [Compare Eph 1:13-14 ]:

(Eph 1:13 YLT) "in Whom [in Christ, (Eph 1:12)] [you] also, having heard the word of the truth - the good news of your salvation - in Whom [Christ, (Eph 1:12-13)] also having believed, [you] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise [of eternal life / redemption],

(Eph 1:14 NKJV) Who / Which is the guarantee [lit., "arrhabOn" = deposit, pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [God's possession - the believer, v. 13], to the praise of His glory."

iii_b) [Compare Eph 2:19-22 ]:

(Eph 2:19 NASB) "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,

(Eph 2:20 NASB) having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Corner Stone,

(Eph 2:21 NASB) in Whom the whole building, being [joined] together, is growing into a holy [sanctuary] in the Lord,

(Eph 2:22 NKJV) in Whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."

Believers in this age are to a sure hope of being transformed into beings with the Righteousness of God unto eternal life, (cf Ro 3:21 )."

******

iii_c) [Compare Eph 2:8-10 ]:

(Eph 2:8 NASB) "for by grace you [are] having been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves - [it is] the gift of God,

(Eph 2:9 YLT) not of works, that no one may boast

(Eph 2:10 NKJV) "for we are [His] workmanship, [having been created] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them."

Notice that the verb "peripatEsOmen" rendered "we should walk," in Epn 2:10, implying that believers are being called, is in the subjunctive mood which conveys an objective possibility, maybe we believers will and maybe we will not walk in them.

iii_d) [Compare Eph 1:18 ]:

(Eph 1:18 NASB) "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the [sure] hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints."

Although believers are called to "the riches of the glory of His [God's] inheritance in the saints," (Eph 1:18), in the sense of being rewarded depending upon how they walk in their temporal lives in a manner worthy of the eternally secure calling to eternal life with which [they] have been called," (Eph 4:1 ); it is in the case of Eph 1:18 that the calling varies from believer to believer; and it is dependent upon the believer's response. Hence this particular calling to be faithful is neither sure nor singularly unique amongst all believers of this age.

Finally, God's calling to people of all ages exists in various kinds, but none of them is identical to the one singularly unique calling of individuals of this age to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation unto life which results in the sealing of the Spirit of God through Holy Spirit baptism unto a guarantee of eternal life and incorporatation into the singularly uniqe body of Christ, the church.

b cont.) [(Eph 4:4-6) Commentary on Eph 4:4-6]: There Is One Body And One Spirit, Just As Also You [Gentiles] Were Called In One Hope Of Your Calling; One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God And Father Of All, Who Is Above All, And Through All, And In All (cont.)]:

(Eph 4:4 NASB) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (Eph 4:5 NASB) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Eph 4:6 NASB) one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all," (cont.) =

iv) [One Lord]:

(Eph 4:4 NASB) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (Eph 4:5 NASB) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Eph 4:6 NASB) one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all,"

In Eph 4:5, Paul continues to list seven singularly unique things relative to believers in this age. The fourth is "one Lord." It is the Lord Jesus Christ Whose name alone is singularly unique to believers of this age because it is He alone Who is to be trusted in for eternal life and thereafter acknowledged by believers in this age in all things godly, (Eph 4:1; cf 1 Jn 1:7-10 ).

On the other hand, there is no one in history Who is to be trusted in to make provision for sins and be trusted alone in order to receive eternal life. In ages past this Individual Whose name is Jesus Christ so named within the timeframe of this age, was trusted in to be the promised Messiah / Savior - the Seed of the woman , the Seed of Abraham   unto eternal life by faith alone Who was to come without knowing His name.

So the phrase "one Lord" relative to salvation unto eternal life can only refer to the Lord Jesus Christ Who by Himself alone an individual's expression of the one singularly unique moment of faith alone in Him alone will result in forgiveness of sins unto eternal life for all ages, albeit the detail of His name and details of His sacrifice for sins were revealed in later ages, this knowledge was not essential in order to receive eternal life.

v) [One faith]:

It is by a singularly unique moment of faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, the content of that faith uniquely consisting of accepting as true , (ref. 1 Jn 5:9-13 ), alone the Lord Jesus Christ's payment for sins unto redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses unto eternal life, (Eph 1:7-14 ) - which in that moment of faith there results for all who exercise that singularly unique moment of faith alone eternal life and the fifth singularly unique thing that Paul stipulated in his letter: one baptism - Holy Spirit baptism.

Since there are a number of religions, a number of which maintain that they use the Bible as a guide, which have some of the doctrines of the Bible in common, albeit not always identically;

And since true believers often differ from one another as to how they respond to the doctrines of the faith that are contained in the Bible;

And since the doctrines of the faith in the Bible apply differently to individuals depending upon individual differences, dispensation, and their particular situations;

and since Paul is addressing exclusively the believers in this age - the age of the church, the body of Christ, both Jew and Gentile, person to person, age to age, man to woman, situation to situation;

then all of the doctrines of the Bible are not singularly, uniquely applicable to all believers of this age, nor of all ages;

so the phrase rendered "one faith" does not to refer to the doctrines of the faith in the Bible; but "one faith" does refer to the singularly unique moment of faith alone in Christ alone - the unique Descendant of Adam and of Abraham Whose first century name in English is Jesus Christ - for salvation unto eternal life to all individuals of mankind of all ages.

vi) [One baptism]:

There is no other baptism but Holy Spirit baptism that is singularly unique for the believer in this age - especially for what it accomplishes. For it is only through a moment of a singularly unique faith alone in the singularly unique Lord Jesus Christ alone that salvation unto eternal life is accomplished exclusively through the action of the singularly unique God the Holy Spirit.

Whereupon the believer of this age alone receives the singularly unique Holy Spirit baptism, wherein at the moment of faith God the Holy Spirit personally and permanently indwells the human spirit of that believer, sealing him in order to guarantee that that believer will have an eternal destiny unto an eternal presence with God in heaven. This includes the future transformation of that believer into a resurrection body which is characterized by actually possessing the absolute righteousness of God, becoming an intergral part of the one singularly unique body of Christ, the church.

vi_a) [Compare 1 Cor 12:12-13]:

(1 Cor 12:12 NASB) "For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.

(1 Cor 12:13 NASB) For by one Spirit we [believers - members of the church of God, (1 Cor 1:2), the body of Christ] were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."

Since biblical water baptism by the believer in this age is symbolic of the actual Holy Spirit baptism which does not accomplish the actual reality of the one singular unique Holy Spirit baptism;

and since any water baptism, biblical or otherwise, performed by men who are charactistically flawed in this mortal life - both mentally and physically, (, even born again believers ); all water baptisms of which are symbolic, not actual - cannot accomplish an actual reality, especially that of the one singular unique Holy Spirit baptism of believers of this age to be transformed into being intergral in the body of Christ, the church ;

then any kind of water baptism cannot logically be the singularly unique baptism for all believers of this church age .

Furthermore, the five other baptisms in the Bible are not singularly unique nor applicable directly to the believers of this age as is Holy Spirit baptism which is perfect because it is performed by God alone, and water baptism, which is flawed because it is performed by man, and disqualified as the one baptism of believers because it is symbolic of the one actual singularly unique and perfect baptism of the Holy Spirit of the believer into Jesus Christ.

vi_b) [Compare Eph 1:13-14; 2:5-7]:

(Eph 1:13 YLT) "in Whom [in Christ, (v. 12)] [you - believers] also, having heard the word of the truth - the good news of your salvation - in Whom [Christ, (vv. 12-13)] also having believed, [you] were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise [of eternal life / redemption],

(Eph 1:14 NKJV) Who / Which is the guarantee [lit., "arrhabOn" = deposit, pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [God's possession - the believer, v. 13], to the praise of His glory."(Eph 2:4 NASB) but God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

(Eph 2:5 YLT) even being dead in ... trespasses, did make us [alive] together with ... Christ, (by grace [you] are having been saved)

(Eph 2:6 NASB) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places [lit., heavenlies - an actual position in heaven established and guaranteed for us by God] in Christ Jesus,

(Eph 2:7 YLT) that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus,"

There is no other Lord, faith or baptism that is singularly unique for the believer in this age unto eternal life unto being a member of the body of Christ, the church of God. It is only through a moment of faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone that salvation unto eternal life is accomplished. Since water baptism by the believer in this age does not accomplish this actual event of being transformed into the body of Christ, the church; since it is symbolic of the actual Holy Spirit baptism; and since there is no guarantee that water baptism will be properly performed by the already saved believer of this age unto eternal life believer both mentally and physically ; and since there are other kinds of water baptisms done in this age by individuals of different faiths; then any kind of water baptism cannot logically be the singularly unique baptism of all believers in Christ alone of this church age .

