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Ephesians Chapter Four



I. Content of the Chapter


The Life and Responsibility in the Body of Christ

A.   Be Worthy of the Calling with Which We Were Called (v.1-2)

B.   Keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace :

1.    The method of the unity (v.2-3)

2.    The premise of the unity (v.4-6)

C.   Fulfill the Ministry of the Gifts for the Equipping of the Saints:

1.    The origin of the gifts (v.7-10)

2.    The sorts of the gifts (v.11)

3.    The purpose of the gifts:

a.    For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry (v.12)

b.    To a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (v.13)

c.    That we should no longer be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting (v.14)

D.   Do the Work of Ministry to Edify the Body of Christ:

1.    Speaking the truth in love, we may grow up in all things into Him who is the headChrist (v.15)

2.    The whole body is joined and knit together by what every joint supplies (v.16a)

3.    According to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love (v.16b).


The Conduct of Life that We Should Have in the New Man

A.   We Should no Longer Walk as the Rest of the Gentiles:

1.    In the futility of their mind (v.17)

2.    Having their understanding darkened, because of the blindness of their heart (v.18)

3.    Being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness (v.19)

B.   Believers Shall be Changed:

1.    Since we have learned Christ, we shall put off the old man concerning your former conduct (v.20-22).

2.    We shall be renewed in the spirit of your mind and you put on the new man (v.23-24).

C.   The Conduct of Life that We Should Have in the New Man:

1.    Put away lying (v.25)

2.    Be angry, and do not sin (v.26)

3.    Do not give place to the devil (v.27).

4.    Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good (v.28)

5.    Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but impart grace to the hearers (v.29).

6.    Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God (v.30)

7.    Let all bitterness be put away (v.31)

8.    Be kind to one another (v.32)


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Eph. 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

YLT: “Call upon you, then, do I -- the prisoner of the Lord -- to walk worthily of the calling with which ye were called,”

Meaning of Words: “walk worthy”: equivalent to, matching, balanced, suitable (it is used to describe the state of the number on a scale being properly balanced with the goods on the scale); “to walk”: to take a walk, tread;

Literal Meaning: in the original, there is a word “therefore” at the beginning of this verse, which means that the following teachings are based on the truth in the previous chapter(s).

Paul once again mentioned “the prisoner of the Lord” (3:1). Apparently, he saw his being “the prisoner of the Lord” as an honor and regarded it as his qualifications for his speaking.

“Called” shows four aspects of significance concerning the salvation that we have received: (1) we have been selected and called out from the world to God. (2) This calling is entirely of God ---- it is passive on the part of man. (3) Only those who are willing to obey and answer God’s election can have a part of the salvation. (4) That God has elected us to let us receive a special identity to carry out a certain kind of special tasks.

“You to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called”, it indicates that our conduct must be worthy of our being, so that we may not go against God’s original purpose of calling us.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)       If we are also “prisoners in the Lord”, like the apostle Paul, we will not do what as we wish in a casual manner, thus “walking worthy of the calling.”

2)       God’s calling does not ask us to live a life outside of this world, but live a life in this world in accordance with God’s gracious calling.

3)       The Chinese translated text and the Chinese Union version indicate that: God’s grace should be manifested by Christiansconduct of life.

4)       The faith of Christianity is distinct from any other religion. The specific differences lie in that ---- the former has provision as well as demand, and provision first and demand afterwards, but the latter only demands without any provision. Here the apostle Paul exhorts us to manifest the grace that we have already received.

5)       If believers have not lived in the life that is “worthy of the calling”, then we have owned to the grace of God’s calling.

6)       To walk “worthy” means that we should neither fall short of something nor add to something. We simply need to manifest the grace we have received… we need not expect to manifest what we have not received.

7)       We can only exhort God’s children rather than those who have not repented to live a Christian life.

8)       Man shall not be saved by works, but those who are saved should have good conduct be worthy of our calling.


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

YLT: “with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love,”

Literal Meaning: lowliness”, it means neither humbleness or contemptibility, nor humility. Humility is the outward attitude, but lowliness is the inward intention, that is, to be very modest. When we look at ourselves, we have to see our short-comings. And when we look at others, we have to see their merits. Therefore, we can truly “esteem others better than ourselves” (Phi. 2:3, Rom. 12:10).

“Gentleness”: gentle and mild ---- it shows that one does not wrestle with others (Matt. 5:5, 1 Pet. 2:23), nor irritates others with sarcastic words, including elegance, politeness, considerations and etc.

“Longsuffering”, one is able to stand the frustration without any negative response, especially when one is harshly treated by others in the suffering, yet he is able to stand unwaveringly, e.g. tolerance, endurance, long suffering, and yet he can still forgive.

“Bearing with one another in love”, “bearing with” is to tolerate the debts of others toward us, not count the harm from others to us. Only “love” can make us genuinely consider the goodness for others, so that one can bear with others in love.

“Lowliness and meekness”, we should treat others with such attitudes, and “endurance and tolerance” are used to receive the treatment from others.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)      The way for the oneness of the church lies in manifesting the reality of Christ, that is being mutually humble, gentle, patient, and to mutually accept each other in love and in the “uniting bond of peace” (v.3).

2)      True “lowliness” of believers stems from an accurate estimation of themselves.

3)      Believers in Christ should not only show lowliness, gentleness, and longsuffering in mere one or two matters, but in all things.

4)      If it is only an outward lowliness, gentleness, and longsuffering, yet the person’s inside is full of embittered resentment, then that is not the kind of lowliness, gentleness, and longsuffering that the Bible wants of us.

5)      He that is humble may be gentle, and he that is gentle may have forbearance. In fact, gentleness is the natural outcome of lowliness, and he who is gentle must be patient. 

6)      Tolerance requires a loving heart. If we do not have a genuine loving heart, we cannot have the real forbearance for others. How much love we have determines how much forbearance we’ll have.

7)      We should start from lowliness if we want to cultivate the true love among one another.

8)      “Bearing with one another”, we need not only others to bear with us, but others also need us to bear with them.

9)      Forbearance is not giving place to sins, but accepting those who have faults or shortcomings, expecting that they will abandon their faults and forsake their shortcomings.

