Ephesians ~ Chapter 4 (Verses 1-32)

The Believer’s Walk

Ephesians ~ Chapter 4
The Believer’s Walk Based on His High Calling

Now that we have noted the first three chapters of Ephesians that were the theological portion of this book, beginning in chapter four, and taking us through the rest of this book, we will be noting the application side of the equation, “Our Daily Walk in Christ Jesus.” So this chapter begins the practical section of Ephesians.

As you may know, “walk” or “walking” is a metaphor for living the spiritual life each and every day. It means the application of Bible Doctrine to our lives as we remain filled with the Holy Spirit, so that we live righteously unto God, as He desires and wills for us to live. It is the exercise of our Royal Priesthood and Royal Ambassadorship, towards both God and man. We will note this in more detail at the end of vs. 1.

So we see that this is the practical portion of the epistle that tells us how we should walk and conduct ourselves, (i.e., live and function), as members of the Church. It is the pattern for the Royal Family to live on the road to Supergrace.

Outline of Chapter 4

A) The Believer’s Walk in Unity; God’s Plan for Faithful Living in the Church to Build the Church, Eph 4:1-16.

1.) The Appeal to Preserve Unity; The walking worthy of the calling by which we have been called, Eph 4:1-3.

2.) The Basis for Unity; The seven unities given to us by God, Eph 4:4-6.

3.) The Means of Unity; The ministry gifts of Christ given to His body, Eph 4:7-16.

a) Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension proclaimed, as well as being the giver of gifts, vs. 8-10.

b) The purpose of our gifts; building up of the body of Christ, individually and collectively, vs. 12-16.

B) The Believer’s Walk in Righteousness; God’s Pattern and Principles for Members of the Church and His Standards for Faithfulness in the Church, Eph 4:17-32.

  1.) The Previous Walk of the Old Life, Eph 4:17-19.

  2.) The Present Walk of the New Life, Eph 4:20-32.

a) The Regenerated New Man in Christ Jesus, vs. 20-24.

b) Principles of Conduct for the New Man, vs. 25-32.

In addition, Ryrie notes that Chapter 4 begins a discourse on “The Practice of Believers,” that begins in Eph 4:1 and runs through to Eph 6:9.

  1. In Relation to Other Believers, Eph 4:1-6.
  2. In Relation to Spiritual Gifts, Eph 4:7-16.
  3. In Relation to the Former Life, Eph 4:17-32.
  4. In Relation to Evil, Eph 5:1-17.
  5. In Relation to the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18-21.
  6. In Relation to Home Life, Eph 5:22-6:4.
  7. In Relation to Slaves and Masters, Eph 6:1-9.

Unger breaks this chapter down based on our spiritual walk in Christ, Eph 4:1-6:9, as follows:

  1. The walk worthy, Eph 4:1-3.
  2. The walk as an expression of doctrinal unity, Eph 4:4-6.
  3. The walk as a ministry of gifts, Eph 4:7-16.
  4. The walk as a regenerated man, Eph 4:17-29.
  5. The walk of the believer indwelt by the Spirit, Eph 4:30-32.
  6. The walk as a child in God’s family, Eph 5:1-33.
  7. The walk of children and servants, Eph 6:1-9.

This chapter, and running through to the end of the book, also tells us how redemption is applied to our church lives, personal lives, and domestic lives, in that the Holy Spirit produces unity within the body of Christ based first on Christ providing a diversity of spiritual gifts for the edification of His body, and secondly on the Holy Spirit bringing unity within the church as Christ’s gifts result in edification and maturity of individual believers and potentially all believers. In addition, this unity is won as a result of the desires and practices of our old life being ended within our present lives.

So we begin with the first section:

A) The Believer’s Walk in Unity; God’s Plan for Faithful Living in the Church to Build the Church, Eph 4:1-16.

1.) The Appeal to Preserve Unity, The walk to be worthy, Eph 4:1-3.

Vs. 1

Eph 4:1, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.”

In the Greek, this verse begins with PARAKALEO in the Present, Active, Indicative, 1st Person, Singular that means, “I call for, exhort, entreat, encourage, or urge.” It is used for emphasis as Paul is encouraging the Church to act in a certain way, which is to “walk in Jesus Christ,” the theme of the next three chapters.  It also is a “play on words,” as the root for PARAKALEO, which is KALEO, is used in this passage in both the noun and verb form. So we have, “I encourage.

It is followed by the postpositive Conjunction Particle OUN used inferentially meaning, “therefore,” which sets up the conclusion to the first three chapters of Theology, to now provide us with application in light of the theology we have just noted. It serves as a bridge connecting all he had written up to this point with what follows. In other words, since we have learned all that theology, now it is time to apply it.

Paul was concerned that believers should cross the bridge from analysis to action, from theology to morality, from Christian faith to Christian life, from the revelation of doctrine to the development of practicing it. It tells us that based on our new position in Christ, which is part of the Mystery Doctrine for the Church Age, we are to live as follows.

Next, we have the 2nd Person Pronoun HUMEIS for “you,” speaking of the Church. So we have “Therefore, I (Paul), entreat you (the Church).”

In our next lesson, we will begin to understand Paul’s instructions for living the Supergrace life.

Before Paul tells us about the appropriate application of Bible Doctrine to our lives, he reminds us of something very important by saying, “I the prisoner of the Lord,” EGO HO DEMIOS EN KURIOS.

This is the second time Paul has stated that he is a prisoner of Jesus. In the first instance, Eph 3:1, he stated he was a prisoner of Christ, emphasizing the deified Savior-Messiah and the ownership that He had over his life because Jesus Christ purchased him from the slave market of sin by paying for his sins upon the Cross. It emphasized his relationship with Christ. Now he states he is a prisoner “of the Lord” using the Dative of Possession to emphasize his position in Christ now being in union with Jesus Christ from the point of his salvation onward. In Eph 3:1, the Genitive of Possession was used to emphasize Christ’s possession of Paul. In our verse, the Dative of Possession is used to emphasize Paul’s position in Christ. In fact, “of the” is the Dative EN in this passage which is typically translate “in.” So we could say, “I the prisoner in the Lord.” The Dative can also mean the sphere Paul is in, (i.e., the union he has with the Lord), and that it is advantageous to be in the sphere of the Lord.

In addition, Paul uses the term “Lord,” KURIOS to signify the Deity of Jesus Christ as the supreme authority over his life, both positionally and experientially, that he has voluntarily placed himself under, just as the believer should voluntarily place himself under the complete authority of God, our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word/Bible Doctrine.

In numerology, the number 2 in the Bible means division and separation. Here, where Paul is emphasizing his union with Jesus Christ, it also tells us that this union is made possible because we have been separated from sin and Satan’s cosmic system positionally, having been given a new life in Christ with heavenly (POLITEUMA) privileges. This then establishes the principle for the preceding books of Ephesians regarding the application of the Theology and Bible Doctrine we just learned in Chapters 1-3. That is, since we have been separated from sin and Satan’s cosmic system since the moment of our salvation positionally, (Eph 3:1), in order to live the unique spiritual life of the Church Age and achieve the Supergrace life, we have to separate experientially from the world / Satan’s cosmic system, which is worldly and sinful living, (Eph 4:1). Chapters 3-6 give us instruction for how to separate from the old self / nature and life of sin, and to live in the new nature and life of righteousness, 2 Cor 5:16-17; Gal 6:15.

2 Cor 5:16-17, “Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Gal 6:15-16, “For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”

When Paul states he is a “prisoner,” once again underserved suffering is in view. The principle being that when you separate from worldly / sinful living, there may be suffering that accompanies it. As the old saying goes, misery loves company, and when you are not keeping company with the world, it gets iterated with you and lashes out at you. But when you are living in the world, which is true “misery,” then the world loves you and welcomes you. Therefore, when we separate from the sin, Satan and his cosmic system, there will be suffering in a worldly sense, which means blessings in the heavenly realm.

Paul is also telling us what is in his soul is more real and powerful than the suffering of confinement of his body. There is no disillusion, no discouragement, no boredom, and no self-pity that come with Satan’s cosmic system. Paul can think with his soul. He can think Divine viewpoint and Divine problem solving. Therefore, he has the glorious privilege while still in time to see his soul overcome and control his body that lives in the world. The soul is going to keep his body in line, rather than the body dictating what the soul thinks. When your soul dictates to your body what to think and do, many times it is stopping the body from entering into sin. This halting of the sin nature’s control over your soul and body means the sin nature is imprisoned or separated from sin, Satan and his cosmic system.

Next we have “to walk in a manner worthy,” PERIPATEO AXIOS. As we have discussed previously, PERIPATEO is an euphemism for “how one lives or conducts his life.”  Here it is in the Aorist, Active, Infinitive, that means the believer performs the entirety of the action in an ongoing manner of living the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.

Worthy” is the Adverb of Manner AXIOS, ἀξίως that means, “in a manner worthy of, worthily, suitably or properly.” In classical Greek it meant, “to bring into equilibrium.” For the believer it means, to practice what you preach or believe in, and that your practice should weigh as much as or be equivalent to your profession. And, as you know, your profession is to be a full time servant in the Royal Family of God, as you are a Royal Priest and Royal Ambassador. Therefore, “to walk,” is used as an exhortation to live a Godly and righteous life unto our Lord, as you have been made holy and righteous by a holy and righteous God. Cf. Phil 1:27; Col 1:10; 1 Thes 2:12.

Phil 1:27, “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ; so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

Col 1:10, “So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

1 Thes 2:12, “So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”

The criterion for our worthiness is “of the calling with which you have been called,” HO KLESIS HOS KALEO in the Aor. Pass., Ind., 2nd Person, Plural. KLESIS is the noun that means “call, calling, invitation, or even vocation.” KALEO is the verb, the action of calling, summonsing, or inviting, which the Passive Voice tells us that we have received. We have been called by God into union with Jesus Christ, into an eternal relationship with a perfect, holy, and righteous God. Therefore, we need to live in such a way that reflects our high calling.

As you know, the “calling of God” is His invitation to the unbeliever to accept and receive Jesus Christ as his Savior, 2 Tim 1:9; Heb 3:1. It also means for the believer, election into the new life you have been given to now walk in. Therefore, the believer has been called or elected to live unto the Lord in righteousness, 1 Cor 1:2, we have been called into royalty 1 Peter 2:9, and we have been called to freedom, Gal 5:13, so that we do not turn to sin, but rather serve one another. Therefore, we are to walk in time, (live), in a manner worthy of the Royal Priesthood and Ambassadorship we have been made a part of forever.

2 Thes 1:11, “To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power.”

2 Peter 1:10, “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing, (electing), you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.”

Principles of Walking

1.) “Walking,” PERIPATEO, is used both literally and symbolically in Scripture. In the book of Ephesians, it is used symbolically for the life style or way of life of people, both negatively and positively.

2.) In the book of Ephesians, we first noted “walk” or “walking” in Chapter 2:2 in the negative aspect of living inside of Satan’s cosmic system in sin, evil, and unrighteousness. There we are exhorted not to walk in that former manner of life. This is reemphasized in Chapter 4:17-19.

Eph 2:1-2, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”

Eph 4:17, “This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind.”

The negative aspect speaks of the self-deception the unbeliever and reversionistic believer allow themselves to be under; (i.e., believing what is right to be wrong and what is wrong to be right).

3.) However, in the other passages in Ephesians where PERIPATEO is used, it is in the positive aspect of the Christian way of life.

a) In Eph 2:10, God has created us to perform “good works”, i.e., Divine Good Production, which He prepared for us to perform in eternity past. “Walking in them,” means that we produce the fruit of the Spirit consistently.

Eph 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Three spheres of the believer’s walk are necessary in order to produce Divine Good. These are the three general spheres of the Christian walk.

  1) In the sphere of the Holy Spirit, Gal 5:16, But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Cf. Rom 8:4 w/ Eph 5:18.

 Eph 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”

 We are filled with the Spirit through the confession of our sins to God the Father, 1 John 1:5-9, (Rebound), and then we are able to Produce Divine Good, 2 Tim 2:21, “Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.”

2) In the sphere of Faith, Col 2:6; 2 Cor 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

3) In the sphere of His Word / Bible doctrine, 3 John 3, For I was very glad when brethren came and bore witness to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth.”

Therefore, our spiritual walk is the Divine viewpoint thinking, the doctrinal thinking, of the soul.

b) Then, in our passage, Eph 4:1, we are encouraged by God and Paul to live a life of holiness and righteousness based on the position we have been given in Christ as Royal Priests and Royal Ambassadors.

c) In Eph 4:17a, we are encouraged not to live as the unbeliever lives; in sin. Eph 4:17, “This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk…”

d) Following that, in Eph 5:2, we are exhorted to walk in the love of God by serving one another and God, just as Jesus served others and God during His First Advent.

Eph 5:2, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

e) Eph 5:8 then reminds us of the position we have in Christ and that we are not to walk in sin, (i.e., darkness), and instead live our lives in the righteousness of God, (i.e., experiential sanctification, living as “children of light”). Cf. 1 John 2:6, “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

Eph 5:8, “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.”

f) The last usage of “walk” or “walking” in Ephesians is found in Eph 5:15, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Here we are exhorted to live life here on earth with the application of EPIGNOSIS Bible doctrine, making it SOPHIA or wisdom applied to our lives.

4.) The mechanics of walking imply the concept of the Christian way of life; “live one day at a time,” as you can only take one-step at a time. The walking concept emphasizes individuality in the spiritual life. In other words, it is your life to live and only you can live unto the Lord. No one else can live your life and make you spiritual. Only you in relationship with God can achieve the unique spiritual life of the Church Age and obtain the Supergrace life, Rom 14:5-6; Eph 5:16-18; James 4:13-15.

5.) The mechanics of walking are related to the intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict. In walking, there is a moment when you are off-balance for just an instant. Then you recover balance by putting your foot forward. By recovering balance, you continue forward motion. The believer is off-balance living in the Devil’s world during the intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict, but he is stabilized by the constant and consistent use of the intake of doctrine, Rom 13:13-14.

Rom 13:13-14, “Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”

6.) Walking is used to depict the Spirit-filled life and there are variations of how it is declared:
Gal 5:16, “Walk in the Spirit.”

  Rom 8:2-4, “Do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

  1 John 1:7, says “Walk in the light,” which again is walking in the Spirit.

7.) And finally, walking describes the way of life for the Supergrace believer:

a) Walking in newness of life, Rom 6:4.

b) Walking worthy of your vocation as a believer, Eph 4:11.

c) Walking worthy of the Lord, Col 1:10.

d) Walking in good works, Eph 2:10; Col 1:10.

e) Walking to glorify God, 1 Thes 2:12,“So that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”

Next, in vs. 2-3 we are given the virtues, characteristics, or attributes of the Supergrace believer as he applies the Bible doctrine found in the Royal Family Honor Code for the Church Age believer towards others, especially believers who are part of the body of Christ.

Vs. 2

Eph 4:2, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love.”

This verse gives us five examples of the appropriate virtues of mental attitude and actions, inside the unique spiritual life of the Church Age, we should have towards others in our daily “walk” as Christians, i.e., believers of the Lord Jesus Christ. These attributes are also part of the Royal Family Honor Code that we are to apply towards others in our daily walk. When we apply these five characteristics of the Supergrace life through the power of the filling of God the Holy Spirit, we are “walking in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called,” Eph 4:1.

This verse begins with the Preposition META translated “with,” whose root meaning means in the “midst of, association, or accompaniment.” Therefore, the believer should be in the midst of, or associate with these attitudes, and actions, with these characteristics of the Supergrace life. You should possess and apply these characteristics. It should be part of who you are!

Next, we have an Adjective of emphasis for enhancement of the five characteristics, PAS, that means, “all or every.” It denotes the highest degree of something, in this case, the list of five characteristics we are about to note. It denotes not just doing them once in a while, but doing them with the highest quality and consistently.

By using this word here, God is emphasizing the high calling/position we have in Christ that demands the highest of thought and action, (etiquette – protocol), within our lives that we are to have towards others. Therefore, these things are part of the Predesigned Protocol Plan of God (P3 of God) for our lives. Based on our high calling, we are to have very high standards for how we conduct ourselves, especially towards others. This high standard is what we call the Royal Family Honor Code, (RFHC), as we will discuss in detail below.

The list of five characteristics/protocols of the RFHC the believer is to possess and apply includes:

1.) “Humility.”

This is first a mental attitude that leads to subsequent action. It is the Genitive Singular of the Noun TAPEINOPHROSUNE ταπεινοφροσύνη  (tap-i-nof-ros-oo’-nay), that means, “humility or modesty.” It comes from TAPEINOS that means, “humble, lowly, or undistinguished,” and PHRONEO that means, “to think or set your mind on.” It means objective thinking. So combined they mean, “humble in your thinking.” As you know, thinking leads to actions. Therefore, humility is the system of thinking we must have before it becomes a way of life. It is objective thinking, grace orientation thinking, which is the normal thinking of the Supergrace life.

TAPEINOPHROSUNE is used seven times in the N.T. for “humility” in Acts 20:19; Phil 2:3; Col 2:18, 23; 3:12; 1 Peter 5:5 and our verse. It speaks of true humbleness that we are encouraged to possess and apply. It describes a humility that naturally evolves out of a heart of love for the exalted Lord, when Christ is “at home in your heart,” Eph 3:17. It is the attitude of the Christian servant that was first exemplified by our Lord Jesus Christ during His First Advent, Phil 2:5-8, and by Paul in Acts 20:19.

Our English definition of humility includes: the quality or condition of being humble; lack of pride; modesty and submission. In our passage, it does not carry the connotation of belittling or self-abasement, and has nothing to do with groveling or weakness. Instead it carries the high quality of modesty and humbleness. Therefore, humility is freedom from pride and arrogance, the cause of most, if not all sins, and a freedom from self-exaltation. As such, freedom from mental attitude sins is in view as well.

Prov 11:2, “When arrogance comes, then comes dishonor; but with the humble is wisdom.”

Prov 29:23, “A person’s arrogance will bring him low, but a spirit of humility will attain honor.”

Here we see humility is the complete opposite of arrogance. In addition, the only basis for having true wisdom in life is through humility. Therefore, you cannot be arrogant, haughty, self-righteous, boastful, etc. and gain the wisdom of God. When you do humble yourself and understand that God knows so much more than you do, so that you learn from Him, then you will gain true wisdom, the wisdom of God.

Humility is also recognition of authority. Since the Bible is the “mind of Christ,” submission to the authority of our Lord means consistent intake and application of Bible doctrine. This also means that humility is a system of recognizing the authority of Jesus Christ as the ruler of the Church, and that He has delegated all authority in the Church Age to the Word of God, especially the Mystery Doctrines for the Church Age, and the Pastor-Teacher as God’s delegated authority to teach the Word of God. This means that humility is a system of cognition of Bible doctrine, resulting in the believer living in the directive will of God rather than the permissive will of God. Therefore, humility is a system of Divine viewpoint thinking related to God’s Word that teaches us grace orientation and how to be occupied with Christ.

It is only in an attitude of humility, a contrite heart, that the spiritual life can prosper where it characterizes the relationship we have with our Lord and others, especially the children of God, Phil 2:3.

Phil 2:3, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.”

People are designed by God to be happy, to be oriented, and to be virtuous. This occurs only when we have genuine humility as our foundation. Genuine humility uses enforced humility in order to function in any organization or group. All of us are involved in some organization or group. Everywhere we turn, we are involved with people. Only when we have genuine humility can we then apply impersonal love and have a relaxed mental attitude about all people, whether they are obnoxious or attractive. Genuine humility is the foundation for our virtue. Therefore, the believer is born again to learn obedience. Divine mandates require obedience to God resulting in virtue as part of the RFHC. Humility is the foundation for virtue, as well as for capacity for life, love, and happiness.

In addition, we are cautioned against having a false humility, Col 2:18, 23.

Col 2:18, “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind.”

Col 2:23, “These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

2.) And gentleness.

This is an action we take towards others based on having a mental attitude of humility within our soul. It is the Coordinating Conjunction KAI to combine it with “humility” above, with the Genitive Noun PRAUTES, πραΰτης that means, “gentleness, mildness, meekness, and humility.” There is an older and alternate spelling of this word, which is PRAOTES. Both words are used in the N.T. and mean exactly the same thing. They come from the root Adjectives PRAUS and PRAOS that mean, “gentle, meek, or humble.”

When we think of the word “gentleness” there are several meanings and applications, including;

  1. Kind, having a mild and kind nature or manner.
  2. Mild, being moderate in force or degree so that the effects are not severe.
  3. Using little force or violence to accomplish something.
  4. Not steep, not rising very steeply, which includes your anger.
  5. Upper-class, relating to or having a high social status or class, i.e., your royal commissions in Christ.
  6. Chivalrous, having a gracious and honorable manner.

This gentleness in humility is that inner quality identifying the child of God in their actions towards others, cf. Mat 5:5; Titus 3:2; 1 Peter 3:4.

Mat 5:5, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Titus 3:1-2, “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”

1 Peter 3:3-4, “And let not your adornment be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”

It comes to be a fruit of the Spirit in the believer’s life in Gal 5:23, and an inner quality characterizing an entire life-style, cf. James 3:13.

Gal 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

James 3:13, “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.” Therefore, true wisdom becomes evident in “deeds done in the gentleness of wisdom,” (Bible doctrine applied from the soul).

This gentleness is the antithesis of anger, cruelty, arrogance, insubordination, or disputation. As such, it means to be courteous and considerate of others having true sensitivity. Courtesy is being thoughtful of others whether you know them or not, whether you like them or not, regardless of any other factor. The Supergrace believer who lives by the Royal Family Honor Code is objective and gracious in his thinking. He lives under the principle of live and let live. He respects the rights and privacy of others, is thoughtful of the feelings of others, giving respect where respect is due and courtesy wherever possible. We could translate this “considerate sensitivity.”

Therefore, “humility and gentleness,” refer first to your mental attitude toward self and then of your actions towards others. The believer with the proper balance between what he professes and what he practices will be humble because he will not be full of haughty pride. A truly humble individual will be in balance, not thinking too highly of himself, nor, at the other extreme, putting himself down. Such a person will also be “gentle,” which is the opposite of self-assertion. This first prepositional phrase indicates what is meant by “walking worthy of your calling into which you have been called,” as does the rest of this passage and on into vs. 3.

3.) “With patience.”

Here we have the next mental attitude we are to have, which is patience.  It begins with the Preposition of Associations, META, once again, for “with,” showing the inclusiveness of our next two characteristics, “patience and forbearance” with the first two, “humility and gentleness,” as it connotes association or accompaniment.

This second prepositional phrase begins with the mental attitude of “patience,” the Genitive Singular Noun MAKROTHUMIA, μακροθυμία, (mak-roth-oo-mee’-ah), that means, “long-suffering, forbearance, patience, or endurance.” It comes from MAKROS that means, “long,” and THUMOS that means, “heart or mind,” in the sense of spirit, feelings, disposition, or mentality. It means, self-restraint before proceeding to action, and “patience or endurance,” when used as an object as here and “long-suffering or forbearance,” when used as a subject.

Patience is used in respect to persons; your attitude towards them, while endurance is putting up with things or circumstances. It means that the Supergrace believer is patient with those around them even if they malign, judge, seek to hurt him, or in some other way are obnoxious.

This too, is one of the “fruits of the Spirit,” and it is a quality of love, as in our verse and 1 Cor 13:4; Gal 5:22-23; Col 3:12; cf. 2 Tim 4:2. Here it is a social virtue, along with forbearance, expressing the ability to be patient with the weaknesses of other people, Rom 2:4; 9:22; Gal 5:22; Eph 4:2; Col 1:11; 3:12; 1 Tim 1:16; 2 Tim 4:2; Heb 6:12; James 5:10; 2 Peter 3:15; Prov. 25:15; Isa 57:15; Jer 15:15.

This is in contrast to the unbridled passion that takes the law into one’s own hands in order to seek revenge. It means being patient and lenient toward others even when self-vindication may appear justified. In addition, it is conjoined with faith in the certainty of God’s promise, 2 Tim 3:10; Heb 6:12, and it speaks of “endurance, patient waiting for God in the face of adversity,” 2 Cor 6:6; James 5:10.

4,) “Showing forbearance to one another.”

This is another action we take towards others, based on having the mental attitude of patience. In fact, it is a mental attitude itself, but is the outworking of that attitude where we do not take immediate action towards others and instead show patience in the situation.

It is the Present, Middle, Participle in the Nominative, Plural, Masculine of ANECHOMAI, ἀνέχομαι that means, “to bear with, forbear, tolerate, receive, accept, to have patience with,” and ALLELON that means, “each other or one another.” ANECHOMAI is used 15 times in the N.T. in differing situations. It is used here and in Col 3:13 by Paul to admonish believers to tolerate and love each other and to have a forgiving attitude toward each other. It means to put up with things that are not pleasant, to take up the slack, to restrain yourself, or to endure.

Col 3:13, “Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

If believers learn to endure the small drawbacks and irritations of everyday life, you will be prepared to endure the great trials and testing, (i.e., thought, people, system and disaster testing – sickness, persecution, death,), when they come!

Having to deal with difficult and unbelieving men was a tribulation so heavy that Jesus, as well as the apostle Paul, found it almost unbearable. Yet through the Word of God and by means of the Holy Spirit, they were able to endure such hostilities to the glory of God the Father.

Opposition from the world is often expressed by intense and direct persecution. Paul wrote concerning this: “Being persecuted, we suffer it,” 1 Cor 4:12. Paul also praised the assembly in Thessalonica because of their “endurance” during persecutions and tribulations, 2 Thes 1:4.

2 Thes 1:4, “Therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.”

Endurance also has to do with the intake of Bible Doctrine. Paul wrote that a time would come when men would not endure sound doctrine. It is a great puzzle that tolerance of erroneous doctrine often is the companion of rejection of sound Biblical doctrine, as it is today. This attitude is prevalent in the last days. Therefore, it is of vital importance that believers “endure” the Word of God, even when it does not taste sweet! The book of Hebrews asks the believer to “suffer the word of exhortation,” Heb 13:2, which literally asks them to endure this word of exhortation, (Bible doctrine).

The “patience showing forbearance” is part of the Royal Family Honor Code that demands the believer distinguish between the essentials and the nonessentials. The essentials are faith, love, and Bible doctrine; the non‑essentials become everything else in life.

Therefore, patience and forbearance means you must be flexible with the non-essential things of life. Flexibility gives you capacity to tolerate all the weirdos, legalists, holy rollers, unbelievers, those antagonistic towards God and His Word, etc. Yet, you must always be inflexible about the essentials, (faith, love, and Bible doctrine).

Jesus distinguished between the essentials and the non‑essentials when he put the busybody woman of Luke 11:27‑28 in her place. She introduced a non‑essential. The Lord replied with what was essential, hearing and retaining the Word of God.

Luke 11:27-28, “And it came about while He said these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice, and said to Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts at which You nursed.’ 28But He said, ‘On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and observe it’.”

Inflexibility in non‑essentials destroys empires, people, and virtue.

Rom 8:33‑36, tells us that the Royal Family Honor Code demands inflexibility regarding doctrine and flexibility regarding nonessentials. See also Rom 14:1‑4, 20‑23; 15:1‑2.

Rom 14:1, “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.”

 Rom 14:22, “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.”

Roim 15:1, “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.”

5.) “In love,” is the Instrumental Dative of Means of the Preposition EN, “in” and the Noun AGAPE, “love.” It is used to indicate the means or instrument by which we are able to have humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearance. It is through impersonal and unconditional love that we are able to accomplish the above, Rom 13:8-10. It can also be a Dative of Sphere, as AGAPE love is the sphere in which we must reside to have and apply these characteristics. It is a characteristic or attribute itself that the Supergrace believer possesses, but it is also the means of obtaining and accomplishing the other four characteristics / attributes. As noted above, this verse gives us details about the Royal Family Honor Code (RFHC) that we must live by.

Vs. 3

 Ephesians 4:3, “Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

The RFHC continues in vs. 3 with our 6th and 7th characteristics of the Supergrace believer.

The 6th attribute is to “be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit.” As you may know the number six in Scripture is the number of man. Therefore, this is something the believer must perform.

This verse begins with the Present, Active, Participle in the Nominative, Masculine, Plural of SPOUDAZO, σπουδάζω for “being diligent.” SPOUDAZO means, “hasten, do one’s best, be eager, or diligent.”  BDAG defines it as, “to be especially conscientious in discharging an obligation, be zealous / eager, take pains, make every effort, or be conscientious.” Therefore, we are to take every effort to accomplish this goal inside the family of God.

The Participle here is a rare usage of the Imperative Participle. It acts like the Imperative Mood for a command. Therefore, it continues the exhortation / mandate from Paul in vs. 1, “entreat,” PARAKALEO and the participle of vs. 2, “bearing with one another,” ANECHOMAI ALLELON.

Generally, this word means “to make haste.” This is often extended to the ideas of being eager about doing something or applying oneself to a task with diligence. It indicates that this is something to which daily attention must be given. In order to accomplish this goal:

  • Daily attention must be given to your mental attitude toward Bible doctrine.
  • Daily attention must be given to your relationship with God.
  • Daily attention must be given to the development of your spiritual gift.
  • Daily attention must be given to your service toward fellow believers.

As such, regarding the spiritual life, we note the following verses.

2 Tim 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.”

Heb 4:11, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, (the faith-rest life), lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience.”

2 Peter 1:10, “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.”

 2 Peter 3:14, “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless.”

Diligence always marks the believer on the road to Supergrace, the believer who stays with doctrine, who never gives up on doctrine in spite of all kinds of discouragements and pressures. The believer with positive volition toward Bible doctrine fulfills this diligence, and by doing so, he guards the characteristics or the essence of the Royal Family Honor Code, as we see in the next few words.

Therefore, being diligent means to mind and take care of all necessary details of a matter, do the best job you can with the best effort you can muster up, and to do it without haste. This is how we should function in the spiritual life; first in regards to the intake of God’s Word and then to the application of it, as we serve God and one another.

In our passage, we are to be diligent in “preserving unity,” which is the Verb TEREO for “preserving” in the Present, Active, and Infinitive of Purpose that means, “to watch carefully, guard, keep, hold on to, preserve, etc.” Therefore, we are to guard and protect something very special.

It is linked with the Article HO, “the” and the Accusative Noun HENOTES, ἑνότης, that means, “unity, a state of oneness, of being in harmony, accord, or agreement.” It is used only here and in Eph 4:13.

Eph 4:13, “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

It tells us that the purpose of the Supergrace believer is to constantly guard what already belongs to him; being a member of the Royal Family of God / the body of Christ, and the essence of the Royal Family Honor Code. Therefore, there is an oneness or unity we have with fellow believers that we must be diligent to protect and preserve. That means:

  • Encouraging one another in faith, especially when a fellow believer is going through some difficulty.
  • Gently rebuking those who go astray, if necessary, in the hopes of recovery to fellowship.
  • Supporting our local assembly, to ensure that effective teaching of the truth of God’s Word continues.

Unity does not just happen. As a present tense idea, we must constantly work at it to preserve and maintain it. Unity and Peace can be a fleeting thing; therefore, we must work doubly hard to build it and not let it slip away. Therefore, we must do our part to ensure and maintain peace, Rom 12:18, but remember, it takes two parties to achieve peace. We are only responsible to do our part.

Rom 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

Since unity is a major theme of Ephesians, e.g., Eph 2:14-16, 18; 4:4-6; 5:31, it is not surprising to find it here, as Paul urges the early Church and us, “to be eager to guard and protect the unity.”

Next we see the basis of our unity, HO PNEUMA for “of the Spirit,” in the Genitive case, which is speaking about God the Holy Spirit as the author of this peace. Because every believer has the universal indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, we are one family. By means of the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, we have been entered into the Body of Jesus Christ, Rom 8:23; 1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:4.

1 Cor 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

Therefore, God the Holy Spirit is the source of our unity and royalty. He did seven things for us at the point of salvation.

  • He made our faith effectual for salvation, the Ministry of Efficacious Grace.
  • He created a human spirit for the imputation of eternal life, the Ministry of Regeneration.
  • He entered us into union with Christ as a guarantee of our escrow blessings, the Baptism of the Spirit.
  • He enters us into God’s Power System, GPS, giving us the power to execute the Plan of God, the Ministry of the Filling of the Holy Spirit.
  • He indwelt us to provide a temple for the indwelling of the Shekinah glory, (our Lord), the Ministry of Indwelling.
  • He provides a spiritual gift for function as a member of the body of Christ.
  • He guarantees our eternal security and escrow blessings, the Sealing Ministry of the Spirit.

As the agent of regeneration, God the Holy Spirit entered us into the Family of God forever. In response to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, God the Father has given us a family honor code, a Royal Family Honor Code, by which we must walk in daily.

Therefore, “to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit,” means we must by means of the power of the Holy Spirit, learn about and apply consistently the honor code God has given to us, so that we maintain a mental attitude and physical interaction of oneness with our fellow believers.

Finally, we preserve our unity in the Royal Family of God by residing in the 7th attribute, being “in the bond of peace,” EN HO SUNDESMOS HO EIRENE.

In the bond,” is EN HO SUNDESMOS, σύνδεσμος, which is a Noun in the Dative of Sphere case. It means, “Bond, fetter fastening, that which binds together, or something that holds persons together in a common interest.” Therefore, there is something that binds believers together, which is found in our next words.

Next, we have the 7th Attribute, “Peace,” Seven is the number of Spiritual perfection in Scripture. Therefore, when we apply all seven of these attributes, including “peace,” we will be living the Supergrace life.

Peace” here is HO EIRENE in the Possessive Genitive Singular. EIREN, εἰρήνη can be literally or figuratively used to mean, “a state of concord, peace, or harmony”, and by implication, “welfare or a state of well-being,” including “security and prosperity.” So EIRENE can mean everything from tranquility to harmony. It is equivalent to the Hebrew word SHALOM, which also means, “peace and welfare.”

EIRENE is used for the harmony between God and man, and here as the harmony between believers, that was first established by the grace of God at our salvation by entering every believer into the Family of God, Rom 5:1.

Rom 5:1, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

And because we are part of the Church Age, we are entered into the Royal Family of God because of our position and union in Christ Jesus. As such, peace is that which binds the Royal Family of God together.

Peace within the family of God is first and foremost something God created and gave to every believer. Yet, when believers go astray and enter into reversionism, they begin to gossip, malign, slander, and back stab one another or worse. As such, the bond of peace we were given is not experienced in their lives. Therefore, to reside experientially in the binding effect of peace, we need to express AGAPE Love towards our fellow believers at all times. By doing so, we not only stand positionally in the peace and unity God has made us to stand in, but also we experience it on a daily basis, creating a strong, healthy, and mature body for Christ.

In fact, the bond of peace within the Church is one of God’s Divine establishments for the protection and freedom of the Church. By bonding together in love, we care and provide for one another ensuring that the Word of God reigns within our lives collectively.

Peace is the clasp that ensures that this God-given unity will not fall apart. Just as in the marriage ceremony, the Pastor says from Mat 19:6b, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate,” the same edict is to be applied experientially within the Church, the body of Jesus Christ.

This peace is also a part of our Divine Good Production, the “Fruit of the Spirit,” Gal 5:22. This is the third Supergrace attribute that is also a means of Divine Good Production. In application, it is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit to every member of the Royal Family of God at the point of salvation and forward, that gives us peace and binds us together as one Royal Family of God. And it is through the application of the Royal Family Honor Code, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we are able to guard, protect, and maintain peace and unity with the Royal Family of God.

Therefore, being in the sphere of love and the sphere of the Holy Spirit, we have the keys to effecting peace and unity where otherwise there would be dissension, and we have the tools necessary for prompting growth in the body of Jesus Christ, Rom 8:6; 14:19; 15:13; Eph 4:12, 16; Col 3:14-15.

Col 3:14, “And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”

Col 3:15, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

 Rom 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” 

Rom 8:6, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”

Rom 14:19, “So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”

When we have peace with other members of the body of Christ, it binds us and produces our unity. Therefore, peace and unity are not passive, but active. We must seek to develop more Christ-like knowledge to put on the Christ-like nature within ourselves, and our community, Eph 4:13. Because TEREO, “to keep, guard, or protect” is a present tense idea, we must constantly work at ensuring unity and peace.

Acts 7:26, “And on the following day he (Moses) appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?’”

Finally, this “unity in the bond of peace,” is the purpose why our Lord came and died on the Cross for our sins. He came to bring peace. He came to give us peace. Through Christ we have peace positionally. Now through His Word resident within our souls and the filling of the Holy Spirit, we can produce Divine Good so that we experience and maintain that peace with other members of the body of Christ, Eph 2:14-15.

Eph 2:14-15, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.”

Therefore, we are to make it our number one priority and give it our best effort to guard, protect, and maintain the peace we have with our fellow believers that Christ purchased for us at the Cross, because the absence of these qualities may jeopardize Christian unity. Because all believers are bound by Christ and to Christ, Paul so intently presses us to exert all of our powers to maintain our oneness in Christ, which binds us all to each other. “What Paul envisions is not ‘a vague spiritual identity, but rather a profound oneness made possible by God’s Spirit’.” (Johnston, p. 18; as quoted by The Expositor’s Bible Commentary)

Principles of the Royal Family Honor Code (RFHC).