And "one faith" is a singularly unique faith. The critical content which one must trust in does not vary from person to person which conveys the message that of a moment of trust / faith / belief alone in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save one from ones sins unto eternal life results in that salvation. It is patently not a personal commitment to Christ, to live for Him, etc. as some contend. This is so because any contribution of an individual that consists of works is not characterized as the free grace of God, by which one is exclusively saved, (ref. Eph 2:8-9 . For there is no merit in believing that the gospel is true. Human doing as part of a commitment to live for Christ will always be imperfect and thus unacceptable means to God and it will vary from person to person and moment to moment, hence it cannot be singularly unique, (ref. Eph 2:8-10 above ).

b cont.) [(Eph 4:4-6) Commentary on Eph 4:4-6]: There Is One Body And One Spirit, Just As Also You [Gentiles] Were Called In One Hope Of Your Calling; One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God And Father Of All, Who Is Above All, And Through All, And In All (cont.)]:

(Eph 4:4 NASB) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (Eph 4:5 NASB) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Eph 4:6 NASB) one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all," (cont.) =

vii) [One God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all]:

(Eph 4:4 NASB) "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (Eph 4:5 NASB) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (Eph 4:6 NASB) one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in all,"

Finally, in Eph 4:6, Paul wrote of the seventh singularly unique thing to believers of this age: "one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and in all." Since God is the sole Head of His body, the church, the body of Christ, He is singularly unique to believers in this age who comprise that singularly unique body. Since the pagan world has many gods - none unique then none of those gods is unique to believers of this age. And since this age and the believer in Christ of this age have only One God Whose essence is absolute   as evidenced by the inerrency of Scripture which describes Him as such; then the one God and Father of Scripture - the Bible - is singularly unique to the believer in Christ of this age as one God and Father of them Who is above all of them, and through all of them and in all of them by virtue of the work of God the Holy Spirit baptism in them.

Although the God of the Bible is Creator of all things, hence Father to all things in creation in the sense of being their Author and Creator, the context of Eph 4:6 has in view believers of this age over whom God is God and Father of all. God becomes Father to individuals in this age when they believe in His Son for eternal life unto becoming part of the family of God as His children and not before, (ref. Jn 1:12-13; Gal 3:26). And He is above all, i.e., uniquely and absolutely sovereign over all believers of this age, and in all believers of this age via the Holy Spirit baptism without being part of the believer's flawed humanity, i.e., His Spirit indwells the believer's human spirit making his human spirit alive for all eternity. And God is through all in the sense of working through all believers of this age as His servants via the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

On the other hand, relative to other groups of people throughout the ages, God is also Creator / Father and above all, and through all in the sense of being absolutely sovereign to all of His creation; all of whom He also works through for His purposes, (cf. Ezra 1:1-3; Jer 25:8-11; 43:8-13; Isa 10:1-19; Mt 27:19). And He is "in all" in the sense of being omnipresent but not part of His creation; hence refuting pantheism . But He is not present in all relative to Holy Spirit indwelling through baptism into the body of Christ which is reserved to believers in this age of the church . And relative to the people of Israel in ancient times, God was and will in the future be Father to those of Israel as His chosen people that believe in the coming Messiah / Savior in Whom Abraham believed .

vii_a) [Compare Eph 3:14-15]:

(Eph 3:14 NASB) "For this reason I bend my knees before the Father,

(Eph 3:15 NASB) from Whom every family in heaven and on earth [lit. is being named] derives its name,"

vii  b) [Compare 1 Cor 8:5-6]:

(1 Cor 8:5 NASB) "For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords,

(1 Cor 8:6 NASB) yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from Whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we exist through Him."

Hence God reigns "over" (epi) all in the sense of being Absolutely Sovereign over all things. He works "through" (dia) all in His creative activity. And He dwells "in" (en) all things in this world by virtue of his omnipresence and not by being a part of it - which that latter would imply pantheism which some contend is true .

B) [(Eph 4:7-8) But To Each One Of Us Believers, Grace Was Given According To The Measure of Christ's Gift [Of Redemption]. Therefore Scripture Says, 'When He Ascended On High [To Heaven], He Led Captive A Host Of Captives, And He Gave Gifts To Men' "]

(Eph 4:7 NASB) "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

(Eph 4:8 NASB) Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' " [Ps 68:1-18]

1) [(Eph 4:8) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:8]:

(Eph 4:7 NASB) "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

(Eph 4:8 NASB) Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' " [Ps 68:1-18]

NU, p46, Sinaiticus*, A, C(2), D*, F, G, 33 have "He gave gifts"

TR, WH, Sinaiticus(2), B, C*(3), D(2), Psi, 1739, Maj, syr have "and He gave gifts"

The reading with "kai" = "and" is quite obviously a later addition - even a correction in several manuscripts - intended to relieve an unidiomatic Greek expression or to distinguish that Christ gave out the gifts after He led captivity captive in His adcent. The translators of KJV followed the TR, WH reading, whether consciously or unconsciously, for syntactical reasons. So did several modern versions.

2) [(Eph 4:7-8) [Commentary On Eph 4:7-8: But To Each One Of Us Believers, Grace Was Given According To The Measure of Christ's Gift [Of Redemption]. Therefore Scripture Says, 'When He Ascended On High [To Heaven], He Led Captive A Host Of Captives, And He Gave Gifts To Men' "]

(Eph 4:7 NASB) "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

(Eph 4:8 NASB) Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' [Ps 68:18]

In Eph 4:7, author Paul writes to each member of the body of Christ, including himself, "But to each one of us was grace given according to the measure of Christ's gift, i.e.,  according to the grace, the unmerited favor of the Lord Jesus Christ in providing the overall gift - singular - of Eternal Redemption that to each believer He apportioned particular spiritual gift(s) to each member. So each believer in this age is to function as part of Christ's body via God's enablement with the spiritual gift(s) which He bestowed upon each one -  proportionate to the measure, the spiritual ability that Christ bestowed upon each via the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit within each one's human spirit.

So with Eph 4:7 in mind, in Eph 4:8, Paul wrote, referring to Scripture, "Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men."[ref. Ps 68:1-18]

a) [Compare Ps 68:1-18 especially verse 18 with Eph 4:7-8]:

(Ps 68:18 NASB) "You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there."

(Eph 4:7 NASB) "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

(Eph 4:8 NASB) Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' "

i) (Ps 68:1 NASB):

(Ps 68:1 NASB) "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, And let those who hate Him flee before Him."

[Ps 68 opens with "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, And let those who hate Him flee before Him." This phrase is associated with the movement of the ark ahead of the nation Israel often in battle. For whenever the ark set out, Moses said, "Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you." (cf., Nu 10:11-14, 28, 33-35)]

i_a) [Compare Nu 10:11-14, 28, 33-35]:

(Nu 10:11 NASB) "Now in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth of the month, the cloud was lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony;

(Nu 10:12 NASB) and the sons of Israel set out on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai. Then the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran.

(Nu 10:13 NASB) So they moved out for the first time according to the commandment of the LORD through Moses.

(Nu 10:14 NASB) The standard of the camp of the sons of Judah, according to their armies, set out first, with Nahshon the son of Amminadab, over its army ...

(Nu 10:28 NASB) This was the order of march of the sons of Israel by their armies as they set out.

(Nu 10:33 NASB) Thus they set out from the mount of the LORD three days' journey, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them.

(Nu 10:34 NASB) The cloud of the LORD was over them by day when they set out from the camp.

(Nu 10:35 NASB) Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said, "Rise up, O LORD! And let Your enemies be scattered, And let those who hate You flee before You."

ii) [Ps 68:2-10]:

(Ps 68:2 NASB) "As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; As wax melts before the fire, So let the wicked perish before God.

(Ps 68:3 NASB) But let the righteous be glad; let them exult before God; Yes, let them rejoice with gladness.

(Ps 68:4 NASB) Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.

(Ps 68:5 NASB) A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation.

(Ps 68:6 NASB) God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

(Ps 68:7 NASB) O God, when You went forth before Your people, When You marched through the wilderness, Selah.

(Ps 68:8 NASB) The earth quaked; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

(Ps 68:9 HCSB) You, God, showered abundant rain You revived Your inheritance when it languished.