10)     No one can achieve the demand of this verse through himself. Paul does not intent to bind burdens heavy and hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of men (Matt. 23:4). Instead, Paul uses this verse to remind us ---- the “grace” (v.1) that we have received is what enables us to live in the situation of lowliness, gentleness, and longsuffering.


Eph. 4:3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

YLT: “being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of the peace;”

Meaning of Words: bond”: to be bounded together, to bind together into a bunch, to form a group; endeavoring”: to do one’s best, earnest endeavor; keep”: to guard, safeguard, adhere to, keep watch; unity”: oneness, identical;

Literal Meaning: in the bond of peace”, “bond”: to maintain the existing relationship. Disparagement and misunderstanding may be unavoidable when saints get alone with others so that we have to bind us with the rope of peace together.

“Endeavoring to keep”, “endeavoring”: unceasingly do one’s utmost to bring about success. “Keep” implies guarding what you have already possessed in order to avoid loss or changes.

“Unity of the Spirit”, it is “unity of the Holy Spirit” or “oneness in Spirit” in the original. According to the expression of this verse, the “unity of the Spirit” is an accomplished fact by the Lord. It is the same Spirit that dwells in all the saints. Whatever causes divisions among believers is something that violates and offends the Spirit.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    There is no Christian who can live an isolated spiritual life without any contact or communication with any other saint.

2)    Our Lord has already made peace on the cross (Eph. 2:14-16). The work of the cross is to make peace. Only as we apply the principle of the cross to crucify ourselves (not others), can we truly have peace with others.

3)    Peace is the means by which Christians communicate with each other, but it should be manipulated by divisive groups.

4)    Believers cannot make unity, but can destroy it.

5)    Oneness is a spiritual reality that existed originally ---- what we should do is to preserve it.

6)    “Endeavor to keep” indicates that keeping the oneness requires us to pay the cost.

7)    The oneness is in the spirit, not in the union of the administrative organization.

8)    If believers do not emphasize their backgrounds and customs, they will be amazed to find that ---- though there are a lot of differences among us outwardly, there is a most important thing in common within us, namely, the life in spirit.


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

YLT: “one body and one Spirit, according as also ye were called in one hope of your calling;”

Literal Meaning: there is one body”. ---- The church is the mysterious body of Christ (Eph. 1:23). Though there are many members, there is only one body (1 Cor. 12:12), and this body cannot be divided.

“One Spirit”: the church is comprised of believers in Christ who have been baptized into one body (1 Cor. 12:13). The Holy Spirit is both the cause and the content of the body. Since there is only one Spirit, the body is also one that cannot be divided.

“Just as you were called in one hope of your calling”, it shows that when we are called, we have obtained the Holy Spirit as the pledge of our inheritance until we are redeemed and enter glory (Eph. 1:14) ---- this is the “hope of our calling”. Regarding the life of the mysterious body of Christ, it is the story of “spirit” now and will be the story of “hope” about the future.

From verse 4 to verse 6, it mentions seven bases of keeping the oneness. They are divided into three groups ---- the first three belongs to the group of the Holy Spirit, the next three belongs to the group of the Holy Son, and the last one belongs to the group of the Holy Father.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Since there is only one body, all the churches on the earth can display the testimony of only one body.

2)    The oneness of the body is not the oneness by gradually piecing together, but the oneness that was immediate and complete.

3)    The body is one, because the Holy Spirit is one. The oneness that is manifested outwardly is based on the essence of oneness within.

4)    Those who have not been born again in the Holy Spirit or who do not have the indwelling Spirit cannot be listed in oneness of the church.

5)    There is only one Spirit, and therefore what we have received is the same Spirit. One’s spirit must be able to commune with another believer’s spirit.

6)    The Spirit of Christ will definitely bring people into the body of Christ. Otherwise, it is not the Spirit of Christ.

7)    The oneness in the church is not systematically, but spiritually.

8)    Since there is only “one hope” for believers, no matter how great the discrepancy at present is, we will eventually obtain the same hope. Therefore, we must be far-sighted to see what lies in the future in the communication among believers.

9)      Those who would not maintain the truth of one body and one Spirit are definitely unworthy of receiving the hope of eternal life.


Eph. 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

YLT: “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,”

Literal Meaning: one Lord”, it indicates that all believers are of one Lord, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the believers’ Savior, and the Lord of their lives, and all the Lord of all their works.

“One faith”, it does not simply refer to our deeds of faith, but also includes the contents of faith. All believers come into the relationship with the Lord because of the same faith ---- we believe that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God, who was crucified on the cross for the sake of the sins of the world. 

“One baptism”, believers were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, thus being unto Christ. Moreover, this baptism does not focus on the ceremonies or acts, but on the reality of the significance that it represents.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    All believers have the same "Lord”, with whom we came into a living relationship through “faith” and “baptism”. “Faith” is inward, and “baptism” is outward.

2)    If all the believers truly fear and obey the Lord Whom they have believed, they will be one very spontaneously.

3)    If a believer allows any person or thing to replace the position of the Lord in his heart, it will be very difficult for him to be kept in oneness with other believers. Even if they are one, it will be a false one.

4)    “One” is of Christ, and not of us. We have been of Him because of faith, so we are one. If we come into the union with others, we have damaged the true oneness” of Christ.

5)    Christ cannot be divided, nor can our faith be taken apart. The different forms of baptism cannot be used as reasons for divisions.


Eph. 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

YLT: “one God and Father of all, who over all, and through all, and in you all,”

Literal Meaning: one God and Father of all”: “all”, broadly speaking, it refers to all the creation. Specifically speaking, it refers to Christians. God that we worship is the same only and true God, from whom we have also received His divine Life, so He is also our Father.

“Who is above all”, it speaks of His being above all to command, govern, and control all things.

“And through all”, it indicates that He gives care, looks after, guides and raises us in the midst of us.

“And in you all”, it shows that He inspires, works and strengthens us in all of us.

The three phrases above can also be used to describe the Triune God ---- “Who is above all”, it refers to the transcendence of God the Father. “And through all”, it speaks of the incarnated Son of God, who came to dwell in us. “And in you all”, it refers to the indwelling Spirit in us.