Based on our union and position in Christ, we are Royal Priests and Royal Ambassadors for Christ, 1 Peter 2:5, 9; 2 Cor 5:20. Therefore, as royalty we are to live by a royal code. Aristocracy has standards, and these standards are called the honor code. The honor code is the Christian way of life, James 2:8; Phil 2:15-16.

1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, A royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

James 2:8a, “If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture…”

Phil 2:15, “So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”

Jesus Christ Himself is the basis for the fact we have an honor code, 1 John 4:7-21. He left us this honor code for the privacy and protection of the Royal Family of God, so that we can execute the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.

In order to function properly in our position of royalty, we need to learn royal manners and conduct. One of the benefits of “wisdom”, (God’s Word / Bible Doctrine), is that by it we learn how to live as kings inside the Royal Family of God. Therefore, found in God’s “wisdom” is the Royal Family Honor Code that all Church Age believers need to learn and apply to their daily lives.

  • Ephesians emphasizes the position of the Royal Family forever.
  • Hebrews emphasizes the priesthood of the Royal Family forever.
  • Romans emphasizes the objectives of the Royal Family.
  • Colossians emphasizes the lifestyle of the Royal Family.

The RFHC is a system of spiritual integrity mandated by God and revealed by the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age. The Royal Family Honor Code centers around three principles related to people.

  • Truth or integrity.
  • Impersonal love.
  • Grace orientation.

The Royal Family Honor Code cannot be separated from Impersonal Love as a Problem Solving Device or Spiritual Self-Esteem. You need to maintain your love and continue your spiritual growth in the function of the RFHC.

The RFHC relates to personal integrity on the part of believers in relationship to other persons. In that sense, the honor code is a supplement to Impersonal Love and other pertinent Problem Solving Devices of the Pre-designed Protocol Plan of God for our lives for all believers. The honor code is the Christian way of life.

James 2:8, “If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.”

Integrity related to the RFHC is adherence to spiritual, moral, and ethical principles related to truth, (The Word of God), and honesty, (personal integrity). The RFHC relates to both the Protocol Plan of God and the Laws of Divine Establishment.

The mode of operation of the RFHC demands grace, Rom 12:19-21.

Rom 12:19, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Maximum function of the honor code is to risk or give one’s life for another member of the Royal Family, Rom 5:7; 16:3-4; John 15:12-13; 1 John 3:16,

John 15:12, “This is My (Jesus’) commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

1 John 3:16, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

The RFHC demands avoidance of self-pity or any function that arouses pity from others, Rom 12:9-10; 13:8; 15:5-7.

Rom 12:9‑10, “Your love must be non‑hypocritical. Despise what is evil, adhere to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”

The RFHC excludes self-righteousness, Rom 12:3.

Rom 12:3, “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”

Judging others is not only a violation of the Royal Family Honor Code, but it becomes an occupational hazard in the execution of the Plan of God for your life and their life.

The RFHC and Impersonal love excludes carrying a grudge. You do not retaliate or seek revenge if wronged, Rom 12:19-21.

Therefore, as royalty, we are to live by a royal code and that code is what we call the “Royal Family Honor Code,” which is found in the mystery doctrines for the Church Age. The Royal Family Honor Code relates to your personal integrity in relationship to others, especially those who are a part of the Body of Jesus Christ, and is a supplement to Impersonal Love and other Problem Solving Devices, especially Grace Orientation. In addition, the RFHC is related to your spiritual growth. The more you learn about God’s Word and apply it in your life, the faster you will grow to the glory of God, as you apply the honor code within your life. Finally, as we have seen in Eph 4:1-3, the RFHC means you will “walk,” (live the unique spiritual life for the Church Age), “in a manner worthy of God’s calling of you, by which you have been elected into the eternal Family of God.” As such, you will function towards others, especially your fellow believers who too are members of the Body of Christ, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in the sphere of love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Vs. 4-6

Next in vs. 4-6, we have a wonderful doxology in praise of God and His Plan. Here we see the perfect example of and the grounds for our unity in the bond of peace inside the Royal Family of God. It tells us what is the heart and soul of the seven characteristics of the Royal Family Honor Code noted in vs. 1-3. It too is given to us in a list of seven things, (the number of spiritual perfection), to remind us of the unity and oneness that is God and His Plan. In addition, it is given to us in three groups of three, (the number of Divine perfection), where the last or 7th item has three actions making up the last three. As such, this list takes us from the realization of unity in the Spirit, to the focus of unity in the Son, and then to the source of unity in the Father. Therefore, these “threes” constitute the “one” (the number of unity), body that we have been made into by God; the Body of Jesus Christ!

Eph 4:4-6, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling. 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

In these three passages, the number “one” is used six times. The root word used for “one” is HEIS.

It is used three times in the Neuter HEN regarding the Holy Spirit and His work; “one body,” “one Spirit,” “one baptism.”

It is used twice in the Dative Feminine MIA regarding believers; “one faith,” and “one hope.”

It is used twice in the root Nominative Masculine HEIS regarding Jesus Christ and God the Father, “one Lord,” and “one God and Father.”

Notice also the particular usage of the gender in the Greek language. The Neuter usage is for God the Holy Spirit, as HAGIOS PNEUMA is typically in the Neuter gender in the N.T. The Feminine gender is used in relation to believers, who are the Church, the body of Christ and the bride of Christ. The Masculine gender is then used for God the Father and God the Son.

HEIS is also the root word for the cognate HENOTES that we noted in vs. 1-3, which means, “unity or oneness.” As “one,” HEIS commonly means the uniqueness of something; i.e., the single or only one of its kind. In that respect, we see in our passages the “oneness” or “uniqueness” of God and His plan for our salvation.

As noted above, in these three verses we see the unity of the Trinity working together on behalf of mankind, especially the believer.

Vs. 4 describes the work of the Holy Spirit. There is one Body, and the Holy Spirit is the One who makes us members of it. He is the One who first brought us into vital contact with the Lord and now maintains each of us, and all of us, in Him. Even as we were actually called, or converted by this same Divine Agent, “in one hope of your calling,” we find ourselves in whatever our natural diversities are as individuals included and united “in” the one glorious prospect of “hope” made possible because of Christ Jesus. As a result, we share “one hope,” an expectant attitude concerning the Second Coming of our Lord and all the benefits related to it.

Vs. 5 reminds us that there is only “one Lord” our Savior Jesus Christ. When Paul wrote these words, nearly every cult of mystery religion had its own lord. However, the N.T. has only one Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is the only means of access into His Church. He is also the one that has made it possible for our “faith,” which is placing complete confidence in God and His Word, giving us access to Him. This is also accomplish by the “one baptism” we received at the moment of our salvation; the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit who does many things for us, which we noted in Chapter 3, including entering us into the Royal Family of God as the body of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 12:13.

Vs. 6 describes God the Father as the One who originated all that vs. 4 and 5 describe. The Father is sovereign “above all,” the sustainer “through all,” and the One who gives the energy for all that happens, “in all.”

In regards to God, this doxology reminds us of the SHEMA of Israel, “SHEMA YISRAEL, YHWH ELOHENU, YHWH ECHAD,” which is “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is One,” Deut 6:4; Mark 12:29-32.

As such, the Bible allows for no other God but YHWH. God’s desire to bring all men to the knowledge of the truth is grounded in His status as the only God. Paul wrote in 1 Tim 2:5, “For there is one God.” He continues that there is “one mediator between God and men the man Christ Jesus.” No other is God except the One: the one God the Father, the one Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit; through whom all things came into existence, 1 Cor 8:4,6; Eph 4:5-6.

In regards to our Lord Jesus Christ, a single man was the bearer of God’s grace towards us, Rom 5:12-20. He is the pivot of all history, vs. 14. The One died on behalf of many, 2 Cor 5:14; cf. John 11:50ff. The death of the One for many brings unity to the many, Gal 3:28 “For you are all one in Christ Jesus,” and Christ is head over all His Church, which is one, Eph 1:22; Col 1:18.

In regards to the Church, the unity of the Church is through the one Spirit. “There is one body, and one Spirit” Cf. Eph 2:18; 4:15-16. As we have noted, unity becomes the basis for our behavior as well as the criterion for the exercise of our spiritual gifts, 1 Cor 12-14, even though this unity is expressed in diversity.

Vs. 4

1.) “One body” refers to the total number of believers from the Day of Pentecost to the Rapture of the Church. “One Body,” is HEN SOMA that means there is one Church, made up of all believers of the Church Age who constitute the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ who is head over that body. This one body is sometimes called the invisible Church, but this is not completely accurate, as all true believers should be visible to a lost and dying world. It depicts the Church as a single visible community. It is not simply a mystical concept. Its unity is recognizable in that Jews and Gentiles are now seen to be reconciled in Christ as one Church.

In the pagan world, there were many religious cults to choose from. Christians, on the other hand, were all members of one body. So this refers to the basic structure of the Royal Family of God. All believers in the dispensation of the Church are in the body of Christ. The body of Christ is the name of the Royal Family on the earth.

Principles of the Body of Christ

  • The phrase “body of Christ” is used to designate all Church Age believers in their relationship with Jesus Christ. The Trinity is related to the body. The Father, for example, appointed and placed Christ as the head of the body, Eph 1:22. Therefore, Jesus Christ is the head of the body, Eph 1:23; 5:23-24; Col 1:18. The Holy Spirit forms the body of Christ, 1 Cor 12:12-14, and He sustains the body of Christ, 1 Cor 6:15; cf. 6:19-20.
  • Christ is the Savior of the body, Eph 5:23, 25, 30. Being the Savior of the body means that the body of Christ has eternal life and possesses it forever and ever.
  • Christ is also the sanctifier of the body, Heb 2:11; 13:12.
  • The body is related to the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict, Eph 1:22-23.
  • The body includes Gentile, as well as Jewish, believers of the Church Age, Eph 3:6.
  • The body is the recipient of diverse spiritual gifts, Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:27-28.
  • The communication of Bible doctrine gift, (Pastor-Teacher), is for the purpose of edification and leading the body / royal priesthood to super-grace, Eph 3:6-8; 4:11-12.
  • The objective of the body of Christ in phase two, is to reach the super-grace life, Eph 4:15-16, and the purpose of the Royal Family or body of Christ on earth is the glorification of God through the execution of the Plan for this dispensation.

2.) “One Spirit,” HEN PNEUMA, refers to the Holy Spirit who baptizes each believer into the body of Christ. The work of the Holy Spirit is to unify believers in Christ. This is the unity that the believer is instructed to keep and protect. The Holy Spirit indwells the body of Christ, and by the Spirit, the body lives and moves, 1 Cor 12:13. The Spirit is its soul; apart from Him it cannot exist. The same Spirit fell on the Jews at Pentecost and on the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius. The “one Spirit” who has already spanned this widest of all gulfs, will bring together all other diverse groups within the Church.

3.) “Called in one hope of your calling” is KALEO EN MIA ELPIS HO KLESIS. This reminds us of vs. 1. Every believer is elected into the Family of God and into the Plan of God; therefore, the life of every believer has meaning, purpose, and definition. It also refers to the goal set before all believers. They will be taken out of this world into the presence of Christ. This is the “blessed hope,” Titus 2:13.

Our election was accomplished at the same time and by the same means as our entrance into the Royal Family; by means of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the pledge of our inheritance, Eph 1:14, and so he is the guarantor of the “one hope” to which we are called, Eph 1:18; 2:12. This is the hope, (confident expectation), of sharing Christ’s glory at the end of the age, 1 John 3:2. This eschatological expectation is entertained equally by both Jews and Gentiles.

Vs. 5

4.) “One Lord,” HEIS KURIOS, refers to the Lord Jesus Christ and His lordship over believers that brings into existence the unity of the Church. KURIOS in the Greek language means, “Supreme controller, sovereign, owner, master, lord, etc.,” which describes some of what Jesus Christ is in relation to believers.

Christ is central in this group of three and central to the Church, as He is the sole Head of His body the Church. Believers are members of His body through trusting Him and acknowledging Him as Savior. So this refers to the fact that all believers in Jesus Christ have the same Lord. He is the Lord in your life from the moment of salvation. He is the Lord in your life through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and resultant positional sanctification. So this refers to the fact that all members of the body of Christ have one Savior, Jesus Christ, who is Lord and the only celebrity in the Royal Family.

By contrast, the pagan world spawned and continues to spawn many lords. Christianity on the other hand, has only one whose claim is absolute. That is why believers cannot call anyone else Lord, even to escape death.

5.) “One faith,” is MIA PISTIS in the Nominative Feminine, as it relates to something the Church performs. PISTIS means, “faith, trust, confidence, assurance, conviction, and belief.”

First of all, faith is the manner in which we are saved and given entrance in the one Royal Family of God. Secondly, faith is the means by which we live the Christian way of life. Faith is totally without merit in the subject. The merit in faith is always in the object. The object in faith for salvation is Jesus Christ, and all of us were saved in exactly the same way, by believing in Christ. Therefore, faith involves recognition of who Jesus Christ is as the Son of God and Savior of men, the one and only means of salvation. It is thus “one allegiance and one profession of allegiance,” (Lock, p. 46). That is why our Lord instructed that there is only one way by which man must be saved, Mat 7:13; 19:24; John 14:6.

Mat 7:13, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.”

John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”

Sometimes in Scripture, PISTIS means Bible doctrine, which is the mind of Jesus Christ. The Word of God is the object we trust or believe in, and is the one and only means of living the unique spiritual life of the Church Age. Therefore, faith also refers to Christ as the body of truth called the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16, and the Apostles’ doctrine, Acts 2:42. When the Word of God is denied in the life of the believer, or even in the world, there are divisions. However, when it is adhered to, there is unity. As McGee notes, “There must be substance to form an adhesion of believers. This substance is correct doctrine.” (Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee.) Therefore, faith continues to be the mode of operation for living the spiritual life after our salvation, as we trust and rely upon God and His Word.

Therefore, when men accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, they are saved and entered positionally into the Body of Christ, making us one in Christ having unity. In addition, when believers are consistent in learning and trusting in the Word of God, meaning applying it, there is experiential unity and oneness in the Body of Christ.

6.) “One baptism,” HEN BAPTISMA, is in the Neuter gender, which means this is a reference to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word BAPTISMA means the identification of one thing with another resulting in a change, i.e., the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the moment of your salvation, which is a real baptism, where He also enters you into the Royal Family of God. Ritual baptism is by water. When water baptism was performed, it was a symbol of the real baptism of the Holy Spirit, by which believers are actually made one. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the seal of incorporation into the body of Christ, so that all Christians become one person in Christ Jesus, Eph 1:13; 2:5-6; 3:15. This Baptism is one because it makes us one. It enters the believer into the Royal Family, and it provides the evidence that all Christians, without discrimination as to color, race, sex, age, or class, share the grace of Christ. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ, 1 Cor 12:13.

1 Cor 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

Principles of the Baptism of the Spirit

a) Prior to the Church Age, God the Holy Spirit was always the agent of regeneration for those who believe in Christ. He still is and always will be, so that regeneration is something that occurs in every dispensation when a person believes in Christ.

b) In the Church Age, the Baptism of the Spirit occurs for everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior at the moment of salvation, John 14:16-17; Acts 1:5; Rom 6:3-5; 1 Cor 12:13; Col 2:12.

Col 2:12, “Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”

c) The Baptism of the Spirit means He joins the individual believer to Christ’s Body and thus to Christ Himself as the Head of the Body. John the Baptist prophesized about this baptism in Mat 3:11.

Mat 3:11, “As for me, I (John the Baptist) baptize you with water for repentance, but He (Jesus Christ) who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Cf. Acts 1:5.

d) This baptism is not an experience of any kind. It is the regeneration of the Holy Spirit of the Church Age believer where He performs several functions at the point of salvation:

    1) Baptism, which is entrance into the Royal family.

    2) Indwelling, which is the sign of royalty.

    3) Sealing, which is the security of royalty.

    4) Spiritual gifts, which are the guarantee of provision for royalty.

e) The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the function of any spiritual gift, as alleged by the Holy Roller heresy, which equates the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues. No one has legitimately spoken in tongues since A.D. 70. Therefore, because of the universality of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit provided for all Church Age believers, it is not in any sense experiential. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an act of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit. Any time God uses His Divine power, whether it is the omnipotence of God the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, it excludes any form of experiential cooperation. That is grace!

f) Therefore, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is peculiar to the Church Age. It did not exist before the Church Age began, it will never occur again after the Church Age is terminated with the Rapture or resurrection.

g) No Old Testament saint had the Baptism of the Spirit. The reason for this is that only the Body of Christ is royalty and the Baptism of the Spirit is a special salvation ministry to create royalty.

h) The baptism of the Spirit is designed to take the Church Age believer and make him a member of the Royal Family, and create him to be the palace of God forever, Eph 2:19-22. The uniqueness of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is related to the fact that in this dispensation every believer is royalty forever.

Therefore, Baptism is the salvation ministry of God the Holy Spirit; whereby, He enters the believer into union with Jesus Christ, making him a member of the Royal Family forever. All members of the royal family have the same baptism, which provides equality in the Royal Family, an equality that does not exist through human birth, and is not acquired through human ability. Gal 3:26-28.

Gal 3:26-28, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

As Pastor R.B. Thieme Jr. noted, “It is not an experience. It is not an emotional activity or ecstatics. Therefore, it is not speaking in tongues. It is not related to human feeling. It is not progressive. Therefore, it cannot be improved in either time or eternity. Our union with Christ is perfect from salvation. It is not related to any human merit or ability. There is nothing you can do to have the Baptism of the Spirit. It is obtained in total at the moment of salvation. It is not a post-salvation experience. It is not the “second blessing,” so called by holy rollers. Union with Christ is a completed ministry by the Holy Spirit. Hence, it cannot be reversed by any human failure. It is eternal and unchangeable in nature. It cannot be canceled or changed by God or man. It is a part of your eternal security. No renunciation; no sin, human good, or evil; no moral or immoral degeneracy can cancel this ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is known and understood only through perception of the mystery doctrine of the Church Age. Therefore, it cannot be applied in a state of ignorance. It is invisible, not subject to empiricism; it is subject to cognition of Bible doctrine only. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is one of the POLITEUMA privileges, i.e., one of the ten unique features of the Church Age, making the Church Age believer unique because it is the basis for making us royal family of God.”

So this second trio of unities is related to the “one Lord” or master to whom all Christians owe their allegiance. These three expressions may well be intended to convey a single idea, i.e., “one Lord in whom we all believe and in whose name we are baptized.” (Scott, p. 204).

Vs. 6

This is an interesting one, as we have only one item of focus, God the Father, but we are given three affects He has towards us.

7.) Our seventh attribute is “One God and Father of all,” HEIS THEOS KAI PATER PAS. In this passage we are first told that God is One, and there is only one God that is made up of the three persons of the Trinity, in “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” They are three separate persons who share the exact same essence and attributes equally, infinitely, and eternally. It is the sharing of their essence and attributes that make them One God.

In the previous two verses, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have been mentioned, here we now see the role of God the Father as the basis for our oneness or “unity in the bond of peace,” as members of the Royal Family of God.

“God and Father” uses an anthropomorphism to communicate the role of the first person of the Trinity, as far as His Plan for mankind is concerned. The Father is the author of the Plan called Grace. He is the ultimate authority in the planning stage of His great Plan.

Calling Him “Father” emphasizes the fatherhood of God towards believers. Even though all members of the human race are technically God’s children, due to His creative acts, 1 Cor 8:6, the believer is given a special title as the “Child of God,” and it is to believers that He becomes their Father, Rom 8:16-21; 9:8; John 1:12-13; Eph 5:1; Phil 2:15; 1 John 3:1-2.

Rom 9:8, “That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.”

John 1:12-13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

As such, the “of all” statement, in the Genitive Plural of PAS, first relates to all peoples, believers and unbelievers, as God is the creator of all. However, more importantly, in the context of this verse the “Fatherhood” of God is associated with “all” believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, as we are brought near to Him through adoption, as sons of royalty, Rom 8:15, 23 Gal 4:5-7; Eph 1:5.

Rom 8:15, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!””

 Eph 1:5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”

In this relation of nearness and privilege to the Father in the kingdom of His Son, Col 1:13, believers are “sons of God” in a sense true of no others. It is a relation, not of nature, but of grace. Therefore, Fatherhood is now the determinative fact in God’s relation to the believer, as we will also note later in Eph 3:14-21.

The believer’s sonship can only come through Christ. For us to know who God the Father is, we have to: 1) know Jesus Christ, and 2) know His Word, which are the only means for us to know God the Father, John 14:7, “If you know Me you will know the Father too.” As we noted above, this describes God the Father as the One who originated all that vs. 4 and 5 describe.

When we think about the term and position of “father” or “fatherhood,” it brings many analogies to thought that represent our relationship to God the Father and what He does for us. In the three attributes of God as our Father found in Eph 4:6, Sovereignty, Omnipresence, and Indwelling, the Father unites us in the bond of peace. With these three attributes, He enacts His Fatherhood towards us in the following ways, which are great examples of how earthly fathers should operate towards their children. And in fact, children form a great deal of their understanding of God as Heavenly Father by what they see and hear from their earthly fathers. A father’s tasks are numerous and sometimes quite difficult. Fathering requires tremendous attention, discipline, and self-control. Deut 6 is a fundamental chapter for fathers who want to be effective that also tells us of God the Father’s relationship towards us. The eight aspects for effective fathering can be found in this passage:

  • Fathers are to Teach.
  • Fathers are to Discipline.
  • Fathers are to Walk the Walk; lead by example.
  • Fathers are to Be Available.
  • Fathers are to Be Involved.
  • Fathers are to Initiate Action.
  • Fathers are to Have High but Realistic Expectations.
  • Fathers are to Express Love.

In vs. 6 we also see that the Father has three actions towards the believer to bring about our unity in Christ. These are manifestations of His essence or His qualities that brought about all the planning and production of God’s Plan for our salvation and unity in peace.

a) Sovereignover or above all,” EPI PAS; The basic root meaning of EPI is “upon” and implies contact with its object, i.e., the believer in Jesus Christ. The Genitive case here emphasizes contact, either actual or intended. Thus EPI means “upon, on, at, by, or before.” So combined with PAS, “all,” it represents the Sovereignty of God in relation to His Children. He is the sovereign when it comes to His Plan for mankind and our lives, and it was His sovereign Plan and decision to make all believers one body in Christ. As you know, it was His sovereign decision to send His Son to the Cross in order to pay for our sins, so that we could be entered into the Body of Christ, giving us eternal life and security.

b) Omnipresent, “through all,” DIA PAS, as the Sustainer who performs His perfect will through us. With the Genitive its primary meaning is “through,” that often expresses secondary agency, causation, and instrumentality and is rendered “by means of” and “by.” This represents the omnipresence of God the Father, which is imminent and transcendent. God is everywhere personally present. The whole of God is in every place. This is not pantheism. Pantheism denies the person of God. It says God is everywhere in the sense of all things. The omnipresence of God is not pantheism. God in the totality of His essence without diffusion, expansion, multiplication, or division, penetrates and fills the universe. This is the principle of imminence and transcendence, Psa139:7-8, 18; Jer 23:23-24; Acts 17:27. However, God is also free to be local, as on the mountain with Moses, in the Holy of holies of the Tabernacle, or on the Mount of Transfiguration. Therefore, God is imminent and transcendent, Prov 15:3; Psa 102:27; 1 Kings 8:27; Job 34:21-22. As such, God is always around us and near to us to perform through us His good will and pleasure. This also means that God has drawn us near to Himself, entering us into His Royal Family.

c) Indwelling, “in all,” EN PAS, in the Dative case meaning, “in the sphere of all.” EN is employed here to denote a close personal relationship. God the Father, undiminished and undivided, actually indwells every member of the royal family. This indwelling of God empowers and energizes the believer to learn and live inside the Plan of God; to live the unique spiritual life of the Church Age. His great sovereign Plan has called for His enabling power inside of God’s Power System, (GPS), so that the believer can execute and fulfill His great plan for our lives that brings about our unity, both positionally and experientially, in the bond of peace.

Therefore, God the Father is sovereign over, omnipresent through, and indwelling in every Church Age believer, so that we can fulfill our destiny. He is in every part of the universe in His sovereign omnipresence, and yet He can do all of those things and be local at the same time as He indwells every believer, as illustrated by passages noted above and others too. As such, He is the One who gives the energy for all that happens, as He lives in all believers to shape and utilize them.

1 Cor 15:28, “And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.”

Psa 30:12, “That my soul may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to Thee forever.”

1 Cor 15:57, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Rom 6:17, “Thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed.”

 2 Cor 2:14, “Thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”

 2 Cor 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

Principles of God the Father.

The last in the ascending scale (though the first in terms of cause) is the Father. As Zerwick (p. 104) points out, he is not associated with other unities like the one Spirit and the one Lord. He stands alone. The triple note, which is still to be found, merely divides up his modes of action. There is “one God” not many as in pagan culture (1Cor 8:5, 6). He is the “Father of all” with particular reference to his redemptive paternity. Yet his creative fatherhood is not entirely ruled out in view of what follows.

1.) The titles of the First Person of the Trinity are combinations associated with the word “Father.” He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Father of Mercies. He is addressed as “Abba, Father”, Heavenly Father, Father of spirits, Holy Father, Righteous Father, Father of Lights, and Father of Glory.

2.) These titles represents several scriptural concepts.

  • It designates the first Person of the Trinity.
  • It designates His relationship to Jesus Christ, “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 1:17.
  • It designates His relationship to the believer, “our Father,” Mat 6:9.
  • It designates His relationship to the Jewish nation, Deut 32:6; Hosea 11:1; Psa 103:13; 68:5; Mal 1:6.
  • It designates His relationship to the universe, “the Father of lights,” James 1:17.
  • It designates His relationship to angles, “Sons of God,” Gen 6:2,4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7.
  • It designates His relationship to man, “the Father of spirits,” Heb 12:9, who are created after His image, Acts 17:26-29; Luke 3:38; cf. Gen 1:27; Mal 2:10.

1 John 3:1, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”

3.) They also relate several manifestations of the Fatherhood of God. The distinctive Fatherhoods of God are:

  • Fatherhood over creation – Universal Fatherhood.
  • Fatherhood over Israel – National Fatherhood.
  • The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – Eternal Fatherhood.
  • Fatherhood over all who believe – Relational Fatherhood

4.) The Characteristics of God the Father:

  • He is the first person in mode of operation. The First Cause, the Original, the Source, the Beginning, the Commencement, the Fountainhead of all wisdom, the Absolute.
  • The Foundation of our Redemption, John 3:16.
  • The Covenant Maker and Keeper, and the Covenant Promiser, Gen 6:18.
  • The Architect, Designer, and Controller.
  • The Provider and Sustainer, Job 24:23, Psa 35:5; 145:14; Gal 3:5.
  • The Light, Unapproachable Light, Life and Love, Rom 4:17, 6:23; 1 Tim 6:16, 1 John 4:8, 16.
  • Glory, Majesty, Holiness and Fire, Heb 12:29.
  • Perfect, Mat 5:48, Invisible, Spiritual, and Eternally the Father.
  • The Begetter, John 3:16. God the Father gives and preserves life in man, both body and soul, Mat 6:25-34, likewise, He cares for His creation and their needs (Divine Providence), cf. Psa 8:6-8. The Father provides our Logistical Grace blessings, Rom 8:32.

5.) As Sovereign our Father is wise, cf. 1 John 2:13-21.

6.) God the Father is the planner or designer of salvation for all of mankind, Isa 14:27; John 4:34; 5:17; 12:44; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 3:11.

7.) God the Father has elected the believer from eternity past into the eternal Family of God, Mat 15:13, 2 Thes 2:13.

Mat 15:13, “But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.””

8.) The believer is called to salvation, justified and glorified by God the Father, Rom 8:28-30; 9:22-26; 1 Cor 1:9; Gal 1:15-16; 1 Peter 1:15; 5:10.

9.) The believer is sanctified by God the Father, 1 Cor 1:2; Heb 2:11; Jude 1:1.

10.) God the Father indwells all Church Age believers as part of the Mystery Doctrine for the Church Age, John 14:23; Eph 4:6; 2 John 9. His abiding establishes our eternal relationship with Him.

11.) The Father is fully responsible for our prayers, as all of our prayers are directed to Him, Mat 6:6-9.

  • The Father hears (receives) our prayers, Mat 6:6-9; 7:11; Luke 11:2, 13; John 15:16; 16:23; 1 John 1:7-9, when we approach the throne of Grace, Heb 4:16.
  • He answers our prayers, Mat 18:19; Luke 11:13; John 15:16; 16:23; 1 John 5:14-15.

Mat 18:19, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”

  • He forgives us of our sins experientially when we confess them to Him, Mat 6:14-15; cf. 1 John 1:9.

Mat 6:14-15, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

12.) God the Father disciplines His Children and judges, Mat 18:35; 1 Cor 11:28-32; Heb 12:4-11; Rev 3:19; Job 5:17; Prov 3:11-12; Psa 119:75; Deut 8:5; 2 Sam 7:14.

Job 5:17, “Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.”

13.) God the Father provides Divine power for the function of His Plan for your life inside of what we call His GPS, (God’s Power System). This power is found in your Portfolio of Invisible Assets based on His indwelling ministry of every believer, 2 Cor 4:7; 6:7; 2 Thes 1:11; 2 Tim 1:7-8.

14.) The greatest power the Father has given to us is His Word, Bible Doctrine, John 15:15; 17:14, 17; cf. Heb 4:12.

2 Tim 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

15.) The Believer is kept safe by God the Father, which also speaks of our eternal security, 1 Peter 1:5. Christ declared of the Father in John 10:29 that, “No man is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

16.) God the Father will resurrect all of mankind. It is recorded of both the Father and the Son in, John 5:21.

John 5:21, “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.

Rom 8:11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

This describes God our Father as the One who originated all that vs. 4 and 5 describe. The Father is sovereign “above all,” Omnipresent as the sustainer “through all,” and Indwelling as the One who gives the energy for all that happens, “in all.”

2 Peter 1:2-8, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the, corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Summary;

In this discussion of the walk of the believer that is, “worthy of the calling by which he has been called,vs. 1, Paul speaks first to the individual in vs. 2-3, as the Supergrace believer is to walk, “in humility and gentleness, with patience showing forbearance in love, protecting the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Then in vs. 4-6, he widens it out to the entire Church, which is “one body, with one hope, having one faith, and one baptism.” He then brings this passage to a tremendous climax, which pictures the eminence and transcendence of God; “One Holy Spirit, One Lord Jesus Christ, and One God and Father.” Finally, Paul gives us the epilogue, by describing the essence and attributes of God that unite us in the bond of peace, as the Father is, “above all, and through all, and in you all.” This means that God is imminent and transcendent. He is above His creation. He is not dependent upon His creation. He does not depend upon oxygen to breathe. He does not have to bring up some supplies from the rear or go shopping on Saturday in order to have food for the weekend. He is transcendent. He is not only transcendent, He is also eminent. He is not only above all, but He is through all and in you all. That means He is in this universe in which you and I live. He is motivating it and He is moving it according to His plan and purpose. In addition, He indwells each of us to energize us to live the unique spiritual life of the Church Age. That is what adds meaning to life. That is what makes life worthwhile.

Thus far, we have noted in Ephesian Chapter 4:

1.) The Appeal to Preserve Unity, The walk to be worthy Eph 4:1-3.

2.) The Basis for Unity, The seven unities given to us by God, Eph 4:4-6.

Therefore, we have noted: the believer’s walk of worthiness, Eph 4:1-3, and the believer’s walk as an expression of doctrinal unity, Eph 4:4-6.

In our next section we will note:

3.) The Means of Unity, The ministry gifts of Christ to His body, Eph 4:7-16.

In this section we have two parts.

  • Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension proclaimed, as well as being the giver of gifts, vs. 8-10.
  • The purpose of our gifts; building up of the body of Christ, individually and collectively, vs. 12-16.

So this section will tell us about the believer’s walk as a ministry of gifts, Eph 4:7-16.

As we have noted, all members of the Royal Family have the same Father, just as all members of the Royal Family have the same Saviour. Likewise, all members of the Royal Family have become a living palace for God to dwell by the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ. And as we noted in vs. 4-6, all members of the Royal Family are unified by the attributes of nobility, (one body, one Holy Spirit, one Lord, one way of salvation (faith), one entrance into the Royal Family (baptism of the Spirit), and one heavenly Father). Yet, all do not have the same function, nor do all achieve the same stage of spiritual growth.

In regards to not having the same function inside the body of Christ, vs. 7- 16 tells us of varying spiritual gifts with various functions being assigned to members of the Royal Family. All believers are members of the same team, therefore members of the same royalty. But as members of the team, they have different functions. We are different members but the same body, and the differences are many, but the things that unite us are permanent and eternal. Therefore, this section begins with vs. 7, by reminding us of the grace of God in our lives.

Vs. 7

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

But to each one of us” is the Adversative Conjunction DE for “but, now, moreover, yet in fact, or indeed,” with the Dative Neuter of HEIS, which is HENI that means, “to one” or “to each one,” plus the Dative Adjective HEKASTOS meaning, “each or every,” and the Personal Pronoun HEMEIS in the 1st Person Plural for “us,” meaning members of the body of Christ. This tells us of the individuality we have inside the common essence of the Royal Family in vs. 4-6.

Paul is suddenly moving from discussing the Church as a whole, to the individuals comprising the Church, and that unity does not mean uniformity. We are still individuals inside the body of Christ.

The Church does not come from one cookie cutter. Instead, this tells us that in His work of developing unity among God’s people, the Holy Spirit, nor Jesus Christ, obliterates your individuality. In fact, God uses our differences to make up the full functioning body of Jesus Christ. But yet, there is something about these spiritual “gifts given by Jesus Christ” that bind and unite us.

After emphasizing our individuality inside the body of Christ, we next have the phrase “grace was given,” which is the Noun CHARIS with the Aorist, Passive, and Indicative of DIDOMI. This tells us that the spiritual gifts we received at the moment of our salvation are a “grace gift” from God, and specifically that the communication gifts, noted in this section, vs. 11, were a grace gift from Jesus Christ. So we are talking about all believers who have received God’s grace by giving the Church these unique spiritual gifts by Jesus Christ. In other words, all believers are blessed because Jesus gave these communication gifts to a few men by His grace.

Then we see the giver of the gifts noted later in this chapter, “according to the measure of Christ’s gift,” with the Genitive of KATA HO METRON HO CHRISTOS HO DOREA.

METRON used here for “measure” was used in classical Greek with the broad meaning that includes the standard by which something is measured whether of content, space, length, or weight. The word referred either to the standard of measure, i.e., the vessel or weight, or rule which is used as the tool for measuring. In our passage, it applies to our Lord Jesus Christ and His “standard” for measurement. In other words, it is His Sovereign decision as to whom He would give these gifts too, according to the God, the Father’s Plan; the rule by which He would give these gifts.

This tells us that the diversity of our spiritual gifts is not a random, adhoc affair. They are given with purpose, design, and control, so that the Plan of God can be fulfilled for every generation. It also tells us that we do not choose our spiritual gifts, but that they are assigned to us by the grace of God in a purposeful manner for our collective benefit and good.

The key word in this passage is “grace,” CHARIS that means, “all that God is able to freely do for and give to the believer.” It is the unmerited favor of God towards us.

As we have seen in this chapter, grace gave us unity inside the body of Christ by means of the Trinity, vs. 4-6. Likewise, grace has given us the opportunity to experience that unity inside the body of Christ through the application of the Royal Family Honor Code, vs. 1-3. Now we are about to see that grace has given us specific communication spiritual gifts for the empowerment and enablement of the body of Christ, to achieve experientially collective growth and unity, while maintaining our diversity as individuals. Grace is also given to us so that we have joy and delight in our lives that is totally undeserved and many times unexpected.

Finally, we will see that the communication gifts mentioned in vs. 11, are not given to each individual believer, but are given to a select few believing men for the benefit of all believers. This is part of the understanding of the “measure of Christ’s gifts.”

But, before we get to the gifts and their benefits to the Church, we are told of a great correlation to the grace gifts of God; the grace death, burial, descent into the lower parts, and ascension of our Lord in vs. 8-10. This is given to us first in correlation of the grace of God that did all that, to the grace of God that provides us with the communication gifts for the Church.

Eph 4:8-10, “Therefore it says, ” WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” 9(Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)”

Vs. 8

Eph 4:8, “Therefore it says, ” WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”

In vs. 8 we have a quote from Psa 68:18. Paul paraphrased Psa 68:18 to show the qualifications of Christ to grant these “gifts” or ministries to His disciples. This Psalm gives a description of what probably was a return of King David after a military conquest. Paul’s quotation of this verse reveals that the ascent of the Ark to Zion was a type of Christ’s ascension to heaven after His resurrection. Therefore, at the same time, it is a Messianic Psalm of victory, describing the completed work of Christ in accomplishing the Plan of Salvation.

Ascended on high” is the Aorist, Active, Participle in the Nominative Singular of ANABAINO with the Preposition EIS and the Noun HUPSOS. ANABAINO, ἀναβαίνω is a compound word form ANA that means, “up” and BAINO that means, “I go.” Besides its basic meaning of “going up,” it is specially used here for the Ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. It refers to the Ascension of Jesus Christ as a part of the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict. The culminative Aorist tense views the Ascension in its entirety but regards it from the viewpoint of its existing results; glorification of Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Father as the unique person of the universe. The Active voice: Jesus Christ produced the action of Ascension.