(Ps 68:10 NASB) Your creatures settled in it; You provided in Your goodness for the poor, O God."

[Author David has in view remembrances of times when Israel is mobilized for battle when the ark was carried into war. This then leads him to recall various events showing the overall grand victory that God has achieved for Israel culminating in the ascension into the victorious state of Israel under King David]                                                                                  

iii) [Ps 68:17-18]:

(Ps 68:17 NASB) "The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands; The Lord is among them as at Sinai, in holiness.

[Ps 68:17 has Mt Sinai in view, and since the chapter consists of a general grouping of ideas relative to Israel's establishment through the word of God's victories resulting through King David.]

(Ps 68:18 NASB) You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there."

["You," meaning God, "have ascended on high" in the sense of His presence being made evident on high up upon the top of Mount Zion, i.e., upon the hill that comprises Jerusalem where God will make His presence known to His chosen people, Israel, (ref. Ps 68:16-17; 132:13-14). Although God is omnipresent, the presence of God was made evident to the Israelites at the time when Moses was appointed by God to be His representative to and of the people of Israel. Thereafter God's presence was made evident to the Israelites as they exited Egypt, moved through the wilderness and on into the Promised Land where they, under David their king, battled with those who occupied the Land. Note that a tribute from Egypt was given by God through Moses as gifts among men in the sense of given by Egyptians to the Israelites, who in turn voluntarily gave the gifts back to God to build the Tabernacle, (Exodus 25:1-9 ). And God's presence was evidenced by the Tabernacle being built with the Israelites' gifts from the spoils they gathered up from Egypt in order to worship God and make known His presence as further evidenced by the presence of the Ark of the Covenant moving on ahead of the tribes as they traveled and ascended on high to the top of Mount Zion, i.e., Jerusalem.

iii_a) The Tabernacle And The Ark And The Presence Of God In The Midst Of The Israelites is in view in Ps 68:18:

Scripture indicates that David conquered Jerusalem and entered it, (2 Sam 5:6-8). And David moved the ark, the symbol of the presence of God, (ref. Nu 14:43-45), up the hill to Jerusalem, (2 Sam 6:1ff). He, God's representative, king of God's chosen people, was a mighty conqueror ascending "on high" with "captives," God taking / receiving tribute / gifts from the vanquished peoples that Israel conquered through God's supernatural intervention "the rebellious," beginning with the Egyptians and the other peoples who dwelt in the Promised Land over whom God brought victory for Israel and gifts were taken as David took possession of the promised land to be used to build the Temple in Jerusalem by David's son, Solomon.

iii cont) [Ps 68:17-18 cont]:

(Ps 68:17 NASB) "The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands; The Lord is among them as at Sinai, in holiness.

(Ps 68:18 NASB) You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there."

"You have led captive Your captives" in the sense that God has led the Israelites in a benign protective captivity as His "captives" - His chosen people - out of captivity / enslavement under Egypt - protecting them every step of the way to freedom to where He will dwell in Mt. Zion (Jerusalem) as the God of His chosen people, Israel; who will themselves dwell all around Mt. Zion where they were to reside and worship Him.

iii _b) [Compare Eph 4:8]:

(Eph 4:8 NASB) Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' [Ps 68:18]

The phrase in Eph 4:8 rendered "When He ascended on high," refers to Christ's ascent from the lower parts of the earth to above the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe which refers to His regal relationship with the universe as Lord of lords and King of kings, from which position He bestows gifts as He wills because of His work on the Cross. This fits well with Eph 1:23, which speaks of Christ imparting all the fullness of His blessings to the church and to the universe. Christ, Who embodies all the fullness of the Godhead (Col. 2:9), fills the universe and is Head over it (cf. Col 1:18).

The phrase rendered, "He led captive a host of captives" has the Greek verb transliterated, "EchmalOteusen," str. # 162 rendered, "led captive," lit. "He led captive captivity," in the sense that the Messiah / Savior Jesus Christ descended into Hades / Paradise right after His death on the cross, burial and resurrection to take captive those who became believers before the cross - believers in a coming Messiah / Savior Who, after each believer died, was placed by God in Hades/Paradise in the lower parts of the earth to await Christ's payment for sins so that God might be justified to provide forgiveness of sins for them unto eternal life, (cf. Ro 3:23-26 ), whereupon they would be destined for eternal life in the Eternal Kingdom of God. They were in a sense in captivity in the sense of being confined to Paradise in Hades in the lower parts of the earth. So after His death, burial and resurrection He descended into Paradise and gathered all of them and led / ascended with them into heaven to be forever with Him.

iii cont) [Ps 68:17-18 cont]:

(Ps 68:17 NASB) "The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands; The Lord is among them as at Sinai, in holiness.

(Ps 68:18 NASB) You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there."

"You have received gifts among men," is rendered with the sense that God has received gifts as tribute / plunder which Moses took as a representative of God from the conquered Egyptians whom God conquered and from whom God demanded that tribute / plunder, (Ex 3:21-22 ).

The word rendered "gifts" in Ps 68:18 refers to the spoils / the tribute that Moses, as God's representative, gave to the Israelites as gifts what he took from the Egyptians as plunder, (ref. Ex 3:21-22). The plunder from the Egyptians was material - gold, earrings, and the like. When the Jews received the Law at Sinai fifty days later, they dedicated their plunder / gifts to God in order to build the Tabernacle in Exodus 25:1-9, when God gave them the Law.

So the "gifts" in Ps 68:18 refer to the spoiling / plundering of Egypt described in the following account in Exodus chapter 3:

iii_c) Compare Ex 3:21-22 ]:

(Ex 3:21 NASB) "I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed.

(Ex 3:22 NASB) But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians."

Since the preceding verse in Ps 68, (Ps 68:17), has Sinai in view, and since the chapter begins with Israel's Exodus from Egypt through their journey in the wilderness, their conquering and rulership of the Promised Land under King David through Israel's occupation of Jerusalem (Mount Zion); then the context in view in Ps 68:1-18 as corroborated by Ex 3:21-22 includes God descending from Mt Sinai to save His people from Egypt and the ascension is God giving Israel the victory and possession of the plunder of her enemies culminating with David's triumphal entry and ascension up to the top of Mt Zion with the ark of the covenant symbolizing the presence of God.

Therefore David may be recalling a particular victory in battle when the ark was carried into war. This then led him to recall various events showing the overall grand victory that God achieved for Israel culminating in the ascension into the victorious state of Israel at Jerusalem under King David.

2 cont) [(Eph 4:7-8) [Commentary On Eph 4:7-8: But To Each One Of Us Believers, Grace Was Given According To The Measure of Christ's Gift [Of Redemption]. Therefore Scripture Says, 'When He Ascended On High [To Heaven], He Led Captive A Host Of Captives, And He Gave Gifts To Men' ", (cont)]

(Eph 4:7 NASB) "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

(Eph 4:8 NASB) Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' [Ps 68:18]

So returning to Paul's work which he wrote in Eph 4:7 as follows: "But to each one of us [believers], grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift [of redemption]" referring to believers of this age.

Whereupon Paul wrote in Eph 4:8, "When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men," which statement refers to the context of Ps 68:18 in the Hebrew Bible, speaking of God and Israel.

The phrase rendered, "He led captive a host of captives" has the Greek verb transliterated, "EchmalOteusen," str. # 162 rendered, "led captive," lit. "He led captive captivity," in the sense that the Messiah / Savior Jesus Christ descended into Hades / Paradise right after His death on the cross, burial and resurrection to take captive those who became believers before the cross in a coming Messiah / Savior who, after each died, was placed by God in Hades/Paradise in the lower parts of the earth to await Christ's payment for sins so that God might be justified to provide forgiveness of sins for them unto eternal life, (cf. Ro 3:23-26 ). They were in a sense in captivity / protective custody in the sense of being confined to Paradise in Hades in the lower parts of the earth. So after His death, burial and resurrection He descended into Paradise and gathered all of them and led / ascended with them to above the heavens to be forever with Him. This is preferred to the concept of interpreting it as the setting free [different verb] of all mankind from Satan's captivity by redeeming them from the slave market of sin, as some contend. Although Scripture indeed teaches the latter as a truth, it is not in view here in Eph 4:7-10.