The seven ones from verses four to verse 6, the foundation of our faith, encompass all the truth in the Bible. He who believes the seven ones shall believe everything in the Bible and shall be saved. This is the base of our unity.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The only ground for the oneness of believers is the only Triune God ---- one Spirit, one Lord, one God, as well as His only salvation ---- one hope, one faith, and one baptism, not any doctrine, system, region, racial or social class.

2)    What we have received from the hand of God are the same, and it is God Himself that knits us all together. We have no reason to create any division.

3)    The way to achieve the subjective oneness is that ---- we shall have the will to obey in God’s sovereignty, the attitude of desiring to be one in Christ and the actions in the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

4)    From the view of Paul, Christians being unable to be one is incomprehensible, for they have already had the basic elements of oneness. Even though there are any differences among them, they may be unrelated to the great will of God.


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

YLT: “and to each one of you was given the grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ,”

Meaning of Words: “the measure of”: surveyor’s tool, measurement;

Literal Meaning: the text starts with “but” in the original, because the foregoing verses tell us that we have received the same nature in the body. Yet the following verses are going to show us that our functions in the body are different.

The first verse of this chapter mentions about our calling and this verse speaks of the grace we have received.

This verse talks about the “gifts” we have received: (1) the grantor ---- Christ; (2) the recipients ---- each one – all those who are saved; (3) the basis ---- according to the measure by Christ ---- He bestows His grace according to the capacity of each one’s faith.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    We all have the right and capacity to serve in Christ, because each of us has received a distinct gift from Him.

2)    Although the Lord has unspeakable gifts, He grants the “measure” of grace to us according to the most appropriate measure for us. If we want to receive more gifts from the Lord, we have to firstly ask Him to enlarge our capacity.

3)    Since all the gifts are granted by the Lord, there is no one who can boast the gifts he has received.

4)    Each of us should be content with the gift we have received from the Lord. We should neither be jealous of those who have received apparently more visible and honorable gifts, nor despise those who appear to have fewer gifts.

5)    The gracious gifts are given by the Lord instead of being produced from training. Gifts are manifested in the practical service, and become experienced in continual practice of service.


Eph. 4:8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men."

YLT: “wherefore, he saith, `Having gone up on high he led captive captivity, and gave gifts to men,' --”

Meaning of Words: “gave”: brought to us;

The Background: in the ancient times, on a triumphant return from a war, the victorious general brought back the captives of the defeated foes and the seized goods, and gave them to his soldiers as well as to the people.

Literal Meaning: therefore He says”, it refers to the words recorded in the Old Testament, Psalm 68, verse 18.

This verse indicates that Christ gives gifts to men according to the cross, on which the Lord defeated Satan and destroyed the power of captivating men, including the sin, the world, the death, the flesh and etc. At the time of His resurrection and ascension, He brought those who were captivated by Satan but were predestinated to be of God with Him into the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6) together, and gave gifts to them (or they were given as gifts to the church).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Since gifts are captures of Christ’s leading captivity captive, when we practice our gifts to serve the church, we have already stood upon the victorious transcendent ground. Therefore, we should not be afraid of the attacks or obstructions from the enemy, because the fact that we have received the gifts is an evidence of its defeat. We shall be encouraged ahead. Even though we have the smallest gift, we should also know this fact.

2)    The cross is not only the premise for Christ to give gifts to man, but also the means by which the measure of our receiving the gifts will be enlarged. Therefore, the more one has been dealt with the cross, the more gifts he will receive.


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

YLT: “and that, he went up, what is it except that he also went down first to the lower parts of the earth?”

Meaning of Words: lower parts of the earth”: the parts that is underneath the earth.

Literal Meaning: verse 9 and verse 10 are in parenthesis, especially explaining verse 8 and clarifying that the quoted words refer to Christ. These two verses help us to associate the incarnation of Christ as well as His resurrection.

Some Bible expositors interpret the “lower parts of the earth” as Hades. The Lord Jesus had been there after His death (Rom. 10:7).


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

YLT: “he who went down is the same also who went up far above all the heavens, that He may fill all things --”

Literal Meaning: far above all the heavens”, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, He ascended to the heavens and sat down on the right hand of God the Father (Eph. 1:20, Acts 1:9, 2:34).

“That He might fill all things”, after the Lord Jesus had triumphed and ascended to the heavens, He gave the spiritual “gifts” to man for building His body. The church is His Body, the fullness of the one who fills all in all (Eph. 1:23). Therefore, to build the body is definitely related to filling of all in all by Christ. In fact, that He gives gifts is just for the purpose of attaining to the goal of His filling all things.


Eph. 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

YLT: “and He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some proclaimers of good news, and some shepherds and teachers,”

Literal Meaning: apostles”, those who are called by God and are endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit, and are sent to everywhere to preach the gospel and establish the church.

“Prophets”: those who are inspired by the Holy Spirit and have received the revelation of the truth of God. They preach the will of God to edify, comfort, and exhort the believers.

“Evangelists”: those who have a special burden and capability of preaching the gospel. They can penetrate deep into a crowd of people and lead them to believe in the Lord.

“Shepherds and teachers”: in the original, there is only one definite article before “shepherds and teachers”, indicating that it is one ministry that performs concurrently two functions, which complement each other and are embodied in one person who has this gift. The former (shepherds) emphasizes feeding and looking after believers’ spiritual life, and the latter (teachers) focuses on the edification and practice of the truths.

The apostles mainly do the “point work. The “prophets” chiefly do the “line” work. The evangelists do the work on the whole. And the shepherd-teachers do the “three dimensional” work.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Here we can see clearly that the spiritual gifts are different.

2)    Here, the four or five kinds of gifts are mainly centered on the ministry of speaking. Furthermore, any believer who would serve the Lord in the church must seek well before God to be the minister of words.

3)    The gift of a certain believer may not be manifested immediately after they have believed the Lord. Therefore, the church must provide opportunities for all the believers to reveal, cultivate, and develop their gifts.


Eph. 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

YLT: “unto the perfecting of the saints, for a work of ministration, for a building up of the body of the Christ,”

Meaning of Words: equipping”: convalescence, patching, assembling to cause it to be complete; “ministry”: work, mission, responsibility;

Literal Meaning: for the equipping of the saints”, to make the saints perform their functions in life, knowledge, talents and etc through various kinds of methods.

“For the work of ministry”, it means that each of the saint is engaged in the service of God.