It is also a reference to the Third heaven, God’s Throne room where Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father in His Session. Therefore, when we talk about the Ascension of Jesus Christ, we typically talk about His Session as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

The Doctrine of the Ascension

1.) Ascension is that doctrine of Christology pertaining to the transfer of our Lord’s true humanity from planet earth to the Third heaven, in a resurrection body, cf. Acts 1:9‑11. The Ascension of Jesus Christ is that doctrine of Scripture to describe the Lord moving from planet earth to the Third heaven, God’s Throne room.

2.) In our passage, Eph 4:8-10, the Ascension of Jesus Christ is spoken of as a singular event, but according to Scripture it happened at least twice and possibly many more times. It occurred immediately after His Resurrection, and then occurred in its final instance 40 days after His Resurrection. Both seem to be in view in our passage.

3.) The first Ascension occurred immediately after His Resurrection, John 20:17, to fulfill the typology of the High Priest sprinkling blood on the articles in the Tabernacle and the Mercy Seat, cf. Heb 9:19-24, cf. Prov 30:4; John 3:13; Rom 10:6-10. It was an invisible resurrection as Jesus left earth, ascended to Heaven, and presented Himself to the Father in resurrected humanity as the “better sacrifice” to cover the sins of all mankind.

4.) That resurrection was closest in time to the descent of Jesus noted in vs. 10, where upon His death, and while He was in the grave, His soul went into Hades to proclaim His victory over sin to the deceased O.T. unbelievers and believers who were held there, as well as over imprisoned fallen angels in Tartarus, 1 Peter 3:18-19.

5.) Upon Christ’s Resurrection, He then went to the Third Heaven, led the believers that were in Hades to heaven, and presented Himself as victor to the Father, signified by bringing the captive believers held in Hades to heaven.

6.) After the first Ascension, our Lord returned and interacted with His disciples for a period of 40 days, Acts 1:3.

7.) At the end of the forty days He led the disciples to Mt. Olivet and ascended in resurrection body for the final time until His Second Advent, (His physical return at the end of the Tribulation), Acts 1:9. This was a visible, final departure from earth to heaven and the seating of Christ at the right hand of the Father. (Also note that the Lord will meet believers in the clouds of the air at the Rapture/Resurrection of the Church at the end of the Church Age, which is just prior to the Tribulation.)

8.) Acts 1:9-11 gives the historical facts related to Christ’s final ascension in simple terms. Before this ascension He indicated the Divinely arranged delay in the realization of Israel’s earthly kingdom and that in no way is it abandoned, Acts 1:6-7, and defined the scope of the responsibility of His disciples in the world in this Age together with the provided power of the enabling Holy Spirit, Acts 1:8.

9.) Acts 1:9, tell us only that He was removed from human sight. That He ascended above all authorities and powers in angelic realms, that He assumed vast authority, and that He is seated upon His Father’s throne is understood from other portions of the N.T.

10.) During the Forty Days before His final Ascension, He demonstrated the capabilities of the resurrection body. The Ascension of Christ was predicated on the capabilities of the resurrection body, which is capable of space travel; the ascension is space travel. As such the resurrection body can:

  • Travel horizontally and vertically at unlimited speed, and is capable of unlimited space travel. Our Lord traveled horizontally during his forty days on planet earth, as well as moving through closed doors.
  • The Ascension of Christ demonstrates the vertical travel of the resurrection body, moving with ease through the atmosphere of the earth, the galaxies of stellar universe, and the billions and billions of light years in an instant, entering into the third heaven, the abode of God.

11.) Christ’s Ascension also completed the resurrection of the First Fruits, 1 Cor 15:20, 23.

12.) The doctrinal importance of Christ’s Ascension lies not so much in His departure from the world, as it does in His arrival in heaven. Once arriving in heaven, Jesus Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father and glorified. This is called the Session of Christ, Psa 110:1; Rom 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3,13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22.

13.) In our passage, as elsewhere, an equally great achievement is indicated, namely, Christ’s return or ascension back to His former place and glory. It was the answer to His prayer in the Upper Room, John 17:5, “And now, O Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was,” John 17:5.

14.) The Ascension and Session of Christ formed the basis of, and is the key to victory in the Angelic Conflict, Heb 1:3-13. As the strategic victor, the God-Man, Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Royal Priest, and our only celebrity distributes the spoils to both dispensations; Israel and the Church.

15.)The Ascension and Session of Christ began a new phase of the Angelic Conflict, Eph 1:20-22; 4:7-10. Therefore, the believer of the Church Age is involved in the intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict.

16.) The Ascension and Session of Jesus Christ began operation footstool, prophesied in Psa 110:1 and quoted in Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:34-35; Heb 1:13.

Psa 110:1, “The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

Acts 2:34-35, “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, 35UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR THY FEET”.”

  • The Second Advent of Christ will conclude operation footstool, Dan 7:13-14; Zech 13:2; Col 2:15; Rev 20:1-3.

17.) The Ascension and Session of Christ completes the glorification of Christ in His hypostatic union, Acts 2:33; 5:31; Phil 2:9; 1 Peter 3:22.

1 Peter 3:22, “Who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.”

18.) The Ascension and Session of Christ explains the uniqueness of the Church Age and the importance of having a Royal Family in this dispensation only, John 7:37-39.

19.) The Ascension and Session of Christ made possible the second High Priestly function of our Lord, namely intercession or praying for all members of the Royal Family on earth, Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25.

20.) Therefore, the Ascension is the consummation of the Transfiguration. Our Lord went back into His primal glory; but He did not go back simply as Son of God; He went back to God as Son of Man, as well as Son of God. As a result, there is now freedom of access for anyone straight to the very throne of God by the Ascension of the Son of Man. As Son of Man, Jesus Christ deliberately limited His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. Now they are His in absolute full power to benefit the believer. As Son of Man, Jesus Christ has all power at the throne of God. He is King of kings and Lords of lords from the day of His Ascension until now.

Next we have: “He led captive a host of captives,” is first the Aorist, Active, Indicative of AICHMALOTEUO, αἰχμαλωτεύω that means, “capture or make prisoners of.” It is used only here and in 2 Tim 3:6 in regard to false teachers who capture “silly woman,” (those without Bible Doctrine in there soul), in their false teachings. It speaks to those who are captured by sin.

Then we have the Noun in the Accusative, Singular, Feminine of AICHMALOSIA, αἰχμαλωσία that means, “captivity.” It is only used here and twice in Rev 13:10, speaking of imprisonment. In classical Greek this word meant either the condition of “captivity” or a “group of captives.” In our passage, it is the group, “host of captives.”  This is the spoils of Christ’s victory onto the Old Testament saint. He brought them from their captivity in the heart of the earth called Paradise or Abraham’s bosom to the third heaven, God’s throne room, in the Triumphal Procession, as noted above in the Doctrine of Ascension.

Next we see the spoils of the Strategic Victory of Christ given to the Church Age believers who are still on earth.

He gave gifts to men.” As we noted above, Paul significantly altered Psa 68:18, “received among” into “gave to,” sufficiently showing that he is not arguing from a verbal prophecy, but from a typical fact.

Gave” is the Aorist, Active, Indicative of DIDOMI. This giving was of “gifts,” DOMA, meaning spiritual gifts, “to men,” HO ANTHROPOS that means both men and woman. Combined, this phrase means the giving of spiritual gifts to Church Age believers. This is the topic picked up again in vs. 11, after the parenthesis of vs. 9-10 that speaks to our Lord’s, “descending into the lower parts of the earth.”

In vs. 9-10, that was the time when Jesus proclaimed His strategic victory won at the Cross to those held in Hades, Tartarus, the Abyss, and below the Euphrates River, as we noted in the Doctrine of Ascension above and in 1 Peter 3:18-19; cf. Luke 16:19-31: 23:39-45. This was during the time immediately after His physical death on the Cross. He was a Trichotomous being at the point of His death. His body went into the grave, Luke 23:50-53, His spirit went into the presence of the Father, (3rd Heaven), Luke 23:46; John 19:30, and His soul descended into the lower parts of the earth, Psa 16:10; Luke 23:43; Acts 2:27, 31; Eph 4:9. See our website for more information, especially the lesson taught on July 31, 2016.

Finally, in vs. 10 it reads, “that He might fill all things,” HINA PLEROO HO PAS. PLEROO is in the Aorist, Active, and Subjunctive. The Subjunctive mood is for potential of filling all things where the potential is in mankind. If man accepts Christ, Christ fills Him, if man rejects Christ; he is not filled with Him. Likewise, as the believer goes forward in the plan of God, his life is filled with Christ, but if he does not go forward and grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, he is not filled with Him experientially.

It means that Christ’s body, the Church, is to be the full expression of God in the present world. And as individual members of His body, we have been given spiritual gifts which are to be used as the manifestation of God here on earth. Therefore, the Church, (all believers in any given generation), is the manifestation of God on earth that fills “all in all,” which means we are the physical working and functioning ministry of God here on earth during the Church Age. It indicates that the Church is filled with God’s Divine attributes and that the Church receives its fullness from Christ, who is receiving complete fullness from God, as He builds the body of Christ through the Church. It also speaks of Christ giving all things, namely gifted people, to the Church. Therefore, this is a reference to the Super-Grace life and blessings; the sum total of superabundant blessings, which completes the Royal Priesthood. This refers to the perfect happiness, the wealth, the success, the promotion, the prosperity, and all the blessings from God the Father provided for every believer as a part of the Royal Family.

This simply states that the Lord Jesus Christ has unlocked the door to super-grace living and blessings for each believer. It is a reminder that super-grace is not automatic. The potential subjunctive indicates the fact that while the super-grace blessings were designed in eternity past and provided, that at the present moment the Lord Jesus Christ is tapping His foot waiting to give us these things, it is only provided for those who reach the super-grace status, which demands a consistent positive volition toward Bible doctrine. Compare with notes on Eph 1:23, 3:19, “fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Vs. 11 – The source of Super-Grace blessings.

Eph 4:11, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.”

And He gave,” is KAI AUTOS DIDOMI, in the Aorist, Active, Indicative. This is the absolute source of super-grace blessings, Jesus Christ, through giving us spiritual gifts, especially the communication gifts. The direct or the immediate source of super-grace blessings is the Evangelist who communicates the gospel for salvation and the Pastor-Teacher who communicates Bible doctrine for the edification of the body of Christ during the Church Age.

This picks up where vs. 8 left off, and continues the “grace given” of “Christ’s gifts” of vs. 7. We are talking about the giving of spiritual gifts here, specifically the communication gifts noted here in vs. 11.

When we think of “Christ’s gifts that He gave to men,” it has a double meaning. First and foremost, it means the spiritual gifts themselves. Secondly, it means the men who receive these communication gifts. These are certain men who are called to the ministry, and placed and provided locally in their service to God for the benefit of the Church / the body of Jesus Christ. They are “His gift to men.” The Lord did not leave this work to the uncertain and insufficient judgment of men, 1 Cor 12:11, 18. He, Himself bestowed these gifts with His personal and individual supervision as the exalted Christ over each member of His Body, as each one is appointed to the exercise of a spiritual gift “as He wills.

Therefore, as a result of the Ascension of Jesus Christ, He left behind communicators so that believers could reach the super-grace life. As such, we will note the Doctrine of Spiritual Gifts, as well as how you can discover what your spiritual gift is.

The Doctrine of Spiritual Gifts

1.) Definition.

A Spiritual gift is a supernatural endowment by God to His children to empower and enable them to serve or function in some certain capacity as a member of the body of Christ. Their gift may be exercised towards those inside the body of Christ, believers, or to those outside the body of Christ, unbelievers.

In Eph 4:7-8, “gift or gifts” are the nouns DOREA and DOMA respectfully.

DOREA refers to a “gift” or a “present,” especially a “free gift,” or a “benefit” for someone. In the N.T., it is used for God giving us the Holy Spirit, John 4:10; Acts 8:20, or of giving us Jesus Christ as the Savior Rom 5:15, 17. Paul used it in Eph 3:7 and 4:7 for the communication spiritual gift he received from God.

DOMA is related to the word DIDOMI “to give” and emphasizes “what has been given,” that is, the gift itself. It is used in the New Testament only four times, Mat 7:11; Luke 11:13; Eph 4:8; Phil 4:17.

Another Greek word for gift is DORON that means “gift or present” including the votive offerings of religion. DORON is also used of God in giving us His Son Jesus Christ, John 3:16; 2 Cor 9:15. Likewise, God’s grace for salvation is a gift from Him, Eph 2:8f.

Finally, we have the word CHARISMA that means, “a gift, grace, benefit, or favor,” that is used predominately for the spiritual gifts the believer is given by God. Except for one instance in 1 Peter 4:10, CHARISMA is exclusively part of Paul’s vocabulary. The use of CHARISMA falls into two theological contexts:

  1. It concerns the “gift” of salvation God has given to us in Christ.
  2. It involves the spiritual “gifts” bestowed upon the Church.

In regards to spiritual gifts, 1 Cor 12 – 14 gives us the most information along with Rom 12. Oddly enough, “spiritual gift,” CHARISMA PNEUMATIKON is a phrase found only in Rom 1:11.

Rom 1:11, “For I long to see you in order that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established.”

The key word in understanding “gift” in Paul’s terms is “give,” as God is the only “giver” of “gifts” to His Church, Eph 4:7-11.

As such, all Spiritual Gifts are for the benefit of the Church as a whole, even though they may build up the individual recipient. The gifts of the Spirit are not to be exercised selfishly; rather, their intent is most fully realized only in the context of corporate worship and edification, as the ministry of the Spirit is ultimately manifest in the CHARISMATA.

Spiritual gifts are distributed to the Royal Family of the Church Age both as recognition of Christ’s strategic victory in the Angelic Conflict, and as recognition of the royalty of every believer in the Church Age. The distribution of spiritual gifts in the Church Age recognizes that Christ has already won the victory; therefore, we have the distribution of the spoils. As such, we are given spiritual gifts first as recognition of being members of the Royal Family of God.

In addition, for the Church Age, spiritual gifts are the Father’s organized witness and testimony to grace in salvation, Heb 2:4.

Heb 2:4, “God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”

Finally, Spiritual gifts demand the function of royalty under the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP), Eph 4:1-3, resulting in the attainment of the tactical victory of the Super-grace life, Eph 3:16-21. Therefore, the challenge of spiritual gifts is to GAP it daily and reach Super-grace.

2.) Distribution of Spiritual Gifts.

The distribution of spiritual gifts is divided into two parts, initial and subsequent.

  • Initial distribution: At the beginning of the Church Age, spiritual gifts were provided immediately by the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph 4:8-11, especially the communication gifts.
  • Subsequent distribution: During the Church Age distribution is accomplished by the sovereign decision of God the Holy Spirit, who gives every believer of the Church Age at least one spiritual gift, known or unknown, 1 Cor 12:11.

1 Cor 12:11, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”

These gifts do not depend upon human ability, morality, talent, achievement, but constitute a sovereign decision of God the Holy Spirit.

3.) The Time of Distribution.

All spiritual gifts were given after the resurrection, ascension, and session of Jesus Christ, Eph 4:8. Spiritual gifts were given for the first time on the day of Pentecost when the Dispensation of Israel was dramatically interrupted, Acts 2.

4.) Function of Spiritual Gifts.

At any point in the Church Age, each spiritual gift in every geographical area is necessary for the function of the body of Christ in that area, 1 Cor 12:27-31. All spiritual gifts function through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:4; 1 Cor 13. The function of spiritual gifts also depends upon Bible doctrine in the soul as the result of functioning under GAP. Bible doctrines also mold a grace attitude for the application of spiritual gifts, Rom 12:3.

We learn from 1 Cor 12:4-6 that the gifts, ministries, and effects of God are all for the benefit of the Church so that God may be glorified. Paul did not see the CHARISMATA, “spiritual gifts,” DIAKONIA, “ministries,” and ENERGEMA, “effects / workings,” as three distinct manifestations from the three members of the Godhead. He saw them as coming from ONE God, “the same God” who “works all of them in all men.” And as we see, through the exercise of a CHARISMA, God’s grace (CHARIS) is ministered in a variety of ways, with a variety of impact.

5.) Two Categories of Spiritual Gifts; Temporary and Permanent.

Temporary gifts were a certain group of legitimate spiritual gifts that were in use for the benefit of the Church in the pre-canon period of the Church Age, that is, before the New Testament was completed. These gifts ceased to function, and were no longer given to the Church when the N.T. was completed. In the post-canon period, we have what are called permanent spiritual gifts, because they began in the pre-canon era and continue throughout the Church Age. So we have temporary gifts from ~ 30-96 AD, and permanent gifts ~ 30 AD through the present and continuing until the Rapture of the Church.

Temporary gifts were necessary to take up the slack until the canon of Scripture was completed and circulated. Once the Bible was completed, certain temporary spiritual gifts were withdrawn. These temporary gifts include apostleship, prophets, tongues, interpreting tongues, healing, miracles, discerning spirits, and so on. The fact that tongues was removed earlier is found in the Greek of 1 Cor 13:8-10. The fact that healing was removed, even in Paul’s day half way through his ministry, is found by comparing Acts 19:11-12 with Phil 2:27; 2 Tim 4:20, as well as James 5:14, where the sick are instructed to seek the elders for prayer in healing, rather than to seek out someone with the gift of healing. When Paul stated in Eph 2:20 that the apostles and prophets are the foundation for the universal church, this at least implies that they were only for the beginning of the Church, Cf. Heb 2:3-4.

The fact that the Holy Spirit has withdrawn temporary gifts in our day, post-canon period, is His way of focusing our attention on the Word of God. Everything we need is in the Word itself. The Holy Spirit reminds us that we have something more powerful, more important: the Word of God itself.

Permanent gifts continued after the completion of the canon and throughout the Church Age, as per Rom 12:7-8; 1 Cor 12:31. We live in the age when the Holy Spirit produces the character of Christ within us, and Divine Good on the outside. Therefore, no temporary gifts (such as miracles) are necessary.

Permanent Gifts

A.) Pastor-Teacher, (Rom 12:7; 1 Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11).

This is the ability to shepherd, provide for, care for, and protect God’s people through the ability to explain God’s truth to people.

B.) Evangelism, (Eph 4:11).

This is the ability to proclaim the Gospel message with exceptional clarity. Also included in this is the idea that the ministry of an evangelist was itinerant. It might also be done publicly or privately.

C.) Administration, (Rom 12:8; 1 Cor 12:28).

The gift of Administration is the supernatural ability to lead others. This is the gift of administrative leadership. Those with the gift of Administration will clearly understand the immediate and long-range goals of the local assembly, then devise and execute effective plans for the accomplishment of those goals.

D.) Ministry / Service, (Rom 12:7).

This gift is the supernatural ability to minister or serve within the local assembly or other Christian organizations in a variety of ways. These are the “worker bees” as it were. This gift functions in the administration and maintenance of the local church, serving on committees, mission boards, outreach or service programs, etc.

E.) Helps, (1 Cor 12:28).

This is the ability to help or serve in the broadest sense of the word. This spiritual gift functions by helping and ministering to others including the sick, the afflicted, the handicapped, and the helpless. It is the supernatural ability to invest in the life and ministry of others, thereby enabling them in their ministry and effectiveness, while increasing their success.

F.) Exhortation, (Rom 12:8).

This involves the ability to encourage, comfort, admonish and entreat people, with an appeal for action, leading them into the active realization of the will of God.

G.) Giving, (Rom 12:8).

This is the ability to be very generous with what means one has. It should be exercised with simplicity, i.e., with no thought of return or self-gain.

H.) Showing Mercy, (Rom 12:8).

Like the gifts of serving or helps, this involves succoring particularly those who are sick and afflicted. This gift is related to the sick and afflicted and any other who might fall within the sphere of needing succor, (help, aide, assistance, relief, rescue, etc.). In dealing with such, some Christians are given special ability to show mercy with cheerfulness to those that others would consider unlovable.

I.) Faith, (1 Cor 12:9).

This is the ability to believe God for the supply of specific needs. It is manifested not so much in trust in Christ as Savior but in confidence in God in respect to His power and love working in the details of your life, supplying your needs and guiding your steps. Every believer should walk by faith and each has a measure of faith, but not all have the gift of faith.

Two debatable permanent gifts, which are probably more of the works of the Spirit rather than gifts of the Spirit include:

J.) Word of Wisdom, (1 Cor 12:8).

The Word of Wisdom as a gift is the supernatural ability to apply Bible doctrine to circumstances in life and to give that insight to others, as in counseling. It is understanding the Word of God in such a way as to give insight and enlightenment that best applies to specific needs within the Body of Christ, as lead by the Holy Spirit.

K.) Word of Knowledge, (1 Cor 12:8).

The gift of the Word of Knowledge is the supernatural ability to categorize doctrine for application. It is the ability to accumulate, analyze and clarify information and ideas, which are pertinent to the well-being of the body of Christ. This gift can be used to assist a Pastor in his writing and teaching materials and be applied in academic settings by preparing systematic theologies or other academic books, resources, and courses for the edification of the body of Christ.

6.) The Abuse of Spiritual Gifts.

The Corinthians were taking the spiritual gift of tongues and magnifying it out of proportion and calling it spirituality. That is why Paul wrote 1 Cor 12-14, especially chapters 13 and 14. These scriptures tell us that there is nothing in the Christian life apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit producing Divine love in the life of the believer. In 1 Cor 13, Paul takes three temporary gifts and sets up the principle of the discontinuance of temporary gifts.

As such, cannot boast or complain, and arrogance are the causes of the abuses of spiritual gifts in two areas.

  • The attempt to perpetuate temporary gifts of the pre‑Canon period into the post‑Canon era. Many times people have tried to, and continue to, perpetuate into the post‑Canon period some temporary spiritual gifts like; healing, miracles, tongues, the interpretation of tongues, etc. When anyone claims the gifts of apostleship, tongues, miracles, healing, they are apostate and reversionistic; separate yourselves from them. It is an abuse of spiritual gifts to try to claim them beyond the closing of the Canon in 96 A.D.
  • The problem of arrogance or inferiority, (which too is a form of arrogance). Many believers are arrogant because their spiritual gift is more obvious in its function. Others are in a terrible state of inferiority, thinking that because their spiritual gift is not obvious and does not function in front of people, they are second‑class Christians. There is no such thing as a second‑class Christian.

1 Cor 12:15‑21, describes this abuse. This is a part of the dissertation on the body of Christ, the Royal Family of God, in which distinctions are made only where our spiritual gifts are concerned, but not in regards to superiority and inferiority. Remember that when it comes to our privileges and opportunities, we all have equal privileges and equal opportunities from our Portfolio of Invisible Assets to fulfill God’s Plan for our lives and receive escrow blessings for time and eternity.

Behind all this is the erroneous assumption that you earn, deserve, or merit your spiritual gift. In reality, the wisdom of God the Holy Spirit gave you your gift. Spiritual gifts are not issued based on your spiritual growth or spiritual advance. Those with supposedly “less spectacular” gifts are not spiritually inferior to those with an ostentatious gift. The Royal Family of God, when it comes to spiritual gifts, is a team. Each part is necessary. So, whether you are a lady or a gentleman, and regardless of any other human distinction, you are important in the Royal Family of God.

Your spiritual gift is simply your position on the team. It was sovereignly bestowed to you by God the Holy Spirit at salvation, and your spiritual gift is just as important as anyone else’s. Therefore, there is no place for arrogance or an inferiority complex inside the body of Christ!

Those with “spectacular” gifts are no better than those with hidden gifts. You are not “more spiritual” because you have a spectacular gift. Neither the Pastor nor Evangelist is necessarily any better as a Christian than anyone else. What differentiates them is simply that their spiritual gifts are exercised in public, while other believers’ spiritual gifts are exercised in private. Therefore, the only difference among believers’ is whether or not they used their free will to advance to spiritual adulthood or not. Differences are not to be determined by their spiritual gift.

Spiritual gifts have nothing to do with the inferiorities or superiorities that are assigned in this world by race, socio-economics, business, professional or academic life, athletic ability, personality, or to human attractiveness or ugliness. You are just as much a part of the body of Christ if your spiritual gift is exercised in public or private!

Remember that Spiritual gifts do not determine the status of experiential sanctification. The superior spiritual life results from consistent residence inside of God’s Power System, under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, and momentum from metabolized doctrine in your soul.

1 Cor 12:18, “But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.”

Spiritual gifts are distributed according to the sovereignty of God, not according to the merit of any particular believer.

There is no excuse for a superiority complex because you have an ostentatious spiritual gift. In fact, a spectacular spiritual gift does not in any way indicate a superior spiritual status.

There is no excuse for an inferiority complex because you have an obscure spiritual gift. In fact, an obscure spiritual gift, like helps or mercy, does not indicate an inferior spiritual status.

Whatever spiritual gift you have is a matter of the sovereignty of God. Therefore, you cannot boast or complain about your spiritual gift. It is the will of God, not yours. You did not earn it, deserve it, or work for it. It is strictly the function of the sovereignty of God.

Since the Holy Spirit assigned these spiritual gifts at salvation, there is no place for human merit, or assigning any greatness or arrogance to your spiritual gift. We all have equal privilege and equal opportunity for the fulfillment of the Plan of God for our lives and the distribution of escrow blessings for both time and eternity, regardless of the spiritual gift you may possess.

1 Cor 12:22‑25, teaches the importance of obscure spiritual gifts. Vs. 26‑27, teaches the importance of teamwork in spiritual gifts. Vs. 28‑30 teaches the perspective of spiritual gifts. Vs. 31, is a transitional verse into the doctrine of virtue-love, Chapter 13, as the answer to any apparent inequalities in spiritual gifts.

7.) The Relationship between Spiritual Gifts and General Ministry/Service.

As mentioned above, it is very interesting that the permanent spiritual gifts for the Church Age are also noted within the N.T. as areas of “general service” that all believers are mandated to function in. The general service of believers’ means, from time to time, he or she will be in a position where they will have the opportunity to serve others in a particular area of ministry, whether or not they have that gift.  For example, we are all “Royal Ambassadors” for Christ, which means among other things, we give the gospel message to unbelievers when we have opportunity to do so. We are all mandated to witness the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet, we all do not have the spiritual gift of Evangelism.

Having the gift means you will excel in that area and much of your Christian service will be focused in that area, yet, from time to time you will also have opportunity to serve in the other areas classified as spiritual gifts. Keep in mind that just because you do not have certain spiritual gifts, that does not exclude you from operating in the capacity of the other spiritual gifts. We all have the responsibility to function in our own spiritual gift predominantly, as well as the others gifts as “general service” from time to time.

Scriptures that give us the commands for “general service” in all areas of the permanent spiritual gifts include the following. (Please also note that no Scripture commands “general service” for the temporary gifts, for example tongues, healing, apostleship, etc., which is another indication that those were temporary gifts.)

Gifts Given to Some

Commands Given to All

1) Ministering, 1) Serve one another, Gal 5:13.
2) Exhortation 2) Exhort one another, Heb 10:25.
3) Giving 3) All give, 2 Cor 9:7.
4) Teaching 4) Great Commission, Mat 28:19.
5) Showing Mercy 5) Be kind, Eph 4:32.
6) Faith 6) Walk by faith, 2 Cor 5:7.
7) Evangelism 7) All witness, Acts 1:8.

Thus, all are commanded to do various ministries whether or not they possess the corresponding spiritual gift. If we faithfully obey these commands, we may discover our particular spiritual gifts, as general service / ministry is the key to discovering your spiritual gift(s) and particular ministry.

9.) Discovery and Development of Your Spiritual Gift.

Knowing that we have each received a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit at the moment of our salvation, which will be a manifestation of the Spirit in us, what matters most is that you discover what your gift is and then develop it. Interestingly enough, your gift is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit; therefore, if you are “walking by means of the Holy Spirit,” Gal 5:16, 25, on a consistent basis, He will be manifesting Himself through you in the area of your spiritual gift. Even so, this should never be an excuse for not discovering, knowing, and developing your spiritual gift, as knowledge of something always means power, Prov 24:5; 2 Peter 1:3. Therefore, if you know what your gift is, it will give you an opportunity to empower it even more so.

Prov 24:5, “A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power.”

If you know what your gift is, you can then learn how that gift is applied and then excel in the application of it. In addition, all Bible doctrine is beneficial for your life. That same doctrine will also enhance your application of your spiritual gift. Therefore, it is important in the maximum exercise of your spiritual gift, to have maximum Bible doctrine in your soul. Remember that the Holy Spirit only works with the Bible doctrine you learn. If you do not learn God’s Word, the Holy Spirit cannot use it in the exercise of your spiritual gift, John 16:13.

John 16:13, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

The following are several ways to learn what your gift is and how to develop it.

a) Be active in the Lord’s work.

As noted above, we are mandated by God’s Word to function, from time to time, in all of the areas of ministry that permanent spiritual gifts are specifically designed to function in. By serving generally in the various areas of ministry when you are given the opportunity to do so, is the first and best way for discovering and developing your one particular spiritual gift. Gifts are both discovered and developed by activity. Practice in the various areas of ministry brings perception of which area you seem to be best at, have a natural affinity for, or have an inclination of which one best fits you.

Mandates for general service given to all believers, as noted previously, includes.

  1) Serve one another, Gal 5:13.

  2) Exhort one another, Heb 10:25.

  3) Give, 2 Cor 9:7.

  4) Teach, Mat 28:19.

  5) Show Mercy/Be Kind, Eph 4:32.

  6) Walk by faith, 2 Cor 5:7.

  7) Evangelize, Acts 1:8.

If you are seeking to discover your gift, then do not turn down opportunities to serve, even if you think they do not fall within the range of your gift or abilities. God may be trying to tell you that you have a gift you do not recognize.

If you are active in doing what you can, then other opportunities may arise which will bring to light your spiritual gift. For example, when we first meet Philip in the Book of Acts, we see him helping distribute the relief money to needy and bickering widows, Acts 6:5. It is doubtful that before he undertook this ministry he sat down to decide whether or not he had that spiritual gift. Here was an opportunity to serve and he took it. He proved faithful in performing this menial task. The Lord then entrusted him with another ministry; that of evangelizing the Samaritans, Acts 8:5, and later, the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 8:27. As he used that gift, he became known as Philip the evangelist, Acts 21:8. But first, he was Philip the helper of the needy and widows.

The same principle was true in Stephen’s life. He first served along with Philip in ministering to the widows. But he also was full of faith, Act 6:5, and was a great witness, Acts 7:1-53.

Principle: Faithfulness in one opportunity leads to other opportunities that can lead to discovering your spiritual gift.

We are all commanded to do various ministries, whether or not we possess the corresponding spiritual gift. If we faithfully obey these commands, we may discover our particular spiritual gifts. Therefore, prepare yourself by taking every opportunity of Christian service available to you.

b) Be willing to do anything for God.

Dedication or willingness to do anything can be more important than discovering your spiritual gift. The passage on spiritual gifts in Eph 4, begins with an exhortation to a worthy life of “humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, and peace,” vs. 1-3. The extended discussion on gifts in 1 Cor 12 is preceded in that letter by several exhortations to dedication, 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20; 10:31, and is followed by the exhortation to “love,” in Chapter 13.

Which specific gift is the most valuable one? Paul’s answer to this is clear and emphatic: the one gift all Christians should have is love, 1 Cor 12:31-13:1. Love is the ultimate gift that we put on when we have the Word of God resident within our soul and apply it. If we have all the other spiritual gifts and lack love, we have nothing; if we have love and nothing else, we have everything. Paul said that love fulfills the entire law, Rom 13:10; compare Mat 22:39-40. Love makes possible the fellowship of the Church and guarantees that spiritual gifts will be used unselfishly. Love is the greatest gift given to us by the God, Who is love.

Likewise, the passage in Rom 12 begins with the great call of dedication of life to your “spiritual service of worship,” in vs. 1-2.

Rom 12:1-2, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The believer who is not dedicated to God will never discover the gift and abilities God has given him to serve with, nor will he fully develop the gift he does discover.

If you have the correct motivation and are faithful to respond to the opportunities for service / ministry before you, it will soon be evident that you do not do all things equally well. This is no reason to excuse yourself from every form of ministry, but it certainly tells you the areas of service upon which you should concentrate. Out of your general service, a more particular ministry will most likely emerge. It will probably be a ministry that is unique and that others do not seem to desire to perform. Not only will your ministry become evident, but you should be more able to identify the spiritual gift that equips you for your service.

It is by ministering to others that we find “our own ministry” and come to recognize the spiritual gift with which the Spirit of God has empowered us.

c) Inform yourself about the total package of abilities you have.

In addition to our spiritual gift, God has given us other abilities by which we can apply our spiritual gift. These abilities come in two forms, Natural and Acquired.

  1) Natural abilities are God-given at birth, they include things like I.Q., a measure of health and strength, musical talents, the ability to sing well, linguistic abilities, mechanical aptitudes, etc.

 2) Acquired abilities are things like cooking, sewing, driving a car, learning a language, learning to play an instrument, learning about business or financials, etc.

While we may tend to take such skills or abilities for granted, remember that, many people in the world have few opportunities to acquire skills beyond their natural abilities.

However, with both our natural talents and abilities we may have been able to acquire, the believer should inform himself or herself of the total package of these various abilities that God has placed in their life so that they can potentially utilize them in conjunction with their spiritual gift. In other words, you should take inventory to know what stock you have available for the Lord’s use. Just going through the process of self-evaluation, taking inventory of your abilities, periodically may help you ascertain what areas of service you ought to explore.

When you recognize the total package you have, you can then sharpen your talents, acquire new skills if necessary, and work on the development of your spiritual gift. For example:

  • If you think you may have the gift of teaching, then it will be necessary to study the Word of God in greater detail than just of personal application, learn Biblical Greek and Hebrew, develop your writing skills, etc. The ability to communicate may be more directly given as part of your spiritual gift, but even that skill can be sharpened by education. Nevertheless, the content of which you will be teaching, (Bible Doctrine), must be learned.
  • If you think you have the gift of giving, then you should work on being a good steward in all areas of life, 1 Cor 4:2, so that you have the means to be able to give and give wisely. The ability to be generous is God-given, but to have the wherewithal with which to be generous requires discipline in financial affairs.
  • The gift of evangelism in the early Church not only involved the preaching of the Good News, but also itinerating, (moving / traveling from place to place), with the message. To be able to do this may involve paying special attention to one’s health, in order to have the stamina to travel in spreading the Gospel, and living a life of flexibility with few anchors holding you back.

    4) If one has the gift of exhortation, it certainly should be based on Biblical knowledge and not the latest trends in psychology, which are constantly changing. The only valid and worthwhile exhortation must be rooted in Biblical truths. And, of course, to have Biblical knowledge requires consistent study of God’s Word.

These are just a few examples of recognizing the natural or acquired talents or abilities you have, compared to what you might need in order to serve with your spiritual gift. Once you have done the evaluation of your natural talents and acquired skills, you can then determine what else you may need to acquire in order to maximize your effectiveness in the application of your spiritual gift.

Nonetheless, as mentioned above, the first thing we all need in order to maximize the effectiveness of our spiritual gift is God’s Word resident within our souls. Therefore, we need to objectively assess the amount of Bible doctrine we have stored within our souls, and continue to receive more and more of it from our right Pastor-Teacher.

d) Do not attempt to discern your gift by comparing your service / ministry with those of others.

We should never try to determine if we have a certain spiritual gift on the basis of our specific ministry compared to that of other believers. Often, we define spiritual gifts in terms of the ministry of well-known servants of God like Billy Graham, who obviously has the gift of evangelism, or Pastor Robert Thieme, Jr. who had the gift of Pastor Teacher. Even though these men had those gifts and excelled in them with a specific ministry and effect, we should never compare ourselves to them and think that if we do not have the same impact, personality, charisma, speaking ability, knowledge, etc. as they did, that we do not have that gift.

We have to keep in mind 1 Cor 12:5-6, that there are “varieties of ministries and effects” that God has designed our gift to be used for. We need to recognize that there are additional factors to consider other than just the gift itself.

Each Christian possesses a spiritual gift. They also have a specific ministry and a particular degree of effectiveness in how God will use their gift. We are all part of the body of Christ and God uses the entire body to reach the world and serve His body. You might conclude that you do not have the gift of evangelism simply because you do not preach to large audiences from a stadium and have thousands respond. In this case, you may be wrongly comparing your ministry and effectiveness with some of the “giants” of the Christian faith, 2 Cor 10:7-18.

2 Cor 10:7, “You are looking at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.”

We know from 1 Cor 12:4-6, that there are not only diversities of gifts, but also of ministries, and of levels of effectiveness. Out of 100 men who are gifted as evangelists, only 10 may have a public ministry, and only 1 may have a ministry of national or international prominence. It is wrong for the 99 to conclude that they do not possess the gift of evangelism because another believer has a prominent public ministry in which many come to Christ. We must be very careful to define spiritual gifts from Scripture and not from the experiences of others.

Only a few others in your local assembly may possess your particular spiritual gift. Among those who possess the same gift, each will have a unique ministry. Your gift will be expressed in a certain environment, deployed through your personality and individuality. With all things being equal, even those whose gifts are identical with yours and whose ministry is similar will have differing degrees of effectiveness. Remember effectiveness does not translate directly into successfulness in God’s eyes. It is not a measure of servant-hood. Effectiveness is merely God’s plan and will for the faithful servant.

The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success
by Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.

“Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you …” (Luke 10:20).