Paul reflects on Psalm 68 of which verses 17-18 are quoted above - which passage indicates that a military victor such as the LORD God over His and Israel's enemies, gives gifts to those who are identified with him in His victory. This time it is about our Lord's victory over sin through His redemptive work on the cross as a result of which He set the specific captives free in Paradise/Hades by redeeming them from the slave market of sin and then leading them in a captive group to heaven where He ascended to. The parenthetical statement in verses 9 & 10 indicate our Lord's descent into the depths of the earth, i.e., Hades/Paradise where He led them captive to Heaven. The OT saints from Paradise were captive in the sense of being confined there under the promise of Abraham of eternal life until they could be released for entrance into heaven when that promise was fulfulled through the Seed of Abraham via our Lord's sacrificial atonement for the sins of the whole world. So our Lord ascended with the 'captives' into heaven, having fulfilled the promise Himself.

"Even among the rebellious also" = God has received tribute / gifts / plunder through Moses taken even among [from] those Egyptians who remained opposed to God and Israel to their early demise.

"that the LORD God may dwell there" in the sense of God's presence made evident to be dwelling in the Tabernacle as Israel traveled in the wilderness and thereafter throughout the Promised Land to Mount Zion (Jerusalem) - thereafter in the Temple that would be built there by Solomon, David's son.

(Eph 4:8 NASB) "Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts [ἔδωκεν] to men.' "

In Eph. 4:8, Paul has in view but not literally, Ps 68:18 ("to Take") using the exact opposite term: ἔδωκεν ("to Give").

But Psalms 68:18 in the Hebrew text reads לָקַ֣חְתָּ which is translated into Greek as: ἔλαβες, ("to take").

Similarly, Ps 68:18 in the LXX reads, "You have ascended on high. You have led away captives. You have received gifts [taken gifts, ἔλαβες δόματα] - among men [ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ], yes, among the rebellious also, that Yah God might dwell there."

Hence Paul's point in Eph 4:8 is that there is the taking of plunder in the Ps 68 passage by the Israelites from the Egyptians at the command of God, and God's giving the plunder as gifts to the Israelites. So the giving of gifts to mankind is pragmatically equivalent to taking gifts from one group of people to give to others.

So the word rendered "gifts" in Ps 68:18 refers to the spoils that the Israelites received from Egypt. The plunder from the Egyptians was material - gold, earrings, and the like, and the Jews received the Law at Sinai fifty days later. Whereupon they dedicated their plunder to God in order to build the Tabernacle in Exodus 25:1-9, when God gave them the Law. 

b) [Compare Ex 25:1-9]:

(Ex 25:1 NASB) "Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

(Ex 25:2 NASB) 'Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution.

(Ex 25:3 NASB) This is the contribution which you are to raise from them: gold, silver and bronze,

(Ex 25:4 NASB) blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair,

(Ex 25:5 NASB) rams' skins dyed red, porpoise skins, acacia wood,

(Ex 25:6 NASB) oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense,

(Ex 25:7 NASB) onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece.

(Ex 25:8 NASB) Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.

(Ex 25:9 NASB) According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it.' "

2 cont) [(Eph 4:7-8) [Commentary On Eph 4:7-8: But To Each One Of Us Believers, Grace Was Given According To The Measure of Christ's Gift [Of Redemption]. Therefore Scripture Says, 'When He Ascended On High [To Heaven], He Led Captive A Host Of Captives, And He Gave Gifts To Men' "]

(Eph 4:7 NASB) "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

(Eph 4:8 NASB) Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' [Ps 68:18]"

In Eph 4:8, author and apostle Paul reflects upon Psalm 68:17-18 which passage indicates that a military victor such as the LORD God over His and Israel's enemies, gives gifts to those who are identified with him in His victory. This time in Eph 4:8 with believers from the church age as part of the body of Christ in view, it is therefore about our Lord's victory over sin through His redemptive work on the cross as a result of which He set the specific captives free - those who became believers before Christ's redemptive work, i.e., His atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind on the cross. In view are those who occupy a compartment in the lower parts of the earth wherein they occupied Paradise/Hades - Abraham et al. For Christ redeemed them all from the slave market of sin. And so He led them to above the heavens to where He ascended.

The gifts stipulated in Eph 4:8 are those given to the body of Christ, the church. They are spiritual in nature which are distributed to us by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The distribution of spiritual gifts began to occur at Pentecost, which was the exact same day that the Law was given at Sinai. Pentecost and Shavuot are the exact same dates on the calendar. In other words, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant were announced to the nation of Israel on the very same date exactly 50 days after the "escape" from Egypt (and Sheol), when plunder was seized from the enemy. The dates correspond (in both cases) to the time when the plunder was then received by God and distributed to God's people as his temple (sanct abovuary).

So whereas the Israelites received physical gifts from God, which were taken as tribute to Him by God from men - from the Egyptians - taken by Moses as God's representative in God's victory over Egypt through Israel; it is Christ, Who is God, Who gave spiritual gifts to the believers: the apostles, prophets and those of the body of Christ - all believers  of the church age.

So in view in Ps 68:18 is God in His dwelling in Mt Sinai ascended on high to His heavenly abode. And He led captive His captives attained in His victory over Israel's enemies. These Prisoners / captives were evidently taken by David / Israel in God's victories over Israel's enemies as tributes / gifts to God to serve Him through service to Israel; even the rebellious, so that the Lord God may dwell in heaven.

C) [Eph 4:9-11: In View Of The Phrase Rendered 'He Ascended' In The Sense Of To Far Above All The Heavens, What Does It Signify But That Christ Also First Descended Into The Lower Parts Of The Earth To Paradise In Hades? It Was To Take Captive / Custody Of The Old Testament Saints Who Were Placed There And Bring Them To Heaven. For It Was He Who Descended Who Is Also The One Who Ascended Far Above All The Heavens, That He Might Rule Creation From His Throne In Heaven And That He Might Fill All Things. And He Gave Some Of Those Who Were Believers Who Were Part Of His Body As Apostles, And Some As Prophets, And Some As Evangelists, And Some As Pastors And Teachers

(Eph 4:9 NKJV) "(Now this, 'He ascended' - what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

(Eph 4:10 NKJV) He Who descended is also the One Who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things)

(Eph 4:11 NASB) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,"

1) [(Eph 4:9a) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:9a]:

WH, NU, p46, Sinaiticus*, A, C*, D, F, G, I(vid), 082, 33, 1739, it, cop(bo) have "He descended"

TR, Sinaiticus(2), B, C3, Psi, syr have "He descended first"

The full statement is, "Now as to the 'He ascended," what is it except that also He descended.' " According to the WH, NU reading, we cannot tell if the ascension preceded the descent or vice versa. The WH, NU text simply says that Christ ascended and descended. Many scribes, however, presumed that a descent to earth (via incarnation) or to Hades (post-death and pre-resurrection) prior to His ascension to heaven. This accounts for the addition of 'first." In any event, the manuscript evidence supports the WH, NU reading, which is followed by all modern versions.

2) (Eph 4:9b) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:9b]:

TR, WH, NU - the major Greek editions - Sinaiticus, A, B, C, D(2), I, Psi, Maj have "the lower parts of the earth"

P46, D*, F, G, it do not include "parts." This reading can also be rendered, "into the realms below the earth" because "tens ges" could also be an epexegetical expression. In other words, "tes ges" is a genitive of definition: the regions below are the same as the earth. The same can be said for the TR, WH, NU reading, but it is not as easy to expound it this way because the addition of "mere" more strongly connotes subterranean habitations. And it is for this reason that this reading is suspect - that is, it seems that scribes wanted to make certain that readers understood this as a descent beneath the earth (into Hades), not just a descent to earth (via incarnation). Of course, the other scribes could have deleted "mere" in a effort to obscure this exegesis, but the doctrine of Christ's descent into Hades was not generally questioned in early centuries, as it has been in recent time.

3) [(Eph 4:9-11) Commentary On Eph 4:9-11: In View Of The Phrase Rendered 'He Ascended' In The Sense Of To Far Above All The Heavens, What Does It Signify But That Christ Also First Descended Into The Lower Parts Of The Earth To Paradise In Hades? It Was To Take Captive / Custody Of The Old Testament Saints Who Were Placed There And Bring Them To Heaven. For It Was He Who Descended Who Is Also The One Who Ascended Far Above All The Heavens, That He Might Rule Creation From His Throne In Heaven And That He Might Fill All Things. And He Gave Some Of Those Who Were Believers Who Were Part Of His Body As Apostles, And Some As Prophets, And Some As Evangelists, And Some As Pastors And Teachers]:

(Eph 4:7 NASB) "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

(Eph 4:8 NASB) Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' [Ps 68:18]

(Eph 4:9 NKJV) (Now this, 'He ascended' - what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

(Eph 4:10 NKJV) He Who descended is also the One Who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things)

(Eph 4:11 NASB) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,"

What is meant in Eph 4:9 by "He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth"? The genitive "of" can be taken in three ways: (1) "Into the lower parts, namely, the earth" (a genitive of apposition). This would refer  to Christ's incarnation, His "descent" to the earth. (2) "Into the lower parts which belong to the earth" (a genitive of possession). For it was from earth that He ascended and it had been to earth that He came. (3) "Into the parts lower than the earth" (a genitive of comparison). This would mean that Christ descended into Hades which is located into the parts lower than the earth at the time after His death and resurrection, which is the most plausible interpretation that best fits the context.