This verse refers to the purposes of the gifts: (1) to cultivate and develop all the saints in the body; (2) to make every saint fulfill the function in his service; (3) to complete the work of building of the body of Christ.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Concerning the building of the church of the Lord, it does not only rely on the provision and guidance of those who are specially gifted like the apostles, prophets and etc., but also requires all the believers to take their responsibilities and give themselves up to the Lord. We are all saints ---- we are just duty-bound and should not neglect our duty.

2)    In a normal church, it is not that only workers serve in the church, but the workers lead the whole church to serve together, thus causing each saint to be used by God, otherwise it is not the body of Christ.

3)    Each member has his own function in the body, and moreover, his function cannot be replaced by that of any other member of the body. Each believer in the church has his own position and his own portion of work.

4)    The necessary attitude that God’s children ought to have in their work is that ---- may what we can do could also be done by others, and may that there would be always someone who could do what I could not do.

5)    Gift is something that plays a direct part in the building of the body of Christ or some indispensable speciality. The dispensable one is not gift.


Eph. 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

YLT: “till we may all come to the unity of the faith and of the recognition of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to a measure of stature of the fullness of the Christ,”

Meaning of Words: till”: until we arrived at the goal, achieve the objective; faith”: belief, believe in; “come to the unity”: unanimous, arrive at the identical destination; to a perfect man”: grow to mature adulthood; stature”: highest degree, stature, age;

Literal Meaning: unity of the faith”, it indicates that we come into the unity of the objective faith in Christ.

“And of the knowledge of the Son of God”, it shows that we have entered the unity of the subjective knowledge of the experience of Christ. “Knowledge”: the complete, deep, and precise knowledge, not superficial knowledge.

“To a perfect man”, it means that one has passed the childish and ignorant period and is able to distinguish the truth (Heb. 5:13-14).

“To the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”, one has grown up to be mature enough in Christ, until the fullness of Christ is manifested in the church.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The goal of the church is to grow “to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. The way of attaining to this goal is to perfect the saints through various gifts (v.11-12), “Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God”.

2)    Today, the most important thing in the church is nothing but using all the gifts to guide and teach all the saints diligently so that let them come to the full knowledge of the Son of God. In this way, the church will early attain to the full measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

3)    If there is any deviation from the objective belief of the saints toward Christ, there will be also faults in their subjective knowledge of Christ. Likewise, if there are differences in our knowledge of Christ, we cannot come to the complete unity.

4)    Christians tend to have some differences in the details of their knowledge of Christ and in the faith in Christ, and such divergences constitute the primary factors that cause split in the churches.

5)    The essence of the church lies in giving Christ the status that He should be in and allowing the life of Christ to govern the church entirely.

6)    How much we know Christ determines how much we will yield to Him.

7)    The believers know Christ not only through the truth, but also our experiences of Him. And only in this way can we receive the true knowledge the Son of God.

8)    Knowing the truth leads us to the Son of God, but knowing the Son of God enables us to be mature and be filled with His fullness. For this reason, to know the Son of God is the goal of our pursuit.

9)    Only genuine knowledge of the Son of God can direct us to maturity, and Christ will make Himself be filled in the church with His fullness


Eph. 4:14 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,

YLT: “that we may no more be babes, tossed and borne about by every wind of the teaching, in the sleight of men, in craftiness, unto the artifice of leading astray,”

Meaning of Words: trickery of men”: throwing the dice, slyness, craftiness, careful scheming;cunning craftiness”: having the stratagem to move; deceitful plotting”: the method, plan to deceive people;

The Background: trickery of men” in the original is throwing the dice or crap game. This kind of gambling at the time of the apostle Paul was already well known as a game of deception.

Literal Meaning: that we should no longer be children”, we should no longer remain in the immature state as an infant stage in Christ.

“Trickery of men”, it refers to men who have ulterior motives and preach paradoxical teachings.

“In the cunning craftiness”, it speaks of some magic arts outside of the church as well as the supernatural signs by those false prophets inside the church.

“Every wind of doctrine, the word wind” of course represents being vain, impractical and highly changeable. And all the doctrines that have nothing to do with Christ and distract one’s attention to things outside of Christ are “wind of doctrine”.

“Tossed to and fro”, it describes a ship that is blown by the gale wind, being swayed by the waves up and down.

“Carried about”, it describes a ship in midst of big storm, causing it to run around in circles, without any sense of direction.

The previous two conditions both have something to do with the “wind of doctrine”.

“Deceitful plotting”, it is systematized error.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The reason why wrong paths have a bizarre controlling power is that there is a spirit of falsehood and lies behind them.

2)    A mature Christian is characterized by his firm faith instead of being dominated by falsehoods. 

3)    All those who do not take the truth as the basis of faith, and who are blindly believe the interpretations of the Scriptures and who rely excessively on those supernatural wonders will be easily enticed by the heresies.

4)    All the teaching that do not aim at the “knowledge of the Son of God (v.13)”, no matter how reasonable or pleasant to ears, are all “winds of doctrines” that scheme to make the children of God be tossed to and fro. This is the devil’s trickery and the cunning craftiness, which may seriously hinder the growth of the church. We must take heed to and beware of it.


Eph. 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ--

YLT: “and, being true in love, we may increase to Him all things, who is the head -- the Christ;”

Literal Meaning: but, speaking the truth in love”, to live and walk in the truth and in love. One should not only adhere to the truth for the sake of love, but also manifest the truth in his walking.

“May grow up in all things”: to grow up in all the aspects of our living in order to attain to some goal. It also points that every part of our body directs all towards one direction (Christ).

“Who is the head—Christ”, for Christ is the truth (Jn. 14:6). He who adheres to the truth will be grown up into Christ in all things.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    We can deal with the deception of heresies and the cunning deceits of philosophies by truth only.

2)    We have to speak the truth in love, for the truth is hard and cold, but only love is warm and filled with life. Love melts men into the body life, thus making them grow up into Christ.

3)    Those who speak for the Lord have to know the secret of leading people to believe and obey the truth ---- that is “speaking the truth in love”, not great words of wisdom or some lofty hallow words.

4)    True words must be spoken in love. Words spoken without love may often cause misunderstandings.

5)    We can endure the misunderstandings of others toward us for the sake of loving God, and hold the truth firmly without any calculation.