Worldliness is not the trap that most endangers us as Christian workers; nor is it sin. The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is, success measured by, and patterned after, the form set by this religious age in which we now live. Never seek after anything other than the approval of God, and always be willing to go “outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). In Luke 10:20, Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have a commercialized view—we count how many souls have been saved and sanctified, we thank God, and then we think everything is all right. Yet our work only begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation. Our work is not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace, and our work as His disciples is to disciple others’ lives until they are totally yielded to God. One life totally devoted to God is of more value to Him than one hundred lives which have been simply awakened by His Spirit. As workers for God, we must reproduce our own kind spiritually, and those lives will be God’s testimony to us as His workers. God brings us up to a standard of life through His grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that same standard in others.

Unless the worker lives a life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), he is apt to become an irritating dictator to others, instead of an active, living disciple. Many of us are dictators, dictating our desires to individuals and to groups. But Jesus never dictates to us in that way. Whenever our Lord talked about discipleship, He always prefaced His words with an “if,” never with the forceful or dogmatic statement—“You must.” Discipleship carries with it an option.

The point is this. You cannot determine your gift merely by studying this subject in the Bible. You must find your gift and specific service by ministering, and by obeying the commands of Scripture to serve one another. You cannot identify your gift by comparing yourself with others because the ministry of every Christian is unique. While some may have the same gift, their ministries and relative effectiveness will differ.

1 Peter 4:10-11, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Peter tells us that every Christian has received a spiritual gift and that we are stewards of this “grace” of God. To be a good steward of your spiritual gift you must know what your gift is. Not knowing your gift is like being in charge of a man’s investments without knowing what he has in the bank. You must know the gift that God has bestowed upon you to be a faithful steward, and it is discovered by ministering to one another.

e) Some specific action to discover your Spiritual Gift.

    1) Pray, ask God to make your ministry and your gift evident. 1 Cor 14:13, (an example of prayer regarding a temporary gift); Phil 4:6.

    2) Study the Scriptures, note the commands of the Bible, and ask God to give you insight into specific ways you may put the imperatives of the Bible into practice. 2 Tim 2:15, “Study to show yourself approved to God, as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately, (rightly dividing), the Word of truth.”

    3) Look for needs around you, and consider how you may meet those needs, 1 Cor 10:24; 14:12, “So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.”

    4) Always be sure you are filled with the Spirit when entering into service. You cannot exercise your Spiritual Gift without the filling of God the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18-21.

    5) Listen to what others are telling you regarding your gift. Many times it becomes evident to others well before it becomes evident to you, 1 Tim 1:18; 2 Tim 1:6.

1 Tim 1:18, “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight.”

2 Tim 1:6, “And for this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

Take the initiative to get to know others and their needs and stop waiting for people to have you over. Begin to seek ways of serving others. Before you begin each day, consider a particular place that you are going to and serve as the moment presents itself.

God’s Coffee, Unknown

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: ‘If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups… and then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Your spiritual life is the coffee and your Spiritual Gifts are the cups. They are just tools to function in your Spiritual Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Spiritual Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us. ‘God brews the coffee, and has given you a cup. Don’t look for better cups; utilize the one you have been given and enjoy your coffee!’

Summary:

Spiritual Gift: A supernatural endowment of the Holy Spirit, whereby every Christian is empowered to perform a certain function which edifies the Church and glorifies God, Rom 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12:4ff.

Specific Service: That unique service / ministry for which each Christian has been gifted and to which he or she is called, Rom 12:6-8; Col 4:17; 2 Tim 4:5.

General Service: The commands regarding the obligations to serve for which all Christians are responsible, regardless of gift or calling, Rom 12:9-15; Gal 6:2, 6, 10.

Romans chapter 8 gives great encouragement to the servant of God by reminding us of what God has accomplished on our behalf and the freedom we have. Therefore, the servant should be bold in his discipleship to exercise his spiritual gift not being held under slavery to sin but living in the freedom of the Royal Family of God.

Having noted the Doctrine of Spiritual Gifts, we move on in vs. 11, to explore the four communication grace gifts Jesus Christ gave to the Church for its edification. These four gifts are a part of His agency in the filling of all things, especially the Church with Bible Doctrine for its edification.

Eph 4:11, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.”

The four spiritual gifts mentioned here are Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, and Pastor-Teachers. As noted above, the first two were temporary spiritual gifts of the pre-Canon era of the Church Age, and the last two are permanent spiritual gifts for the entire Church Age.

In the Greek it reads, “KAI AUTOS EDOKEN TOUS MEN APOSTOLOUS, TOUS DE PROPHETAS, TOUS DE EUANGELISTAS, TOUS DE POIMENAS KAI DIDASKALOUS.”

Pastors and Teachers are demeaned to be one gift not two, due to the contexts of this passage in comparison with others in the NT, where POIMEN, shepherds, and DIDASKALOS, teachers, are both instructed to “teach” the Word of God to the Church as the means of feeding them, guiding them and protecting them, Rom 12:7; 1 Cor 12:28-29; Heb 5:12; James 3:1; cf. John 21:16; Acts 20:28; 1 Cor 9:7; 1 Peter 5:2. Pastor is an old English word for shepherd.

In addition, the construction of this sentence has also led many to view them as one gift. Some view the KAI between Pastor and Teacher to be used as an Ascensive Conjunction of KAI that typically means, “even,” but is simply a hyphen. There are no such punctuation markings in ancient languages, therefore KAI sometimes acts as a hyphen and shows that Pastor is only a part of the title and that this is a hyphenated gift.

Many also quote the Granville Sharp rule as the determining factor, yet strictly speaking, Sharp’s rule only absolutely applies to Nouns or Pronouns in the singular case, whereas these are in the plural. It is possible that the rule applies here, but it does not follow the traditional definition of the Sharp rule. It is more likely from the NT context that these are one gift rather than from the construction, although the construct gives it credence too. (See Daniel Wallace’s discussion on this in “Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics,” Pg. 270-284.)

The First Communication Gift of Authority, The Temporary Gift of Apostle.

1.) Definition and Etymology:

a) APOSTOLOS, ἀπόστολος is an Attic Greek word originally used for a high‑ranking admiral or general officer chosen by a counsel to command either an army or an Athenian fleet on a military expedition, generally against the Spartans. Therefore, it was an admiral, supreme commander, or one who has the highest rank. It was also used for whoever was in command of a band of Greek colonists when they would leave Athens and go elsewhere to establish a Greek colony. The governor of the founded colony was called an APOSTOLOS.

b) APOSTOLOS is a Greek noun from the verb APOSTELLOO that is a compound word from the Preposition APO meaning, “from, off, or away from,” and STELLOMAI a primary verb meaning, “to put something in order, to prepare, to arrange, gather up, etc.” Therefore, APSOTELLOO comes to mean, “to send out, forth, or away.” Likewise, APOSTOLOS comes to mean, “one who is sent, a messenger, or one sent on a mission.” It is transliterated and used for an apostle who generally was a delegate; specifically an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ, (sometimes with miraculous powers), or for the gift of Apostle. We noted this word in John 13:16 for “one who is sent” in reference to our Lord who was sent by the Father.

2.) Apostle was a unique spiritual gift, 1 Cor 12:11, 28, Eph 4:11. It was the first and highest of all spiritual gifts ever given. This gift had maximum command authority appointed through the sovereign decision of:

a) God the Father, Rom 1:1.

b) Jesus Christ provides the spiritual gifts, Eph 4:11.

c) The Holy Spirit matches the gift to the individual, 1 Cor 12:11.

3.) The qualification for being an Apostle included:

a) Seeing the Lord and being an eyewitness to His resurrection, Acts 1:2, 22; 1 Cor 9:1.

b) Being invested with miraculous sign-gifts, Acts 5:15-16; Heb 2:3-4.

c) Being chosen by the Lord and the Holy Spirit, Mat 10:1-2; Acts 1:2; Eph 4:11.

4.) The term apostle was used for the original twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, including Judas Iscariot. The list of the original 12 disciples is found in Mat 10:2-4; Luke 6:13-16. These were the apostles to Israel. Yet, the Bible distinguishes between the apostles to Israel, the original 12, and the apostles to the Church, that includes Paul who replaced Judas Iscariot according to 1 Cor 15:7‑10.

a) This is not to be confused with the term apostle that is used in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers like Barnabas, Timothy, and Silvanus for the early establishment of the Church. Others were given delegated authority, and therefore occasionally had apostolic authority without having the gift. For example, Barnabas, Acts 14:14; Gal 2:9, and James, the Lord’s half-brother, 1 Cor 15:7; Gal 1:19. James was not an apostle, but he was given the authority of an apostle to write the book of James. Apollos, 1 Cor 4:6, 9. Sylvanus and Timothy, 2 Thes 1:1; 2:6.

 5.) The 12 Apostles to the church were given the gift of Apostle to establish the Church and exercised absolute authority over the churches until the Canon of Scripture was completed. The Canon is now the absolute authority. The spiritual gift of apostleship carried fantastic absolute authority. It was designed for two purposes.

The formation of the canon of scripture, the New Testament. This absolute authority was restricted to the pre‑canon period of the church age, from 30 to 96 A.D.

Leadership in the pre-canon period of the church age. This involved the establishment of local churches, the clarification of the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age until the Canon was completed, the maintenance of a true systematic theology with dispensational emphasis, the training of Pastors, and the establishment of local church policy. The gift also functioned in sending out colonial apostles (super missionaries).

6.) No gift of apostle was appointed to the Church until after the Ascension of Christ, Eph 4:8-11.

7.) To qualify, as one of the twelve Apostles, one must be an eyewitness to the resurrected Christ, 1 Cor 9:1; 15:8-9.

1 Cor 9:1, “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?”

8.) An apostle also had the temporary gifts of miracles, healing, speaking in tongues, etc. as signs and wonders for the Jews first and second, as an identification card that they were from the Lord to establish the authority God gave them over the Church, Acts 5:15; 16:16-18; 28:8-9, 2 Cor 12:12. For example, Paul did not have the gift of healing at the end of his life, it was removed from him before he died, some ten years before, in 57 AD, 2 Cor 12:6-10; Phil 2:27; 2 Tim 4:20.

9.) Apostles received direct revelation from God and communicated it to the Church. All revelation today is through the Word. All writers of the NT were either apostles or someone closely associated with an apostle, (e.g., Mark, Luke, James, and Jude). Once the Canon of Scripture was complete, (writing of Revelation), the gift of apostleship was withdrawn. The Canon of the NT became the basis and absolute criterion for the Christian way of life.

10.) The spiritual gift of apostleship was temporary and discontinued after the completion of the Canon. The removal of this temporary gift began in the pre‑Canon period of the Church Age. There is no perpetuation of apostleship. No sons became apostles. We never receive anything in the Christian life through physical birth. Everything we have comes as a result of spiritual birth, regeneration. Therefore, today no one has the right to exercise authority over more than one church. Each local church should be self-sustaining and self-governing. No one has the gift of Apostle, nor should claim it.

The Apostle Code:

By aligning the list of Apostles given to us in Scripture, and understanding the definition of their name, we see a wonderful outline of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

From the list in Mat 10:2-4.

Jesus Christ – the rock the corner stone (of our faith), being all-powerful (in hypostatic union), the one who has supplanted sin, He is the gift of the grace and mercy of the Lord, the warrior on horseback, [Rev 19:11], (who won the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict), by becoming the curse (sin) for man, [Gen 3:17ff], in the likeness of Adam, [Rom 5:12-17], the gift of God who will come to collect His just due at the resurrection, [1 Cor 15:20-22], supplanting our sinful flesh by changing, (becoming a man). He is the courageous one. Praise God for His gift, the corner stone for all who hear and obey, (confess the name of the Lord). Praise the Lord you men of the world.

From the list in Acts 1:13 that is arranged slightly different and has the removal of Judas Iscariot and the adding in of Paul, in bold below.

Jesus Christ – the corner stone gift of the grace and mercy of the Lord, who has supplanted sin, (as our substitute), being all-powerful, (in hypostatic union), the warrior on horseback, (who won the strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict), in the likeness of Adam, by becoming the curse, (sin), for man, the gift of God, supplanting our sinful flesh by changing, (becoming a man). The corner stone for all who hear and obey, (confess the name of the Lord), praise God for his substitution, little ones.

The Second Communication Gift of Authority, The Temporary Gift of Prophet.

1.) Definition and Etymology:

“Prophet” is the Greek noun PROPHETES, προφήτης, which like Apostle, is transliterated into the English as Prophet. The term PROPHETES is related to the verbal form PROPHEMI, “to say, to foretell.” Because of the temporal force of the PRO prefix, PROPHETES is often interpreted as “one who foretells, a fortune-teller, or one who is divinely enabled to look into the future.” That definition is too narrow. As early as the classical period PROPHETES simply denoted a “preacher or speaker,” as PROPHETEIA meant, “prophecy, or an oracular response.”

This gift was second in order of merit for the Church, and is so listed in 1 Cor 12:28. It is also mentioned in Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 12:10; 14:1‑40, where it is presented in contrast to the gift of tongues.

2.) The gift of Prophet was given to males only and had a limited teaching ministry related to contemporary events; that is why they are called “prophets and teachers” in Acts 13:1. Foretelling was an important dimension of prophecy, e.g., Deut 13:1f.; 18:21-22. Yet, a prophet in the Biblical sense of the term is someone more than a person who prophesies the future. A prophet proclaimed the Word of God to the people in response to a Divine call. At the center of the prophet’s urgency to speak for God, especially in the Old Testament, is often a circumstance of the day that God is addressing. The Lord used the Prophets in the OT to bring His people into conformity with the Covenant and His will.

3.) Old Testament prophets were national leaders, especially in times of crisis. In times of prosperity, they were the final authority on Bible doctrine. Elijah and Isaiah are among many of the great national leaders who were prophets in the OT. However, this gift for the early Church Age was not related to national leadership. The gift of Prophecy was not a national leader like that of the OT prophets. Those with the gift of prophecy in the Church Age only functioned within the realm of the Church.

4.) As a spiritual gift of the Church Age, the Prophets spoke as inspired by the Spirit of God the Mystery Doctrines for the Church Age, which also included eschatology, 1 Cor 13:2. The Prophet was a minister to the Church, 1 Cor 14:4, 22, and ordinarily spoke a message of “edification, and exhortation, and consolation,” 1 Cor 14:3. Occasionally he was empowered to make an authoritative announcement of the Divine will in a particular case, Acts 13:1ff., and in rare instances he uttered a prediction of a future event, Acts 11:28; 21:10f. Because of the tremendous amount of eschatology in the NT epistles, it is obvious that the writers who were apostles also had the gift of Prophecy.

Even so, in the New Testament, the gift of Prophet continued to foretell future events, including messages of Divine guidance or a warning of judgment, or a prediction about the immediate future. For example, Agabus’ prophecy of a famine, Acts 11:28, and what awaited Paul in Jerusalem, Acts 21:10f. In addition, others like Silas and Judas, (not Iscariot), had the gift of prophecy, Acts 15:32; as did some in the church at Antioch including Barnabus, Acts 13:1.

Therefore, a NT prophet was one who proclaimed the Word of God, Acts 11:28; Eph 3:5. Believers in the early Church did not possess Bibles, nor was the NT written and completed. How then, would these local assemblies discover God’s will? His Spirit would share God’s truth with those possessing the gift of Prophecy. Paul suggests that the gift of Prophecy had to do with understanding “all mysteries and all knowledge,” 1 Cor 13:2, meaning spiritual truths.

5.) In exercising the temporary spiritual gift of Prophecy, the Prophet received his message from God, or he declared God’s will to someone in terms of prophecy, i.e., in terms of future events. The prophecy also had to be doctrinally accurate. Paul’s outline of the gift of Prophecy in 1 Cor 14:3, as noted above, emphasizes the functional nature of prophecy as “edification, exhortation, and consolation.” They, together with the apostles, were instrumental in revealing the “Mystery of Christ” with a fullness of revelation not known before, Eph 3:4-5.

6.) Prophecy did not involve a state of ecstasy or any relinquishing of the Prophet’s own personality and will, or any identification of the Prophet as possessed by God. The Prophet could control himself, as Paul wrote to advise them to have control over their prophetic words, 1 Cor 14:29-33.

7.) False prophecies and Prophets were to be distinguished from genuine. This was to be carried out by those Spirit-filled believers who were present, 1 Cor 14:29, especially by those with another of the temporary gifts, Discerning of Spirits, 1 Cor 12:10; cf. 1 John 4:1-2.

Philip’s daughters are said to have prophesied in Acts 21:9 which presents a problem, because the four daughters of Philip the evangelist are said to “be prophesying” in the Present, Active, Participle. However, they did not have a spiritual gift. Therefore, we must distinguish between people permitted by God to prophesy, and those who had the spiritual gift of Prophecy; similar to that of those who had the gift of Apostle, compared to various others who were called apostles in the missionary sense. No record of their prophecies is ever given, and obviously, they did not have the spiritual gift of Prophecy.

8.) Christians today do not get their spiritual knowledge immediately from the Holy Spirit through Prophets, but mediately through the Spirit teaching the Word via the Pastor-Teacher. With the Apostles, the prophets had a foundational ministry in the early Church, yet they are not needed today, Eph 2:20. As such, the gift did not extend into the post‑Canon period because of the doctrine of historical trends. Every function of the gift of Prophecy during the pre‑Canon period is fulfilled by the doctrine of historical trends during the post‑Canon period. By metabolizing Bible doctrine in your soul, you become your own prophet. Therefore, with the completion of the Canon of Scripture in A.D. 96, and its gradual circulation, temporary gifts of communication ceased to exist. They were replaced by the permanent communication gifts of Evangelist and Pastor-Teacher.

The Third Communication Gift of Authority, The Permanent Gift of Evangelist.

1.) Definition and Etymology:

“Evangelist” is the Greek noun EUAGGELISTES, εὐαγγελιστής that is related to the verb EUAGGELIZO that means, “Bring or announce good news, proclaim, or preach (the gospel).” The double G, (γγ), in Greek is equivalent to “ng” in English and is pronounced as such.

EUAGGELISTES is a compound word from EU that means, “good or well” and AGGELLO that means, “announce, proclaim, report, or bear a message.” So EUANGELISTES denotes a “preacher or proclaimer of good news,” (i.e., the gospel of Jesus Christ), and is transliterated into English as “Evangelist.”

In secular use, this word identified one who proclaimed “oracular announcements.” It was used for bringing news, especially of a victory in war or some other joyous event, in person or by letter. It carried the idea of fate. As such, the term became a technical one for “news of victory.”

Except in Church writings, this is a rare word. It occurs three times in the New Testament: referring to Philip as “the evangelist,” Acts 21:8, (the only Evangelist named), to Christ’s gift of “evangelists” to the Church, Eph 4:11, and to Timothy, who was the Pastor-Teacher at Ephesus, who was to do the work of an “announcer of the gospel,” 2 Tim 4:5. Epaphras no doubt also falls into this category, Col 1:4-7. The term denotes a function, which Apostles also exercised, though not all who had the gift of Evangelist were Apostles.

2.) Being “bearers of the Good News,” the Evangelist does not proclaim oracles, as among the Greeks, but the good news of salvation in Christ, Rom 10:15. It is the supernatural ability to effectively communicate the gospel and win the lost to Christ with exceptional clarity. Also included in this is the idea that the ministry of an Evangelist was itinerant, and it might be performed publicly or privately.

3.) While the gift of Pastor‑Teacher communicates the whole realm of Bible doctrine inside the local church, the gift of Evangelism is designed to communicate the gospel outside the local church. By its title, it is clear that this gift has reference to effective preaching of the gospel message to the unsaved, and as such, it is to be compared to the teaching gift of Pastor-Teacher, which gives instruction to the saved. Therefore, Evangelists are not primarily Gospel compilers, but missionaries who pioneer outreach in areas where the faith has not yet been proclaimed.

4.) Like the other three communication gifts in Eph 4:11, only male believers receive the gift of Evangelism. Their gift is the God-given ability to communicate the gospel in a manner that holds the unbeliever’s attention, where people will gather or assemble to listen to the presentation of the gospel. These unbelievers will give attention and listen to the evangelist, where they would not listen to anyone else, cf. Acts 11:19-21.

5.) The Evangelist exercises his spiritual gift in a group of unbelievers. His gift is designed to reach the unreachable with the gospel message. It is the ability to teach and express the gospel so that unbelievers will listen and have a clear understanding of the issue of salvation; i.e., that faith in Christ means eternal life, and that rejection of Christ means eternal condemnation.

6.) Often, an evangelist will have a speaking talent that goes with his gift, but it is the gift that creates the opportunity for unbelievers to give it a hearing. When this spiritual gift functions, the unbeliever will listen to the gospel almost by compulsion, as the man with this gift is sensational in his communication of the gospel to the unbeliever. He is a sensational speaker with a sensational personality; this is necessary in order to get a hearing from unbelievers.

7.) Philip, as an example of an Evangelist, was a traveling missionary. He went from Jerusalem to preach in Samaria and was on the road to Gaza when he met the eunuch whom he baptized, Acts 8:5f., 26f.. He afterwards came to Azotus, (known as Ashdod today), and passing through, he preached the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea, Acts 8:40. Those like Philip, who acted as missionaries to the Gentiles in the early Church and went to those who never heard the gospel, were also called Evangelists.

8.) Pastors do not have this gift, but they are mandated to do the work of an evangelist in 2 Tim 4:5, “Do the work of an evangelist.” Although Timothy was ministering for a while at the church of Ephesus, he was not to forget the work of an Evangelist; preaching the gospel to unbelievers. A local ministry should never in any way neglect evangelism. In addition, every Evangelist should be part of a local assembly and must continue to learn Bible doctrine from his own Pastor-Teacher so that he is better prepared to witness the gospel message.

9.) Likewise, all believers are mandated to evangelize in 2 Cor 5:19-20. Jesus gave the “Great Commission” to the Apostles in order to evangelize the world, Acts 1:8, “And you shall be my witnesses,” cf. Mat 28:19-20; Eph 6:20. This work continues through all believers today. This is because, as a Royal Ambassador, every believer represents God before the human race. The fact that a believer may not possess this gift does not excuse him from being burdened for lost souls or witnessing to them. While all are called to bring the gospel to the lost by whatever means may be at their disposal, and accordingly, like Timothy, should do the work of an evangelist, it is the sovereign purpose of God that certain men should have a special gift in evangelism. Never the less, it is necessary that all believers personally witness for Christ and give the message of reconciliation as opportunity presents itself.

10.) The Apostles and prophets laid the foundation of the Church, and Evangelists continue to build on to it, by winning the lost to Christ.

The Fourth Communication Gift of Authority, The Permanent Gift of Pastor-Teacher.

1.) Definition and Etymology:

Pastors and Teachers are demeaned to be one gift, not two, due to the contexts of this passage in comparison with others in the NT, where POIMEN, “shepherds,” and DIDASKALOS, “teachers,” are both instructed to “teach” the Word of God to the Church, as the means of feeding them, guiding them, and protecting them, Rom 12:7; 1 Cor 12:28-29; Heb 5:12; James 3:1; cf. John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28; 1 Cor 9:7; 1 Peter 5:1-3.

Pastor-Teacher is the supernatural ability to shepherd a group of believers, sometimes called in Scripture the “flock,” 1 Peter 5:2, by teaching them the Word of God consistently and through personal application of Biblical truths. This is the highest rank of authority for the communication gifts remaining in the Church Age today, 1 Cor 12:28. There is no higher authority spiritual gift today.

The appointment of the Pastor-Teacher is described in 1 Cor 12:11, 28. God the Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows this spiritual gift to a few men in every generation at the moment of salvation, apart from human merit. It is given to male believers only and is designed to function primarily inside the local church. They are bearers of Christ’s message, where the authority is resident in their message and spiritual gifting. They do not represent institutional authority, as did the Apostles in the Pre-Canon period, in the sense of a supralocal church hierarchy. They are ministers of God’s Word to equip God’s people for the worship and service of God in the exercise of their spiritual gifts and ministries, Eph 4:12-16.

In this one gift, there are two words used to describe the role and responsibility, Pastor and Teacher. The fact that the word “some,” TOUS, is not repeated in Eph 4:11 before for “pastor,” is another indication that we have one office with two responsibilities.

Pastor” is the Greek noun POIMEN that means, “shepherd,” and “Teacher” is the noun DIDASKALOS. The permanent gift is also noted in our passage, Eph 4:11‑16, (“joint” is the Pastor Teacher too), and in 1 Tim 3:1-7; Acts 18:24-28.

POIMEN

POIMEN, ποιμήν means, “Shepherd or herdsman,” signifying one who cares for or tends a herd of animals, usually consisting of sheep, goats, and sometimes oxen. From its root POIA, it has the meaning of, “to protect.”

In classical Greek, it was also used figuratively for one who protected a group of others. For example, Cyrus was called the POIMEN AGATHOS, “the good shepherd,” because he protected the Persian “flock” from the barbarian “wolves.”

Regarding the LXX usage of POIMEN for the Hebrew equivalent RA’AH, (Gen 46:32, 34, Ezek 34:7f., Zech 11:3), Colin Brown noted, “It was expected that the shepherds, and the servants who worked with them, would show caution, patient care and honesty. In the dry summer on poor soil, it was not easy to find new pasture at the right time as the flocks passed through lonely regions, or to balance properly grazing, watering, rest and travel. The shepherd had to care tirelessly for the helpless beasts (cf. Ezekiel 34:1ff.). Devotion to duty was proved in the nightly guarding of the flock against wild animals and thieves.” (“Shepherd,” Colin Brown).

This term means, the general care of the Christian flock as the work of a Pastor, and to this end, some receive the gift of being a Pastor-Teacher. By its title, it compares to the work of a shepherd caring for his sheep. A Pastor is one who leads, provides, protects, and cares for his flock, the congregation. As in the natural figure, no small skill is required to care for the flock properly, so in the spiritual reality, a Pastor needs a supernatural gift to be to his flock all that a Pastor should be.

As noted in the gift from Eph 4:11, the use of KAI, links Pastors and Teachers instead of the usual DE, which implies that one cannot be a true Pastor without being also a Teacher of the Word of God. It is vital to the work of a true Pastor that he teaches his flock. It is obvious that a shepherd who does not feed his flock would not be worthy of the name. Likewise, in the spiritual realm, the first duty of a Pastor is to feed his flock with the Word of God. This is very different from simply being an organizer, promoter, or social leader, as many Pastors are today. The true Pastor gives himself to teaching the Word of God consistently.

Interestingly, despite the difficulties and hazards of their profession, shepherds were often looked down upon in Jewish society. The Pharisees particularly seemed to despise shepherds, grouping them with the tax collectors and depriving them of certain rights in the community. For example, they could not be used as judges or even testify in a court of law. However, when the Messiah was born, it was the despised shepherds in the fields nearby who were the first to receive the angelic announcement and the first to witness His glory, Luke 2:8ff.

In the New Testament, POIMEN is used for:

1.)  The spiritual shepherds of Israel, Mat 9:36; Mark 6:34.

2.) Shepherds in the field, especially those that received the announcement of the birth of the Messiah, Luke 2:8-20.

3.) God Himself, in parable, Mat 18:12-14; Luke 15:4-7.

4.) Jesus Christ Himself, both literally and metaphorically as the “Good Shepherd,” Mat 26:31; Mark 14:27, (quoted from Zech. 13:7); John 10:2, 11-16; Heb 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25; 5:4; the Messianic Shepherd promised in the OT, Ezek. 34:23; 37:24, by;

a) Gathering the lost sheep of Israel, (and the nations), cf. Mat 10:6; 15:24; Luke 19:10, with Ezek 34.

b) Giving His life for the sheep, Mat 14:27-28; 26:31-32; Mark 14:27-28; John 10:11; cf. Zech 13:7-9.

c) Gathering His flock, the Church, and caring for them.

d) Separating the sheep from the goats on the Day of Judgment, Mat 25:31-32.

e) Allowing the sheep to know their Shepherd, John 10:2-16.

f) Not allowing anyone to snatch them out of His hand, John 10:27 f., speaking of the believer’s eternal security.

g) Providing for our eternal needs and comfort, Rev 7:17.

5.) Spiritual leaders for local assemblies during the Church Age, Eph 4:11, as prophesied in the OT.

Jer 3:15, “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.”

Only in our passage, Eph 4:11, is POIMENO used for the Spiritual Gift of Pastor-Teacher. As noted above, it is used figuratively elsewhere in the NT, (with the meaning of shepherd; one who is responsible for the care and guidance of a Christian congregation), by:

1.) Our Lord in John 21:16, “He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep”.”

2.) Paul in Acts 20:28, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

3.) Peter in 1 Peter 5:2, “Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness.”

Principles of POIMENO – The Pastor-Teacher of a Local Assembly.

By way of analogy, the shepherd’s day began at dawn and ended at dusk. However, when the flock was pasturing far from the home village, the shepherd remained with the sheep and spent the night in the sheepfold. In this way uninterrupted care and protection was given to the flock. That is the role of a shepherd and that is the role for the Pastor-Teacher as well.

“Pastors” are literally “shepherds,” used for overseers in the OT, Jer 23:2-4, as also identified in the NT as overseers of local congregations, Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1-2. These men are called to shepherd God’s people by declaring His message accurately, Jer 23:18-22.

Pastor, meaning “shepherd,” indicates that the local church is a flock of sheep, Acts 20:28, and it is the Pastor’s responsibility to feed and lead the flock, 1 Peter 5:1-4, (“elder” is another name for “pastor”). He does this by means of teaching the Word of God; the food that nourishes the sheep.

They are to exercise the same watchfulness and care over the people of their charge, which a shepherd does over his flock, John 21:15-16. In comparing John 21 with Eph 4:11, it also tells us that Christ exercised a special care for His Church by appointing Pastors who would watch over it, as a shepherd does over his flock.

The Word of God is the staff that guides and disciplines the sheep. The Word of God is the local church’s protection and provision, and no amount of entertainment, good fellowship, or other religious substitutes can take its place. That is why the Pastor needs to teach the Word of God consistently.

The Pastor is not an administrator; he is a policy maker. He has the responsibility of seeing that the policy of administration for the local assembly lines up with the Word of God, and that it is a policy that fulfills the concepts of the NT. However, he does not involve himself in administration. For example, the Pastor should have nothing to do with the “handling” of money in the church or with the building and how it functions. He makes policy for the funds to be applied to and the building to adhere to, but the Pastor is not administratively responsible for their inter-workings.

Being a shepherd does not mean he is to visit the sick and tend to the needy. That is the function of the Deacons, and others in the local assembly with other various spiritual gifts like helps, showing mercy, exhortation, giving, etc., as is the administration of the local assembly. As a shepherd, he leads his flock to food and water, which is the Word of God. In that function he provides, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Word his flock needs each and every day.

Every Pastor is the dean of a Bible training school, which school is composed of those members in the local assembly that have been assigned to him. This follows with the second term for this gift, Teacher, which we will note below.

Mat 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The great commission to the eleven disciples was to go out and “teach,” before they even had the gift of Apostleship, which included Pastor-Teacher and Evangelism plus others, albeit our Lord knew they would soon receive their gifts and apply them in that manner, cf. Eph 3:7‑13. Likewise, the Pastor’s responsibility is to teach the Word of God, as noted in our next word defining this one spiritual gift. Therefore, God’s ideal Pastor is one who engages in a didactic ministry, (expository instruction in the morality of the Christian way of life to improve and edify the soul), feeding the saints on expository preaching by giving them the rich food of the Word of God.

Principles of DIDASKALOS – The Pastor-Teacher of a Local Assembly.

Here we have the noun DIDASKALOS, διδάσκαλος that means, “Teacher, instructor, or master.” It is used more predominantly in the NT for the gift and office of Pastor-Teacher. Its root is the verb DIDAKSO that means, “to teach.”

There is another Greek synonym to DIDASKALOS, which is KERUX meaning, “herald” that emphasizes the fact that the Pastor-Teacher is to clearly and emphatically declare God’s Word to whoever will give it a hearing, regardless of response. It emphasizes simple declaration, cf. Mat 12:41; 1 Cor 1:21; 2:4; 1 Tim 2:7; 2 Tim 1:11; 2 Peter 2:5.

1 Tim 2:7, “And for this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

DIDASKALOS in secular Greek meant the “teacher” who instructs the pupils, meaning cognitive learning in a didactic manner.

The spiritual gift is noted in Rom 12:7; 1 Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11. It is the supernatural ability to shepherd, provide for, care for, and protect God’s people through the ability to explain God’s truth to them.

It is distinguished from the Prophet, who had the gift of uttering fresh truths that came to him by way of direct revelation from the Holy Spirit, whereas the teacher was one who explained and applied established Christian doctrine, the rudiments, and first principles of the oracles of God, Heb 5:12.

It is used in the NT of:

1.) Jesus Christ. DIDASKOLOS appears 58 times in the NT, 41 times in the Gospels referencing Jesus Christ, being equivalent to the Hebrew Rabbi meaning, “master, lord, or teacher,” e.g., Mat 23:7-8; 26:25, 49; Mark 9:5; 10:51; 11:21; 14:45. Like POIMEN, Jesus Christ came from God as “The Teacher,” God’s spokesman, John 3:2; Heb 1:1.

2.) Likewise, the Holy Spirit is a “Teacher” during the Church Age, John 14:26; 16:12-14. Yet, the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit is inseparably joined with the teaching ministry of Jesus, John 16:13, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

3.) The apostles were to be teachers above all else, Mat 28:20; cf. Acts 6:4. Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles was a “teacher of the Gentiles,” 1 Tim 2:7; 2 Tim 1:11. The apostles were teachers who were distinct from all later teachers in the Church. They were bearers of revelation on a level equal to the prophetic disclosure of the OT, signifying the gift of Prophet that was also a part of the gift of Apostleship, as noted above. The promise that the Spirit would teach in John 14:26; 16:12-14, was fulfilled in part by the Apostles. Through the Spirit, Jesus Himself taught through the Apostles, Luke 10:16.

Luke 10:16, “The one who listens to you, (Apostle – Teachers), listens to Me, (Jesus Christ), and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One, (God the Father), who sent Me.”

4.) The “Pastor-Teachers” of the Church, Eph 4:11. This term is synonymous with the “Overseers / Bishops / Guardians,” EPISKOPOS, and “Elders” PRESBUTEROS of the Church, who ought to have a teaching ability, John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28; 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 2:25; 5:1-4.

Acts 20:28, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

1 Peter 5:2, “Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness.”

John 21:15-17, “So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love, (AGAPE), Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love, (PHILEO), You.” He said to him, “Tend, (BOSKO = feed / pasture – emphasis on teaching), My lambs.” 16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love, (AGAPE), Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love, (PHILEO), You.” He said to him, “Shepherd, (POIMANO = shepherd – emphasis on overall care, guidance and protection), My sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love, (PHILEO), Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love, (PHILEO), Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love, (PHILEO), You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend, (BOSKO), My sheep”.”

“Teachers” are expounders of the Scriptures, offering Biblical instruction to the congregation, as well as, training others to expound the Scriptures. The thrust of this gift is to equip the Royal Family to carry out the various aspects of the ministry, to edify the body, and bring positive volition to maturity, Eph 4:12-13.

The duty of the Teacher is to express the “unfathomable / unsearchable riches of Christ,” Eph 3:8. As the Shepherd, the Teacher is responsible for protecting the Church against the false teachings that may threaten it, Eph 4:14; cf. 1 Tim 4:13, 16. The Pastor-Teacher in the Church after the time of the Apostles, does not have any authority to introduce any new teaching, but only to teach the doctrine of Christ and the Apostles, as found in the completed Canon of Scripture.

These leaders are exhorted to be “shepherds” of God’s flock under their care and protection. Such “shepherds” are not to lord it over those under their care, nor to serve with the prospect of personal profit, but as models for the flock to imitate, 1 Peter 5:2-3, as they teach them the Word of God with both word and deed.

The principle of the right Pastor-Teacher, right congregation is taught in 1 Peter 5:2-3; cf. John 10:4-5, 27. Every believer has a right Pastor. Geography is usually the issue, but there has to be a right Pastor, your right Pastor, the one who gets to you with doctrine, the one who causes you to be occupied with the person of Christ, because you see who and what He is.

Teachers assume a tremendous personal responsibility, and are accountable before God. As the Chief Shepherd, Heb 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25, Christ will one day call His “undershepherds” to account for the sheep they have been entrusted with, James 3:1f; 1 Peter 5:1-4. Therefore, only the one called by God should exercise the gift of teaching to guide and help a congregation, as well as, to teach.

Therefore, we see that the “Pastors and Teachers” are a single group of ministers with one gift, not only from the text of Eph 4:11, but by the responsibilities laid out for them in the Scriptures. Pastors are to care for the congregation, seek the lost, and combat error. The Chief Shepherd is the example, and he will reward those faithful Pastor-Teachers at His coming, Heb 6:10.

Having noted the giving of the four communication spiritual gifts to the Church by Jesus Christ, we now see in vs.12, the reason why He gave these gifts, (with the word, “for”), and in vs. 13, His desired result for giving the Church these gifts, (with the phrase, “until we all attain”). Since the first two communication gifts of Apostle and Prophet have ceased, and are no longer given, it leaves the Evangelist and Pastor-Teacher to build the Church in the post-Canon era, and especially the Pastor-Teacher to edify the Church. So beginning in vs. 12, we see the primary responsibility of the Pastor-Teacher.