So Eph 4:9-11 has in view further details of two events which Paul wrote about in Eph 4:7-8  which he referred to figuratively in Ps 68:18 as follows: "When He [in the sense in Eph 4:8-9 as Jesus Christ] ascended on high" [evidently in the sense of Jesus Christ, the Son of God incarnate having ascended from where He had descended from, i.e., from within the lower parts of the earth, i.e., from the Paradise compartment of Hades, having experienced death on the cross, burial and resurrection into a glorified body and consequent descent into the lower parts of the earth to take captive in the sense of taking custody of the saints / the believers, i.e., O.T. saints who were held 'captive' in the Paradise compartment in Hades who were saved on credit before Jesus Christ had made an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind in the first century, (cf. Ro 3:23-26 ). So the Old Testament saints were held 'captive' in the sense of in protective custody in the Paradise compartment of Hades in the center of the earth, awaiting our Lord's atonement for them so that He could then lead them 'captive' - all the saints such as Abraham to a heavenly destination far above all the heavens as promised, (ref. Eph 4:10). And Christ ascended to the heavens so that He might rule creation from heaven and that He might fill all things. For in Eph 4:7-8, Paul wrote,

(Eph 4:7 NASB) "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

(Eph 4:8 NASB) Therefore it [Scripture] says, 'When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.' [Ps 68:18]

(Eph 4:9 NKJV) (Now this, 'He ascended' - what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

(Eph 4:10 NKJV) He Who descended is also the One Who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things)

(Eph 4:11 NASB) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers."

So verses 9-10 are actually parenthetical to the main issue / context of the giving of spiritual gifts to men - to believers in this age as is stipulated in Eph 4:11.

D) [(Eph 4:11-13) Commentary On Eph 4:11-13: The Purpose Of The Spiritual Gifts Of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors And Teachers Was So That The Body Of Christ Could Attain To The Unity Of The Faith, And Of The Knowledge Of The Son Of God, To A Mature Man, To The Measure Of The Stature Which Belongs To The Fullness Of Christ, 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 Of Deceitful Plotting, But Speaking The Truth In Love, We Are To Grow Up In All Aspects Into Him Who Is The Head, Even Christ, From Whom The Whole Body, Being Fitted And Held Together By What Every Joint Supplies According To The Proper Working Of Each Individual Part, Causes The Growth Of The Body For The Building Up Of Itself In Love. And It Is By His Grace And Sovereignty That God Will Himself Bring About This Spiritual Progress In The Body Of Christ Despite The Flawed Nature Of Each And Every Member Through The Spirit's Working Through The Inner Man Within Each Believer]

(Eph 4:11 NASB) "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.

(Eph 4:12 NASB) for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

(Eph 4:13 NASB) until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

(Eph 4:14 NKJV) 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 of deceitful plotting,

(Eph 4:15 NASB) but speaking [lit., holding to or being truthful in] the truth in love, we are to grow up [lit., let us grow up] in all aspects into Him Who is the head, even Christ,

(Eph 4:16 NASB) from Whom the whole body, being fitted and held together [lit., through every joint of the supply] by what every joint supplies, according to the [lit., working in measure] proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."

1) [(Eph 4:13) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:13]:

Most manuscripts have that Christians are to aspire to grow in their "knowledge of the Son of God."

F, G, it(b) have "the knowledge of God,"

This is perhaps under the influence of Col 1:10, a similar verse. But Paul emphasized the knowledge of the Son of God because He is the One through Whom we know the Father.

2) [(Eph 4:15) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:15]:

WH, NU, Sinaiticus*, A, B, C have "the head, Christ"

TR, Sinaiticus(2), D, F, G, Psi, Maj have "the head, the Christ"

P46 has "the head of the Christ"

According to p46, "the head of the Christ" would have to be "God," (cf. 1 Cor 11:3). As such, the verse indicates that the members of the body are growing up into God, Who is Christ's head. (Of course, it is quite possible that the reading of p46 is accidental.

3) [(Eph 4:16) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:16]:

Most manuscripts have "according to [the] working"

P46 has "according to [the] supply"

F, G, it  delete the entire phrase.

According to the working best fits the context.

4) [(Eph 4:16) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:16]:

Most manuscripts have "merous" which is a general word for part.

A, C, Psi have "melous" which is a more specific word for "body member" or "limb" - evidently a scribal change contemplating the possibility of a scribal error.

There is no change in meaning in either case.

5) [(Eph 4:11-13) Commentary On Eph 4:11-13: The Purpose Of The Spiritual Gifts Of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors And Teachers Was So That The Body Of Christ Could Attain To The Unity Of The Faith, And Of The Knowledge Of The Son Of God, To A Mature Man, To The Measure Of The Stature Which Belongs To The Fullness Of Christ]

(Eph 4:11 NASB) "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.

(Eph 4:12 NASB) for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

(Eph 4:13 NASB) until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

(Eph 4:14 NKJV) 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 of deceitful plotting,

(Eph 4:15 NASB) but speaking [lit., holding to or being truthful in] the truth in love, we are to grow up [lit., let us grow up] in all aspects into Him Who is the head, even Christ,

(Eph 4:16 NASB) from Whom the whole body, being fitted and held together [lit., through every joint of the supply] by what every joint supplies, according to the [lit., working in measure] proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."

So Jesus Christ gave some of those who have become believers and belong to Him as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of them for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ until all believers attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

6) [(Eph 4:14-16) Commentary On Eph 4:14-16: In Eph 4:11-13 It Stated That The Purpose Of The Spiritual Gifts Of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors And Teachers Was So That The Body Of Christ Could Attain To The Unity Of The Faith, And Of The Knowledge Of The Son Of God, To A Mature Man, To The Measure Of The Stature Which Belongs To The Fullness Of Christ, Whereupon In Eph 4:14-16 It Continues: 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 Of Deceitful Plotting, But Speaking The Truth In Love, We Are To Grow Up In All Aspects Into Him Who Is The Head, Even Christ, From Whom The Whole Body, Being Fitted And Held Together By What Every Joint Supplies According To The Proper Working Of Each Individual Part, Causes The Growth Of The Body For The Building Up Of Itself In Love. And It Is By His Grace And Sovereignty That God Will Himself Bring About This Spiritual Progress In The Body Of Christ Despite The Flawed Nature Of Each And Every Member Through The Spirit's Working Through The Inner Man Within Each Believer]

(Eph 4:11 NASB) "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.

(Eph 4:12 NASB) for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

(Eph 4:13 NASB) until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

(Eph 4:14 NKJV) 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 of deceitful plotting,

(Eph 4:15 NASB) but speaking [lit., holding to or being truthful in] the truth in love, we are to grow up [lit., let us grow up] in all aspects into Him Who is the head, even Christ,

(Eph 4:16 NASB) from Whom the whole body, being fitted and held together [lit., through every joint of the supply] by what every joint supplies, according to the [lit., working in measure] proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."