6)    We should not be content with the progress in some aspects, for it may hinder our further “growth in Him in all things.

7)    The greatest difficulty in our pursuit of growth in Him is having not met the Lord.

8)    All the activities in the church ---- including reading the Scriptures, praying, serving and devoting and etc. If these acts have neither been done in the living fellowship with Christ, nor in the spirit of honoring Christ as the Head, they must be dead works.

9)    Only when each member keeps the union with the head directly and has a normal relationship with the head, can they have a normal relationship with each other.


Eph. 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

YLT: “from whom the whole body, being fitly joined together and united, through the supply of every joint, according to the working in the measure of each single part, the increase of the body doth make for the building up of itself in love.”

Literal Meaning: from whom the whole body”, on the one hand, the body depends on the provision from the head. On the other hand, it has to make an effort by itself.

“Joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, they not only knit together, but also coordinate appropriately with each other.

“By what every joint supplies”, each joint in the body has the ministry of supplying other members of the body.

“Causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love”, the effective working by which every part does its share is that each member of the body will grow. And of course the whole body will also grow accordingly, thus being built in the harmony and coordination of love.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)      Only as we “grow up into Him in all things” (v.15) can the whole Body be “joined and knit together by what every joint supplies in Him”.

2)      The building of the body of Christ lies in proper coordinated ministration with each other. Moreover, the real coordination and delightful cooperation can only be realized through each member’s upholding Christ as the head and growing up into Him in all things.

3)      Each member of the body of Christ has his own function. Only as each member performs his function can the body be built up. Therefore, in the church, we should not attend to our own work only, but also that of others. It pleases the Lord to lead others to work together instead of working alone.

4)      Relations among the brothers and sisters are established through the Lord. When we have well relationship with the Lord, we will also have well relationship with all the saints at the same time, and thus the reality of the body will be manifested.

5)      If there is only a single good-gifted worker preaching God’s word, but most of the rest members are set aside and enjoy the ready spiritual provision. Such local church cannot be counted being built.

6)      The practical operation of the building of the church occupies the whole church ---- everyone shall stand in his own post, and every member shall use his gift of grace to serve the Lord together.

7)      “For the edifying of itself in love”, only love is the element and atmosphere that facilitates the spiritual growth. The church can grow in the atmosphere of love only.


Eph. 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,

YLT: “This, then, I say, and I testify in the Lord; ye are no more to walk, as also the other nations walk, in the vanity of their mind,”

Meaning of Words: gentiles”: foreigners; futility”: void, stupid, vanity, at a lost of how to proceed; mind”: intellect, the comprehension faculty;

Literal Meaning: this I say, therefore, and testify”: say resolutely, testify without any reservation.

“Walk… in the futility of their mind”, it means in the original that they set the mind on vain things, causing their minds to be ineffective. The unbelieving Gentiles have their life entirely controlled by their minds. Their minds are of vanity, so their walking is also empty and false.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)      The life and living realm between believers and the Gentiles are different, and their norms of conduct are also different.

2)      It is not the deliberation and conduct that a believer should have ---- desiring to enjoy privileges without sparing any effort, desiring to reap without sowing, and fancying ideally and etc.


Eph. 4:18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;

YLT: “being darkened in the understanding, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart,”

Meaning of Words: understanding”: comprehension, thoughts; darkened”: to be shaded by darkness; alienated”: separated, cannot communicate; blindness”: numbed, without feeling, hardened (it refers to hardening medically).

Literal Meaning: having their understanding darkened”, it indicates that the understanding of a man lacks the capability of discernment so that he is unable to distinguish good or evil.

“Because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart”, “ignorance” indicates that they do not desire to know. Man can know God from the creation of God. Yet men refuse to know God, and became harden and numb toward God. Finally, they are estranged from the life of God and are alienated from Him.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)      The depravity and corruption of man began with the inner blindness. Therefore, when we have no light within (Matt 6:23), we should be watchful, for it is the mark of the beginning of depravity.

2)      From the walking of a man in his life, we can tell the condition of his spiritual life.

3)      The numb, recalcitrant, stubborn condition of a man’s heart shows that he is abandoned by God. This kind of man does not fear the judgment of God when he has sinned against God, still persisting in his old way and living a care-free and self-pleasing life.


Eph. 4:19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

YLT: “who, having ceased to feel, themselves did give up to the lasciviousness, for the working of all uncleanness in greediness;”

Meaning of Words: lewdness”: shameless lasciviousness; greediness”: always seeking to gain more; insatiable greed;

Literal Meaning: who, being past feeling”, it means making oneself lose all his feeling. Man has discarded all his virtuous feelings, like love, justice, kindness and etc.

“Given themselves over to lewdness”, do what one desires without any inhibition ---- to hand oneself over to licentious and evil behaviors. 

“To work all uncleanness with greediness”, one often considers how to gain more material or sexual gratification so that he spares no efforts to engage in all kinds of unclean matters without and consideration for the profit of others.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Man firstly relinquished the inner feeling in conscience, and then he loosely indulges in fleshly lusts and works out all kinds of filthy things. Therefore, the way for we believers to keep holy is to honor the feeling in conscience and in spirit within us.

2)    The conscience of man is the organ originally used by God to subdue man’s sins. When a man does not hear God and is abandoned by Him, the thorough exposure of the lusts and the unbridled indulgence will be found immediately in him.


Eph. 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ,

YLT: “and ye did not so learn the Christ,”

Literal Meaning: the word “but” indicates that the life of a believer is completely different from that of an unbeliever.

“So learned Christ”, during a specific period of time in the past, they have already learned two things from Christ: (1) to regard the walking of Jesus as our model of our outward living (Matt 11:29); (2) to let the life of Christ flow out through us.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The believers have the life of Christ, so they can learn from Christ. One receives His life first, and becomes imitator of Him afterwards.

2)    Genuine faith will definitely have the effect of sublimation in our lives.

3)    Knowing Christ and putting the flesh into death are inseparable.

4)    We are not learning from any person, but from Christ Himself. If we imitate others, we just imitate the Christ in them (see 1Cor 11:1).


Eph. 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

YLT: “if so be ye did hear him, and in him were taught, as truth is in Jesus;”

Literal Meaning: if indeed you have heard Him”, have heard of Christ Himself and His words and deeds.

