Ephesians 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that you should walk worthy of the vocation [live a godly life] where with you are called 4:2 With all lowliness [humility] and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 4:2 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace.
Our unity is to be with God and that unity comes from living by every Word of God through the power of God’s Spirit. We are to be united with God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which inspires the enthusiastic keeping of the whole Word of God. Godly unity is not some emotional attachment to friends and some organization, or tolerating the sin that separates us from God for the sake of unity with people! Our unity is to be with God Almighty; which then brings unity with other like minded persons!
4:4 There is one body [of the faithful to God, which not an organization of men] and one spirit even as you are called in one hope of your calling.
There is one spiritual Ekklesia, or one body of Christ but many parts.
3:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 4:6 one God and Father of all who is above all and though all and in you all. 4:7 But anyone of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 4:8 Wherewith, he sayeth, when he ascends upon high he led captivity captive and gave gifts [salvation] unto men.
The true Ekklesia of God is not any corporate organization! It consists of all those who have responded to the Father’s call; accepted the atonement of Christ; committed to obey God the Father and Jesus Christ forever; and are become ONE in complete unity with God the Father and Christ, through a diligent passionate living by Every Word of God; WITHOUT COMPROMISE and WITHOUT TOLERATING ANY DEFILEMENT OF SIN!
4:9 (Now, that he ascended what is it; but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
That is, the Being that created all things, descended from heaven unto the earth and into the grave. The Creator descended first unto the earth and was killed, he was then resurrected and ascended back up to God.
4:10 He that descended is the same, also, that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
The Being who created humanity gave up his God-hood to be made flesh as Jesus Christ and descended to the earth to dwell among men; to learn through living a physical life what life as men in the flesh is like, to learn about the trials and tribulations and sufferings and joys of men. And after atoning for the sins of men, Christ ascended up to rejoin his Father! He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens that he might fulfill all things.
This is not a list of descending levels of authority, rather it is a list of various offices of responsibilities or administrative functions.
4:11 And, he gave some apostles and some prophets and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers 4:12 for the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man and to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
God has given us teachers and helpers and guides to help us to become perfect — to help us to become like God the Father and Jesus Christ. They are older brothers whose job is to focus us on the Father and Christ and to teach us God’s ways; to help us to internalize every Word of God; which defines what God is; so that we can internalize the very nature of God and become just like God in our attitude, words and actions!
The minute anyone says “tolerate sin”, or “a little compromise doesn’t matter Christ understands and will overlook it”: SUCH MEN HAVE CEASED TO BE MEN OF GOD; and HAVE BECOME FALSE PROPHETS AND FALSE TEACHERS; seeking to steal your crowns and lead you into the path of destruction!
It is our calling to become FULLY like God the Father and Jesus Christ: “a perfect man and to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”.
We are not to seek excuses for failing to become like Christ, who lived by every Word of God the Father; we are to diligently WORK to achieve our goal and seek that Christ would dwell within us and lead and strengthen us to overcome as HE overcame.
What did Christ do? He KEPT HIS FATHER’S WORD! Without a shadow of compromise! To be like him we must do what he did!
Christ said, I have kept the Father’s commandments; I have kept my Father’s law. And, we are to become like Christ. We are to “fulfill the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”.
We are to keep God’s commandments just as Christ did. He didn’t keep those commandments so we wouldn’t have to; He kept those commandments as our example. So, that we can learn from that example and fill up the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. We re to follow Christ’s example and to become like him, and therefore we can be good children of God the Father just as Jesus Christ was [and is]. And being good children we would be acceptable to the Father.
The various offices and gifts given to members of the body are merely responsibilities to be helps in various areas to assist the brethren to become LIKE God the Father and Jesus Christ for our salvation and glorification in the resurrection.
People in such positions are to be respected as our helps, but they are not to be exalted as some kind of grand idol or little god! And they are to be followed ONLY as they follow God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are offices of responsibility and not any hierarchical system of authority. Yes the offices have some authority as long as the holders are acting and teaching according to the whole Word of God and are not departing from God’s Word; but the authority resides in God and the Word of God and not in the person. If any leader departs from God’s Word, then his authority has departed from him!
True apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers will stand firmly upon the whole Word of God. False leaders will claim to be godly as they deceive you away from any zeal for the whole Word of God to follow themselves.
We are not to be foolish and follow the cunning craftiness of false teachers into every false way, like ignorant spiritual children, we are to be filled with and stand unshakably on the whole Word of God.
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
The true people of God speak the TRUTH of the Word of God, and they stand on God’s Word, to internalize the very nature of God the Father and grow to become holy as God is holy; to become like Christ our espoused Husband and God our Father in heaven.
4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him [Jesus Christ and God the Father] in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
The way to avoid being tricked and deceived by cunning men and by the tares sowed amongst the wheat, is to stand on the solid foundation of the whole Word of God and the Chief Cornerstone Jesus Christ.
We must test the words of all men against the words of the scriptural apostles, and prophets and Jesus Christ. And by the apostles and prophets, I am referring to the written Holy Scriptures. I am not referring to some fellow, who comes along saying;“ I am an Apostle” only doing that to get your attention and excite your admiration so that he can deceive you with cunning craftiness to follow himself. Remember that God calls things what they are: men seldom do.