Vs. 12

The reason why our Lord gave these four communication spiritual gifts; there purpose.

Eph 4:12, “For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”

This begins the key passage of this chapter, vs. 12-16, which tells us of the purpose of the communication gifts, (and in effect all spiritual gifts); building up of the body of Christ, individually and collectively.

This verse does not begin with the usual Greek word for “for,” which is GAR. In fact, even the second “for” in this sentence is not GAR. Instead, they are two Prepositions, PROS and EIS, used for a purpose clause.

PROS, πρός with the Accusative here is used for purpose, and can be translated, as it is here, “for,” or “for the purpose of.”  It means to strive or to move toward the goal with conscious purpose. So it is used here for the goal of our Lord, that is, what He is aiming for or striving towards in regards to giving the Church these communication gifts.

With PROS we have the Accusative Article HO, “the” and the Noun KATARISMOS, καταρτισμός that means, “Equipping, equipment, complete furnishing, or a perfecting.” This is a hapax legomenon, meaning it is only used here in the NT. Its root word ARTIOS means, “complete, capable, or perfect.” It is similar to KATARTIZO, which is a medical term in classical Greek denoting the “setting of a bone.” It is the act of making something perfect or fitting, in that it denotes the process in progress. However, our word has a more general sense meaning, “preparation, equipment, or equipping,” denoting the process as completed. As such, it is used here metaphorically of Christ’s giving of these gifts, “to equip or perfect” the saints for the work of ministry. Liddell-Scott notes it could also be translated “training” or “discipline.” So we will translate it “for the purpose of equipping,” with emphasis on the completed results of having equipped believers of the Church Age with Bible Doctrine in their soul.

Those being equipped by the communication gifts are here called “the saints,” which is the Genitive of Relationship in the Plural of HO HAGIOS. The relationship here is with God the Father. HAGIOS, ἅγιος means, “holy, consecrated, perfect, pure, upright, or saint.” Rather than being the idea of cultic ritualistic holiness rooted in an earthly sanctuary and Levitical priesthood, it means in the NT, the congregation of God that now consists of a spiritual temple, Eph 2:19-22, and holy priesthood, 1 Peter 2:9, which offers spiritual sacrifices, 1 Peter 2:5.

1 Peter 2:5, “You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

As a result of our election into the family of God, Eph 1:4, and being reconciled to God at the moment of salvation, we have been made positionally holy before God, Col 1:22, in which we currently stand as part of our royal priesthood, 1 Peter 2:5, 9. Therefore, it emphasizes our relationship with God the Father based on position in Christ Jesus.

Eph 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.”

Col 1:21-22, “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”

Even though we stand positionally holy before God, we are still sinners and need to overcome our sin by means of the Word of God, not for salvation, but for our daily walk with Christ, which is our experiential holiness or sanctification. That is why we need to be equipped in our souls, so that we can walk in holiness each day. In addition, it is by the equipping of the Pastor-Teacher feeding us the Word of God on a daily basis that we can be victorious against the influence of our sin natures and walk experientially in our positional holiness.

Never the less, this HAGIOS refers to our status as members of the Royal Family of God. Believers called the holy ones, (saints), are those that need to be trained and equipped by the Pastor-Teacher.

Principle

The gift of Pastor-Teacher is designed to train and equip the body of Christ, for spiritual warfare; the Angelic Conflict. He is to train believers to live as a member of the Royal Family while we are on this earth, which is Satan’s cosmic system. This training and equipping comes through the teaching of Bible doctrine, not through church programs, religion, systems of legalism, etc.

Next, we have the first sub-purpose within the main purpose, “for the work of service.” Once again, in the English, we have “for,” but in the Greek, it is not PROS. This time it is EIS, which we will see again in this verse. EIS, εἰς, which is typically translated, “into, to, or toward,” is also used here for a purpose clause. Therefore, we translate it “for, in order to, or to,” in regards to something being accomplished.

Our first sub-purpose is “the work of service,” ERGON, ἔργον that means, “work, deed, action, or task,” and means vocation or occupation. Here it is used for the professional shepherd- teacher, the Pastor-Teacher of the local assembly. With this is the Genitive of DIAKONIA, διακονία that means, “service or ministry.” It is the noun for the activity of “service,” which is rendered by a DIAKONOS, “servant,” and used for a very personal service one renders to another, often suggesting a service out of love. In Christianity DIAKONIA should become the central attitude toward life. Therefore, the Christian professional Pastor-Teacher is designed to render the work of service to Christ by serving His body through teaching the Word of God.

“Work of service” means any deed or task that testifies of God in service to Him in the gospel labor, Rom 12:1, and here, as His servant, the Pastor-Teacher is to offer ministry to His body.

Rom 12:1, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

When the Shepherd-Teacher does his job, the congregation in turn is prepared to do their jobs, in the work of service unto the body of Christ.

Next, we have the second sub-purpose, “to the building up of the body of Christ.”

Once again, we have the Preposition EIS, translated “to” here, to indicate purpose. We could translate it as “for, in order to, or to (indicating purpose).”

Then we have “the building up,” where in the Greek there is no article. We just have the Accusative Noun, OIKODOME, οἰκοδομή that means, “building, edifice, or edification.” It comes from the words OIKOS that means, “a house or a temple,” and DEMO that is a Classical Greek word for, “construction or to build.” Combined, it literally means, “to build or construct a house or temple.” The house being constructed here is the temple of God, i.e., the Body of Jesus Christ.

We noted this word in Eph 2:21, regarding the believers of Church Age being built by God, “into a holy temple in the Lord.” Here, rather than being used for the edifice itself, i.e., that which is built, it speaks of the building up or edification of the body of Christ that is the growing up spiritually of the body of Christ collectively, as a result of many individual believers personally growing up spiritually. It resembles the verb usage, but the emphasis is on the results of being built up or edified in our souls through the Word of God. We will see this word again in Eph 4:16, 29.

2 Cor 12:19, “All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved.”

As we have noted regarding the four communication gifts, the Apostle’s authority was given to “upbuild” or edify the Church, 2 Cor 10:8; 13:10, as we that of Prophets, 1 Cor 14:3, 5, 12; as well as the Pastor-Teacher, Eph 4:12. In fact, Paul declared that the task of every believer is the edification or upbuilding of the community of believers, Rom 15:2; 1 Cor 14:26. Therefore, whatever ministry takes place in the community of believers ought to contribute to this edification of the believers in love, 1 Cor 14:26; Eph 4:16, 29.

1 Peter 2:5, “You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Next, we see the recipients of edification, “of the body of Christ,” which is HO SOMA HO CHRISTOS, for “of the body of the Christ.”  Here it is speaking of the earthly community of believers throughout the Church Age, which brings us back to the reasoning for giving spiritual gifts in the first place, to edify the body of Christ, Rom 12:4f.; 1 Cor 12:12f. There are three basic ways in which we can serve the Lord: 1) Serving God personally; 2) Serving in the Church; 3) Serving in the World. Though all three are in view, here number two is emphasized.

As you know, “by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body,” 1 Cor 12:13, and each believer belongs to the body of Christ, Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:27, where Christ is the Head of the body and to whom all others are subordinate, Eph 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Col 1:18; 2:19. As the body of Christ, the Church is to mature and to strive for unity, Eph 4:1-6. Through the grace of the spiritual gifts, especially the gift of Pastor-Teacher, God builds and edifies His Church, Eph 4:4, 12; cf. 1 Cor 12:27.

Interestingly, at the beginning of this verse we are called, “saints,” identifying our position as members of the Royal Family of God and our status, standing, and relationship with God the Father. At the end of this passage we are called, “the Body of Christ,” a synonymous term, but specifically identifying us with Jesus Christ, and representing our working and functioning status, (our experience), as members of the Royal Family of God.

Summary

Each of these three Prepositional phrases emphasizes the importance of the communication gifts throughout the Church Age, and especially the permanent gift of Pastor-Teacher in the post-Canon era.

1.) The first Prepositional phrase emphasizes the general purpose of the Shepherd-Teacher, to train and prepare all believers for spiritual warfare.

2.) The second Prepositional phrase emphasizes the first sub-set purpose of the Shepherd-Teacher, to function in their professional vocation in the service of others, so that other believers exercise their spiritual gifts in service to others.

3.) The third Prepositional phrase emphasizes the second sub-set purpose of the Shepherd-Teacher, to edify or build up the body of Christ, which too, all believers have a hand in when they apply their spiritual gifts.

Therefore, the goal of the Pastor-Teacher is to shepherd and teach the flock with the Word of God, so that they have Bible Doctrine in their souls, grow to spiritual adulthood, achieve the supergrace life, serve others, edify the body of Christ, and glorify God to a maximum. Combined with those who have the permanent gift of Evangelists, they will win new “members” to the living Body of Christ, and deepen and develop the cohesion of the whole, as the body grows in maturity by all holy influences of word and deed. Those gifted with communication gifts equip the saints so that the saints can carry on the ministry’s work, which, in turn, produces the edifying or building up of the body of Christ.

As we will see in the following verses, this building has three overlapping goals:

  • A two-aspect unity of faith and knowledge, vs. 13;
  • Maturity, vs. 14; and
  • Christlikeness, vs. 15-16; cf. “fullness” in Eph 3:19.

In vs. 12, we had three purposes for Christ giving the communication spiritual gifts to the Church. The main purpose utilizing the Preposition PROS was 1) To “equip,” train and prepare, all believers to live the Christian way of life inside of Satan’s cosmic system, i.e., spiritual warfare. Then with the Preposition EIS, we had two subordinate objectives to the main purpose of “equipping the saints” that includes; 2) To function in our Christian professional vocation, (the application of our spiritual gift), in the service of God and others; 3) To edify or build up the Body of Christ. Each phrase was led by a Preposition of Purpose, PROS, EIS and EIS.

Vs. 13, then transitions from a Purpose Clause to a Result Clause with four desired outcomes, which too employs the subordinating Preposition EIS as the markers. Here we have EIS, KAI, EIS, and EIS to identify Jesus Christ’s four desired results for giving the Church the communication spiritual gifts, especially the permanent gift of Shepherd-Teacher.

Vs. 13

Eph 4:13, “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

Here we have our Lord’s desired results for giving to the Church these communication spiritual gifts. There are four results laid out here. Each a subset of “until we all attain.” Similar to vs. 12, these results are divided by the Preposition EIS, but here they are used as Prepositions of Result, where in vs. 12 they were Prepositions of Purpose. Knowing that these are “results” is identified by the first phrase. It indicates the fact that if we are faithful in coming to hear the teaching of God’s Word, are faithful in the reception of Bible doctrine, inevitably and eventually we will reach spiritual maturity and the four desired goals of our Lord.

Until we all attain,” begins with the Improper Preposition MECHRI, μέχρι that is typically used as a marker of continuance in time up to a point, that is “until.” Even though it is a Preposition, it is used as a Conjunction or even a Temporal Adverb, as here, in this indefinite temporal clause, because it is before a verb in the Subjunctive mood. Nonetheless, it is translated, “until,” cf. Gal 4:19.

Gal 4:19, “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you.”

In addition, MECHRI indicates a future contingency from the perspective of the time of the main verb, which is in vs. 11, when Christ “gave” communication spiritual gifts at His Ascension. In other words, He gave these gifts for achievement of the four desired results, but it is contingent on the positive volition of believers throughout the Church Age.

Then we have the verb for “attain” in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive of KATANTAO, καταντάω that means, “to come to, arrive at, or attain to.” It was used for “crossing the goal line, to arrive at a goal, and to attain or reach a goal.” It is used here in a metaphoric sense of achieving an objective or result. The Culminative Aorist tense, views the entirety of the action of the Body of Christ with emphasis on the desired result of achieving these four results. The Active voice, the body of Jesus Christ, identified as, “we all,” HO PAS, (which Paul was a part of), is to perform the action of this verb, “attain.” In the Subjunctive mood, it is a potential that the Body of Christ achieves the four results based on each individual’s free will volition to advance to supergrace in the spiritual life or not.

Therefore, MECHRI HO PAS KATANTO, “until we all attain,” indicates the desired result for attainment and links the three Purposes of vs. 12, with the four Results noted in vs 13.

The desired “attainment” or results of our Lord giving the communication gifts, is found in the next four phrases:

  1. To the unity of faith.
  2. And of the knowledge of the Son of God.”
  3. To a mature man.”
  4. To the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

The First Result

To the unity of faith,” is the Preposition of Result EIS meaning, “so that or with the result that,” identifying Christ’s desired results or attainment for His body, with HO HENOTES. We noted the only other occurrence of HENOTES in the NT in Eph 4:3. It is a cognate of the number one in Greek, HEIS, and means, “unity or oneness.” This unity is having the like-mindedness of fellow believers who are going forward inside the Plan of God for their lives. As vs. 3 told us, it is unity gained inside the Body of Christ by means of the Holy Spirit working through us. The connotation of this unity is that we all grow spiritually and achieve the supergrace status; the Life Beyond GNOSIS, to the Life Beyond Dreams, to the Life Beyond Glory of Eph 3:17-21.

The unity we are to attain is by means of “of faith,” which is the Genitive of Agency in the Singular of HO PISTIS. PISTIS can mean, “Faith, trust, trustworthiness, reliability, confidence, assurance, conviction, belief, what is believed, or doctrine.” Here it represents, “what is believed” which is the Word of God in our lives. Therefore, PISTIS is translated here as “the Word of God” or “Bible Doctrine.” We can only achieve unity inside the Body of Christ when we all think in the same terms of Bible Doctrine being resident within our souls. Moreover, it is through the teaching ministry of the Shepherd-Teacher that we are taught and learn God’s Word, which provides for our unity as members of the Body of Jesus Christ. This is emphasized in the next phrase.

Therefore, the first desired result for giving the communication gifts is for the Church to have unity with each other as members of the Royal Family of God, based on Bible Doctrine being resident within our souls.

The Second Result

The next phrase emphasizes the means of our unity, “and of the knowledge of the Son of God.” It begins with the coordinating Conjunction KAI for, “and” that links this phrase with the last, so that this result complements the previous one. In other words, they go hand in hand. Then we have HO EPIGNOSIS that means, “recognition or knowledge.” It is from EPI meaning “upon or on the basis of” and GNOSIS meaning “knowledge, science, doctrine, or wisdom.” Therefore, EPIGNOSIS comes to mean, “on the basis of knowledge, doctrine, or wisdom.” It also expresses a more thorough participation in the acquiring of knowledge on the part of the learner than GNOSIS does. It means knowledge that very powerfully influences the believer to live the Christian way of life.

EPIGNOSIS also emphasizes the relationship of the learner to the object of his knowledge, Eph 1:17; 4:13; Col 1:9, 10; 2:2; 1 Tim 2:4; 2 Tim 2:25; 3:7; Titus 1:1; Heb 10:26; 2 Peter 1:2-3, 8, which here is “of the Son of God,” HO HUIOS HO THEOS. Therefore, it represents the mind of Jesus Christ, which is the Word of God, Bible Doctrine, 1 Cor 2:16, and refers to being Occupied with the Person of Jesus Christ, the 10th Problem Solving Device.

Col 1:9-10, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

1 Tim 2:4, “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

PISTIS for “faith,” (what is believed / Bible Doctrine), goes hand in hand with “EPIGNOSIS knowledge of the Son of God,” which is the mind of Jesus Christ / Bible Doctrine. Therefore, the second desired result for giving the communication gifts is that all believers of the Church come to the EPIGNOSIS knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The Third Result

“To a mature man,” is the Preposition of Result EIS with the Adjective TELIOS, τέλειος that means, “complete, perfect, whole, full grown, mature, or adult.” With this is ANER, ἀνήρ that means, “male, man, husband, or bridegroom.” Notice this is not ANTHROPOS, which is the generic term for man. Instead, ANER emphasizes the relationship of a man to another. The “other” here is our Lord Jesus Christ, as He is the Head and we are the Body.

TELEIOS for “mature” was a significant term in Greek philosophical and ethical writings. In simplified terms, “perfection” is variously expressed as “attainment of purpose,” an “acquisition of wisdom or insight,” and the “ability to make the correct ethical or moral choices.”

Therefore, in our relationship to God, He is TELIOS, “absolute perfection.” Only through our Lord Jesus Christ can we as imperfect beings have a relationship with a perfect God. Jesus Christ achieved that positionally for us on the Cross, and Christ achieves that experientially for us through His Word when we obtain and apply it in our lives.

TELIOS also has the idea of “wholeness or completeness,” here in reference to the Body of Christ. When we achieve spiritual adulthood and the supergrace life, it means we have attained a mature spiritual character, 1 Cor 2:6; cf. 14:20; Eph 4:13; Phil 3:15; Heb 5:14; James 1:4, that coalesces with God’s “perfect nature.”

Heb 5:14, “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”

James 1:4, “And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Therefore, to go along with our positional relationship we have with God through the Cross of Jesus Christ, we attain experiential relationship with God through the Word of Jesus Christ being resident in our souls. This is achieved when we present ourselves in positive volition to our right Shepherd-Teacher.

Mature Christian behavior is the result of teaching and exhortation, Col 1:28f.; 4:12; the result of the communication spiritual gifts. Moreover, spiritual maturity is a relational quality rather than a positional state, achieved by being walking in righteous by means of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God resident within our souls.

Col 1:28, “And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.”

Col 4:12, “Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.”

Therefore, the third desired result for giving the Church the communication spiritual gifts is for the Church to individually and collectively grow to spiritual maturity, obtaining and maximizing our experiential relationship with God.

The Fourth Result

“To the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

This too begins with the Preposition of Result EIS, “to the,” that identifies Christ’s desired result or attainment for His body. Then we have, “measure” that is the noun METRON, μέτρον that means, “a measure or standard by which something is measured.” The figurative standard of measure here is the “stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ,” where “stature” is the Genitive noun of HELIKIA, ἡλικία that means, “age, maturity, stature, or size.” Here the spiritual maturity of the believer relatively compared to Jesus Christ is in view. In other words, how much of the mind of Jesus Christ do you have in your soul?

As you know, the desired result of the teaching ministry of the Shepherd-Teacher is for you to have a maximum amount of Bible Doctrine, the mind of Jesus Christ, in your soul. We see this in the phrase, “which belongs to the fullness of Christ” that begins with HO and the Noun in the Genitive Singular of PLEROMA πλήρωμα, the noun equivalent to PLEROO, that means, “that which fills, complement, fulfillment, that which makes something complete, full number, abundance, or fullness.”  Then we have HO CHRISTOS for “the Christ” our Lord. It means that Christ achieved spiritual maturity during His First Advent, and we should emulate that. This is what you might call following in the footsteps of the Lord. You follow in the footsteps of the Lord by taking in Bible doctrine until you attain spiritual maturity, the super-grace life, and you never stop taking it in. This means that there must be progression in your daily walk instead of retrogression.

We noted PLEROMA in Eph 1:23 that referred to the body of Christ as the full expression of Christ in the world. In that passage, the context is the Church, the body of Christ, which is “the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” It means that Christ’s body, the Church, is to be the full expression of God in the present world. Moreover, as individual members of His body, we have been given spiritual gifts, which are to be used as the manifestation of God here on earth. Therefore, the Church, (all believers in any given generation of the Church Age), is the manifestation of God on earth that fills “all in all,” which means we are the physical working and functioning ministry of God here on earth during the Church Age. It also indicates that the Church is filled with God’s Divine assets and that the Church receives its fullness from Christ, who is receiving complete fullness from God, as He builds the body of Christ through the Church. It also speaks of Christ giving all things, namely gifted people, to the Church for its edification.

Then we noted in Eph 3:19, PLEROMA concerning the life of the believer and the Church, where Paul prayed that believers might experience the “fullness” of God in that we realize the total nature and significance of God in the attainment of spiritual maturity in the “Life Beyond GNOSIS.”

Now in our verse, we see once again, the theme of spiritual maturity but in the corporate setting as the overall body of Christ is to be the “fullness of Christ,” which means maturity of character by functioning in the Christ-like nature, collectively.

Now that Christ has ascended to the right hand of the Father, He has given communication gifts to the Church so that His body could be the full expression of Jesus Christ in the world. Based upon the Ephesian passages, we can say that Christ’s body, the Church, is to be the full expression of God in the present world.

Putting this final phrase together, the fourth desired result of Jesus Christ in giving communication gifts to the Church is so that the Church collectively would grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ to spiritual maturity representing God and Jesus Christ in the World.

Summary of Vs. 13

Here we have four desired results for giving to the Church the four communication gifts, especially the gift of Pastor-Teacher in the post-Canon era. They include:

1.) That we have unity in the Body of Christ through like-mindedness, by means of the inculcation and application of Bible Doctrine.

2.) That we collectively gain the thinking or mind of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 2:16, coming to the EPIGNOSIS knowledge of Jesus Christ.

3.) That we collectively grow to spiritual adulthood/maturity, obtaining and maximizing our experiential relationship with God.

4.) That we collectively put on the Christ-like nature and represent God in this world.

These are the desired results for the appropriate application of the communication spiritual gifts.

Summary of Vs. 11-13.

In Eph 4:11-13 we see the complete cycle.

1.) Jesus Christ, the Fullness of God, gave communication spiritual gifts to the Church.

2.) They included the temporary gifts of Apostles and Prophets, plus the permanent gifts of Evangelist and Shepherd-Teacher.

3.) There are three purposes for Christ giving His Church those communication gifts:

a) Prepare believers (the body of Christ) for the Christian way of life and spiritual warfare.

b) Prepare them to function in their Christian professional vocation; use their gifts in ministry for the Godly ordained effect, 1 Cor 12:4-6.

c) Prepare them so that they can collectively build up / edify the body Christ.

4.) Then there are four desired results for the application of the communication gifts:

a) That we have unity in the Body of Christ through like-mindedness, by means of the inculcation and application of Bible Doctrine.

b) That we collectively gain the thinking or mind of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 2:16.

c) That we collectively grow to spiritual adulthood / maturity.

d) That we collectively put on the Christ-like nature and represent God in this world, (i.e., Satan’s cosmic system).

5.) When we do, we represent the Fullness of Christ to a lost and dying world.

  eph 4 vs 11 - 13Vs. 14

Eph 4:14, “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”

Here we have a secondary desired result of our Lord for giving the four communication spiritual gifts to the Church. Using the Conjunction, HINA, with a Subjunctive mood, gives us another “results” clause, which because of the negative is also a command. The conjunction links the desired results of vs. 13, with the desired result of vs. 14. It is translated in the NASB “as a result.” From that translation you would think this is the overall desired result, but it should actually be translated, “that, so that, or in order that,” cf. Gal 5:17, indicating a secondary desired result.

The secondary desired result is that “we are no longer to be children,” which in the Greek begins with MEKETI, μηκέτι that means, “no longer, no more, or no further.” It is from the negative ME and adverb ETI that means “yet or still.” It is used with the moods of possibility, (subjunctive, optative, or imperative), like it is here with the Subjunctive mood of EIMI. Together they indicate a negative command.

EIMI, εἰμί is used in the Present, Active, Subjunctive, 1st Person, Plural, translated here “we are to be.” The Present tense is a Stative Present for the ongoing condition of childhood, which here we are to end. The Subjunctive mood is for potential indicating our free will to grow up spiritually or not. With the negative MEKITI, it is a command of prohibition that we do not remain children spiritually and instead grow to spiritual adulthood to achieve the supergrace life. The Subjunctive mood means maybe you will and maybe we will not. Notice also the 1st Person Plural where Paul includes himself. We all have free will, we all have and Old Sin Nature, and we all need to make the right decisions to learn the Word of God from our Pastor-Teacher and grow up spiritually.

“Children,” is the Nominative Plural Noun NEPIOS, νήπιος that means, “infant, minor, child, childlike, etc.” Here it is speaking of our spiritual life, where Jesus Christ’s desire is that we do not remain as baby believers, but instead we grow up spiritually through the teaching ministry of our right Pastor-Teacher. So this is a potential based on our free will volition, but is also a command of negation. Stop being babies!

As we will see, instability is a definite sign of immaturity. Paul himself reprimanded some Corinthians who were still “babes in Christ” after apparently being Christians for about 5 years, 1 Cor 3:1-4. He also dealt with the same basic problem in his letter to the Heb 5:11-6:12.

NEPIOS is in contrast to ANER from our previous verse, which meant a “mature or noble man.” It refers to a person who is childish in his thinking, no matter what his chronological age may be. This means:

1.) It is used for immaturity spiritually, for the various stages of reversionism.

2.) To be childish means to be encumbered with reactor factors, i.e., disillusion, boredom, discouragement, self-pity, frustration, and filled with mental attitude sins, which intensify them.

3.) To be childish is to be on a frantic search for happiness, emotional revolt of the soul, negative volition, Blackout of the Soul, and practicing reverse process reversionism.

4.) The scar tissue of the soul presented in vs. 17-19 is anticipated by this exhortation.

Then we have a naval analogy to warn us of the damaging effects that result from not growing up spiritually. Here we have two descriptions of what happens to the reversionist believer that keep them in the baby believer status. It is linked by the Conjunction KAI for “and.” The number two in Scripture means division, and here we see the division of believers as a result of not growing up spiritually. They are:

  1. “Tossed here and there by waves,”
  2. “Carried about by every wind of doctrine.”

The First Warning

Tossed here and there by waves,” is found in the one Verb KLUDONIZOMAI, κλυδωνίζομαι that means, “to be tossed around or agitated.” It is used here in the Present, Middle or Passive Deponent, Participle, Nominative, Plural. The Participle is circumstantial describing conditions that accompany reversionism. The second meaning, “agitated,” reminds me of someone being thrown into a washing machine. It also means a ship out of control, a ship without a rudder that is at the mercy of the wind and waves. It also means this person cannot handle the storms of life. This is a hapax legomenon, meaning it is only used here in the N.T.

The lexicon Liddell-Scott notes that this verb appears frequently in classical Greek as KLUDONIZO meaning, “to be buffeted by heavy seas,” or metaphorically, “to be disturbed or thrown into confusion.” It is used in the LXX of the OT for a similar meaning in Isa 57:20, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up refuse and mud.” It speaks of being tossed to and fro like a cork in a surging sea, James 1:6.

James 1:6, “But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”

The word pictures someone who is unprepared to combat the conflicting and confusing doctrines urged upon him by false teachers with evil motivations. He is helplessly “tossed” around like a small craft on raging waters. (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary.)

When we do not grow up spiritually by learning God’s Word from our right Pastor-Teacher, this will be the result. Instead of knowing God’s Word and standing steadfast in its principles and promises, we will be smashed by the various waves of false doctrines that are in the world, never coming to the calm; (peace, love and steadfastness of God).

The Second Warning

This is another analogy, “Carried about by every wind of doctrine.” This is from the Verb PERIPHERO, περιφέρω in the Present, Middle or Passive Deponent, Participle, Nominative, Plural. PERIPHERO means, “carry about or bear about; something unsteady or wavering.” BDAG notes that it is, “a tendency or trend that causes one to move from a view or belief.” In the NT it has the overall suggestion of something carried passively. In other words, we receive being carried from place to place. It is used of spinning tops and feeling dizzy. Such is the confusing effect of false doctrine. The Participle is circumstantial to indicate the influence of false doctrine and the receptivity of false doctrine by those in reversionism. It is also used in Heb 13:9; Jude 1:12 

Heb 13:9, “Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were thus occupied were not benefited.

Jude 1:12, “These men are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted.”

Then we have the Dative of Means Adjective PAS for “by every,” with the Noun ANEMOS for “wind.” It denotes “the wind” in classical as well as Biblical Greek. This included different kinds of winds such as gales, breezes, directional winds, and even the breath of a person blowing. The metaphors of intangible and hence worthless, invisible yet strong, effective but uncontainable, make it a suitable metaphor for false doctrines that are empty but have a strong effect on a person to drive them off course, especially those who are not safely anchored in the Word of God.

With this is the Genitive Singular of HO DIDASKALIA, διδασκαλία that means, “teaching or instruction.” “Teaching” could be either the activity of instruction or, as here, the passive reception of false teaching or false doctrine. It speaks of being whirled around by every chance gust of fashionable heretical doctrine and speaks of the false doctrines taught by false teachers. False doctrine is called in 1 Tim 4:1, “doctrine of demons,” that is the false and worldly doctrine that enters the vacuum of the soul of the negative believer.

1 Tim 4:1-2, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.”

Correct DIDASKALIA was a crucial plea from Paul in the Pastoral Epistles. “Sound or good teaching” is the solution to these erroneous teachings, cf. 1 Tim 1:10; 4:6, 13; 6:3; 2 Tim 3:10; 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1, 10.

The Shepherd-Teacher in the Church, after the time of the apostles, does not have any authority to introduce any new teaching but only to teach the doctrine of Christ and the apostles. The duty of the teachers is to express the “unsearchable riches of Christ,” Eph 3:8. The teacher is also responsible for protecting the Church against the false teachings that may threaten it, Eph 4:14; cf. 1 Tim 4:13, 16.

Next, we have a gambling analogy depicting the manner by which these false teachers influence the baby believer. This answers the question “how” the false teacher tosses and carries about those who are spiritually immature.

  1. “By the trickery of men,”
  2. “By craftiness in deceitful scheming.”

The First Manner of Deception.

By the trickery of men,” is the Dative Preposition EN with the Article HO and the Noun KUBEIA, κυβεία. It comes from a word that means “cube or dice” and means, “dice playing, craftiness, or trickery.” It is only used here in the NT. “In its earliest occurrences in classical Greek, this word meant dice playing. Later it came to refer to the crafty sleight of hand and the trickery commonly practiced with dice playing. A clever dice thrower could conceal two sets of dice in his hand and throw at any time he chose the set which had been altered. This meaning of “clever deception” is used in Eph 4:14. Paul warned believers not to be tossed to and fro “by the sleight (trickery) of men.” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary.)

With this is the Genitive of HO ANTHROPOS, “of men,” meaning man-made doctrines, principles and precepts, that they have manufactured and fabricated, rather than teaching the truth of God’s Word.

By way of analogy, this is what the false teacher of false doctrine does. In one hand, they have passages of God’s Word and in the other, false principles and precepts that are man-made. They throw out, (read passages of) God’s Word and then throw out false principles regarding His Word to suit their own needs, lusts, and desires. The men involved here are gamblers who make their living by loading the dice.

These “tricksters,” who use crafty methods, appeal to immature Christians who do not grow spiritually. Likewise, the “babes in Christ” seem always to be looking for something a little more sensational than the last thing that appealed to them. Unfortunately, these individuals help many religious hucksters to build their own kingdom, rather than concentrating on building God’s kingdom.

The Second Manner of Deception.

By craftiness in deceitful scheming,” is once again the Dative of Manner of EN and the Noun PANOURGIA, πανουργία that means, “shrewdness, skill, craftiness, cunning, subtly, trickery, or to cheat.” In classical Greek it was used for negative and pejorative meanings for those who had an “unprincipled ability or readiness to do anything.” It means those who are unscrupulous and stop at nothing.

This craftiness is that craft that is used by seducers, people in error, and the tricksters noted above. It is used for those who “pervert” the Word of God, which is a continual device of Satan himself, cf. Luke 20:23; 1 Cor 3:19; 2 Cor 4:2; 11:3.

1 Cor 3:19, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS“.”

2 Cor 4:2, “But we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the Word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

2 Cor 11:3, “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

With this evil craftiness we have, “in deceitful scheming,” which is the Preposition PROS, meaning “with,” that speaks of personal interaction, and the Accusative of HO METHODEIA, μεθοδεία that means, “Method, strategy, scheming, craftiness, or planned deceitful procedure.” It is only used here and in Eph 6:11 regarding Satan’s schemes. It is derived from a word which means “to follow anyone, or to track him,” as a wild animal tracks its prey. So it means, “deceitful strategy,” and has the connotation of deceit.

Therefore, the reversionistic believer is shooting craps with the Devil and the Devil has loaded the dice, as it were, with false deceptive doctrines. The Devil cheats those members of the royal family who neglect and reject true Bible doctrine. Your neglect of Bible doctrine inevitably results in being outsmarted by the Devil. False doctrine loads the dice.

Then we have “deceitful,” which is the Genitive of HO PLANE, πλάνη that means, “wandering, (from the path of truth); error, or delusion.” It comes from the Verb PLANAO that means, “to lead astray, to cause to wander, or to deceive.” So we understand twice now that deceit is involved here. It denotes a “wandering or roaming,” or a “digression” in the literal sense, and in a metaphoric sense, “error, delusion, or deception.” “Deception and error” dominate its use in the NT. So we translate this “the deceptive.” Combined it is “with craftiness in the deceptive strategy.”

“Deception” is a trick employed by religious hucksters who sell religion for profit, 2 Peter 2:18; Jude 1:11; cf. 2 Thes 2:8-12.

2 Peter 2:18, “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error.”

Jude 1:11, “Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”

Delusion, therefore, is not simply being deceived; rather, it is active acceptance of the lies of the Evil One. People can only willfully be deceived by Satan. He has no power to make them believe his lies. He tricks them because of their own sinful willingness to delight in evil (cf. James 1:13-15).” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary.)

This is the direct opposite of the faithful Pastor-Teacher who sticks to teaching the truth of God’s Word no matter what, 1 Thes 2:3-6.

By either or both of these manners of deception, the believer who does not grow up spiritually is easily tossed here and there and carried about by these teachers of false doctrines, never coming to spiritual adulthood, the supergrace life or glorifying God.

Summary

1.) The childish believer, (reversionist), is compared to a ship out of control in a storm and floundering that indicates his instability, and this instability is related to the reactor factors of life. An unstable person reacts.

2.) The childish reversionist is compared to a sucker in a crap game playing against the house with loaded dice. This means that no matter how smart you are, or think you are, you cannot hold up against the opening of false doctrines entering your soul and the infiltration of demon doctrines into your soul. Your only hope is GAPing it with Bible doctrine. No matter how you slice it, the odds are totally against the reversionistic believer.

3.) The two analogies (naval and gambling) are designed to awaken the reversionist to his status, to encourage him to change his mind toward doctrine and to recover through the function of GAP.

4.) Therefore, the secondary desire of our Lord for giving the communication spiritual gifts to the Church is for each believer to grow up spiritually and avoid the pitfalls and schemes of Satan and His cosmic system designed to lead us astray and defeat us in spiritual warfare.

Vs. 15

Eph 4:15, “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,”

This passage begins with the Contrasting Conjunction DE for “but,” which comes second in the Greek. It contrasts the failures and deception the baby believer falls into.

Then we have the Verb ALETHEUO, ἀληθεύω in the Present, Active, Particle that is related to the Noun ALETHIA that means, “true or truth,” and the Noun from ALETHES that means, “real, actual, or not counterfeit.” With the Participle, some expositors translate it “truthing it.” It means the Pastor is to teach the unadulterated truth of God’s Word. This is in contrast to the deceitful schemers who teach a lie, as noted in vs. 14. It is in the Present, Active, Participle and comes to mean, “be truthful or speaking the truth.” In the Customary Present tense, it is something the Pastor is to be doing habitually; teach the truth of God’s Word. It is only used twice in the NT, and only by Paul, here and in Gal 4:16, “Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

Here it means to reflect the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and present the larger body of Christian truth / doctrines with the goal of leading others to spiritual maturity. This is why the communication gifts where given, especially the Shepherd-Teacher. In addition, we are all Royal Ambassadors and all have a responsibility to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the greater truths of God’s Word, to the lost and believers alike. God means for believers to present the truth to others, and it should always be presented in love.

Therefore, the Pastor and Royal Ambassadors are to speak/teach the truth of God’s Word “in love,” the qualifier for teaching the truth. “In love,” is in the Dative of Sphere of EN and AGAPE. Therefore, in the sphere of impersonal and unconditional love, that is Divine love, the Pastor is to teach the Word of God to his flock.

I pray that people would say about this church, “they teach the Bible faithfully.” I hope they also say, “They love each other like family and their neighbors as themselves.” If people do not agree with our doctrine, at least they will see that we love them. Ask yourself, “are you known for truth and love personally”, and “is your church known for truth and love corporately?”

This reminds us that all spiritual gifts, including the communication gifts, must be utilized in the sphere of AGAPE Love or it is all for not, 1 Cor 13:1-7. In that passage, we have a list of qualities that we must apply in order to function properly and effectively in our spiritual gifts. Those qualities are a good test to determine if a Pastor is a trickster with deceitful scheming, or one who teaches the truth out of genuine love for God and others. The list of qualities that represent AGAPE Love is found in 1 Cor 13:4-7.

1 Cor 13:4-7
This passage has 15 qualities for verification of spiritual gifts operating in Divine love, as opposed to human good or human power, as the deceitful schemer would. The number fifteen being a multiple of 5, (grace), and 3 (Divine perfection), comes to represent acts wrought by the energy of Divine grace. In Acts 27:28, Paul’s ship was anchored in 15 fathoms, a reference to how the Word of God is the anchor of our souls. In addition, the feast of Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles are on the 15th day, of the 1st (Unity) and 7th (Spiritual Perfection) months respectfully.

Vs. 4

1.) “Love is patient.”

2.) “Love is kind.”

3.) “Is not jealous.”

4.) “Love does not brag.”

5.) “And is not arrogant.”

Vs. 5

1.) “Does not act unbecomingly.” (Sinfully in public)

2.) “Does not seek its own.”

3.) “Is not provoked.”

4.) “Does not take into account a wrong suffered.” (Does not hold a grudge.)

Vs. 6

1.) “Does not rejoice in unrighteousness.”