“Have been taught by Him”, it means being instructed “in Him” in the original. It unveils that the teaching of the Lord is unlike that of the world, which only teach others outwardly, but the Lord’s teachings are: (1) pertaining to the inner life; (2) being received by those who are in the Lord only.

“As the truth is in Jesus”, there is no definite article before the word “truth” in the original. It refers to all the accomplished facts by the Lord Jesus on the earth (including having put off the old man). Now all of these are the divine realities hid in Christ. Therefore, He said, “I am the… truth” (Jn. 14:6). The truth we have learned is the living truth and is what lives in Christ Jesus.

To listen to the Lord’s word is “knowledge”. To receive the Lord’s teachings is “faith”. And to learn the Lord’s truth is “living”.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    What we listen, receive and learn is not doctrine or theory, but “Himself.

2)    Truth is not only something that God makes us see and touch, but also that the God that we have seen and touched enters us so that we may live out Him.

3)    Listening to the word of God and receiving His teachings should be linked with the learning the truth. He who only hears without neither receiving any lesson nor learning the truth receives no profit no matter how many teachings he has listened to.


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

YLT: “ye are to put off concerning the former behaviour the old man, that is corrupt according to the desires of the deceit,”

Meaning of Words: “put off”: remove (clothing); “corrupt”: damage;

Literal Meaning: the old man with the former conduct”, the old man” refers to the old life inherited from Adam. This old man, the source of our life in the past, is manifested through our conduct in the past.

“Put off… old man”: put off”, it is an accomplished fact. Whenever we believe and receive Christ, we have put off the old man.

“The old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts”, the old life of us produces a strong desire called “lust” because of the temptation of Satan. Then, the old man gets worst and worst, until it is beyond redemption.

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) Concerning the old man, believers need not try to change it, but get rid of it like taking off the clothes.

   2) The old man of a Christian has been crucified with Christ on the cross (Rom 6:6). Although it is an accomplished objective fact, we have not been fully experienced the accomplished salvation by Christ in our subjective experience. Therefore, we have to continue to put off our old man daily.


Eph. 4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

YLT: “and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind,”

Meaning of Words: “change”: to put on the renewed…

Literal Meaning: spirit of your mind”, it shows that the new life that we have received at the time of our rebirth has extended into our mind so that our mind has obtained a spiritual likeness.

“Renewed”, the Spirit of God inspires and governs in our mind, thus renewing our mind. The Gentiles live in the vanity of their mind, and their thoughts are of total vanity. We believers have the Spirit of God dwelling in us. However, sometimes we may still be controlled by our own mind. Therefore, the Spirit of God should enter our mind to replace the vanity of our mind, so that our mind may be renewed unto the mature condition of the mind of the Spirit (Rom 8:6). At that time, all that we think will be spiritual.

The passive form (to be renewed) implies that it is not renewing automatically, but that we are being renewed. Besides, the present tense shows that this renewal is going on and keeping advancing.

Enlightenment in the Word:

   1) The salvation of the Lord does not only deal with our old life in the negative aspect, but also grants us the new life to renew us n the positive aspect.

   2) The work of the Holy Spirit always starts from the center of a circle to the circumference. The spirit of man, the habitation of the Holy Spirit, is the center of a man. Moreover, the mind of man especially relates to the spirit. Therefore, the renewing process of a man always starts from his spirit to his mind (Rom. 12:12).


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

YLT: “and to put on the new man, which, according to God, was created in righteousness and kindness of the truth.”

Meaning of Words: true”: truly, reality; “righteousness”: righteous, fair, straightforward; “holiness”: be holy, sanctify;

Literal Meaning: which was created according to God”, it means that the new man with the life and disposition of God is created according to God himself.

“In true righteousness and holiness”,true” refers to the truth in the Lord Jesus. “Righteousness” speaks of that how we treat others. Men should be righteous when communicating with others. Righteousness conforms to God's laws. “Holiness” refers to the consecration to God and godliness. Holiness is to be united with the disposition of God and be separated from everything that is outside of God.

When Lord Jesus was on the earth, He was righteous to men and holy to God, for He is perfectly right toward God and man. Therefore, He is the truth.

Enlightenment in the Word:

  1) The purpose of God who makes us be born again is to bring us back from the wrong path in order to fulfill the will of God’s creation of us.

2) According to the original text, the “put off” in verse 22 and “put on” verse 24 are the past tense. The turning points of putting off the old man and the putting on the new man are not accomplished by our efforts, but by the death and resurrection of Christ.

3) We shall manifest God in our daily life according to the righteousness and holiness of God, namely, the manifestation of the disposition of God, rather than that of men.

4) We should have a sincere heart toward God or man, for falsehood can not cheat the true God.


Eph. 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.

YLT: “Wherefore, putting away the lying, speak truth each with his neighbour, because we are members one of another;”

Meaning of Words: “putting away”: put aside; “truth”: reality;

Literal Meaning: therefore” means the words written below is a connecting link between the preceding and the following. It gives some encouraging words based on the words above.

“Putting away lying”, it is the past tense in the original ---- since the lying is rejected, one will hate it to the point of never using it again. “Lying” includes all kinds of cheating, deception, or cunning ---- they are the main characteristics of the old man.

Everything that comes out of Satan's illusion is false. The first characteristic of Satan is lying and falsehood. The second one is hatred and killing. Here, it is not encouragement, but the declaration that one has already put away all the illusive lie of Satan when he has put off his old man.

“Neighbor”, it refers to those who are close to you ---- the brothers and sisters in the Lord.

“Truth”, it is the same as the “truth” in verse 21 and 24 in the original, which is opposite to lying. It means being simple and honest.

“Speaking truth with his neighbor”, since we live in the new man, when we talk with brothers and sisters, we shall not speak the vain and false words of Satan, lest attract their attention to things outside of God. Instead, we should speak the truth in the new creation to brothers and sisters, so they may touch God.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The first thing that a believer should deal with is our speech, for speech is the expression of ones character and the means of our contact with others.

2)    Lies make men farther, while truth brings men closer.

3)    Honesty is the most significant mark that separates Christians from the world. Yet the most serious sin that makes Christians fall short of the glory of God is dishonesty.