Now, there may be some people who are truly sent by God as messengers and as apostles. But, if they are, they will be utterly consistent with the Word of God and they will have no fear and no concern about you testing what they say against the Word of God.
The only reason for a fellow not to like you testing what he says, is because he is not consistent with the Word of God. Such false men who say “Questioning me is questioning God;” are liars: for we are commanded not to blindly follow men, and are told to question all men by the whole Word of God.
If we hold men up to the standard of God’s Word: We are NOT questioning God at all!
A true man of God will say; go ahead and check up on me. Absolutely, I will be consistent with the Word of God and if I am not, then there is a problem and you better believe the Word of God, first.
Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies according to the effectual working in the measure of every part [every part of the body working under the direction of the Head which is God the father and Jesus Christ], maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
The spiritual Ekklesia [the brotherhood] is the body of Christ. Every individual in that body should be cooperating and obeying the instructions of its HEAD Jesus Christ, and above Christ, God the Father; for the good of the body of the brotherhood and to edify [build up] the body of the called out to become godly and Christ-like!
Right now the Ekklesia is NOT listening to their HEAD; and are flopping about like a headless body; not standing on the sound doctrine of the Word of God and Jesus Christ, but instead standing on the false traditions of men and doing what each group thinks is right rather than doing what GOD SAYS IS RIGHT!
Zealous for men and organizations and cold for God to keep his Word! Hot in grand claims and lip-service and cold in the works of faith, which is diligent obedience to every Word of God; thus being a mixture of lukewarmness disgusting to Christ.
We are all about grand claims, lip service and appearances; being hot to follow idols of men, while being cold towards sound doctrine and any zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God.
We of the true called out, are not to walk [live and act] as spiritual Gentiles [the unconverted] who are blind to spiritual things]. We are to be diligent to follow the espoused Husband of our baptismal commitment!
4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord that you, henceforth walk not as other gentiles walk or live, as other gentiles live, in the vanity of their mind, 4:18 having the understanding darkened being alienated from the life of God to the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their hearts.
4:19 Who being past feeling, have given themselves unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness, with greediness 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
We are to put away all sin and we are NOT to tolerate any willful sin in ourselves or in our assemblies. We are to put off the sins of the past and we are to become new people in Christ, full of zeal to please and do the will and keep the Word of God the Father and Jesus Christ the espoused Husband of our baptismal commitment!
4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation [sinful conduct] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Put away the body of sin and build a new person free from sin. A new person in Godliness; learning to follow the example of Jesus Christ and to become like Christ in true zeal for godliness.
4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, speak every man the truth with his neighbor for we are members one of another.
The biggest lies that are told are that we should follow men who cast away parts of the scriptures to deceive the brethren into polluting the Sabbaths and High Days, to deceive the brethren to follow the apostate from Moses Rabbinic Calendar and to otherwise accept other men as idols coming between the brethren and Almighty God!
4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
This simply means that yes we can get upset over things that are wrong or evil, we can get angry at SIN! But we are not to lose control of ourselves. We are not to lose our balance and our sound mind. We are not to lose sound judgment and we are not to be angry without a righteous cause.
Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Whenever there is a problem, we should never let it fester and grow in our minds! We should try to resolve it as soon as possible, before it grows out of all proportion in our minds.
We need to be man enough to take the bull by the horns, to be the leader, to be proactive instead of reactive; to be willing to take the first step in trying to resolve problems and difficulties and to follow the instructions of Jesus Christ in Matthew 18.
Neither give place to the devil. That is, don’t lose your temper, do not lose your self control and let the devil find a crack to get in your head and stir things up.
Maintain your self control. It should be a given, that when one is angry, one should work off the adrenaline with exercise and then go to one’s private place and take the problem to God, and then work to get and understand the true facts.
Only after that, the next step should be to go out and try and resolve the problem with the other person.
Get rid of that anger. Get rid of that temper. Work off the adrenaline. Go to God with it. Lay it out for Him and He will help you to get control of yourself. And that will be a giant step forward in preparing you to reach out to the other party in resolving any problems as per Matthew 18.
24:8 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Corrupt communication includes false teachings which lead people away from any zeal to keep the whole Word of God.
4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying [uplifting towards godliness and building up towards holiness], that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
We grieve the Holy Spirit by rejecting the truth of God’s Word and rejecting any zeal for keeping the whole Word of God, preferring to follow idols of men and false traditions.
4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
The word sealed, means; marked or set apart. And, we are set apart to godly holiness, if we have sincerely repented and are resolved to sin no more: Then God’s Spirit will dwell within us.
We are supposed to be different from those people who do not have God’s Spirit dwelling within them. Therefore, the Spirit of God within us is a seal and a mark by which we may be recognized as belonging to God; as being a godly person! And how is that seal visible to others? It is made visible by the things that we say and do! It is made manifest by the light of OUR EXAMPLE!
The example of most of today’s spiritual Ekklesia is not one of godliness; but one of shameful carnality; of exalting our own false traditions above God’s Word; and exalting men and organizations above the Word of Almighty God.
Put away the animosity and jealousy from among you; learn to forgive others as Christ and God the Father have forgiven us.
4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.