So author and apostle Paul wrote in Eph 4:11-13 that the purpose of the spiritual gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers was so that the body of Christ could attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ, and further in Eph 4:14-16, "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 of deceitful plotting, but speaking [lit., holding to or being truth in] the truth in love, we are to grow up [lit., let us grow up] in all aspects into Him Who is the head, even Christ, from Whom the whole body, being fitted and held together [lit., through every joint of the supply] by what every joint supplies, according to the [lit., working in measure] proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love." And if God is sovereign, and He is; He will bring about this spiritual progress despite the flawed nature of each and every member of the Church, the body of Christ through the Spirit's working through the inner man within each believer received at the point of faith alone in Christ alone.

a) [Compare Col 3:8-11: Paul Having Written In Col 3:8-9, 'But Now You Yourselves Are To Put Off All These Sins: Anger, Wrath, Malice, Blasphemy, Filthy Language Out Of Your Mouth, Do Not Lie To One Another, Since You Have Put Off The Old Man [I.E., The Old Sin Nature] With His Evil Deeds; Moves To Col 3:10-11 Wherein The Believer's Now Putting On The New Man In The Sense Of The New Nature Which, By His Grace, God Provided Within The Believer At The Moment Faith Alone In Christ Alone Via The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit Who Is The Agent Who Has Put Within The Believer The New Man / The Inner Man; Who Is Renewed In Knowledge According To The Image Of Him Who Created The Believer, Namely God. This Is A Renewal In Which There Will Be No Distinction Between Greek And Jew, Circumcied And Uncircumcised, Barbarian, Scythian, Slave And Freeman, But Christ Is All In All ]:

(Col 3:8 NKJV) "But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

(Col 3:9 NKJV) Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds [evil is implied here because it is described by Paul in Ro 6:6 as the 'body of sin' ],

(Col 3:10 NKJV) and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him,

(Col 3:11 NASB) a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all."

Paul having written in Col 3:8-9, "But now you yourselves are to put off all these [sins]: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (Col 3:9 NKJV) Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man [i.e., the old sin nature] with his deeds [evil / sin is implied here because it is described by Paul in Ro 6:6 as the 'body of sin' ]," moves to the believer's putting on the new man in the sense of the new nature which, by His grace, God provided within the believer at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone via the baptism of the Holy Spirit Who is the Agent Who has put within the believer the new man.

Note that the putting off of the old sin nature was done by God to the believer at the point of faith alone in Christ alone as well - in the sense that the sin nature no longer has absolute control over the individual. However, the believer can and may still resubmit himself to that control moment to moment. So the new nature, the inner man, is characterized as having the righteousness of God which was provided within the believer through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit which is also characterized as constantly being renewed in knowledge according to the image of Jesus Christ Who created "him" referring to the new man within the believer. Note that the Agent Who is doing the renewing of the new man cannot be the believer himself because he still possesses a sin nature which the believer may and often does activate, (1 Jn 1:8-10). So the believer does not have the perfectly righteous nature of God in order to be qualified to do that renewing according to the image of Jesus Christ. Finally, in Col 3:11, author Paul writes, "a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all." It is interesting to note that despite the discord amongst believers in their mortal lives, we will all be renewed to the extent that there will be no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcied, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all." So all believers will act in godly harmony with one another and in unity of purpose as part of the body of Christ - each one doing his part.

b) [Compare 2 Cor 4:16-18: We Are Not To Lose Heart. Though The Outer Man / Temporal Body Is Decaying, Yet Our Inner Man Is Being Renewed By God Day By Day Producing For Us An Incomparable Eternal Weight Of Glory. Thus We Are To Look Not At The Things Which Are Seen Which Are Temporal And Fleeting, But At The Things Which Are Not Seen And Eternal]:

(2 Cor 4:16 NASB) "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

[In view of the believer's possession of a sin nature, this renewing day by day must be God's work alone]

(2 Cor 4:17 NASB) For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

(2 Cor 4:18 NASB) while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

2 Cor 4:16-18 has especially in view eternity when the believer will have been completely transformed into the image of Jesus Christ throughout his body, soul and spirit, especially within his transformed mind which will no longer be influenced by the old man, his old sin nature which has been removed, but by the new man within him received at the point of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life. For the sin nature that the believer in his temporal body was so attached to in his mortal life will no longer be present in his resurrection body in eternity. This is the struggle in this temporal life which all believers face: the attachment they have to the old sin nature such that they must endeavor with great effort to look to eternity when their new godly natures will be fully in control in the absence of the old sin nature, to the time when they will have become fully knowledgeable according to the image of Jesus Christ Who created that new nature - that renewal - within the believer through the work within him of the Holy Spirit. It will be a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek [non-Jew] and Jew, nor circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. We are all part of His body, to function in eternity with His perfect Righteousness.

So despite the incapacity of all believers to successfully accomplish their own personal perfection in Christ during their temporal lives, nevertheless according to the sovereignty and grace of God and the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit the inner man will prevail and all members of the Body of Christ will be readied for eternity, albeit there is promised momentary, light affliction which is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison with anything in this temporal life.

E) [(Eph 4:17-19) So Paul Writes, Affirming Together With The Lord God Evidently Through Answered Prayer As God Inspired The Apostle To Write That You Believers At Ephesus And Elsewhere Are No Longer Just As The Gentiles Also Walk - As They Formerly Walked, In The Futility Of Their Minds, Their Having Been Darkened In Their Own Understanding, Their Having Been Excluded From The Life Of God Because Of The Willful Ignorance That Is In Them, Because Of The Hardness Of Their Own Hearts; And They, Having Become Callous, Gave Themselves Over To Sensuality For The Practice Of Every Kind Of Impurity With Greediness

(Eph 4:17 NASB) "So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

(Eph 4:18 NASB) being [lit., having been] darkened in their understanding, [lit., having been] excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

(Eph 4:19 NASB) and they, having become callous, [gave] themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness."

1) [(Eph 4:17) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:17]:

(Eph 4:17 NASB) "So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,"

WH, NU, p46, p49, Sinaiticus*, A, B, D*, F, G, 082, 33, 1739 have "the Gentiles"

TR, Sinaiticus(2), D(1), Psi, Maj, syr have "the other Gentiles"

The full statement is, "you must no longer live as also the [other] Gentiles live." The WH, NU reading has superior documentation to that of "the other Gentiles", which the latter is evidenced in some later corrected manuscripts and in later Byzantine witnesses. The insertion of "loipa" rendered "other" was a scribal attempt to clearly show that Paul's Gentile audience, now Christian, was distinct from other Gentiles - or from "the rest of the Gentiles," as it is worded in the NKJV.

2) [(Eph 4:17-19) Commentary On Eph 4:17-19: So Paul Writes, Affirming Together With The Lord God Evidently Through Answered Prayer As God Inspired The Apostle To Write That You Believers At Ephesus And Elsewhere Are No Longer Just As The Gentiles Also Walk - As They Formerly Walked, In The Futility Of Their Minds, Their Having Been Darkened In Their Own Understanding, Their Having Been Excluded From The Life Of God Because Of The Willful Ignorance That Is In Them, Because Of The Hardness Of Their Own Hearts; And They, Having Become Callous, Gave Themselves Over To Sensuality For The Practice Of Every Kind Of Impurity With Greediness

(Eph 4:17 NASB) "So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

(Eph 4:18 NASB) being [lit., having been] darkened in their understanding, [lit., having been] excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

(Eph 4:19 NASB) and they, having become callous, [gave] themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness."

Paul writes, affirming together with the Lord God evidently through answered prayer as God inspired the apostle to write that the believers at Ephesus and elsewhere who were formerly Gentile / pagan unbelievers that they are to no longer to walk just as the Gentiles who are unbelievers walk, (Eph 4:17), in the futility of their minds, their having been darkened in their own understanding, their having been excluded from the life of God because of their willful ignorance that is in them - their sin natures - because of the hardness of their own hearts, (Eph 4:18);  and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness, (Eph 4:19). For such behavior springs from an ungodly attitude toward God and life that cuts any connection to doing godly behavior - which reversionism is possible even for the Gentile believers from Ephesus and elsewhere considering Paul's warning in his letter to them and all believer, and in other passages which instruct believers on being faithful and not to revert to their former way of life. For believers who have eternal life within them may indeed subject themselves to reversionism, which many contend is not true; but if that is true then Paul's frequent warnings to believers are nonsensical. Although many contend that warning a believer to continue in the faith is not applicable to "true" believers who they falsely maintain will automatically persevere in the faith and faithfulness. But the entire body of letters in the New Testament attest to the fact that all believers have the capacity to sin. Furthermore there is no such thing as a believer who is not a true believer, hence a false believer. When a believer expresses a moment of faith alone in Christ alone - a mental assent of accepting the testimony of God about His Son (1 Jn 5:9-13 ), for eternal life he immediately possesses eternal life forever because it is eternal. The primary reference here is to "good-for-nothing notions," which underly a willfully irresponsible behavior. This reprehensible attitude is traced to its source - the intrinsic sin nature that remains in man while in his mortal body, including believers. For even believers might fall back to their former unbeliever mentality of a willful mental block that blocks out revelation from God. Just as unbelievers willfully cut themselves off from contact with God (Eph 2:12) and the godly eternal and temporal life He alone can impart, so Paul warns fellow believers to be wary of not doing this as well. Such a condition arises from deep-seated willful ignorance. Although inborn within the sin natures, it is not an insurmountable problem considering the grace of God relative to His activation within each individual who believes in His Son for eternal life of the inner man together with the baptism of the indwelling Holy Spirit within their human spirit Who will perfect the inner man unto the righteousness of Christ, (Col 3:8-11 . But just like those that refuse to believe have evidently steeled their hearts against the truth till they grow altogether impervious to the truth of the gospel, the believer must endeavor to resist such reversionism to his former ways. "Hardening" (porosis) describes a state of petrifaction. This dreadful porosis has affected the very hearts of the Gentile pagans. Their whole personality is incapable of appreciating what God offers. Men like these have "lost all sensitivity" (apelgekotes). They cannot respond to the message of the gospel so long as their willful resistance to it remains. Their consciences are so atrophied that sin registers no stab of conscience. They have abandoned themselves to every sort of vice, further compounding their inability to respond to revelation from God. It is only by the drawing of God that an unbeliever chooses to open up his mind and accept God's revelation to him about His Son, Jesus Christ and faith in Him for eternal life, (ref. Jn 6:44 ).