4)    We believers are members of one another. None of the members of the body should give an erroneous or dishonest message to other members. If we give out erroneous or false message to others, the whole body will be paralyzed.


Eph. 4:26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

YLT: “be angry and do not sin; let not the sun go down upon your wrath,”

Literal Meaning:be angry and do not sins”, it is an imperative sentence ---- it does not command believers to be angry, but allows believers to be angry. Believers sometimes may be angry with the unrighteous, ungodly, unlawful conditions of others (2 Cor. 11:2). What is really important is that we should neither be angry with sinful motivation (e.g. be angry because of insolence), nor be trapped into sins. If we are angry against sins or at hating sins, that is fine. However, if we are angry for the sake of letting off the wrathful emotion to make ourselves be comfortable, that is sin.

“Do not let the sun go down on your wrath”, it means we should not feed our anger. There should be a limit and the time should not be too long. Hence, we are exhorted to not be angry when the sun goes down, for it does not please God.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Believers are allowed to be angry, but it should be the “righteous anger” rather than personal feeling or emotional release, yet it should not be turned to attack saints.

2)    The righteous indignation against unrighteousness and that rebukes wrong-doing may be right, but if we are not careful, pride and enmity may creep in.

3)    Everyday, we believers have to clean up all the displeasure at others, so that we may not accumulate the enmity in our hearts.


Eph. 4:27 nor give place to the devil.

YLT: “neither give place to the devil;”

Meaning of Words: devil”: the one who spread rumor, crafty one; give place”: give opportunity, open the way;

Literal Meaning: every time Satan wants to do some work on God's children, he always looks for a ground for him to work. If we never give him any ground, he can do nothing. This is our victory.

It means that if you do not stop your anger and continue being angry, it will give place to Satan.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The devil often entices us firstly from the least matter to let us commit sins. If we do not take heed to it, it will be insatiable and entice us further and pull us into an irremediable place. Therefore, we have to take heed to it, and give none place to the devil in the least matter.

2)    If we believers give some places to the devil in our mind, Satan will never stop here only, but schemes to gain more ground to capture our whole mind.

3)    He who is angry tends to be wrathful (v.26). When wrath comes, man will not be able to control himself, thus giving the devil a chance.


Eph. 4:28 Let 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 him who has need.

YLT: “whoso is stealing let him no more steal, but rather let him labour, working the thing that is good with the hands, that he may have to impart to him having need.”

Meaning of Words: what is good”: useful, beneficial, good, charity; give”: give something, share something;

Literal Meaning: stole”: steal has nothing to do with being angry and wrath, but relates to giving place to Satan. Stealing is one kind of deception originating from Satan.

“Work what is goodthat we may give him who has need”, the reason for stealing is usually either covetousness or laziness. He who does not work is laziness. He who accumulates so much for himself is covetousness. Therefore, “working with your hands what is good” is not laziness, and giving out what you have leftover to others is not covetousness. Christian should always care for others in livelihood. We should help those who are needy if we have sufficient provision.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The most obvious “stealing” of Christians is stealing the glory of God, stealing the gifts of God, and stealing the offerings that are due to God.

2)    To love ease and hate work is the bad nature of the old man. In the new man, we have to refuse the concept of reaping without sowing and develop the habit of working diligently.

3)    The hand that covets others riches has changed into another hand that works diligently and shares the leftover with others. This is a great proof of God's working in us.

4)    To give” is the responsibility and the necessary life of God's children.  We live in order to give to others. No one should seek his own things only, but ignore others. Everyone should try to care for and help others.


Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

YLT: “Let no corrupt word out of your mouth go forth, but what is good unto the needful building up, that it may give grace to the hearers;”

Meaning of Words: corrupt word”: rotten, useless, bad, use to describe the rotten fruits or spoil fish; edification”: building;

Literal Meaning: “corrupt word, it will corrupt the hearers and poison their minds and contaminate their spirit. Therefore, let no such word proceed out of your mouth.

“Speak what is good necessary for edification”, what man needs is the spiritual edification and life edification.

“Good word”, it refers to the word out of God, for only God is good.

“It may impart grace to the hearers”, we speak the good word of God, which is speaking the truth, thus imparting grace to the hearers and making them gain God.


Eph. 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

YLT: “and make not sorrowful the Holy Spirit of God, in which ye were sealed to a day of redemption.”

Meaning of Words: “grieve”: suffer, pain, sighing;

Literal Meaning: do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God”, the Devil is near the Christians, but the Holy Spirit lives in the Christians. A real Christian's life is neither giving place to Satan nor grieving the Holy Spirit, so that we may live out the image of God.

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit”, it means that we should obey the governing and guiding of the Holy Spirit in the life. That is to forsake the bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, and all malice ---- all these diseases in the body may divide the body of Christ and hinder the unity of saints. Therefore, these diseases should be put away.

“By whom you were sealed”, God has sealed on us through the Holy Spirit, which indicates that we are of God and are dominated and governed under the authority of God. The seal of the Holy Spirit is to seal us to be like God. This seal is living and is working in us all the time in order to let us live out God in our walking. When we walk outwardly regarding the truth of Jesus as a mold, the seal in us will work, thus working together, both inside and outside, which may cause us to live out the righteousness and holiness.

“The day of redemption”, it refers to the redemption of the body and the day of being caught up. This is the ultimate completion of our salvation (Rom 8:23). We have to wait until the second coming of Christ, so “the day of redemption” refers to the second coming of the Lord.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    “Grieve” is a kind of love and can not bear to forsake. The love that the Holy Spirit to believers is a kind of love of not forsaking.

2)    The Holy Spirit works within the heart of the believers. It firstly inspires, rebukes, forbids, pushes, and then grieves. If believers still pay no attention to it, he will be faced with the chastisement by God. (Isa. 63:10)


Eph. 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

YLT: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice,”

Meaning of Words: “put away”: cut off;

Literal Meaning: bitterness”, the hatred and evil nature hidden in one’s heart. It describes a person who has been hurt and ignored and carries the intention of retaliation

“Wrath”: react with anger; sudden explosive emotion;

“Anger”: anger that leads to direct hurt or that relates to sins. It is also a habitual irritating emotion.