2.) “But rejoices in the truth, (ALETHEIA).”

Vs. 7

1.) “Bears all things,” Cf. Eph 4:2; Col 3:13, (Enduring with regard to others.)

2.) “Believes all things,” (With a good conscience you give others the benefit of the doubt and think good to another’s credit. In trust and faith you believe the very best you honestly can at all times).

3.) “Hopes all things,” (Confidence in everything you say and do).

4.) “Endures all things,” (Steadfast even in difficult circumstances, having a patient and loving spirit).

Then in Eph 4:15, we have a reiteration of the second desired result for the communication gifts; “we are to grow up,” which is from one Greek Verb in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive of AUXANO, that means, “Grow, increase, or become greater.” It is used in our verse for the spiritual growth and maturation of individual believers, as well as groups of believers, including the entire body of Christ, 2 Cor 9:10; 10:15; Col 1:10; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18.

1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

Col 1:10, “So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

The Aorist tense views the entirety of the action of our spiritual growth with the Subjunctive mood of potential for growth, as maybe we will, and maybe we will not, because is it a volitional issue. This is the principle found in Proverbs 8.

Our spiritual growth is to be, “in all aspects into Him,” which is EIS AUTOS HO PANTA, literally,” unto Him the all things.” In other Words, we achieve spiritual growth one way and one way only; through Jesus Christ our Lord, which indicates that we grow by means of His Word resident within our souls. It tells us that spiritual growth means that in all areas of our life, Jesus, His Word, is present and leading us. If Christ is not leading you in all aspects of your life, you will not have spiritual growth. Yet, when His Word is, you will have spiritual growth and achieve the supergrace life.

As such, we are to grow into resemblance unto Him, (i.e., put on the Christ-like nature), and our growth is to be according to His example. This means that as He is the source from which the grace and power comes that makes it possible for us to grow, He is also the object and goal to which our growth, in its every stage, must look and is to be directed towards. Therefore, Jesus Christ, His Word, is the source from which the ability to grow spiritually comes, and He is the object or goal of that growth. That is why the communication gifts where given, so that we could learn God’s Word and grow spiritually in the likeness of Christ and for Christ.

In contrast to vs. 14, instead of falling for the trickery or sleight of hand of false teachers of false doctrines, Christians should be obedient to Christ. Obedience to Christ and the ability to recognize religious charlatans are definite signs of Christian maturity. Those who fall for the counterfeit have not matured in doctrine because of their lack of obedience to Christ. Christ is the source from which the ability to grow comes, and He is the object or goal of that growth.

Finally, we have, “who is the head, even Christ,” which is HOS, “who,” used pronominally with the Present, Active, Indicative of EIMI for “is” referring to Jesus Christ. With this is the Nominative Singular of HO KEPHALE, κεφαλή meaning, “the head or authority,” and CHRISTOS, Χριστός meaning, “Christ, anointed, or the Anointed One,” identifying Jesus Christ as the Head over the Body called the Church. He as the Head is the source of our spiritual growth and the well-being of each member.

Summary
Bible Doctrine causes the believer to grow up, and the intake of Bible doctrine causes the growth. Seed stored does not grow; seed in the ground is what grows. Bible doctrine must be in the soul before you can grow up spirtually.

The Headship of Jesus Christ Over His Body.

The book of Ephesians has much to say about the Headship of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ as the head of the body refers to the integral relationship between our Lord and each member of the Royal Family. The head and body analogy indicates relationship. The Royal Family of God is one organic body with the Lord Jesus Christ as the head. In addition, it identifies Jesus Christ as the supreme ruler over the Church as His body, Eph 1:22-23, 4:4, 15, 5:23.

There are three concepts of Christ as the head.

1.) Christ is the ruler over all creation, including the angels, Col 2:10. Jesus Christ is the victor of the Angelic Conflict.

2.) Christ is the “Head of the Corner,” which means He has two crowns. Jesus Christ as the son of David is the ruler of Israel. He is also the ruler of the Church because of His victory on the Cross, Eph 2; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7.

3.) Christ is the supreme ruler over the Church as the body of Christ, Eph 1:22-23, 4:4, 15, 5:23. There is only one head to the body, and that head is the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph 4:4-6.

In addition, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the Body, Eph 5:23, 25, 30, the sanctifier of the body, Heb 2:11, 13:12, as He is Head of the body, Eph 1:22-23, 5:23-25. The function of Christ in the formation of the body is not just as an active agent, but also as the source of its life and as its ruler. Therefore, the Lord has an authority over us. We can recognize it and have great blessing, or we can reject it and be the most miserable people in life.

The analogy of Christ as the Head of the Body emphasizes the importance of the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age, where the believer receives his thought pattern, mental attitude, and motivation from Bible doctrine, described in 1 Cor 2:16 as the mind or thinking of Christ. Just as the function of the body is based on the mentality of the soul, so the way of life for the Church Age believer is based on the thinking of the head, which is our lord Jesus Christ. The communication spiritual gifts where given so the Body can learn and understand what the head is thinking and grow in spiritual maturity, Eph 4:10-16.

Therefore, in the analogy, the body is totally dependent upon the Head to provide the thinking, motivation, decision making, and execution of the Plan of God. All Church Age believers have a common life based on the Plan of God provided for us. We also have a common purpose, which is to become spiritually mature and be invisible heroes.

Vs. 16

Eph 4:16, “From whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

This is the conclusion of the purpose and desired results for the Lord giving the communication gifts to the Church. The first half of this verse emphasizes, “The Building and Unity of the Body of Christ is provided for through Pastor-Teachers.”

From whom the whole body,” is EK HOS PAN HO SOMA referring to Jesus Christ as the source of the Church called His body, which includes all believers from the day of Pentecost to the day of the Rapture of the Church. These are the ones benefited by the communication spiritual gifts, especially the gift of Pastor-Teacher.

Being fitted and held together,” is the Verb SUNARMOLOGEO the Conjunction KAI with the verb SUMBIBAZO. Both verbs here are in the Present, Passive, Participle in the Nominative, Neuter, Singular.

SUNARMOLOGEO, συναρμολογέω means, “to fit closely, join together, or frame together.” It is used only here and in Eph 2:21, which we previously noted, as an architectural metaphor of the Church being built into a “holy temple” of the Lord.

It is a compound word from SUN, “together,” and HARMOLOGEO, “to join together,” which is from HARMOS, “joint” and LOGOS, “word, account, or reckoning.” Combined, it means here being joined together through the teaching of God’s Word. The metaphor here is that of a living organism, where all believers are members of the body of Christ, who is the head, vs. 15, and we are being joined and knit together through the Word so that we advance to spiritual adulthood and maximize the exercise of our spiritual gifts.

The Progressive Present tense describes continuous action of being joined together through the Church Age.
In the Passive voice, the Church receives the action of being fitted together, we do not do the fitting ourselves; God’s Word through the teaching ministry of our right Pastor-Teacher does that work.

The Participle represents this as a position or thing the Church receives as the body of Jesus Christ and the Temple of our Lord.

SUMBIBAZO, συμβιβάζω means, “to unite, bring together, prove, conclude, teach or instruct.” In extra-Biblical Greek it means, “to cause to stride together,” and includes various connotations, such as, “to bring together, to reconcile, to conclude, or to unite,” and even “to teach or instruct.” Notice that both SUNARMOLOGEO and SUMBIBAZO have to do with teaching or instructing.

In the LXX it is used exclusively for, “to teach someone something, or to instruct about something,” e.g., Ex 4:12, 15; Lev 10:11; Deut 4:9; Judges 13:8; Isa 40:13-14.

It is used six times in the NT, Acts 9:22; 16:10; 19:33; 1 Cor 2:16; Eph 4:16; Col 2:2, 9. Each time, it has the connotation of something being accomplished as a result of teaching or instruction, and sometimes translated as, “concluded or proved.” In our passage, as in Col 2:2, 19, it speaks of the Church being united or held together because of the communication of Bible Doctrine. The Progressive Present and Passive Voice means the Church continually keeps on receiving this unity and the Participle says we become unity.

Col 2:2, “That their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself.”

Col 2:19. “And not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.”

Next, we see how this “fitting and holding together” is accomplished, “By that which every joint supplies,” is the Preposition of intermediate agency DIA that means, “through, by, with, or because of,” and the Adjective PAS for, “all or every,” with the Singular Noun HAPHE, ἁφή that means, “ligament or that which connects a joint,” and HO EPICHOREGIA, ἐπιχορηγία that means, “supply, provision, support or aid,” used here and Phil 1:19.

In classical Greek the noun HAPHE had three basic meanings, 1) “lighting or kindling,” 2) “touch,” including the grip of wrestlers, and 3) “junction or point of contact.” Some even say it became a technical term for the arena. The grip of wrestlers in the arena yielded the meaning, “fastening,” hence, as a physiological term it means, “ligaments.” Thus the body, as a metaphor for the union of God’s people, is being “joined together and held together by that which every ligament supplies.” The ligaments are called Pastor-Teachers.

The term “joint” is used here and in Col 2:19, primarily because in Colossians HAPHE is joined together with the word SUNDESMOS that means, “bond, that which binds together, fetter fastening, etc.” Pictorially it represents a ligament better than HAPHE. So SUNDESOMOS is translated “ligament,” where HAPHE defaults back to “joint,” in both passages. Be it joint or ligament, the analogy is of the Pastor-Teacher, as teaching the Word of God is the principle reference.

Then we have EPICHOREGIA whose root meaning is, “sufficient support of provision for a choral dance troupe,” hence the metaphoric meaning of, “abundant support or ample supply.” So by analogy, it comes to mean, “the abundant teaching of God’s Word.”

Therefore, we should translate this phrase as, “by means of that which every ligament, (Pastor-Teacher), abundantly supplies, (Bible Doctrine).

Doctrine of Joints and Ligaments

Eph 4:16; Col 2:19

1.) Definition and Description.

  • From the Greek word HAPHE we get the word “joint” or better, “a ligament that connects.” Either way, it is used metaphorically for the Pastor-Teacher who teaches the Word of God that fits and holds together the Body of Jesus Christ. You could say that the Word of God is in view, as it is, but more specifically the one who teaches the Word is in view, as the main topic in Eph 4:11-16 and Col 2:19 is the provision and importance of the communication of Bible Doctrine to the Church.
  • By way of analogy, every part of the human body is linked by joints and connective tissue called ligaments. It is where bones or parts, the skeletal structure are joined together. Joints and ligaments allow for motion and coordination of the entire human body. The joints and ligaments being used as one analogy in Eph 4:19 and Col 2:19, provide for the unity of the body and give it cohesion, because joints and ligaments are the point of contact and connection between various parts of the body. In analogy, all coordination in the body of Christ is based upon the function of joints and ligaments, which represent the Pastor who teaches the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age.
  • In 1 Cor 12, different parts of the body represent different members of the body of Christ in the exercise of their spiritual gifts. Different parts of the body represent the variety of differences among believers from the standpoint of spiritual gifts, varieties of ministry, and varieties of effects. Likewise, we all have different spiritual growth, progress, function, and personality, there are different parts to the body.
  • Regarding the joints, there too are differences in the body, so there are differences among Pastor-Teachers inside the Church. The spiritual gift is given to many different types of men with varying ministries, effects, personalities, vocations, attitudes, activities, functions in life, etc.
  • In analogy to “supply,” EPICHOREGIA, in the theatrical use, the joint or Pastor supplies everything necessary for the other members of the cast, (body of Christ), to learn, grow, mature, and perform. The casting director is God the Holy Spirit. In His marvelous sense of humor, He has given the gift of Pastor-Teacher to many different types of personalities.
  • All the members of the Royal Family of God are linked together by the doctrinal teaching of the Pastor, not by similarity of personalities, conformity to standards of legalism, human rapport concepts, nor conformity to false standards or doctrine. They are united by doctrinal teaching from the Pastor and resultant advance toward spiritual maturity. Christianity is not changing your personality to a certain mold, but it is growing spiritually through the perception of Bible doctrine.
  • There are all kinds of Pastors, just as there are all kinds of joints. The Pastor’s function must not be related to his personality, but to the content of his message. The less there is of content in the message, the more there is of emotional preaching and nonsense.
  • You can receive limited blessing from reading the Bible for yourself, but you can never learn how to execute the Plan of God for your life. Only the spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher is equipped to dig out the truth of the Mystery Doctrine and communicate it to you. Without joints, you go nowhere, both physically and spiritually.

2.) Joints are the basis for exercise and building strength in the body.

  • As the basis for exercise and building strength in the body, without joints, the human body would atrophy. Likewise, without the faithful function of Pastor-Teachers, the body of Christ would lack spiritual growth and retrogress from lack of spiritual food, vitality, and power.
  • Muscle is constructed from consistent exercise, which involves the use of the joints. Repetitious and beneficial exercise involves the consistent and constant function of the joints. The constant use of the joints in exercise is analogous to the faithful and consistent teaching of Bible doctrine by whoever is your right Pastor-Teacher.
  • In the development of strength, the joints function against pressure, which they overcome through the function of their own perception, metabolization, and application of Bible Doctrine. So, there must be both pressure and the use of that which overcomes the pressure, (i.e., God’s Word, especially the Eleven Problem Solving Devices). This applies to both the Pastor and those in his congregation.
  • As a result of the congregation’s consistent perception of the Mystery Doctrine, the believer becomes the muscle of the body, possessing definition, symmetry, strength, endurance, and coordination. This is analogous to the believer’s advance through the three stages of spiritual adulthood by which an invisible hero is manufactured.

3.) Joints provide body action.

  • By analogy, every function and action in life must be motivated by thought energy. For the spiritual life, it is the Divine viewpoint printed on the neurons of the brain in the form of metabolized Bible doctrine. Two categories of doctrine cause you to function and grow spiritually.

a.) EPIGNOSIS is the metabolized doctrine that goes into your right lobe.

b.) SOPHIA is the metabolized doctrine on the launching pad of your right lobe being applied to experience in life.

  • Joints provide the information so that the body of Christ can have action, (function and grow spiritually), which refers to believers who grow spiritually, produce Divine good, serve others, glorify God, and become invisible heroes.
  • Body action can be described in terms of expending tremendous energy. The atom represents energy with its core of protons, neurons, and electrons in the outer ring. The power that holds the atom together, or the energy locked in the atom, equals its mass times the speed of light squared. This energy or power is nothing compared to metabolized Bible doctrine in the right lobe printed on the neurons of the brain.
  • The faithful teaching of the omnipotent Word of God by Pastors, provides the dynamic energy for the Royal Family of God, reflected in the use of Problem Solving Devices and in the execution of the Plan of God for their life.

4.) Joints provide body coordination.

  • Without the function of the joints, there would be neither body action nor body coordination. Without the faithful teaching of the Pastor, there would be no fulfillment of the Plan of God, and therefore no invisible heroes to have impact in five areas, Personal, Historical, International, Angelic, or Heritage.

Karl Von Clausewitz wrote the book, “On War.” In book one of chapter three, he said, “Every specific calling in life requires special qualities of intellect and temperament.  When these are of a high order and manifest themselves by extraordinary achievements, the mind to which they belong is termed genius. Genius is a superior mental capacity for certain activities. The essence of military genius is to bring under consideration all of the tendencies of mind and soul in combination toward the business of war. We say “in combination,” for military genius is not just one single quality bearing on war, as for instance courage, but it is a harmonious combination of powers in which one or the other may predominate, but none must be in opposition.

a.) Our special calling is the fact that we were elected into the Royal Family of God at the moment of our salvation. Now our life has meaning, purpose, and definition. Therefore, special qualities are required of us.

b.) By attaining spiritual maturity, you should become a spiritual genius.

c.) “All of the tendencies of mind and soul” refers to our concentration on the message under the filling of the Spirit.

d.) When we have different parts of ourselves in opposition, we are living the fragmented life in the cosmic system. For none to be in opposition, we must attain spiritual self-esteem, which requires the consistent perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. You must consistently listen to the teaching of a prepared Pastor.

  • Just as military genius must have the coordination of all of its faculties, so the body of Christ must have the coordination of all the spiritual gifts, which function to the maximum when the believer involved has attained spiritual maturity.
  • This coordination depends upon the communication of the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age by whomever is your right Pastor-Teacher. Therefore, body coordination demands communication of the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age by the Pastor-Teacher, so that tactical victories and winners may be produced in very generation of the Church Age.

5.) Summary

Therefore, joints are the basis for building muscle and strength in the body. Without joints the human body would be in a state of atrophy. Without Pastor-Teachers, Christianity (the Royal Family) would be in a state of spiritual atrophy on the earth. If you want to have muscles, you have to bend at the joints. Repetitious exercise demands the use of joints (sometimes this is painful). Repetitious exercise is analogous to repetitious GAPing to super-grace. Using the joints in exercise is like using the daily function of the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP). The inevitable result of exercise is muscle, strength, endurance, coordination, and so on. The inevitable result of GAP under the authority and teaching of the joint / Pastor-Teacher, is the construction of the Edification Complex of the Soul, (ECS), and entrance into the super-grace life. Joints also provide body action and body coordination. Every function and action in life must be motivated by doctrine and the mental attitude dynamics of Divine viewpoint. Therefore, Bible teaching from the Pastor is like the joints that make action, coordination, and team function possible. Without the function of joints, there would be no body action and no coordination for tactical victories inside the Angelic Conflict.

Next, we have, “according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

In the second half of the final verse of our section, we see that in addition to the fact that a mature Christian will be stable and obedient, it also will result in a coordinated “body” with each member fulfilling his function. Just as the human body grows as a total organism with each part being involved, so the body of Christ grows when believers allow Christ His rightful place in their hearts, as they do their part in the total process.

According to the proper working of each individual part,” tells us that the Pastor does not build the Church on his own, but that it takes all of us working together to build the body of Jesus Christ. The Pastor has an important role to play by teaching the truth of God’s Word and nothing but the truth, yet every individual member must do their part as well.

According to” is the Preposition KATA that tells us of God’s Plan for the building of the body of Christ through each individual believer working in conjunction with the other members of the body.

The proper” is the Dative singular of EN METRON that means, “measure.” The broad meaning of this word includes the standard by which something is measured. We noted this word in vs. 13, regarding the standard measurement for our spiritual growth being that of Jesus Christ’s, which we are able to emulate. Here, it represents the standard that God has assigned or allotted to each individual part in the exercise of their spiritual gift. In other words, God has a plan for your life and the exercise of your spiritual gift. We are to follow that plan, and never think we need to do more or less, than what God has planned for us. That is what Paul was saying in 2 Cor 10:13, “But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you.”

Two things come from this.

  1. First you should never fool yourself, if you are living inside of Satan’s cosmic system and not having much spiritual impact that God has designed for you to do, thereby remaining in the cosmic system and not advancing spiritually and not having much impact.
  1. Second, if you are living inside of God’s Plan for your life and having impact, you should never think that you are a failure because you are not doing more.

God has allotted or assigned our gift, service for application of our gift, and the effect or impact we would have utilizing our gift inside of His Plan, 1 Cor 12:4-7.

“Proper” also means to utilize your spiritual gift in the way God has designed it for the Church Age. Remember there are pre-Canon gifts and post-Canon gifts. We should not claim or try to use pre-Canon gifts in the post-Canon era. Likewise, we are not to bastardize, abuse, or wrongly apply our spiritual gifts. Tongues is a great example of or pre-Canon gift being tried to apply in the post-Canon era. In trying to apply that gift today, they do not even use it in the right way, that is, to speak in a legitimate foreign language for today, one that they never learned or spoke before, so that those whose native tongue it is, can understand their message, which should be the gospel of Jesus Christ or the truth of Bible doctrine principles found in the Word of God. But because we have the completed Canon of Scripture that is translated into just about every language in the world, this gift is no longer necessary. But as always we leave room for the grace of God, where there may be a tribe deep in the jungle somewhere who do not have a Bible translation or anyone who can speak that language, where a missionary could come in and speak their language to give them the gospel. If this were to occur, it would be extremely rare. However, if you ask any missionaries today, the first thing they do is try to learn the native language. Therefore, “proper” also means doing a right thing in a right way.

Then we have “working” which is ENERGEIA, ἐνέργεια that means, “working, power, or efficiency.” We have noted this word twice previously in Eph 1:19; 3:7. In both of those instances, it was concerning the power of God working in our lives, including the giving of spiritual gifts cf. Phil 3:21; Col 1:29; 2 12; 2 Thes 2:9, 11.

It should be translated, “according to the operational power.” The operational power is God the Holy Spirit controlling the Pastor-Teacher in his preparation and teaching, and controlling the Royal Priests in their listening and learning of God’s Word. God the Holy Spirit is the one who makes every part of the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP), function from the deliverance to the reception.

In our passage, ENEREGIA refers to the application of our spiritual gift, which, as you know, can only be accomplished through the power of God working in us. That means that the Word of God must be resident and applied within our souls and we must be filled with the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit.

Col 1:28-29, “And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.”

When we are in line with the Word and Spirit, the power of God is “working” inside of us and in the appropriate application of our spiritual gifts.

This “proper working” is “of each individual part,” which is from the Adjective HEKASTOS, “each or every,” the Cardinal number HEIS, “one,” and MEROS, “part, portion, piece, or allotment.” Therefore, the whole is benefited when each individual part does their job. God has a Plan for each one of us. When we execute and fulfill that Plan, the whole body is blessed and God’s Plan for the overall body is fulfilled. This does not say that if we do not fulfill God’s Plan for our individual lives, His overall Plan fails too. We have to keep in mind God’s Omniscience and Omnipotence. If one member fails, God will raise up another so that His overall Plan is fulfilled.

However, in our passage, when we do our part inside the body of Christ, it “causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

“Causes the growth” is POIEO, “to do or make,” Ho AUXESIS that means, “growth or increase.”

POIEO, ποιέω is in the Present, Middle, Indicative. The Extending from Past Preset tense is for action begun in the past that continues into the present, with the emphasis being on the present time. The Middle Voice says the action has an effect or benefit back to the one who is producing the action. The Indicative mood is for the reality that when we do our jobs individually, the collective body of Jesus Christ grows. So this encompasses the overall process of the provisions from Jesus Christ giving His Church prepared Pastor-Teachers who do their job so that each individual member can to their job too. When all is in coordination, the body of Christ grows. Therefore, when we function in our spiritual gifts towards others, it has a benefit back to us as members of the Body of Christ, in that we too will grow spiritually and be part of a stronger body.

Growth,” is the noun AUXESIS, αὔξησις that refers to the increase or growth of that which lives either physically or spiritually. But, in the NT only, in regard to spiritual growth, it is used for the spiritual growth of the members of the Church as the body of Christ. It is used only here and in the parallel verse of Col 2:19, where both the Verb AUXANO and the Noun AUXESIS are used and states that the Church “grows as God causes it to grow.” Therefore, the exhortation in our passage is that we individually, in the exercise of our spiritual gift, have an impact on the overall body of Christ, to increase its numbers and increase its level of spiritual maturity. God uses us all in that endeavor, not just the communication gifts.

This growth is “of the body,” HO SOMA meaning the body of Jesus Christ, of which He is the head, and “for the building up,” which EIS, “unto,” and OIKODOME, “building, edifice, or edification.”

This building up or edification that means, “spiritual growth,” that also has a benefit back to ourselves using the Middle voice, goes with  the next words, “of itself,” which is the personal Pronoun, HEAUTOU, meaning “himself, herself, or one’s self.” Therefore, the individual who serves others with their spiritual gift has an impact on the overall body of Jesus Christ and on themselves. Both increase or grow spiritually.

Our last words tell us of the sphere in which we apply our spiritual gifts, “in Love,” the Dative case of EN plus AGAPE, that means impersonal and unconditional love, as we noted above in 1 Cor 13:4-7. The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary, says that AGAPE, “Expresses a love that wills to initiate a relationship and shows kindness and self-sacrifice regardless of whether the object of the love is worthy or even likable. Thus, it is a love that does not depend on emotional response. Rather, it is an expression of the nature and character of the one who loves.”

As a believer Priest and Ambassador, as well as, a member of the Royal Family of God, AGAPE love can only be expressed through us when we are saturated with God’s Word and are filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in the exercise of our beneficial spiritual gift, we are to do so in the sphere of God’s AGAPE love, 1 John 4:16.

1 Cor 13:1-3, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”

1 Cor 13:13, “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Conclusion
Pastor-Teachers are placed in the Church by Christ to help equip the saints so they in turn can minister and help others mature in the Lord. Even the Apostles were concerned about being able to give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word, Acts 6:4, and a careful study of chapter 6 will show that the Apostles considered themselves, “in the service of the Word” or “the deacon of the Word.” The first obligation of Shepherd-Pastors is to pray and expound God’s Word. If the Pastor is not allowed to focus in those areas, the congregation can grow only to a certain point, because one person can accomplish only so much. However, it is refreshing to see a local assembly where most of the members are involved in some kind of ministry. That church will be a growing assembly, meeting the needs of people in the area and reaching the lost for Christ. They will personally grow spiritually, and at the same time grow and edify the overall body of Jesus Christ.

We now begin the second half of Chapter 4 that includes vs. 17-32.

By way of review, in the first half of Chapter 4 the main theme was, “The Believer’s Walk in Unity; God’s Plan for Faithful Living in the Church to Build the Church,” Eph 4:1-16.

Concerning our “walk in unity,” this half was broken down into the three sections including:

  • The Appeal to Preserve Unity; Walking worthy of the calling by which we have been called, Eph 4:1-3.
  • The Basis for Unity; The seven unities given to us by God, Eph 4:4-6.
  • The Means of Unity; The ministry gifts of Christ Given to His body, Eph 4:7-16, where we also noted two sub topics including:

a.) Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension proclaimed, as well as being the giver of gifts, vs. 8-10.

b.) The purpose of our gifts; building up of the body of Christ, individually and collectively, vs. 12-16.

Now in the second half of Chapter 4, we will note, “The Believer’s Walk in Righteousness; God’s Pattern and Principles for Members of the Church and His Standards for Faithfulness in the Church,” Eph 4:17-32.

This half is broken down into two sections:

  • The Previous Walk of the Old Life, Eph 4:17-19.
  • The Present Walk of the New Life, Eph 4:20-32, that has two points.

a.) The New Man in Christ Jesus, vs. 20-29.

b.) The Believer as indwelt by the Spirit, vs. 30-32.

Having seen in the first half, God’s prescription for “The Practice of Believers,”

  • In Relation to Other Believers, Eph 4:1-6.
  • In Relation to Spiritual Gifts, Eph 4:7-16.

Now we will note the practice of believers:

  • In Relation to the Former Life, Eph 4:17-32.

In addition, as we have seen, our spiritual walk in Christ should be:

  • A walk that is worthy, Eph 4:1-3.
  • A walk that expresses doctrinal unity, Eph 4:4-6.
  • A walk in application of our ministry of gifts, Eph 4:7-16.

Now in the second half we see that our spiritual walk should also be:

  • A walk as a regenerated man, Eph 4:17-29.
  • A walk as indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Eph 4:30-32.

Therefore, we begin the second half of Chapter 4 with the backdrop theme:

The Believer’s Walk in Righteousness

God’s Pattern and Principles for Members of the Church and His Standards for Faithfulness in the Church,
Eph 4:17-32.

Section 1: The Previous Walk of the Old Life, Eph 4:17-19.

Here we will note the practice of believers in relation to the former life, Eph 4:17-32, and that our spiritual walk should be as a regenerated man, Eph 4:17-29.

Vs. 17

Eph 4:17, “This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind.”

It begins in the Greek with a demonstrative Pronoun HOUTOS that means, “this, this one, he, or and at that.” It is translated “this” here to introduce the second half of the Chapter, but more importantly Paul’s conclusion and exhortation now that we have noted all that God has given to us and His desired goals for us in the first half of the Chapter. In other words, because we have received so many great things, “this” is how we should walk going forward.

Then we have the postpositive inferential Conjunction OUN meaning, “therefore, so, consequently or then,” which in English could come first in the sentence, but in the Greek language, it never does. It means that certain conclusions are being drawn from the previous information. It introduces Paul’s conclusion and exhortation as to how we should walk given the tremendous grace God has given to us, by resuming the exhortation of vs. 1-3.

Then we have “I say,” in the Present, Active, Indicative of LEGO to authoritatively introduce Paul’s concluding exhortation. As an apostle to the Church, he was given this authority by God to provide mandates to the Church. But he does not just rest in his laurels, he also invokes the name of the Lord, “and testify in the Lord,” KAI MARTUREO EN KURIOS.

MARTUREO μαρτυρέω means, “bear witness, be a witness, or testify.” It is in the Present, Middle, Indicative, which too adds to the view of Paul’s God given authority and it means that he too is receiving a benefit by this testimony that he is giving. It is a solemn declaration of the nature of an appeal to God. Therefore, this word means to testify, but it means more than that, it means that Paul is intellectually honest. Today we have a rise of liberalism, a rise of reversionism in Christianity. As a result, we find people who are intellectually dishonest. There are those who are afraid to give the true explanation of a passage because it might hurt someone’s feelings and that person will leave and no longer be a member of the congregation. They are more interested in catering to people than they are in doing their job as unto the Lord. Every Pastor-Teacher must testify, and that means every time he stands in the pulpit, he is under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help him God, cf. Gal 4:16. Finally, this word reminds us that we are all a part of the Angelic Conflict and are to be witnesses for the Prosecution, (God), on the witness stand of the appeal trial of Satan and his fallen angels. We could translate this “I myself solemnly testify.”

In the Lord” is the in the Instrumental Dative Case also noting the sphere in which Paul is proclaiming these things, “by means of and in the sphere of the Lord,” which also speaks to the Divine inspiration he has received to be able to communicate the mind or thinking of Jesus Christ. He is identifying himself with Christ and giving the exhortation as one made by Christ Himself, as Christ was the giver of his communication spiritual gift.

So far, we have, “Therefore, this I say (mandate) and I myself testify in the sphere of the Lord.”

Next, we have the concluding mandate, “that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk.”

“That” is added to introduce the inferential concluding mandate. “You” is the personal Pronoun HUMEIS in the Second Person Plural, as he is speaking to every member of the Church. Then we have the Adverb of Negation MEKETI, which we have noted previously for “no longer, no more, or no further.” Here it means to stop doing something we were previously doing. What we are to stop doing is “to walk,” PERIPATEO in the Ingressive Futuristic Present, Active, Infinitive that is a metaphor for a certain type of lifestyle. It means, “to conduct one’s self, or order one’s behavior.” Previously in our chapter, it was used for the Christian way of life, where we learned about living according the Royal Family Honor Code in our Christian conduct. Here it is used for an ongoing lifestyle the believer in Jesus Christ is no longer to be living now, and on into the future. It means to get off that old road you have been walking on and get on to the new road of the super-grace life. It is doubly emphasized with KATHOS that means, “as, just as, to the degree that, or according as,” and KAI, “and, even, or also.” The lifestyle we are doubly not to be living is demonstrated in HO ETHNOS in the Plural for, “the Gentiles.” “Gentiles” is used several ways in scripture. In Ephesians Paul previously used it to point out that he was sent to preach God’s Word to the “non-Jews,” i.e., “the Gentiles,” and that Gentiles, when they become believers in Jesus Christ, are fellow heirs with the Jews, Eph 2:11; 3:1, 6, 8. However, sometimes it is used more harshly, as in our passage, which does not just identify an ethnic group, but instead is used to deride some as unbelievers, pagans, or heathens. Remember, the book of Ephesians is written predominately to Gentile peoples who used to have all kinds of sins, false gods, and pagan worship in their lives, and some had no religion at all. This was their “former manner of life,” Eph 4:22. As such, in our passage, Paul is calling out the pagan or even heathen lifestyle the Gentiles, “are walking,” in, which is the Customary Present, Active, Indicative of PERIPETATEO once again, to reflect the current and ongoing lifestyle of the pagan Gentiles. He is saying that these believers once lived as unbelievers, and to stop living that way going forward.

As you know, unbelievers only truly live one lifestyle, and that is one led by their Old Sin Natures, (OSN), as they function and reside inside of Satan’s cosmic system. Therefore, Paul uses the term “Gentile” here in contrast to the Christian way of life. The rest of this chapter is devoted to giving us examples or details of what the contrasting pagan lifestyle is like so that we would not live like that. In fact, we are to do the opposite of these things in order to live the Christian way of life.

We translate this portion, “that you absolutely no longer walk as the Gentiles walk,” or “that you no longer walk just as also the Gentiles walk.”

The first detail of the negative type of “walk,” unbelieving lifestyle, is also the overarching concept of doing any of the following sinful things noted in the rest of this chapter under, “in the futility of their mind,” EN MATAIOTES HO NOUS AUTOS. MATAIOTES, ματαιότης in the Dative of Sphere means, “vanity, futility, worthlessness, or depravity.” It is used here and in Rom 8:20; 2 Peter 2:18.

Rom 8:20, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope.” (A reference to sin coming into the world because of Satan.)

2 Peter 2:18, “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error.” (A reference to the KUBIEA; false teachers of false doctrines; teachers and doctrines of Demons, cf. Titus 3:9.)

The general sense of MATAIOTES indicates a lack of or attainment of true purpose, pertaining to being useless on the basis of being futile and lacking in content. It comes from MATAIOS, “folly or fault,” cf. James 1:26; 1 Cor 3:20, and MATIA, “vain effort,” and can mean “deceptive, fictitious, or groundless.”  MATAIOTES can also mean “in vain, ineffectual, purposeless, or pointless.”

James 1:26, “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.”

1 Cor 3:20, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.” Cf. Psa 94:11.

It implies a particular set of values, a false religious or moral standard, a norm by which the truth is measured, as Paul does in the rest of our Chapter. When something is MATAIOTES, then,it is by implication something contrary to the norm of truth, unexpected, and something that ought not to be. In addition, it refers to something that is worthless due to its deceptive or ineffectual quality. That is what the following description of the “Gentile lifestyle” is to the believer and the Christian way of life. Paul earlier warned them of this in Acts 14:15.

It is used in the LXX in Ecclesiastes for the Hebrew HEVEL that means, “breath, vanity, worthlessness, nothingness, or even an idol.” In Ecclesiastes, Solomon is keenly aware of the futility and vanity of the human life and thought that ignores God and His Word. A tone of lamenting tragedy for the vanity of everything runs through the book as he begins and ends the book lamenting the vanity or nothingness of human life without God and His Word.

Eccl 1:1-2, “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity”.”

Eccl 12:8, “”Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity!”

In contrast, he noted the importance of Bible doctrine for the fulfillment of the soul and life.

Eccl 12:11-14, “The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. 12But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. 13The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

Therefore, in our verse it is used for the perverseness or depravity of mind, NOUS, νοῦς that means, “attitude, intellect, mind, thought, or understanding.” We call it the left lobe of our soul, which affects your way of life. NOUS is not merely the intellectual faculty or understanding, but also the staging area of the soul that provides the faculty for recognizing good and evil, spiritual truth or the lie. So here, MATAIOTES of the mind, (vanity, worthlessness), is a characteristic of those who are alienated from the life of God because they have no understanding of Him in their NOUS nor in their KARDIA, “heart,” the right lobe of the soul. Rom 1:18-32, also describes this type. Expositors says: “It is a description of the walk of the heathen world generally—a walk moving within the limits of intellectual and moral resultlessness, given over to things devoid of worth or reality.” (Expositors Commentary.) That is why Paul exhorts believers to live no longer as those marked by such vanity and instead live with “Christ being at home in your heart,” putting on the Christ-like nature, and living the Christian way of life.

Paul urges the Gentiles not to fall back into their old self-indulgent habits. In other words, religion, legalism, liberalism, and false doctrines and other concepts have infiltrated the souls of these reversionistic believers. They have taken on the same thought pattern of the unbelievers in their decadent society. Such permissive behavior springs from an aimless attitude to life that cuts the nerve of moral endeavor.

In addition, there is a long-standing debate about what happens to the fallen, sinful nature / OSN, of a person who becomes a Christian. For example, some individuals think it is completely eradicated at conversion. Others take a “group encounter” approach in which through a “self-discovery” or “catharsis” method they attempt to bring the sinful nature under control. The Bible clearly expresses the fact that God does not remove the OSN at salvation, but its power is broken so that the believer is no longer governed by it, though he still must grapple with it daily. Instead of removing the Adamic nature when a person becomes a believer, God places a new nature within the person, plus the indwelling Holy Spirit, Rom 8:9; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15. In fact, Rom 7, Gal 2:20; 5:13-26; Col 3:1-17, as well as many other passages, describe the constant internal warfare within the Christian between the “new nature of Christ” and the Adamic nature. Eph 4:17-32 is one of these passages.

Therefore, Paul approached the matter by first explaining the negative aspect of the process and further showing how God broke the power of the sinful nature at the person’s conversion. He first encouraged the Gentile believers not to live as they had before their conversion to Christ. They formerly lived “in the vanity of their mind,” the way pagans were living. They had lived in the sphere of the emptiness of their minds, denoting an ignorance of Divine things, a lack of knowledge that involved moral blindness. Then, he is going to explain the principle of reversionism as a frustration to spiritual growth and the attainment of the super-grace life. That leads us to an understanding of the Doctrine of Reversionism.

The Doctrine of Reversionism

1.) Definition.