F) [(Eph 4:20-24) Commentary On Eph 4:20-24: Paul Wrote To The Ephesian Believers, Once Pagan Gentiles Unbelievers, That They Did Not Learn Christ While Following In Their Former Ways Since They Have Heard Him And Were Taught By Him Beginning With The Time When They Became Believers. The Truth Is In Jesus Via The Work Within Them Of The Indwelling Holy Spirit. Paul Admonishes Them To Put Off The Old Man Concerning Their Former Conduct, That Is The Old Man / The Old Sin Nature Which Grows Corrupt According To The Deceitful Lusts, And That They Be Renewed In The Spirit Of Their Minds, And That They Put On The New Man Which Was Created According To God Within Them, In True Righteousness And Holiness.]:

(Eph 4:17 NASB) "So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

(Eph 4:18 NASB) being [lit., having been] darkened in their understanding, [lit., having been] excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

(Eph 4:19 NASB) and they, having become callous, [gave] themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

(Eph 4:20 NASB) But you did not learn Christ in this way, 

(Eph 4:21 if [= since] indeed you have heard Him and [were] taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

(Eph 4:22 NKJV) that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

(Eph 4:23 NASB) and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

(Eph 4:24 NKJV) and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

(Eph 4:24 NASB) and put on the new self [lit. man], which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." 

1) [(Eph 4:23) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:23]:

(Eph 4:23 NASB) "and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,"

TR, WH, NU, Sinaiticus, A, C, Maj have "to be renewed in the spirit of your mind"

p49, B, 33, 1739 have "to be renewed in the spirit of your mind" and put "en" = "in" before "tw pneumati" = "the spirit"

p46, D(1), K, it have "you must be renewed in the spirit of your mind"

According to the textual evidence, it would seem that the infinitive "ananeousthai" = "to be renewed" was changed to the imperative "ananeousthe" to make this statement more obviously a command.

On the other hand, other scribes added the preposition "en" = "in" to imprint a particular interpretation: renewal occurs in (locative) in spirit, not by (dative) the spirit.

The TR, WH, NU text, without the preposition, allows for either interpretation, but most translators read it as a dative; as such, most renderings speak of spiritual renewal as occurring with respect to the spirit of the mind. What is noteworthy is that modern translators understand the "spirit" here to be a kind of spiritual attitude of mind (see NIV), whereas the ancient scribes (p46 and p49 particularly) designated the "spirit" as the divine Spirit by writing it as a sacred name. As such, their interpretation must have been that spiritual renewal occurs by the Spirit transforming the mind. However, it is often difficult in Paul's Epistles to distinguish between the divine Spirit and the human spirit because the spirit of a Christian is the human spirit regenerated by the divine Spirit (Ro 8:16) guiding and renewing the mind.

2) [(Eph 4:24a) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:24a]:

(Eph 4:23 NASB) and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,"

TR, WH, NU, p49vid, A, D*, F, G, Psi, 33, 1739, Maj have "to put on the new person"

p46, Sinaiticus, B*, D(1), K, 1881, it have "put on the new person"

Contrary to 4:23, the textual evidence supports "put on the new person" having the imperative command "endusasthe" = "put on," instead of the infinitive "enduasasthai" = "to put on." Thus, there are basically three options for the grammatical structuring of 4:21-24. One option links three infinitives (to put off, to be renewed, to put on) with the main verb "you were taught" in 4:21. Another option links two infinitives (to put off, to be renewed) with the main verb "you were taught" - followed by an imperative, "put on." A third option (in p46) links one infinitive (to put off) with the verbal "you were taught" - followed by two imperatives, "be renewed" and "put on." The first order is the most structured and that which is followed by NU. However, the textual support for the third infinitive, "endusasthai," is fairly good, having the support of p49 (not cited in NA(27), but see Text of Earliest MSS, p. 359).

3) [(Eph  4:24b) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:24b]:

TR, WH, NU, p46, p49vid, Sinaiticus, A, B, C. have "in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Western manuscripts D, F, G, it have "in righteousness and holiness and the truth" in order to avoid the difficult expression "osiotetl tes alethEias" which probably means "the holiness that comes from knowing the truth"

4) [(Eph 4:20-24) Paul Wrote To The Ephesian Believers, Once Pagan Gentiles Unbelievers, That They Did Not Learn Christ While Following In Their Former Ways Since They Have Heard Him And Were Taught By Him Beginning With The Time When They Became Believers. The Truth Is In Jesus Via The Work Within Them Of The Indwelling Holy Spirit. Paul Admonishes Them To Put Off The Old Man Concerning Their Former Conduct, That Is The Old Man / The Old Sin Nature Which Grows Corrupt According To The Deceitful Lusts, And That They Be Renewed In The Spirit Of Their Minds, And That They Put On The New Man Which Was Created According To God Within Them, In True Righteousness And Holiness.

(Eph 4:17 NASB) "So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

(Eph 4:18 NASB) being [lit., having been] darkened in their understanding, [lit., having been] excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

(Eph 4:19 NASB) and they, having become callous, [gave] themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

(Eph 4:20 NASB) But you did not learn Christ in this way, 

(Eph 4:21 if [= since] indeed you have heard Him and [were] taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

(Eph 4:22 NKJV) that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

(Eph 4:23 NASB) and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

(Eph 4:24 NKJV) and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

(Eph 4:24 NASB) and put on the new self [lit. man], which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."

[After characterizing the Gentile / pagan unbelievers in Eph 4:17-19 as operating in the futility of their own minds, having been darkened in their own understanding, having been excluded from the life of God because of their willful ignorance that is in them because of their self-imposed hardness of heart within their sinful hearts / minds - their intrinsic sinful natures - and having become callous toward God in the sense of being willfully unresponsive to spiritual matters that are godly, having given themselves over to temporal sinful sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness; the apostle Paul wrote in Eph 4:20-24 to the Ephesian believers, Gentiles who were once like the pagan gentile unbelievers described in Eph 4:17-19, that they did not learn Christ in this way, in the sense of via continuing to live like the pagan Gentile unbelievers; since indeed they have heard Him and were taught by Him beginning with the time when they chose to believe in Him for eternal life. The truth therefore is "in Jesus" beginning when they were placed into Christ at the point of having expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ alone plus nothing unto eternal life, not the least of which results in the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit within the made alive human spirit of the believer wherein is provided avenues within the inner man indwelt within the believer in order to arrive at eternal truths "in Jesus" via the work within them of the indwelling Holy Spirit. And following this encouraging statement to the believers at Ephesus, Paul admonishes them to put off the old man, i.e., that which is concerning their former conduct as they formerly demonstrated as Gentile pagan unbelievers in the sense that their old man, their intrinsic old sin natures, which still remain in them until resurrection, daily grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts that they are still characterized by moment to moment in their temporal lives. Instead they move away from aligning their temporal lives with their old sin natures, and they are to be renewed in the spirit of their minds which human spirits are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit since that first moment when they expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (ref. Eph 1:13-14 ), in order to enable each believer to renew themselves moment to moment unto the righteousness of Christ. And Paul further encourages the Ephesian Gentile believers and all believers that they put on the new man, the new self, described in Eph 3:14-19 as the inner man, (ref. Eph 3:14-19 ), which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

G) [(Eph 4:25-32) Therefore Paul Writes To The Ephesian Believers And All Believers By Exhorting Them As Follows:

Having Laid Aside Falsehood, Speak The Truth Each One Of You With His Neighbor For We - Who Are Believers - Are Members Of One Another - The Body Of Christ, The Church.

