God’s Holy Spirit holds all believers together into the body of Christ
1 So I, the prisoner of the Lord, beg you to walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called, 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love; 3 being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But grace is given to every one of us according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Therefore he says, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.
- Jesus, when He ascended to God after His resurrection, took back to heaven with Him the souls of all those who had been waiting in Paradise.
- These were people who had been taken captive by sin because of their fallen nature but had trusted Jesus to pay for their sin, enabling them to be in God’s presence once again.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
- Notice ‘far above all heavens.’ He is outside, above, beneath, in and through all things that He has created.
- He descended into hades and announced His victory over evil spirits imprisoned there—those inciting the Genesis 6 doings.
- 1Peter 3:18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
- Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high
He is the Head that supplies all our body
11 And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, to build up the body of Christ: 13 until we all come into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: 14 that we no longer children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, and deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, who is the head, even Christ: 16 from whom the whole body being fitly joined together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working of each individual part, increases the body to build itself up in love.
- The Lord Himself is what joins His body together.
17 Therefore I say this and testify in the Lord, from now on, do not walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness/hardness of their heart: 19 who being past feeling have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
- ‘past feeling’ is desensitized. Like seeing more and more violence on TV. We get used to it.
He teaches and renews us into the likeness of God
20 But you have not learned Christ in this way; 21 if you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 lay aside your old self, which is being corrupted according to the deceitful lusts; 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 put on the new self, who in righteousness and holiness of truth is created in the likeness of God. 25 So put away lying, speak truth every man with his neighbor: for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry, but do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath: 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no longer: but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, so that he may have something to give to him that is in need. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good to build others up, that it may give grace to the hearers. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by which you are sealed to the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice: 32 Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.
- Grieving the Holy Spirit is directly related to corrupt communication proceeding out of our mouth—verse 29, plus verse 31.
- God is specific. He explains what He is talking about right in each group of scriptures. We just need to read it.
- All the ‘not to do’s’ listed in Ephesians 4 grieve the Holy Spirit of God when we do them.
- We need to ask God for His strength to walk in His way, and believe that He will answer that prayer.
- Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Christ loved us and gave Himself for us
1 Be followers of God, as dear children; 2 and walk in love, as Christ loved us, and gave himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma. 3 But do not let fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness/ greediness, be named among you once, as is fitting for saints; 4 not filthiness/shameful, or foolish/silly talking, or joking/witticism, which are not proper: but rather giving thanks.
- Little children watch others and copy what they do. You must keep your eyes on someone to do this.
- Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
5 Know this that no male prostitute, or unclean person, or covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with empty/vain words: for because of these things the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience/unbelief.
- Covetous people desire things, people, fame, sex, other things more than God who is their Maker and the source of everything.
- Those who do these things can be saved from hellfire through Christ’s death for their sins but do not inherit the kingdom of God.
- Jeremiah 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake you will be ashamed, and those that depart from me will be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
7 Do not be partners with them. 8 For you were then darkness, but now you are light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 proving what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things that are done by them in secret. 13 But all things being exposed by the light are clearly revealed: for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 Therefore he said, Awake sleeping one, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.
- Psalm119:105 Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light to my path.
- John 8:12 I am the light of the world.
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 buying back the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, which is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body.
- Without Christ, man and woman, designed to be together are just 2 empty halves.
- Colossians 2:10 You are complete in him, the head of all principality and power.
24 Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such things; but that it be holy and without blemish.
- If you don’t know God’s word then you are not clean.
- John 15:3 Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
- 1Samuel 16:7 … for the LORD does not see as man sees: For man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.
Christ nourishes and cherishes us
28 So husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause a man is to leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and the two will be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless each individual among you is to love his wife even as himself: and the wife, see that she fear her husband.
- Isaiah 54:5 Your Maker is your husband; the Lord of hosts is His name, and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; He will be called the God of the whole earth.
- John 17:23 I in them and you in me.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.
- God promises a good, long life to those who honor their parents.
4 Fathers do not provoke your children to anger: but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 5 Servants, be obedient to those that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eye service, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 serving with good will, as to the Lord, and not to men.
- Men see what we do, but God sees our hearts.
- 1Samuel 16:7 the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.
The Lord rewards good for all good things done
8 Knowing that whatever good thing any man does, the same will he receive from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 And masters, do the same things to them, stop threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; there is no respecting of persons with him.
- Acts 10:34 Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 but in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him.
He has great, powerful armor for us to put on
10 Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in heavenly/above the sky places. 13 Because of this, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having overcome all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- When we know God’s truth we can’t be deceived (loins girded with truth).
- The most righteous thing a person can do on this earth is to love God with all our heart (Matthew 22:37, 38) (breastplate of righteousness). It protects our hearts. God never fails, forsakes, and leaves us.
- Giving others the gospel gives our lives great purpose (feet shod with the gospel of peace).
- Faith in all that God has promised protects from fear (shield of faith).
- Knowing that we have eternal life and deliverance from evil protects our minds (helmet of salvation).
- The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Without the Word of God we have no weapon against the enemy. As a roaring lion he devours us and just sits back and picks his teeth (1 Peter 5:8).
- Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God gives us peace, love, and faith
18 by means of praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains: that I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 21 And so that you also may know my circumstances, how I am doing. Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make known to you all things: 22 whom I have sent to you for the same purpose, that you might know the things about us, and that he might comfort your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those that love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility. Amen.
SUMMARY: Ephesians 4-6
- God’s Holy Spirit holds all believers together into the body of Christ
- He is the Head that supplies all our body
- He teaches and renews us into the likeness of God
- Christ loved us and gave Himself for us
- Christ nourishes and cherishes us
- The Lord rewards good for all good things done
- He has great, powerful armor for us to put on
- God gives peace, love, and faith