  • Reversionism is the status quo of the believer in phase two who is consistently negative toward Bible doctrine. It is the decline from any of the stages of spiritual growth, even supergrace, to a state of living under the control of the Old Sin Nature, (OSN) once again. It is characterized by negative volition to doctrine, being influenced by evil, and results in perpetual carnality causing a life of perpetual discipline. In the believer, it is analogous to apostasy and synonymous to the term “backsliding.”
  • Reversionism is distinguished from carnality. Carnality simply means living under sin. The carnal believer is temporarily out of fellowship with God due to sinning in some way. This temporary state is frequently corrected in their life through the application of the confession of their sin(s) to God the Father, (i.e., Rebound), in application of 1 John 1:9. When they do, they are no longer living in carnality, (i.e., under the control of the Old Sin Nature), and regain fellowship with God. Yet, a reversionistic believer is one who is constantly living in sin and is negative toward the intake and application of Bible doctrine.
  • Because the reversionistic believer is not inclined to Rebound and instead live under sin, he is out of fellowship with God. As a result, he falls under the three stages of Divine discipline and moves ever closer to the third stage of Divine discipline called the “Sin Unto Death,” 1 Cor 12:28-32; cf. 1 John 5:16.
  • Therefore, reversionism is an act of reversing or turning in the opposite way, or a state of being so turned. As believers, we were designed to execute the Plan of God, but in reversionism, we turn the other way and cannot be distinguished from our pre-salvation status. Being in such a state, it is maximum control of the Old Sin Nature over the life of the believer so that the believer functions under the dictates of the sin nature exactly as he did as an unbeliever. As a result, they are believers thinking in terms of human viewpoint and in the process, they revert to a former state, habits, beliefs, or practices of pre-salvation sinning. They reverse their priorities, attitudes, affections, and personality. Inside the cosmic system, you completely change your personality.
  • Finally, reversionism is lack of spiritual growth, failure to attain the three stages of spiritual adulthood, (Spiritual Self-Esteem, Spiritual Autonomy, and Spiritual Maturity), and failure to live the super-grace life, which otherwise is God’s plan and desire for our lives.
  • There is also reversionism for the unbeliever, described in 2 Peter 2:17-22, in which the unbeliever departs from the laws of Divine establishment to a condition of total apostasy and liberalism. The mechanics of this reversionism include rejection of the gospel, which opens the floodgates for satanic propaganda in the soul, i.e., the dog returning to his vomit.
  • Biblical nomenclature for reversionism.

Jer 9:25-26, “Uncircumcised of heart.”

John 15:23, “He who hates me, (Jesus Christ), also hates my Father.”

Gal 5:4, “Fallen from (drifting off course from) grace.”

Phil 3:18, “The enemy of the Cross.”

1 Tim 1:19, “Shipwrecked.”

2 Tim 2:26, “They have entered the Devil’s trap.”

Heb 12:15, “Come short of (falling from) grace,” means total malfunction of any grace mode of operation, and total ignorance of the grace policy of God and His Plan.

1 Peter 5:8, “Your adversary, the Devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” “Devouring” is accomplished when you change your priorities by reverse process reversionism.

2 Peter 2:7-8, “The tortured soul.”

2 Peter 2:14, “The unstable soul.”

Rev 2:4, “Left your first love.”

Rev 2:5, “Fallen.”

Rev 3:15-16, “Lukewarm.”

  • The Profile of the reversionist is found in Psa 7:14-16.

2.) Eight stages of reversionism that the apostate believer falls into.

  • Reversionism in the Christians life is first motivated by “reactor factors”. Therefore, the first stage in reversionism is the “Reaction Stage.”

The reaction stage means that there are things in your soul that lead you to have an initial negative volition towards God. That initial negative volition towards God intensifies and leads to negative volition toward His Word that causes you to neglect it. Neglect of Bible doctrine, indifference, or sporadic interest followed by indifference to the Word of God results in even more reactor factors in the soul. These reactor factors include discouragement, boredom, disillusion, self-pity, failure to handle loneliness, and various frustrations. All of these are basic reactor factors in the life. You think in terms of one or more of these things and your thought pattern is one of frustration, and from frustration comes mental attitude sins. To solve the frustration, rather than turning to God, you turn to other things to satisfy yourself. This leads to also reacting negatively towards Bible doctrine and the one who teaches Bible doctrine. Cf. Rom 12:2-3; 1 Tim 6:3-4.

Others reaction factors include disasters of one type or another, adverse circumstances, being jilted, etc., where you are not able to cope. The presence of reactor factors in your life combined with difficulties in your life, combined with indifference or lack of exposure to Bible teaching, causes the reactor factors to have a negative influence over your life. Reaction that sets lead to the second stage of reversionism.

  • The second stage is the “Frantic Search for Happiness.” This is reaction to the reactor factors. The frantic search for happiness follows the pattern of the Old Sin Nature’s (OSN) trends, where you seek out pleasures and happiness in the world to overcome the frustrations in your soul, 2 Tim 3:4-5; Heb 13:5. The OSN has a trend toward lasciviousness and a trend toward asceticism. In both cases, a lustful pattern urges them towards these trends in the pursuit of happiness, which is a false and fleeting form of happiness. The reaction factors will take them in one or the other of these trends.

a.) If the trend is toward asceticism, your lust pattern is toward approbation, (the praise and approval of others), then you become a holy roller and enter into religion and legalism as a counterfeit to the Christian way of life. Religion and legalism are one type of the frantic search for happiness as you try to win your way into heaven, win God’s approval of you and subsequent blessing, or win the affection of others. Unfortunately, the person involved is a reversionist, but often construed by other ascetic reversionists as being a great believer. This person is looking for the praise and approval of others in an attempt to overcome their unhappiness. They have accepted a substitute for true Bible doctrine and they are trying to compensate for the reactor factors in their life,

b.) The other type is the person with the trend toward lasciviousness, (i.e., immorality, lustfulness, wanton, lewd, etc.), where your lust pattern is towards antinomianism, (without law), in which a person goes out into debauchery, seduction, mischief making, etc., looking to gain happiness from stimulation and exhilaration. This is a little more obvious but no different in degree from the other frantic search for happiness. They are looking to gain happiness through drugs, alcohol, sex, criminal activity, and other types of immorality.

In both searches for happiness, they are looking to replace the true happiness that comes from God and His Word in their soul with the things of this world, cf. Phil 4:11-13; 1 Tim 6:6-12. The frantic search for happiness immediately leads to a third stage of reversionism.

  • The third stage is the intensification of reversionism, the intensification of the reactor factors. When this happens, there is a greater frustration than previously and it results in “Operation Boomerang” in which the frantic search intensifies the original reactor factors. As the reversionistic believer searches to gain happiness in their life, other than through God and His Word, they soon find the happiness from asceticism and lasciviousness brings no happiness or a fleeting one at best, Heb 11:25.

Heb 11:25, “Choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.”

This frustrates them further and instead of turning to God, they react and chase after the things of this world and Satan’s cosmic system more intently, leading to frantic behavior in order to obtain happiness. As a result, those “other things,” easily become an addiction in their life, not just chemically but mentally. When the frantic search for happiness boomerangs, frustration becomes greater frustration, misery becomes greater misery, and unhappiness becomes intensified unhappiness. Every search for happiness makes happiness more elusive. Therefore, the believer is bored, disillusioned, frustrated, and miserable. Pleasure, social and sexual distractions, and drug addiction only intensifies his problem in life. The same intensification of problems occurs with the distractions of the morally degenerate believer. All these only remove the believer farther away from true happiness. Operation boomerang gone unchecked leads to the fourth stage of reversionism.

  • The fourth stage is “Emotional Revolt of the Soul.” The emotion of the soul is designed to respond to the right lobe of your soul, the heart. The right lobe is where you do your thinking. It has a frame of reference, a memory center, vocabulary, categories, norms and standards, and a launching pad. Emotion was designed to respond, it is the right woman of the soul. The heart is the right man of the soul.

The emotion is designed to respond to the right lobe or the heart that is filled with Bible doctrine, but when the frantic search for happiness boomerangs and still there is no true happiness, the emotion starts a revolt in the soul, which further frustrates and confuses the reversionist. This fourth stage is the stage of confusion. Instead of turning to God and His Word, the soul revolts against it. Once there is a revolt, all of the compartments of the right lobe begin to shut down destroying the function of doctrine in that area. As a result, their life is now run by their emotions and they are always trying to satisfy their emotions with their actions or material things. At the same time, they are hypersensitive about themselves and people’s interactions with them, either positive or negative, which leads to having a life on an emotional rollercoaster, cf. Rom 16:17-18; 2 Cor 6:11-12. This leads to the fifth stage of reversionism.

  • The fifth stage is “Permanent Negative Volition Toward Doctrine” that becomes very pronounced. Because of the reactor factors, the frantic search for happiness, the intensification of these things in operation boomerang, and the emotional revolt of the soul, negative volition is now characterized by several things:

a.) Indifference or apathy to Bible teaching.

b.) Being so occupied with the things of life that there is no time for Bible teaching.

c.) Antagonism or personality hang-ups regarding the Bible teaching and/or the Pastor-Teacher.

d.) Antagonism or conflict with others in the congregation.

e.) Failure to utilize the Rebound technique, and under lack of the filling of the Spirit permitting reactor factors in the life, or in permitting their intensity.

f.) Inability to handle prosperity; spiritual, temporal and blessing by association. There is often in the life some type of prosperity, sometimes a blessing from God, sometimes something else. There is an inability to handle that prosperity and therefore a decline in the intake of the Word of God.

g.) The early patterns of reversionism, (i.e., reaction, frantic search for happiness, emotional revolt of the soul), are permitted to continue by the volition of the soul. In other words, you can do what you want to do and it does not matter.

Therefore, intensified negative volition at this point becomes a factor that leads to other factors.

  • The sixth stage is found in our verse, Eph 4:17-18. This is an attack on the left lobe or the NOUS. It is called “The Blackout of the Soul,” which is an attack upon the left lobe, NOUS – mind, only. It leads to an attack upon the right lobe, KARDIA – heart, which is “scar tissue on the soul,” Eph 4:19, but the blackout is an attack upon the mind or the NOUS. Blackout of the Soul is the result of negative volition toward God’s Word that produces an emptiness or void in your soul, called in the Greek MATAIOTES. The Apostle John describes Blackout of the Soul in, John 12:35; 1 John 1:6; 2:11. When there is a void, a vacuum occurs that sucks in other things from Satan’s cosmic system including doctrines of demons, 1 Tim 4:1, false doctrines, world and human viewpoint, 2 Cor 4:3. This vacuum is the source of setting up all the false viewpoints of life. It is known as demon influence in contrast to demon possession. (Remember the believer cannot be possessed by a demon, but he can be influenced by them.) When you get all of these false doctrines, false concepts, into the staging area of your brain called the mind, NOUS, they immediately move over to the right lobe/heart, KARDIA, and therefore the Blackout of the Soul becomes a general thing. So blackout means being devoid of Bible doctrine in your mind or NOUS and instead filled with false doctrines, concepts, world and human viewpoint. Because you are not taking in any Bible doctrine, your thoughts are being filled and overwhelmed with the garbage of Satan’s cosmic system. This leads to the seventh stage of reversionism.
  • The seventh stage is “Scar Tissue of the Soul.” Just as Blackout of the Soul attacks the left lobe, scar tissue attacks the right lobe. As noted above, various compartments make up the heart for you to store and apply God’s Word. When there is no doctrine coming into your soul through the left lobe, the NOUS, the other garbage comes in and fills up the various compartments of the right lobe or heart. As a result, there is a destroying of the true norms and standards of the Word of God in your soul. Vocabulary and categories change and human viewpoint is on the launching pad rather than God’s Word, making personal applications resulting in subjectivity, hypersensitivity and emotionalism the rule of the day, Eph 4:18. Because of making overt applications of cosmic viewpoint rather than Divine viewpoint, you become a casualty in the intensified stage of the Angelic Conflict, become a loser believer and cause yourself many problems and difficulties in life. The Scripture calls Scar Tissue of the Soul “hardness of heart, hardening of the neck, or hardening of the face.”

a.) “Hardening the heart” is found in John 14:20; Rom 2:5.

b.) “Hardening the neck” is found in Neh 9:16-17. This is insubordinate to the point of revolt. It is failure to be authority oriented in spiritual things, Jer 7:25-27.

c.) “Hardening the face” is found in Prov 21:29-31.

Scar tissue of the soul is the status of cosmic involvement, and therefore a violation of 1 John 2:15.

Therefore, scar tissue is the result of the Blackout of the Soul in which the believer adopts satanic worldly viewpoint about everything in life, to their determent. This leads to the eighth stage of reversionism.

  • The eighth and last stage is “Reverse Process Reversionism,” in contrast to super-grace being the final stage of spiritual growth. This final stage of reversionism is the exact antithesis of super-grace in which the believer loves and desires the opposite of what the Bible commands. It is a reversal of the objects of true love for the believer. The object of true love is the Lord Jesus Christ. We were designed to love Jesus Christ who is the King of kings. We are members of His Royal Family. Therefore, we replace the love of Jesus Christ with something else and this becomes the reversal. Interest in Bible doctrine is now replaced by other things to the neglect of doctrine. Interest in other things is legitimate provided you are on the road to super-grace, but these things replace doctrine as interests in your life. Reverse process reversionism is the area in which the believer dies the Sin Unto Death.

The believer in this stage is described in several ways.

a.) The enemy of God, James 4:4.

b.) The enemy of the Cross, Phil 3:18.

c.) A hater of God, John 15:23.

d.) Spiritual schizophrenia, “double-minded,” James 4:8.

e.) Anti or against Christ, 1 John 2:18, 22, 4:3; 2 John 7.

f.) Disciple of the Devil, 1 John 3:8, 10.

In any and all stages, the reversionist cannot be distinguished from the unbeliever in mental attitude, their way of life, motivation, and their method of operation. The reversionistic believer is under demon influence where the soul is infiltrated by false doctrine, called the “doctrine of demons.” This comes through the vacuum of the mind. Reversionism is a simple means of explaining that there are degrees of failure in the Christian life, just as there are degrees of success.

Vs. 18

Here we have a description of the results of having MATAIOTES, a soul devoid of God’s Word. In this verse, we are given two results, along with two more reasons, why some are devoid of God Word.

Eph 4:18, “Being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.”

  • The first result of MATIOTES is “Being darkened in their understanding.”

Being,” comes after the first phrase and should not be translated here.

“Darkened” is the Verb SKOTOO, σκοτόω that means “to darken or obscurity,” in the Perfect, Passive, Participle, Nominative Plural. It is used here and in Rev 9:2; 16:10. In classical Greek, it also means, “blind or stupefy,” that means to make somebody unable to think clearly because of boredom, laziness, tiredness, etc. The KJV, using the Textus Receptus as a basis, uses the Hellenistic verb SKOTIZO that also means, “to be darkened, or to be blinded.” The Complete Biblical Library notes, “It is used in a figurative sense to describe the mental and spiritual incapacity of perverse people to understand Divine truth, (Romans 1:21; 11:10; Ephesians 4:18). This obtuseness is caused by a deliberate rejection of the truth in favor of an earthly system characterized by immorality and deception. The result is that the ability to discern between truth and error, or good and evil, is lost. People in that condition are not merely in darkness; they are darkness.”(Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary).

Remember that there is no such thing as “darkness.” It is actually the absence of light. So “being darkened” means they do not have the light of Jesus Christ in their soul, cf. 1 John 1:5-8.

1 John 1:5-8, “And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

The Intensive Perfect Tense is for completed past action with emphasis on the present state. Because of their rejection of God and His Word in the past, they have entered into reversionism in the past with the result that they have no comprehension of God and His Word in the present.

The Passive Voice says, they receive the action of being without understanding of the things of God due to their previous rejection of His Word and the resultant hardening of their hearts. Due to their own past action of rejection of God and His Word, it resulted in ignorance, losing all sensitivity to the spiritual life, and becoming addicted to sensuality and every kind of impurity, vs. 19, as they are led by their emotions rather than their intellect by means of Bible Doctrine.

“Having become Darkened” is linked with “in their understanding,” which is the Dative of HO DIANOIA, διάνοια that means, “mind, understanding, intellect, feelings, or disposition.”  This is the action of “thinking” of the NOUS, the mind. The NT associates it with the internal ability of man to express thoughts, desires, and feelings. It is used here in reference to the mind, NOUS, as the seat of understanding, having discernment, and thinking. Combined with “having become darkened” it means the mentality of their soul is devoid of the mind of Jesus Christ with the result that the light of Jesus Christ is nonexistent mentally or spiritually in their life. This is what we call “black out of the soul” that also leads to “scar tissue,” or “callous” of the soul, as we will see below.

Therefore, “having become darkened in their thinking,” describes the result of MATAIOTES; the opening of the vacuum in your soul that sucks in false doctrines and information where you become devoid of God’s Word in your soul. It means that they have darkness or evil in their thinking, which is the opposite of light and righteousness. There is no objective type thinking, there are no objective type opinions, and there is no dogmatic understanding and reality of God’s Word in the left lobe, NOUS, of the soul. Therefore, they instead have subjectivity, hypersensitivity, guilt reaction to hypersensitivity, and indifference to others. Instead they go all out for those of the world who are messed up and confused people, living inside of Satan’s Cosmic system. This leads us to understand the “Blackout of the Soul,” which I last taught in 2013, when we were in the book of Proverbs.

The Doctrine of the Blackout of the Soul.

  • Blackout of the soul is the inevitable result of Emotional Revolt of the Soul and locked in negative volition to Bible doctrine. It begins with the creation of a vacuum, MATAIOTES, in the stream of consciousness of the left lobe of the soul. This vacuum creates a system of suction that attracts into the soul the emotional and arrogance complex of sins. The Blackout of the Soul immobilizes previously metabolized Bible doctrine and is the status of the believer with negative volition to Bible doctrine, which results in his involvement with sin and the cosmic system. Therefore, it is the status of the believer who has had negative volition toward Bible doctrine over a prolong period of time, as a results of his involvement with Satan’s cosmic system, Mat 6:22-24; 1 Tim 4:1-2.

1 Tim 4:1-2, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times (Church Age) some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars (false teachers of false doctrines) seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.”

  • Blackout of the Soul is a result and consequence of loving Satan’s cosmic system, 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

It is the result of negative volition towards the Word of God due to the arrogance complex of sins that leads to negative volition in the form of antagonism toward God’s Word. This believer is preoccupied with self and has a predilection for erroneous human thinking, which conflicts, with Bible doctrine. Therefore, the Blackout of the Soul is that state of reversionism in which the mentality of the soul is directly influenced by Satan and doctrine of demons, plus everything that is anti-God and anti-establishment. It is the direct result of persistent negative volition toward doctrine regardless of how that negative volition is expressed.

  • When these things occur, the believer cuts himself off from truth and eventually forgets any truth he has learned in the past. Blackout of the Soul immobilizes previously metabolized Bible doctrine. Rejection of the content of Bible doctrine is usually the secondary result of negative volition; the primary reason is preoccupation with self or others.
  • Mechanics of the Blackout of the Soul is the result of all previous 5 stages of reversionism. as noted above. It is directly related to the opening of MATAITOTES, the vacuum in the left lobe. It results first from the “Reactor Factors” in the life, discouragement, boredom, disillusion, overcome with self-pity, unable to handle loneliness, frustration, plus the mental attitude sins of bitterness, jealousy, vindictiveness, etc. These result in a “Frantic Search for Happiness,” which in turn causes “Emotional Revolt of the Soul,” which in turn emphasizes more “Negative Volition”, which is apathy or indifference to Bible doctrine that takes second or last place in your life. Negative volition is followed by the opening of a vacuum that attacks the NOUS or the left lobe, and as false doctrine and false principles move through this vacuum, the general condition is the Blackout of the Soul. The Blackout of the Soul, then, mechanically is a combination of Reactor Factors, Frantic Search for Happiness, Emotional Revolt, and Permanent Negative Volition toward Bible doctrine, 1 Tim 4:1-2. In addition, the mechanics of Blackout of the Soul includes, “Grieving the Holy Spirit,” Eph 4:30, and/or “Quenching the Holy Spirit,” 1 Thes 5:19.
  • Blackout of the Soul in the stream of consciousness is described four ways.

a.) “Darkened in their way of thinking,” Eph 4:17-18. Here we see Blackout of the Soul being the result of the “hardening of their heart.” This is prolonged negative volition in the soul, building up scar tissue that leads to black out of the soul.

b.) “Walking in darkness,” 1 John 2:11.

c.) “The darkness has blinded his eyes,” 1 John 2:11.

d.) “He who walks in darkness does not know where he is going,” John 12:35.

As you know, Satan’s kingdom is one of darkness, Eph 5:11, 6:12; Col 1:13, and since the cosmic system is called a “domain of darkness,” those believers who reside and function in it are said to, “walk in darkness,” this is the basis for the term “Blackout of the Soul,” 1 John 1:6; 2:11.

John 12:35, “Walk while you have the light that darkness may not overtake you. He who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.”

“Walking in darkness” also means this believer is full of human viewpoint, false teaching, and erroneous ideas called “doctrines of darkness,” because Satan’s kingdom is a kingdom of darkness.

Col 1:13, “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”

The result is darkness in the soul.

2 Peter 1:9, “For he who lacks these qualities, (virtues of AGAPE love), is blind or short-sighted, (Blackout of the Soul), having forgotten that he has been purified / cleansed from his former sins.”

In addition, in Luke 6:39-45, Blackout of the Soul is seen as being constantly critical of others. All believers in Blackout of the Soul are hypocritical of others and therefore hypocrites.

  • In 2 Cor 3:14; 4:4; 11:3 the Greek word NOEMA is used in regard to the corrupt thinking of reversionism that leads to the Blackout of the Soul and thus darkness in their thinking. It is used only by Paul in the NT for:

a.) The minds of Jews that are hardened by unbelief, 2 Cor 3:14.

b.) The minds of the lost that are blinded by Satan, 2 Cor 4:4.

c.)  The minds of Christians that may be “corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ,” 2 Cor 11:3.

d.) The thoughts of Christians that should be brought into the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor 10:5.

e.) The “devices,” schemes or plots of Satan by which he takes advantage of people, 2 Cor 2:11.

  • This type of thinking spreads throughout the soul, leading to Blackout of the Soul. Coexistent with it, is an attack on the right lobe, the heart, (KARDIA), and this attack is called “hardness of heart” or “callous” / “scar tissue” of the soul. When Blackout of the Soul hits the heart, it becomes scar tissue or hardness of the heart. As a result of involvement with the cosmic system, scar tissue builds up on the right lobe of the soul replacing the doctrine that was once there, Eph 4:17-19.
  • There is another noun for irrational foolish thinking in the Blackout of the Soul, ANOETOS, an Adjective that means, “foolishness or senseless,” in Luke 24:25; Gal 3:1, 3; 1 Tim 6:9; Titus 3:3. The word indicates the type of thinking the believer has at the point of Blackout of the Soul.
  • The result of Blackout of the Soul is twofold.

a.) First, a continuation of reversionism through the practice of reverse process reversionism, 2 Cor 11.

b.) Second, Divine discipline that can lead to maximum Divine discipline called, “The Sin Unto Death,” James 5; 1 Cor 11:30; 1 John 5:16.

  • The solution to the Blackout of the Soul is found in another noun METANOIA that comes from the verb, METANOEO. They are translated “Repentance and repent,” and mean a change of mind. Actually, they are a combination of change of attitude toward Bible doctrine resulting in the intake of doctrine and getting back under the Word. Heb 6; Eph 3:16-21. Technically, then, Blackout of the Soul, while it applies to the left lobe, has an effect upon the right lobe, KARDIA, and the solution is the reversion recovery concept of Rebound and recovery, 1 John 1:9, i.e., repentance. Blackout of the soul demands that if we are to recover the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, it is necessary for us to understand Rebound as the Problem-Solving device for Blackout of the Soul, 1 John 1:6-9.

Summary

  • False doctrine, false standards, false criteria, flow from the left lobe or mentality of the soul.
  • The result of flooding the soul with these things is subjectivity, pseudo-sensitivity, hypersensitivity, frustration, unhappiness, etc., and it affects the right lobe with scar tissue or hardness of heart.
  • The Frantic Search for Happiness continues with slavery to the details of life becoming more pronounced.
  • The way of life is a state of apostasy, which combines with scar tissue to produce pathological, neurotic, or psychotic thought, which eventuates in behavior patterns reflecting these things.
  • These things become more pronounced through the various stages of discipline to the reversionist, such as the warning stage, the intensification stage, and they reach their culmination in the sin unto death.
  • The solution to Blackout of the Soul is to change your way of thinking called, “repentance,” from cosmic viewpoint to Divine viewpoint, which begins with Rebounding, 1 John 1:9, and then recovery to take in God’s Word and walk in the light of Jesus Christ once again.

Eph 5:8, “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.”

2 Cor 4:6, “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

1 Peter 2:9, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Rom 13:12, “The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Eph 5:13, “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”

1 John 2:10, “The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.”

1 Thes 5:5, “For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness.”

Col 1:12, “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”

  • The second result of MATAIOTES is that they are “Excluded from the life of God.”

If you have Blackout of the Soul, if your thoughts are darkness rather than light, then the result becomes quite obvious, you have a further damaging result of MATAIOTES, which is “excluded from the life of God,” EIMI APALLOTRIOO HO ZOE HO THEOS, which is “being alienated from the life of God.”

EIMI is used here in the Stative Present, Active, Participle, that should be translated “being” at this point and not at the beginning of this verse. It means the state that the reversionistic believer is in, which is now a continual intensified ongoing action. It tells us that these “Gentiles” or better, unbelievers are performing the action of the verb due to the past and now present rejection of God and His Word in their life.

Because of their negative volition toward God, His Word, and the gospel of Jesus Christ, they are in this state of being, “excluded from,” which is the Verb APALLOTRIOO, ἀπαλλοτριόω that means, “to estrange or alienate.” It is used here and in Eph 2:12; Col 1:21, as Paul reminds these believers of the former life they had separated from Christ, which is the type of lifestyle all unbelievers live, as well as reversionistic believers. In Scripture, we see APALLATRIOO used in three ways, 1) Of being estranged from the citizenship of Israel; 2) Estrangement from life in God; and 3) Estrangement from God Himself, having become His enemy.

In our passage, this word is used to compare the life that the reversionistic believer has with God, with that of the unbeliever, who does not have a relationship with Him at all. In contrast, the positive believer who is going forward in the plan of God does have a life with God. Therefore, we could say that this is the “Get a Life” warning passage.

APALLOTRIOO is used here, like “darkened” above, in the Perfect, Passive, Participle, Nominative, Plural. The Intensive Perfect tense emphasizes the results or present state produced by their past actions of rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ, God, and His Word. Therefore, because of the past action of negative volition towards God’s Word, they are presently in a state of being estranged or alienated from a relationship with God.
The Passive voice says that they receive this alienation due to their negative volition. So, just as the unbeliever experiences this alienation from a relationship with God, so too does the believer who is in reversionism. Even though positionally the believer has been entered into the Royal Family of God, due to his negative volition he does not experience or walk in it. The Nominative Participle emphasizes the experiential state the reversionistic believer is in.

The estrangement here is “from the life of God,” HO ZOE HO THEOS. As an unbeliever, we are led purely by our Old Sin Natures, (OSN), and had no relationship with God experientially; we had no life with God. We were excluded from that life. But now, because of Christ’s sacrifice, peace has been rendered between God and man, and now man can have a life or relationship with God through faith in the Cross of Jesus Christ. Thus, alienation has been replaced by peace initiated by God who, “came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near,Eph 2:17. This peace means the believer has a life or relationship with God both positionally and experientially.

The warning here is that the believer can lose the experiential side of the equation, if he falls into reversionism with the result of MATAIOTIES, “black out of the soul.” Therefore, in reversionism, the believer has no life or experiential relationship with God, just as the unbeliever has no life or relationship with Him positionally or experientially. Because there is no Bible Doctrine in the soul of the reversionistic believer, they cannot have an experiential relationship with Him, because they do not know nor understand Him.

R.B. Thieme Jr. noted, “This means that all the time that you are a member of the Royal Family, all of the time that you have eternal life, all of the time that God is tapping His foot waiting to provide supergrace blessings, you have estranged yourself from the life of God provided for you on earth. The life of God is Bible doctrine. The life of God is everything worthwhile related to doctrine. The life of God is the ECS and the entrance into the supergrace life. The believer in reversionism is totally estranged from that.”

Col 1:21, “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds.”

A life alienated from God is reflected by living a life of sin rather than a life of holiness and righteousness through application of Bible doctrine in your soul. Therefore, the “estrangement from the life of God,” is the result of the OSN that leads the unbeliever in rebellion and alienation to God, as well as the believer. Even though Christ has made and brought peace, Eph 2:17, unbelievers have rejected that peace and remain estranged to Him positionally and experientially. Likewise, reversionistic believers live experientially this way, having no relationship or power in the spiritual life because they have no Bible doctrine in their soul, i.e., “Blackout of the Soul.”

Next, we have two further reasons or factors for having MATAIOTES, which are primary and secondary causes of reversionism that result in having no doctrine in the left lobe of the soul, “Blackout of the Soul,” making it impossible to experience the true spiritual life that only comes from God.

  1. The first reason for having MATAIOTES and a primary cause of reversionism is, “because of the ignorance that is in them.”

Here the primary cause is noted using the Causal Preposition DIA with the Accusative that means, “because of, on account of, or for the sake of, though, by, etc.” Then we have HO AGNOIA, ἄγνοια that means, “ignorance or lack of knowledge,” used also in Acts 3:17; 17:30; 1 Peter 1:14. It is the Greek negative Prefix “A” with a cognate of GNOSIS, “knowledge,” so it means without knowledge or being ignorant. Remember that ignorance can be due to a lack of knowing or understanding something, or a willful choice to reject or ignore something. In the latter sense, it is tantamount to disobedience. Here, it emphasizes a little of both. These unbelievers have willfully ignored the Gospel of Jesus Christ that results in a lack of knowledge and understanding of His Word, because they are unable to comprehend it. As a result, they live their lives under the control of the OSN, not knowing how to live righteously unto God.

By way of comparison to believers, the believer has come to know Christ and His Word, but is willfully rejecting its application. Because of their reversionism, Blackout of the Soul sets in and Bible Doctrine is no longer circulating through their souls, which leads to further and further disobedience to God and His Word. Therefore, “ignorance” is a condition apart from Christ and His Word, and it characterizes someone’s past life in sin and disobedience.

1 Peter 1:14, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance.”

This ignorance is HO EIMI EN AUTOS, translated “that is in them,” in the Customary Present Tense and Active Voice of EIMI that means this is habitually going on inside the soul of the unbeliever and reversionistic believer. They willfully have a lack of knowledge or understanding of God and His Word in the mentality of their soul and therefore, are unable to apply it to their lives resulting in disobedience to God and further reversionism.

  • The second reason for having MATAIOTES and a secondary cause of reversionism is, “because of the hardness of their heart.”

Here we have the Causal Preposition DIA, “because of,” once again, which introduces the secondary cause of reversionism and the Blackout of the Soul, which at the same time is the result of reversionism and Blackout of the Soul. So, we see the negative cyclical effect of reversionism.

With this, we have the Accusative of the Article HO and the Noun POROSIS πώρωσις that means, “callousness, dullness, stubbornness, or lack of feeling.” In classical Greek it was used to indicate both a literal and a metaphoric understanding related to the verb POROO, which means, “to cause a stone to form,” e.g., a kidney stone, or “to petrify, harden.” Metaphorically the verb means, “to harden (one’s senses), or to make callous.” As you may know, a callus is either hardened skin tissue or a mass of fibrous tissue, calcium, cartilage, and bone that forms progressively during the healing of a bone fracture that can be called, “scar tissue.”

POROSIS appears three times in the NT, and in each case a metaphoric sense of the word is present regarding the hardening of the heart or scar tissue on the soul, Mark 3:5; Rom 11:25; and our verse. Paul described the alienation from God of both Jews and Gentiles in terms of their “hardness,” i.e., their “stubbornness,” because they were unwilling to give up their ungodly ways or to acknowledge God’s Messiah; Jesus Christ.

From the verb POROO that also means, “make hard, become stubborn, blind, or cover with a callus,” all are in view regarding the spiritual life in rejection of God and His Word. So we should translate this, “the callousness or scar tissue,” as this is where “callous” should be translated as it is in vs. 19 with a different Greek word, APALGEO, a hapax legomenon that means, “Without pain, feeling no pain, unfeeling, callous, or numb.” which we will note below.

With this, we have the Genitive of HO KARDIA AUTOS, “of their heart,” the place of the hardening. “Heart,” meaning the right lobe of the soul, is the place that gets calloused or hardened off, which means it is not cycling God’s Word through it and instead is cycling sin and cosmic viewpoint to the point of being adverse to Bible Doctrine.

Because the left lobe, (mind), is not receiving Bible Doctrine, (hardened – Blackout of the Soul), the right lobe, (heart), is not storing it for application, with the addition of adverse erosion of previously stored doctrine, (callous – scar tissue on the soul).

When something is hard, as say an artery, it is hard for blood to circulate through it. The harder the artery becomes, the more likely blood flow will cease and cause death. Well, if the heart is hardened, Bible doctrine will not flow through the soul with the result of killing off the spiritual life of the believer experientially.

So combined, these two causes mean a state or condition of complete lack of understanding, dullness, insensibility, and obstinacy toward God and His Word so that it is no longer cycling through their soul, resulting in Blackout of the Soul and a life that is disobedient to God.

These unbelievers and reversionistic believers are ignorant toward God and His Word because they had hardened their hearts against God. The hardening of their hearts led to a condition of callousness that made it impossible for them to experience the true unique spiritual life of the Church Age that comes only from God and His Word. Therefore, because of a lack of knowing God, “ignorance,” the first cause of reversionism, it leads to an intensified stage or secondary cause of reversionism, “hardness of the heart,” which lead to further “Black out of the Soul” and being excluded from experiencing the unique spiritual life for the Church Age believer that is of God.

Summary

This passage describes the flow, or better the lack of flow of God’s Word in the life of the unbeliever as an example of what the reversionistic believer also experiences. For the believer, the Word of God first comes into the mind or NOUS, (left lobe of the soul), as they learn it. This Word is then cycled to the heart or KARDIA, (right lobe of the soul), where it is stored and applied towards God and man. Yet, when MATAIOTES sets in, due to living inside of Satan’s cosmic system, as a result of being led by your OSN, it first negatively effects the left lobe of your soul, (mind-NOUS), as you stop taking in, (learning about), God and His Word. This causes “darkness in the thinking” that means there is no Bible doctrine coming into the left lobe and being passed along to the right lobe of your soul, (heart-KARDIA). When no doctrine is coming into the heart, other things like sin and worldly satanic viewpoint come in and replace any previous doctrine that was in the heart. This in turn develops callouses on the heart called “Hardness of the Heart” or “Scar Tissue on the Soul,” which means it becomes more and more difficult for God’s Word to enter the heart and be applied from the heart of your soul. It means that God’s Word is choked out of our soul. As a result, further “Blackout” of the left lobe of the soul occurs resulting in further “Scar Tissue” on the right lobe of the soul. In other words, the soul is darkened in its thinking that leads to hardness in the heart that leads to further darkness in its thinking, and so on. This is the negative downward spiral of reversionism that leads a believer further and further away from experiencing life here on earth with God, thereby not achieving or experiencing spiritual adulthood and the supergrace life described in Eph 3:13-16.

That leads us to The Analogy of the Hardness or Callousness of the Heart to the Spiritual Life.

As you know, rarely does the Bible use KARDIA for the blood-pumping physiological organ in your chest. It usually is used in analogy to the cycling of God’s Word through your soul. In order to better understand the heart of your soul, (which we also call the right lobe of your soul), and the detrimental effects of it being hardened or calloused, we need to understand the heart a little better.

Some facts about the physical heart, in analogy to the spiritual heart of your soul:

The heart is an intricately woven muscle, which by rhythmic contraction circulates blood throughout your body. Your heart beats 101,000 times a day and about 35 million times in a year. During your lifetime, it will beat about 3 billion times. In regards to the heart of your soul, it is capable of receiving and sending God’s Word throughout your soul thousands of times in a day and billions of times in your life.

Your body has about 6 quarts of blood circulating through the heart and body three times every minute. In one day, the blood travels a total of 12,000 miles, which is roughly four times the distance across the U.S. from coast to coast. It is estimated that the heart pumps seventy-five gallons an hour, and 2,000 gallons a day, and about 1 million barrels in seventy years; that is enough to fill more than two super tankers. Likewise, the heart of your soul is capable of pumping innumerable amounts of Bible doctrine throughout your soul.

The heart’s anatomy and relation to the circulatory system includes a double pump: two atriums and two ventricles. The ventricles have a four ounce volume and the atria a five ounce volume. The thick muscular walls of the ventricles are primarily responsible to pump the blood. Used blood is low in oxygen and high in CO2. To be cleansed, the used blood enters the right atrium through the superior and inferior vena cava. Used blood is like false ideas we pick up in life that need to be cleansed and enriched by God’s Word resident in your soul.

The right ventricle pumps blood through the pulmonary artery to the lungs where it discharges CO2 and picks up oxygen from the alveoli. Then the blood travels through the pulmonary veins to the left atrium, which in turn pumps the oxygen‑refreshed blood out through the aorta to the entire body. This is a great analogy for metabolized Bible doctrine in your soul. It is pumped through various valves in your soul and circulates through the brain, giving you a dynamic mental attitude. Likewise, the CO2 of the soul, i.e., all the false and erroneous ideas we have learned from Satan’s cosmic system, must be replaced by the oxygen of Bible doctrine. All of that is accomplished in the heart or right lobe of your soul.