Be Angry, And Yet Do Not Sin; And Do Not Let The Sun God Down On Your Anger, And Do Not Give The Devil An Opportunity In The Sense Of Causing One To Sin.

He Who Steals Must Steal No Longer; But Rather He Must Labor, Performing With His Own Hands What Is Good, So That He Will Have Something To Share With One Who Has Need.

Let No Unwholesome Word Proceed From Your Mouth, But Only Such A Word As Is Good For Edification According To The Need Of The Moment, So That It Will Give Grace To Those Who Hear.
Do Not Grieve The Holy Spirit Of God, In Whom You Were Sealed For The Day Of Redemption.

Let All Bitterness And Wrath And Anger And Clamor And Slander Be Put away From You Along With All Malice Be Kind To One Another, Tender-Hearted, Forgiving Each Other, Just As God In Christ Also Has Forgiven You

(Eph 4:22 NKJV) "that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

(Eph 4:23 NASB) and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

(Eph 4:24 NKJV) and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

(Eph 4:24 NASB) and put on the new self [lit. man], which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

(Eph 4:25 NASB) Therefore, [having laid aside] falsehood, Speak truth each one of you with his neighbor [Zech 8:16] for we are members of one another.

(Eph 4:26 NASB) Be angry, and yet do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger, 

(Eph 4:27 NASB) and do not give the devil an opportunity.

(Eph 4:28 NASB) He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

(Eph 4:29 NASB) Let no unwholesome [lit., rotten] word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

(Eph 4:30 NASB) Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by [lit., in] whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

(Eph 4:31 NASB) Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

(Eph 4:32 NASB) Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

1) [(Eph 4:28) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:28)]:

(Eph 4:28 NASB) "He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need."

NU, Sinaiticus*, A, D, F, G have "working with his own hands"

TR, WH, p46, p49vid, Sinaiticus(2), B, (L, Psi) have  "working with the [= his] hands

P, 33, 1739, 1881 have "working"

The Greek word rendered "own" has been bracketed in NU to show the editors' doubts about its right to be in the text. Nevertheless, the editors included it on the grounds that it represents Koine usage. However, the documentary evidence (p46, p49, B) strongly favors the first variant. The article "tais" in and of itself conveys the possessive function: "his hands."

The second variant (which produces the rendering "working the good") is a scribal adjustment that hopes to avoid the connection between manual labor and achieving good.

2) [(Eph 4:29) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:29]:

(Eph 4:29 NASB) "Let no unwholesome [lit., rotten] word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."

TR, WH, NU, p46, Sinaiticus, A, B, D(2), I(vid), Psi, 075, 33, 1739, Maj, syr, cop have "edification of what is needed"

D*, F, G, it have "edification of the faith"

The difficult and unusual idiom "oikodomen tes chreias" means something like "edifying others according to their needs." This was changed in Western witnesses to get the more common idiom "oikodomen tes pisteOs" which means "edification of one's faith" or "edifying others in the faith" (cf. 1 Tim 1:4).

3) [(Eph 4:32) Manuscript Evidence For Eph 4:32]:

(Eph 4:32 NASB) "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

TR, WH, NU, p46, Sinaitcus, A, F, G, P, it, cop have ""He forgave you"

p49(vid), B, D, Psi, 0278, 33, 1739, Maj, syr have "He forgave us"

The textual evidence is equally divided for the two readings. Nonetheless, of the two pronouns, "you" is the better choice because in the previous sentence Paul uses "your." Furthermore, the precious truth conveyed in this statement, "God in Christ forgave you," would probably prompt scribes to make it more inclusive and pertinent to their respective generation

4) [(Eph 4:25-32) Commentary On Eph 4:25-32: Therefore Paul Writes To The Ephesian Believers And All Believers By Exhorting Them As Follows:

Having Laid Aside Falsehood, Speak The Truth Each One Of You With His Neighbor For We Believers Are Members Of One Another, The Body Of Christ, The Church.

Be Angry, And Yet Do Not Sin - Implying A Righteous Anger; And Do Not Let The Sun God Down On Your Anger, And Do Not Give The Devil An Opportunity In The Sense Of Causing One To Sin.

He Who Steals Must Steal No Longer; But Rather He Must Labor, Performing With His Own Hands What Is Good, So That He Will Have Something To Share With One Who Has Need.

Let No Unwholesome Word Proceed From Your Mouth, But Only Such A Word As Is Good For Edification According To The Need Of The Moment, So That It Will Give Grace To Those Who Hear.

Do Not Grieve The Holy Spirit Of God, In Whom You Were Sealed For The Day Of Redemption. Let All Bitterness And Wrath And Anger And Clamor And Slander Be Putway From You Along With All Malice Be Kind To One Another, Tender-Hearted, Forgiving Each Other, Just As God In Christ Also Has Forgiven You]:

(Eph 4:25 NASB) "Therefore, [having laid aside] falsehood, Speak truth each one of you with his neighbor [Zech 8:16] for we are members of one another.

(Eph 4:26 NASB) Be angry, and yet do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger, 

(Eph 4:27 NASB) and do not give the devil an opportunity.

(Eph 4:28 NASB) He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

(Eph 4:29 NASB) Let no unwholesome [lit., rotten] word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

(Eph 4:30 NASB) Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by [lit., in] whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

(Eph 4:31 NASB) Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

(Eph 4:32 NASB) Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

In Eph 4:22-24 Paul admonishes the believers to put off the old man, i.e., that which is concerning their former conduct as they formerly demonstrated as Gentile pagan unbelievers in the sense that their old man, their intrinsic old sin natures, which still remain in them until resurrection, daily grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts that they are still characterized by moment to moment in their temporal lives. Instead they move away from aligning their temporal lives with their old sin natures, and they are to be renewed in the spirit of their minds which human spirits are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit since that first moment when they expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (ref. Eph 1:13-14 ), in order to enable each believer to renew themselves moment to moment unto the righteousness of Christ. And Paul further encourages the Ephesian Gentile believers and all believers that they put on the new man, the new self, described in Eph 3:14-19 as the inner man, (ref. Eph 3:14-19 ), which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Whereupon in Eph 4:25-32, Paul provides five specific exhortations to the Ephesian believers and all believers about how to conduct themselves in their temporal lives. Each of them has three parts: (1) a negative command, (2) a positive command, and (3) the reason for the positive command:

a) [(Eph 4:25)]:

(Eph 4:25 NASB) "Therefore, [having laid aside] falsehood, Speak truth each one of you with his neighbor [Zech 8:16] for we are members of one another."

 Having laid aside falsehood - all that is deceitful, untrue, etc. - has no place in the community of Christ. Because our Lord is himself the truth, his body must reflect the truth. Because each member belongs to Jesus Christ and to the rest of the members, the fellowship of His body, the church is to be marked by honesty. Any kind of deception is a sin against the Spirit. So Paul writes for them to, "Speak the truth each one of you with his neighbor for believers are members of one another, of the body of Christ, the Church." Note that Paul has meta (with) instead of pros (to), stressing the need for mutual frankness.

b) [(Eph 4:26-27)]:

(Eph 4:26 NASB) "Be angry, and yet do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger, 

(Eph 4:27 NASB) and do not give the devil an opportunity."

Be angry, and yet do not sin - implying a righteous anger, (cf. John 2:13-16); and do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity in the sense of causing one to sin. The reason is that the devil would like to intensify a Christian's righteous anger against sin, causing it to become sin itself. This then gives the devil a foothold (lit., "a place"), an opportunity for leading that Christian into further sin. Then anger begins to control the believer rather than the believer controlling his anger.                

c) (Eph 4:28): 

(Eph 4:28 NASB) "He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need."

He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one.

d) (Eph 4:29-30):

(Eph 4:29 NASB) "Let no unwholesome [lit., rotten] word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

(Eph 4:30 NASB) Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by [lit., in] whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

Let no unwholesome [lit., rotten] word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by [lit., in] whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Note that believers have been sealed, (Eph 1:13-14), in the sense of guaranteed being redeemed unto eternal life with a perfect resurrection body - guaranteed by the indwelling within them of God the Holy Spirit.

e) (Eph 4:31-32): .

(Eph 4:31 NASB) "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

(Eph 4:32 NASB) Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Continue to chapter five