“Clamor”: be in anger with roaring curse, referring to the open quarrel;

“Evil speaking”: evil speaking to brothers with an insulting attitude. It also refers to stirring up controversies.

“Malice”: the mother of bitterness and hatred, mean disposition and evil.

All these things are out of Satan. Believers should not let them keep in their hearts, but let them be put away.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    According to the original text, the commandment here uses the passive voice. We can not put them away by ourselves, but He can. Our responsibility is to cooperate with Him and let His cross work on us.

2)    We shall not think that all the evil thoughts and terrible emotions in this verse have nothing to do with us since we are saved. All these states may be disclosed through our facial expression when we are slightly irritated by others. Therefore, we must pay attention to deal with these negative things, and let the Lord put them away for us.


Eph. 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

YLT: “and become one to another kind, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, according as also God in Christ did forgive you.”

Meaning of Words: “kind”: philanthropy, gracious, used, employed; “forgive”: to grant as a favor, pardon;

Literal Meaning: kind… tender… forgiving”: all these virtues are of the Holy Spirit and are opposite to the characters of Satan in the previous verse.

“Tenderhearted”: to show sympathy for those who are weak and miserable.

“As God”, the life of the new man is the godly life. We shall have the incarnated life that the Word became flesh, for once we are saved, we have been born from above. Then the Holy Spirit brings us down to the earth and helps us to manifest the truth in Jesus ---- this is the incarnation again, and Jesus reveals again and lives out the life of God.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


How to Keep the Unity of the Holy Spirit?

A.   With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering (v.2)

B.   Bearing with one another in love (v.2)

C.   In the bond of peace (v.3)

D.   Endeavoring to keep (v.3)


The Elements of the Unity (v.4-6)

A.   One body

B.   One Spirit

C.   One hope

D.   One Lord

E.   One faith

F.    One baptism

G.   One God


The Premise of the Unity (v.6)

A.   Who is above all ---- the dominating sovereignty of God;  

B.   Through all ---- Christ as the patron for all men;

C.   In you all ---- the indwelling Spirit;


The Gifts of Christ

A.   Giver ---- Christ;

B.   Receiver ---- everyone (believer)

C.   Measure: according to the measure of Christ ---- differ from one another (v.11)

D.   Channel ---- the cross (v.8-10)

E.   Sorts ---- some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers (v.11)

F.    Purpose ---- for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (v.12)


The Ministry in Christ

A.   The foundation of the ministry ---- the oneness in spirit (v.1-10)

B.   The tool of the ministry ---- various gifts (v.7-13)

C.   The aim of the ministry ---- to equip the saints (v.12-13)

D.   The function of the ministry ---- for the edifying of itself in love (v.14-16)


The Relation of the Truth with the Building of the Church

A.   The truth is the foundation of the unity of the church (v.4-6).

B.   The truth is the element for the growth and building of the church (v.11-12).

C.   The full knowledge of the truth is the ultimate intention of the unity of the church (v.13).


The Perfection of the Building of the Church (v.13)

A.   The church comes to the unity of the faith

B.   The church know the Son of God

C.   To a perfect man

D.   To the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ


The Reality of the Building of the Church (v.15-16)

A.   To hold the truth

B.   To grow up into Him who is the head----Christ

C.   The whole body is joined and knits together

D.   According to the effective working by which every part does its share


The Perfected and Grown Saints

A.   Every one grows in grace (v.7).

B.   Every one grows in gifts (v.7-12).

C.   Every one grows in the measure (v.13).

D.   Every one grows in love (v.15-16).

E.   Every one grows in body (v.15-16).


The Life in Christ

A.   Having put off the old man (v.17-19, 22)

B.   Having put on the new man (v.23-24)

C.   Having been renewed in the spirit of the mind (v.23-24)

D.   Conduct in the new life (v.25-32)


The Conduct of the Old Man

A.   Being in the futility of their mind (v.17)

B.   Having their understanding darkened (v.18)

C.   Being alienated from the life of God (v.18)

D.   The ignorance that is in them and the blindness of their heart (v.18)

E.   Being past feeling (v.19)

F.    Having given themselves over to lewdness (v.19)

G.   Working all uncleanness with greediness (v.19)

H.   Growing corrupt according to the deceitful lusts (v.22)


The Life that the New Man Should Live in

A.   Putt away lying (v.25)

B.   Be angry, and do not sin (v.26)

C.   Give not place to the devil (v.27)

D.   Steal not any longer, and work with one’s hands what is good (v.28)

E.   Speak what is good for necessary edification (v.29)

F.    Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God (v.30)

G.   Let all be put away. Be kind to one another. Forgiving one another (v.31-32).


Seven Kind of life of Growing up to the Stature of Christ

A.   The life that is worthy of the calling (v.1)

B.   The life of love (v.2)

C.   The life of unity (v.3)

D.   The life of incarnation (v.13-15)

E.   The life that every part does its share (v.16)

F.    The life in the new life (v.22-24)

G.   The life of hope (v.30)


Five Kinds of Hindrance to Grow up to the Stature of Christ

A.   Having not put off the old man (v.22)

B.   Be angry and let not the wrath go (v.26)

C.   Give place to the devil (v.27)

D.   Be lazy and rely on others (v.27)

E.   Grieve the Holy Spirit (v.30)


Saints Who Are Changed into New

A.   The Mind is Changed into New

1.    The futile mind has been changed into the true mind (v.17).

2.    The dark mind has been changed into the bright mind (v.18).

3.    The ignorant and hardened mind has been changed into wise and soft mind (v.18).

4.    The conscience being past feeling has been changed into a good conscience (v.19).

5.    From believing Christ to learning Christ (v.20)

6.    From putting off the old man to putting on the new man (v.22-24)

B.   The Conduct is Changed into New:

1.    Put away lying, and speak truth (v.25).

2.    Be angry, and do not sin (v.26).

3.    Do not give place to the devil (v.27).

4.    Do not steal any longer, but rather labor, working with one’s hands what is good (v.28)

5.    Speak what is good for necessary edification (v.29)

6.    Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God (v.30)

C.   The Interpersonal Relationship is Changed into New:

1.    Put away the malignant tumor of the old interpersonal relationship (v.31)

2.    Be kind to one another (v.32)

3.    Forgive one another (v.32)


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Overcomer Wu & Mary Zhou