1I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,2with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,3endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;5one Lord, one faith, one immersion;6one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.8Therefore He says: When He ascended on high, He led captive the captives, and gave gifts to men. 9(Now this, He ascended; what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ,13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the full true knowledge of the Son of God, to a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;14that 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,15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head, Christ,16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every individual does its part, causes growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.17This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the emptiness of their mind,18having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;19who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to licentiousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.20But you have not so learned Christ,21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:22that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which is corrupted according to the deceitful lusts,23and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,24and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.25Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.26Be angry, but do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,27nor give place to the devil.28Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need.29Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for the business of building up, that it may impart grace to the hearers.30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.31Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all wickedness.32And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
Matthew Henry - Concise Commentary 1
Nothing is pressed more earnestly in the Scriptures, than to walk as becomes those called to Christ's kingdom and glory. By lowliness, understand humility, which is opposed to pride. By meekness, that excellent disposition of soul, which makes men unwilling to provoke, and not easily to be provoked or offended. We find much in ourselves for which we can hardly forgive ourselves; therefore we must not be surprised if we find in others that which we think it hard to forgive. There is one Christ in whom all believers hope, and one heaven they are all hoping for; therefore they should be of one heart. They had all one faith, as to its object, Author, nature, and power. They all believed the same as to the great truths of religion; they had all been admitted into the church by one baptism, with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, as the sign of regeneration. In all believers God the Father dwells, as in his holy temple, by his Spirit and special grace. 7
Unto every believer is given some gift of grace, for their mutual help. All is given as seems best to Christ to bestow upon every one. He received for them, that he might give to them, a large measure of gifts and graces; particularly the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not a mere head knowledge, or bare acknowledging Christ to be the Son of God, but such as brings trust and obedience. There is a fulness in Christ, and a measure of that fulness given in the counsel of God to every believer; but we never come to the perfect measure till we come to heaven. God's children are growing, as long as they are in this world; and the Christian's growth tends to the glory of Christ. The more a man finds himself drawn out to improve in his station, and according to his measure, all that he has received, to the spiritual good of others, he may the more certainly believe that he has the grace of sincere love and charity rooted in his heart. 17
The apostle charged the Ephesians in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus, that having professed the gospel, they should not be as the unconverted Gentiles, who walked in vain fancies and carnal affections. Do not men, on every side, walk in the vanity of their minds? Must not we then urge the distinction between real and nominal Christians? They were void of all saving knowledge; they sat in darkness, and loved it rather than light. They had a dislike and hatred to a life of holiness, which is not only the way of life God requires and approves, and by which we live to him, but which has some likeness to God himself in his purity, righteousness, truth, and goodness. The truth of Christ appears in its beauty and power, when it appears as in Jesus. The corrupt nature is called a man; like the human body, it is of divers parts, supporting and strengthening one another. Sinful desires are deceitful lusts; they promise men happiness, but render them more miserable; and bring them to destruction, if not subdued and mortified. These therefore must be put off, as an old garment, a filthy garment; they must be subdued and mortified. But it is not enough to shake off corrupt principles; we must have gracious ones. By the new man, is meant the new nature, the new creature, directed by a new principle, even regenerating grace, enabling a man to lead a new life of righteousness and holiness. This is created, or brought forth by God's almighty power. 25
Notice the particulars wherewith we should adorn our Christian profession. Take heed of every thing contrary to truth. No longer flatter or deceive others. God's people are children who will not lie, who dare not lie, who hate and abhor lying. Take heed of anger and ungoverned passions. If there is just occasion to express displeasure at what is wrong, and to reprove, see that it be without sin. We give place to the devil, when the first motions of sin are not grievous to our souls; when we consent to them; and when we repeat an evil deed. This teaches that as sin, if yielded unto, lets in the devil upon us, we are to resist it, keeping from all appearance of evil. Idleness makes thieves. Those who will not work, expose themselves to temptations to steal. Men ought to be industrious, that they may do some good, and that they may be kept from temptation. They must labour, not only that they may live honestly, but that they may have to give to the wants of others. What then must we think of those called Christians, who grow rich by fraud, oppression, and deceitful practices! Alms, to be accepted of God, must not be gained by unrighteousness and robbery, but by honesty and industry. God hates robbery for burnt-offerings. 29
Filthy words proceed from corruption in the speaker, and they corrupt the minds and manners of those who hear them: Christians should beware of all such discourse. It is the duty of Christians to seek, by the blessing of God, to bring persons to think seriously, and to encourage and warn believers by their conversation. Be ye kind one to another. This sets forth the principle of love in the heart, and the outward expression of it, in a humble, courteous behaviour. Mark how God's forgiveness causes us to forgive. God forgives us, though we had no cause to sin against him. We must forgive, as he has forgiven us. All lying, and corrupt communications, that stir up evil desires and lusts, grieve the Spirit of God. Corrupt passions of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil-speaking, and malice, grieve the Holy Spirit. Provoke not the holy, blessed Spirit of God to withdraw his presence and his gracious influences. The body will be redeemed from the power of the grave at the resurrection day. Wherever that blessed Spirit dwells as a Sanctifier, he is the earnest of all the joys and glories of that redemption day; and we should be undone, should God take away his Holy Spirit from us.