The function of the blood is to bath tissues with fluid, preserving their slight alkaline condition, supplying tissues with food and oxygen, to provide building material for their growth and repair, distribute heat generated by cells and equalize body temperature, carry hormones which coordinate and stimulate the activities of various organs, and convey antibodies and white blood cells which fight infection. Blood cannot support life unless it keeps circulating, and the energy used by the heart is fantastic. This is another wonderful analogy to Bible doctrine circulating in the heart of your soul as a result of the function of GAP that provides these analogous functions to your soul.

If blood flow is cut off to the brain, the person loses consciousness in three to five seconds; after fifteen to twenty seconds, the body twitches convulsively; if more than nine minutes, the mental powers of the brain are irrevocably destroyed. The muscles of the heart can only survive loss of blood flow for thirty minutes. These facts emphasize the vital importance of the heart to our life. Likewise, we need to continually supply our souls with God’s Word. If we stop taking in Bible Doctrine, we will lose consciousness of our spiritual life, as noted in Eph 4:19, “having become callous,” that actually should read, “having lost feeling,” in regards to the spiritual life.

The “Hardness of the Heart,” (KARDIA, the right lobe), is the seventh and next to last stage of reversionism, as noted above. It is coterminous with and the result of Blackout of the Soul, the attack upon the left lobe. While blackout of the soul affects the left lobe or NOUS by the infiltration of satanic doctrine, “Hardness of the Heart” and/or “Scar Tissue of the Soul,” affects the right lobe. It is the final attack that leads to reverse process reversionism.

In the “Hardness of the Heart,” all of the valves of the right lobe freeze up and shut down so that Bible doctrine no longer circulates in the soul, just as when arteries are hardened due to the buildup of calcium and plaque, the blood stops flowing through the body. When this occurs, Bible doctrine in the right lobe is no longer operative and is no longer applicable to life.

As result of the “Hardening of the Heart,” scar tissue accumulates resulting in the function of the vacuum, MATAIOTES, to suck more false doctrine into the left lobe, which in turn, increases the pressure on the right lobe. When the effects of Blackout of the left lobe reach the right lobe, all of the valves of the soul that produce Divine viewpoint, Divine thinking, and Divine good, freeze up and shut down. This means that there is no longer any vocabulary functioning, the categories of doctrine in your soul dry up first, norms and standards change, there is no longer any Divine viewpoint in the launching pad, and no way of recalling or calling upon the frame of reference for applying God’s Word to your life. Likewise, no more Bible doctrine is fed into the vocabulary and categorical storage areas providing no new doctrine for future application. The conscience begins to change, and there is no doctrine on the launching pad. Therefore, Bible doctrine no longer flows back and forth and, as it were, all doctrinal function of the right lobe freezes. This is the prelude to the Sin Unto Death.

All of this is why we have been given this warning in Eph 4:17-19, not to fall back to our former manner of life when we were unbelievers and had no Bible doctrine circulating through our souls. Just as it is disastrous for the human body when the heart stops pumping blood throughout the body leading to physical death, for the believer, it is disastrous to hinder or stop the flow of God’s Word through your soul because it will lead to Divine discipline including the third stage called the Sin Unto Death.

Vs. 19

Eph 4:19, “And they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.”

And they” in the Greek is made up of the Relative Pronoun HOSTIS, ὅστις that actually means, “whoever, who, whichever, whatever, or anyone who.” We translate this “who,” referring back to the main object of this passage “unbelievers” called “gentiles.” So, the same group is in view by way of analogy for the reversionistic believer.

Having become callous” is the Perfect, Active, Participle in the Nominative, Plural of APALGEO, ἀπαλγέω that we mentioned briefly above. It is a hapax legomenon that means it is only used once in the NT. It means, “without pain, feeling no pain, unfeeling, callous, or numb.” It is from APO, “from,” plus ALGEO that means, “to feel pain, either bodily or emotional, or to suffer.” So it comes to mean, “to be free from pain,” either physical or emotional. Another meaning might be, “numb.” BDAG translates its usage here as, “to be so inured that one is not bothered by the implications of what one is doing, become callous, dead to feeling, and without a sense of right and wrong.

It has been translated in various modern and ancient translations such as, “past feeling,” (KJV); “callous,” (RSV); “stifled (their) consciences,” (Phillips); “dead to all feeling,” (NEB); and “having lost all sensitivity,” (NIV).

This verb, in relation to our previous noun in vs. 18, POROSIS, for “callous,” speaks more to the results or subsequent actions of having built us callousness upon the soul. Here APALGEO is in the Intensive or Resultative Perfect Tense once again, to go along with the other intensive perfect tenses of vs. 18, that emphasis the present state of existence, because of past actions. Here we have the Active Voice, rather than the Passive, to emphasis the active role the unbeliever and reversionistic believer play in producing the action of the verb, i.e., “losing feeling” in the spiritual sense.

 So rather than translating it, “having become callous” which has more of the noun connotation, it should read, “having cast off all feeling,” in regards to the spiritual life. That is, they “have become numb,” concerning the discernment of right and wrong in the spiritual life. That means that the norms and standards in their soul that should be based on the absolute truth of God’s Word, has been run over or replaced by relative truth, sin, evil, and human good, which is all a part of cosmic viewpoint inside of Satan’s cosmic system. The Nominative Participle does give this verb a noun connotation, but the verbal aspect is more in force here than the noun. It simply reflects a state of being that they are presently in, based on past negative volition towards God and His Word.

Therefore, this verb means that they no longer can distinguish between truth and the lie, and right and wrong in terms of the absolute basis of God’s Word / Bible Doctrine. That is why some of the more modern Bible translations translate it as such: “They have no sense of shame,” (NLT); “They don’t care anymore about right and wrong,” (TLB); “Who having no more power of feeling,” (BBE); “They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain,” (MSG), etc.

As we noted in vs. 18, this callousness resulting in having become numb or are without feeling in regards to the truth of God’s Word and the spiritual life for the Church Age, speaks of what we call “Scar Tissue upon the Soul.” As more and more callous or scar tissue builds up on the soul, the harder it becomes for the believer to apply God’s Word to life, as well as, becoming harder to take in God’s Word. The unbeliever builds scar tissue on their soul through the constant rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The reversionistic believer builds up scar tissue upon their soul through the constant rejection of the intake and application of God’s Word, as noted in vs. 18, which has negative effects on the soul and the spiritual life.

Therefore, we see that “Blackout of the Soul” or “being darkened in their understanding,vs. 18a, is the negative effect of not taking in God’s Word in the left lobe, (NOUS, mind), of your soul, while “Scar Tissue of the Soul,” or “hardness/callouness of the heart,” that is “casting off all feeling” regarding the spiritual life, vs. 18d – 19a, is the further negative effect on the right lobe (KARDIA, heart), of your soul, due to the lack of not only the intake of God’s Word, but also the application of it in your soul. This is the ultimate in rejection of Bible Doctrine. Because no doctrine is coming in, cycling through, or going out of your soul in application towards life, “Scar Tissue” builds up instead, choking out future intake and application of God’s Word.

The Doctrine of the Scar Tissue of the Soul.

  • Scar Tissue of the Soul comes from the English translation of the Greek for “Hardness of the Heart” found in Mark 3:5; Rom 11:25; Eph 4:18. The noun is POROSIS and the verb is POROO that mean, “callousness, dullness, stubbornness, lack of feeling, and make hard, become stubborn, blind, or cover with a callus.” Their root was also used for “to petrify or to harden like a stone, a kidney stone.” In addition, in Eph 4:19, the verb APALGEO means, “without pain, unfeeling, callous, or numb.” It is used in regards to the negative effect on the spiritual life, which is caused by being calloused or hardened, due to reversionism, i.e., not knowing and applying God’s Word, the absolute truth, in holiness and righteousness. The “hardness of the neck” is exactly the same as the “hardness of the heart,” but emphasizes the insubordination which accompanies hardness of heart, rather than just negative volition, 2 Kings 17:14; Neh 9:16; 17:29; Jer 7:26; 19:15.
  • From the sense of a calloused heart, we get the term, “Scar Tissue of the Soul.” It is the result of prolonged residence and function inside the cosmic system due to negative volition toward God and His Word. There is generally a logical retrogression in which Blackout of the Soul, (which we have noted above), precedes Scar Tissue of the Soul, or is coterminous with it, and they have a cyclical effect on each other. What Blackout of the Soul is to the mind, (NOUS – the left lobe of the soul), Scar Tissue of the Soul is to the heart, (KARDIA – the right lobe of the soul).
  • When the believer is negative towards God’s Word, he stops taking it in and applying it in his life. When this occurs, false information enters the soul and is applied to life. This is a pseudo function of GAP in the cosmic system and causes the Blackout of the Soul. Because of the Blackout of the Soul, it spreads like a disease and results in the right lobe malady of Scar Tissue of the Soul. Scar Tissue of the Soul is this false information being processed in the various compartments of the believer’s heart including; his frame of reference, norms and standards, vocabulary center, memory center, and is the basis for application to life. Scar Tissue of the Soul has a detrimental effect on every part of the soul.

a.) Scar tissue of the soul results in loss of perceptive ability in the frame of reference. The believer with Scar Tissue of the Soul can listen to doctrine every day, yet still react and remain in ignorance.

b.) In his memory center, he forgets what doctrine he learned and cannot apply it. His momentum is stopped.

c.) In his vocabulary storage, all technical language related to perception and application is gradually destroyed.

d.) In his categorical storage, Scar Tissue of the Soul destroys categorical doctrinal understanding, such as the rationales used in the faith-rest drill.

e.) Scar tissue of the soul destroys the norms and standards related to truth, thus wiping out the conscience. Loss of norms and standards motivates the believer to function under the plan of Satan.

f.) In the launching pad, Scar Tissue of the Soul destroys all application of doctrine and the Christian way of life of impersonal love. Scar tissue of the soul is a guarantee of the destruction of true love. Personal love cannot survive without the integrity of impersonal love.

Therefore, Scar Tissue of the Soul is that spiritual malady of involvement in the cosmic system resulting in total loss of momentum, and eventuating in the most awful discipline from God.

  • Continuing the physiological analogy of the heart for the functioning of the soul, in Eph 4:23, we see that the soul actually “breaths,” PNUEMA, translated “spirit.” So just as the heart pumps blood throughout the body, so does the KARDIA of the soul pump Bible doctrine throughout the body. For blood to be effective for the body, it must continually displace built up CO2 through the lungs and be re-oxygenated by them through the process of breathing. So too must our souls be continually displacing false doctrine and information from Satan’s cosmic system and be re-energized with new Bible doctrine coming into the soul. In other words, the word for “mind” emphasizes the function of the left lobe as a processor of doctrine; it is a staging area, not the final resting place of Bible doctrine. The left lobe has a processor, which is called “breathing” and this implies the existence of lungs. The intake and the output of doctrine would be comparable to physiological breathing. Therefore, we have the heart, lung, and breathing analogy of the soul. When we stop taking in Bible doctrine, the Blackout of the left lobe, mind of the soul, negatively affects the right lobe, heart of the soul. As a result, callouses or scar tissue build up on the heart of the soul making it more and more difficult to cycle Bible doctrine in and out of the soul. The definition “Hardness of the Heart” or “Scar Tissue of the Soul” is the blackout of the left lobe, which invariably causes scar tissue to form on the right lobe.
  • The soul has two “lungs” here after they will be called the left bank and the right bank, each lung has five breathing apparatuses. The left bank is used for the inhale of GNOSIS Bible Doctrine. The right bank is used for the exhale of EPIGNOSIS Bible Doctrine that becomes SOPHIA or wisdom. The left bank represents our relationship with God. The right bank represents our relationship towards man. The left bank is designed for relationship with God, inhale, 2 Tim 2:15; James 1:5. The right bank is designed for relationship with man; that is the exhale, 2 Cor 5:20; James 2:8.

soul-godward-manwardVolition, with Bible Doctrine the volition responds to God’s will.

Mentality, with Bible Doctrine you are able to think Divine viewpoint; without Bible Doctrine, at best, you will achieve is human viewpoint.

Self-Consciousness, with Bible Doctrine you will be occupied with Christ; without Bible Doctrine, you will be occupied with self.

Conscience (norms and standards), with Bible Doctrine the Divine nature of norms and standards; without Bible Doctrine at best you will have human norms and standards.

Emotions (response of the soul), with Bible Doctrine you will have the ability to respond and appreciate God; without Bible Doctrine at best you will appreciate your self.

1.) The Old Sin Nature is the distorter of the soul but is not in the soul.

2.) With Bible Doctrine the Old Sin Nature is frustrated, without Bible Doctrine the Old Sin Nature is satisfied. Rom 6:6, 7:7-18.

Scar tissue is built up on the left bank of the soul by means of neglecting Bible Doctrine showing negative volition towards Bible Doctrine. This automatically switches on the MATAIOTES vacuum into which worldly evil and wisdom flow, Eph 4:17.

  • Scar tissue is built up on the right bank of the soul by:

a.) Adultery, Prov 6:32, (“lacking sense” is literally “lacking heart); Eph 4:19; 5:3.

b.) Mental Attitude Sins: bitterness, pride, jealousy, hate, vindictiveness (revenge), implacability (hostile anger), feeling guilty, worrying, etc. 1 John 2:9, 11. With the Blackout of the Soul and the Hardness of the Heart, it is impossible to avoid the repercussions of mental attitude sins, e.g. Hymenaeus and Alexander fell into this, 1 Tim 1:20.

c.) Drunkenness and drugs. (There is nothing wrong with alcohol, but there is something wrong with being drunk), Rom 13:13, Eph 5:18.

d.) All other categories of sin, human good, and evil.

  • Jude 1:10-13, gives us another description of the unbeliever’s lifestyle that results from Scar Tissue on the Soul, as an example for believers.

Jude 1:10-13, “But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom (unbelievers) the black darkness has been reserved forever.”

  • Scar tissue can build up on the soul of the believer as well as the unbeliever. All that is necessary is the rejection of the Word of God either post-salvation for the believer or pre-salvation for the unbeliever towards the gospel of Jesus Christ, cf. John 12:40; 2 Thes 2:10-12; 2 Peter 2:22.

2 Peter 2:22, “It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” (Prov 26:11), and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire”.”

Blackout of the Soul and Scar Tissue of the Soul combine to reject all forms of truth. “Vomit” here includes: All forms of false doctrine and world viewpoints like socialism, communism, the welfare state, redistribution of wealth, social equality, and being saved by anything except faith in Christ.

  • Scar tissue can finally choke out the soul, for example:

a.) Unbelievers: Example is Judas Iscariot, Mat 27:3-10. The Pharaoh of Exodus is another illustration, Rom 9; Ex 9.

b.) Believers: Ananias and Sapphira, (Sin Unto Death), Acts 5:1-11, 1 John 5:16-17. The Exodus generation; the account of the Meribah revolution, Ex 17; Num 20; 27:14, discussed in, Psa 95:8; Heb 3:8, 15; 4:7. Zedekiah’s hardness of heart, 2 Chron 36:11-13.

  • How is scar tissue removed?

The solution to Scar Tissue or Hardness of the Heart is generally the same in both cases. For the unbeliever it is response to the gospel by faith in Christ, and for the believer it is reversion recovery through the intake of doctrine. In both cases it is positive volition toward God’s Word.

a.) For the unbeliever it is at the point of salvation; all of it is removed, Isa 43:25, 44:22.

b.) For believers:

   1) Rebound, (naming your sins to God the Father), provides the filling of the Holy Spirit, but it does not remove scar tissue. This will set the believer on the road to remove scar tissue. Rebound comes from the Greek word HOMOLEGEO, “confess, acknowledge, site your sins,” 1 John 1:9; Eph 5:18.

   2) Crash program on Doctrine, Heb 6.

   3) Exhale of residual doctrine from the human spirit, EPIGNOSIS, resulting in an Edification Complex of the Soul.

  • The antithesis of scar tissue in the Christian life is the existence of an Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS). When your emotions revolt, any Bible doctrine stored in the heart of your soul shuts down and your emotions begin to run your soul instead of responding to the doctrine in your heart. Emotion contains no doctrine and does not have conscience. If you have negative volition toward Bible Doctrine, it is inevitable you will have emotional revolt of the soul and have misery. As a result, you no longer inhale or exhale Bible Doctrine in either the left or the right lobe, this is the state of apostasy. To protect your soul against this, you need to build up your soul with God’s Word on a consistent basis, so that you have the ECS that provides the power and strength, through God’s Word in your soul, for overcoming the temptations of sin and emotional revolt of the soul that leads to Scar Tissue on the Soul.

Next in vs. 19, we have the results of having Scar Tissue upon the soul, “have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.”

This reminds us of the parable Jesus taught the unbelieving Pharisee in Mat 12:44-45; Luke 11:25-26. In essence, if there is not repentance in the unbeliever or reversionistic believer, their situation will just keep getting worse and worse. That is what we are seeing in the rest of vs. 19, a description of the lifestyle of those who have Blackout of the Soul with built up Scar Tissue upon the soul. Their sense of right and wrong, morality, is all twisted and evil, 2 Tim 3:13; 2 Peter 2:20.

2 Tim 3:13, “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

2 Peter 2:20, “For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.”

It begins with, “have given themselves over to sensuality,” which is the Accusative Personal Pronoun HEAUTOU in the third person, plural, that means, “themselves,” speaking of those with Scar Tissue upon their souls. Then we have the Culminative Aorist, Active, Indicative of the verb, PARADIDOMI, παραδίδωμι for “have given” that here means, “to hand over or deliver up.” The root word DIDOMI meaning, “to give,” is prefixed with the Preposition PARA that in the Accusative means, “by, alongside of, near, or on.” A slang term that we could use here is to “pony up” with someone, which means you are joining in on what others are doing. These soulishly scarred unbelievers and believers are joining in on sin whole-heartedly, and are betraying themselves. Once you reach the stage of the Blackout of the Soul and Scar Tissue of the Soul, you are now betraying yourself because you know better, but are ignoring your own conscience. This also tells us that self-betrayal starts with a super frantic search for happiness.

The egregious thing that they are giving themselves over to is, “sensuality,” which in the Greek is ASELGEIA, ἀσέλγεια that means, “licentiousness, excess wantonness, or lasciviousness.”

  • Licentious, “lacking moral discipline or sexual restraint and/or having no regard for accepted rules or standards.”
  • Wanton, “immoral, unchaste, lewd, or lustful.”
  • Lasciviousness, “of or characterized by lust, lewdness, exciting sexual desires.”

Therefore, “sensuality” that means, “excess devotion to sensual pleasures to gratify physical appetites, especially sexual appetites,” refers to that which leads to all types of sin, (impurity or uncleanness), that goes deeper and deeper into sin because it never satisfies. It is synonymous with ASOTIA, “wastefulness, excess, and dissipation,” as we will see and note in Eph 5:18.

ASELGEIA was used in secular Greek to denote “licentiousness” and “shamelessness.” In Scripture, it is always associated with a quality of extreme sinfulness. In the LXX of the OT, it is used to refer to the idolatrous being involved in adultery and having a disrupted marriage. As such, in the NT it is joined with the most heinous of sins such as covetousness, adultery, lewdness, and drunkenness. It means, “lasciviousness, license, debauchery, sexual excess, illicit sexual activity, absence of restraint, insatiable desire for pleasure, and perversion in general.” It is used in Mark 7:22; Rom 13:13; 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19; Eph 4:19; 1 Peter 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2, 7, 18; Jude 1:4.

Those under the control of this sin do not care what others say or think, as long as they can satisfy their desires. Conscience is strangled and shame is “put to flight” in the heart of the one who commits ASELGEIA. It is said that the inhabitants of Sodom spoke openly of their sin (Isaiah 3:9). Thus ASELGEIA denotes open licentiousness and shameless sin.” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary).

Isa 3:9, “The expression of their faces bears witness against them. And they display their sin like Sodom; They do not even conceal it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.”

Likewise, in 2 Peter 2:7, it is used in reference to the perversions going on in Sodom and Gomorrah. So it speaks to sexual perversion, immorality, and excess. Therefore, it is behavior completely lacking in moral restraint, usually with the implication of sexual licentiousness, including hetero, homo, bi, and bestial sexual behavior.

2 Peter 2:18, “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error.”

Jude 1:4, “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

In Rom 1:18-32, Paul dealt with the subject of homosexuality that is also described here in vs. 19. Three times, he said that God gave them over to something:

  1. “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another,” Rom 1:24.
  2. “God gave them over to shameful lusts,” Rom 1:26.
  3. “He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done,” Rom 1:28.

This is a description of a constant falling more deeply into sin, as Paul once again characterizes the Gentile world as being far away from God.

Then, in the last section of vs. 19, we have, “for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.” It begins with the Preposition EIS that means, “into, to, toward, so that, or with the result that.” Then we have the Accusative Noun ERGASIA, ἐργασία that means, “a trade, profit, gain, practice, or diligence,” in regard to the “professional” life. Usually used for “productive labor,” here the production is that of sexual immorality or sin. Given the scope of application of this word, it may be used here for the “oldest profession” of humanity, male and female prostitution; especially that used in the idolatrous worship of the ancient world. So, together it should read, “resulting in the profession.” Rather than being a professional Christian as a Royal Priest and Royal Ambassador for God, these are professionals of sin and sex. Therefore, “practicing” here is in the sense of a professional or prostitute, in the performance of sin and evil, especially illicit sex.

Every kind” PAS, “meaning all or every,” emphasizes that we are not just talking about one form of sinful sexual practice, but all kinds and forms.

The type of working they are performing is that “of impurity,” AKATHARSIA, ἀκαθαρσία that means, “Uncleanness, ritual impurity, or immorality.” From the root KATHARTOS with the negative prefix “A,” it denotes various kinds of uncleanness: physical, cultic, and ethical. It is used in the NT literally for, “any substance that is filthy or dirty” or figuratively for, “a state of moral corruption.” Therefore, AKATHARSIA usually denotes moral impurity, such as the sexual impurity found in unregenerate Gentiles, Rom 1:24, 2 Cor 12:21; Eph 4:17-19; Col 3:5, and the overall status of the sinful nature of mankind, Gal 5:19; 1 Thes 2:3; 4:7.

Mat 23:27, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

Rom 6:19, “I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”

1 Thes 4:7, “For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.”

Therefore we could say, “They have prostituted themselves for Satan’s cosmic system,” or “they have sold out to the world.”

With greediness,” is the final emphasis of this type of impurity. It is the Dative Preposition EN, “in,” with the Dative Noun PLEONEXIA, πλεονεξία that means, “Greediness, avarice, and covetousness.” It means, “insatiableness, intense desire, or insatiable lust;” therefore, we have the intensification of the Frantic Search for Happiness. It is a compound word from PLEION meaning, “more,” and ECHO that means, “to have.” Therefore, we could say, “I got to have more, more, more.”

PLEONEXIA also includes PHILARGURIA, “the love of money, to hoard away, or avarice.” It is connected with extortionists, 1 Cor 5:10; with thefts, covetous thoughts, plans of fraud, and extortion, Mark 7:22; and with sins of the flesh, Eph 5:3, 5; Col 3:5. Finally, BDAG defines its usage as “the state of desiring to have more than one’s due, greediness, insatiableness, avarice, and covetousness,” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature.) Therefore, “In the sphere of insatiable lust” is a good translation meaning, a super frantic search for happiness involving sexual sin.

Insatiable lust, PLEONEXIA, connotes grasping and desiring more and more and therefore represents not the ordinary frantic search for happiness but something way beyond that. In this verse, the illustration is sexual reversionism, so it means an insatiable desire for more and more sex in abnormal ways. In other passages, it is used for insatiable desire for money, drugs, or power. It is often covered by the word “covetousness” or “greediness,” neither of which is adequate. In this context, the members of the Royal Family have reached the latter stages of reversionism. This verse presupposes the existence of the intensification of all stages of reversionism. It also indicates someone who is way beyond the point of having negative volition, apathy, indifference, or antagonism toward Bible doctrine or the communicator. The resultant neglect of the function of GAP, (failure to assemble together for the learning of the Word of God or to get it off the internet), results in the attack on the left lobe, the Blackout of the Soul, and the attack on the right lobe, Hardness of Heart or Scar Tissue of the Soul. So what we have at this point is Reverse Process Reversionism being practiced under strong delusion because their souls are devoid of God’s Word and filled with the garbage of Satan’s cosmic system, a.k.a., the world’s viewpoint. This has led this reversionist to be locked into the lust pattern of the Old Sin Nature and locked into Satan’s cosmic system to their detriment, resulting in MATIOTES of the soul – emptiness, worthlessness, and uselessness. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

Doctrine of “Sensuality” – Sexual Immorality

“Sensuality” in Eph 4:19 is the Greek Noun ASELGEIA, ἀσέλγεια that means, “licentiousness, excess wantonness, or lasciviousness.” It generally refers to sexual immorality as excess devotion to sensual pleasures to gratify physical appetites, especially sexual appetites. It is used in Mark 7:22; Rom 13:13; 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19; Eph 4:19; 1 Peter 4:3; 2 Peter 2:2, 7, 18; Jude 1:4.

There are a number of types of “sensuality” or sexual immorality found in Scripture. The two primary ones are called adultery and fornication. Other types of sexual immorality include incest, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, molestation of children, indecent exposure, masturbation, sodomy, etc.

Definition of Adultery. Adultery is sexual relationship with the opposite sex when one or both members are married to someone else. In Scripture, it is defined as sexual intercourse of a man, whether married or unmarried, with a married woman. It is also used in Scripture in the sense of any sexual activity outside of Divine institution #2, (marriage between one man and one woman). Therefore, sometimes adultery may be categorized as fornication in the seduction of a member of the opposite sex, or one of the other immoral sexual behaviors noted above. Adultery is also categorized as fornication, except in Mat 15:19; Mark 7:21.

Mat 15:19-20, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”

Definition of Fornication. Fornication refers to sexual activity between those of the opposite sex where neither party is married. It is the seduction of the opposite sex of the human race outside of marriage. Fornication is forbidden in 1 Cor 6:18.

Definition of Homosexuality / Lesbianism. Homosexuality and Lesbianism refer to sexual activity between those of the same sex, either a man with a man, which is typically called homosexuality, or a woman with a woman, called lesbianism, whether married to a member of the opposite sex or not. If married to a member of the opposite sex and then committing homosexual or lesbian activity, it also falls under the category of adultery. In addition, just because the laws of a state or country may allow for homosexual activity and marriages, that does not legitimize it in God’s eyes. It still is a sin and an egregious one that is an attack on God’s Divine protection for the human race under Divine Institution #2; (marriage between a man and a woman). Finally, these are also categorized as sexual sins of degeneracy in Scripture along with:

  • Bestiality, which is sexual relationship between a human being and an animal.
  • Necrophilia, which is erotic attraction to a corpse.
  • The sexual sins of crime:

a.) Rape, which is to force a person to have intercourse.

b.) Incest, which is sexual intercourse between parents and children.

c.) Pederasty, which is sexual relationship between two males, one of whom is a minor.

d.) Prostitution, which is the practice of engaging in sexual intercourse for money.

e.) Pandering, which is the function of a pimp, a go between who profits from the vices of others related to illicit sexual intercourse.

Sex is not love, it is designed to be an expression of Category #2 Love, (love between the right man and right woman). Sex was designed by God as an expression of Category #2 Love between a right man and a right woman that is an extension of soul love for each other. The principle of the wrong woman is found in Prov 6:20‑35.

By analogy sensuality, (adultery, fornication, homosexuality, etc.), has a spiritual meaning, which refers to reversionism among unbelievers, Heb 12:16, and believers. Adultery, fornication, etc., are often used in the Bible to describe reversionism and apostasy, Jer 3:8-10; Ezek 16:23-43; 23:24-28; 1 Tim 1:8-10; Heb 12:16; Rev 12:16; 17:1-5.

Heb 12:16, “That there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.” The Greek word for “immoral” here is PORNOS, where we get our word “pornography” from, that means, “a fornicator.” Cf. 1 Cor 5:9-11; 6:9; Eph 5:5; 1 Tim 1:8-10; Heb 13:4; Rev 21:8; 22:15.

1 Tim 1:8-10, “But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,”

Another Greek word for adultery is MOICHOS, μοιχός, and its cognates that mean, “adultery or unlawful intercourse,” Luke 18:11; 1 Cor 6:9; Heb 13:4; James 4:4; 2 Peter 2:14.

James 4:4, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

2 Peter 2:14, “Having eyes full of adultery and that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed (PLEONEXIA), accursed children.”

The prohibitions of sexual immorality apply to every dispensation because they are a part of God’s design for morality and protection in the human race. The mandates are given in six sub points.

  1. It was prohibited by the Mosaic Law in the Ten Commandments, Ex 20:14; Deut 5:18.
  2. It is prohibited in the New Testament, Acts 15:20; Rom 13:9; 1 Cor 6:18; Col 3:5; 1 Thes 4:3.
  3. Mental adultery is prohibited, Mat 5:27-28.
  4. Incest is forbidden, Lev 18:6ff; Deut 27:20; Lev 20:14; 1 Cor 5:1-7.
  5. Homosexuality is forbidden, Lev 18:22; 20:13; Rom 1:18-32.
  6. Bestiality is forbidden, Lev 18:23; 20:15; Deut 27:21.

Mental adultery means that a man gets an image in his right lobe and his emotion revolts in lustful desire for that image. In overt adultery, the soul makes a decision and the body follows through. In mental adultery, only the volition or the soul is involved.

Sexual immorality and the Frantic Search for Happiness are related, Eph 5:3. Sexual immorality should not even be mentioned as a means of happiness. Sex should be an expression of a pre‑existing happiness. Sexual immorality carries certain laws of punishment, frustration, and certain forms of slavery. Once you commit sexual immorality, you have stepped into a soul‑type of slavery. This is a part of its punishment. Sexual immorality is one of the manifestations of both sublimation and emotional revolt of the soul, (although you can commit sexual immorality without emotional revolt). This is taught in the use of the Greek noun PLEONEXIA in Eph 4:19; 5:3. Beyond greediness, covetousness, and insatiable lust, this word actually means a Frantic Search for Happiness, due to the insatiable nature of sexual immorality that leads you to always chase after it, which leads to a form of slavery because mentally and/or physically you are consumed by sex.

Reversionistic destruction of the soul through sexual immorality is described in Prov 6:32; Eph 4:19. This means Blackout of the Soul leading to Scar Tissue upon the Soul, where it become more and more difficult for the believer to cycle Bible Doctrine through the soul for application, especially to Rebound and Recover to get out of the destructive cycle of sexual immorality.

Prov 6:32, “The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it.”

In addition, there is the potential for physical destruction as a result of sexual immorality that is found in Mark 7:21-23; 1 Cor 6:13-18. Promiscuity can have a destructive effect upon both the male and the female body. The male body: impotence, inability to sexually satisfy the right woman; the female body: the destruction of sexual responses to the right man, loss of orgiastic pleasure in sex, and the result of antithetical type problems: nymphomania and frigidity.

Sexual immorality is a bona fide basis for divorce, Mat 5:32; 19:9; Luke 16:18. The resultant Blackout of the Soul, Scar Tissue of the Soul, Frantic Search for Happiness intensified in reversionism destroys rapport between husband and wife. This is also emphasized in Deut 24:4. The principle of interim sex destroys soul love and sex capacity.

Under phallic reversionism, (i.e., adultery, fornication, or any other sexual immorality), it builds Scar Tissue in the Soul, destroys the body, and ruins the spiritual life. Therefore, they are the enemy of right man, right woman relationship and are prohibited in the strongest terms in Eph 5:3.

God will discipline those who consistently participate in sexual immorality, Heb 13:4.

Heb 13:4, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

 On the other hand, the sanctification of Category #2 Love in marriage is found in 1 Cor 7:3-5; 1 Thes 4:3-4; Heb 13:4.

1 Thes 4:3-5, For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God.”

The glory of Category #2 Love is described in a spiritual analogy, 1 Cor 11:7; Eph 5:25-31.

Your life and conduct must be based on doctrinal principles that there exists on this earth a right man or right woman for you and through them you will have a fulfilled sexual life. It should not be a case of cheap substitutes for your self-gratification. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, etc., are accepting a cheap substitute in order to gratify a biological or even an emotional urge, or to enter into a Frantic Search for Happiness through reversionistic reactor factors. When you have Bible doctrine in the heart of your soul, you will have Divine viewpoint plus faith-rest, that will lead you to flee from sexual immorality. Super-grace, the ECS, and spiritual growth under GAP, all reject the principle of the Frantic Search for Happiness through fornication or any of the other categories. Bible doctrine in the soul is the capacity for Category #2 Love. Therefore, GAP is the preparation for the greatest of human relationships. The super-grace status gives maximum capacity to express love in sex between a right man and right woman.

We now turn to Section 2 of the last half of Chapter 4, vs. 20-32.

B) Section 2; The Present Walk of the New Life, Eph 4:20-32.

  • The Regenerated New Man in Christ Jesus, vs. 20-24.
  • Principles of Conduct for the New Man, vs. 25-32.

Here we continue to note the practice of believers in relation to the former life as an unbeliever, and that our spiritual walk should be in regards to our new life as a believer, as a regenerated man, Eph 4:17-29, and as indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Eph 4:30-32. Overall, this section gives us instruction for living the new regenerated life in Christ, as a new creation in Christ Jesus, i.e., a New Spiritual Species. Therefore, if in reversionism these passages are for instruction on reversion recovery.

The first sub-section, vs. 20-24, is actually one sentence in the Greek that has been broken down into five passages in our Bibles. In these five passages, we have five main themes:

Vs. 20, We did not learn about Christ from the old sinful life.

Vs. 21, We learned truth and how to walk from Jesus.

Vs. 22, We are to put off the old self, the old way of doing things.

Vs. 23, We are to be renewed in the left lobe of the soul, (to counter the Blackout of the Soul).

Vs. 24, We are to put on the new self, by living in the new Christ-like nature of righteousness and holiness as taught in His Word, (i.e., truth).

Vs. 20, We did not learn about Christ from the old sinful life.

Eph 4:20, “But you did not learn Christ in this way.”

But” is the contrasting superordinating Conjunction DE to show the difference between what was just mentioned about living in unrighteousness and immorality with what is to follow.

You” is the emphatic 2nd Person Pronoun HUMEIS referring to the audience of Paul’s writing, “believers,” members of the Royal Family of God

Did not learn Christ” is the negative Particle OU with the Aorist, Active, Indicative Verb MANTHANO, μανθάνω that means, “to learn by instruction, investigation, practice, or experience; to understand.” It is a technical word for learning, it is used for academic study, academic learning where there is discipline, John 7:15; Gal 3:2; 1 Cor 14:31; Phil 4:11.

This is followed by HO CHRISTOS for “the Christ.” It emphasizes His deity, Messiahship, and His Word.

In this way” is the Greek Adverb HOUTOS, οὕτως that means, “In this manner, thus, in this way, as follows, etc.” It describes the manner of the verbal action or state of being. It is derived from the demonstrative Pronoun HOUTOS that means, “this,” by lengthening the final vowel. Therefore, “this” becomes “thus, so, or in this manner.”

Altogether, this means that we did not come to know and understand who and what Christ is by living in sin, inside of Satan’s cosmic system. “Christ” emphasizes the deity of Jesus Christ, and here the absolute holiness and righteousness that He is as God. It also emphasizes His Messiahship. Therefore, by living in or experiencing sin, evil, and human good, we do not learn anything about the holiness and righteousness of God that is given to us at the moment of our salvation. Therefore, we are unable to live in holiness and righteousness. We learned about Christ as our Messiah and our salvation, as well as the spiritual life we can live, through Him when we learned His Word.

This also tells us that we no longer exist in the state of ignorance and separation from God with Scar Tissue on our hearts. We now have come to know who Christ is and how to live unto Him daily.

Vs. 21, We learned truth and how to walk from Jesus.

Eph 4:21, “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus.”

It begins with “if indeed,” which is the Conjunction EI, the first class if, with the Particle GE that means, “indeed” emphasizing the “if” statement as absolute. In other words, “if and you absolutely did.”

What did we absolutely do? Two things:

1) We “heard Him,” AKOUO AUTOS, in the Aorist, Active, Indicative that means we actively learned in the past about Christ by listening, through the ear gate, to the teachings about Him. This emphasizes the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP), as we actively partake in the teaching of God’s Word, verbally communicated by our Pastor-Teacher. It also emphasizes the left lobe, NOUS, or mind of the soul, as the place that the Word enters into our soul. It is the counter to the Blackout of the Soul.

2) “Have been taught in Him,” is DIDASKO EN AUTOS, where DIDASKO is in the Aorist, Passive, Indicative. The Aorist, Passive emphasizes that in the past we have received the teaching of Bible Doctrine from our right Pastor-Teacher, Eph 4:11-13. The Indicative is for the reality that we have been taught His Word.

Finally, we have, “just as truth is in Jesus,” which is KATHOS EIMI ALETHEIA EN HO IESOUS.

Here we have the Present, Active, Indicative of EIMI for “is,” which indicates a state of continuous presence of absolute truth in the person of Jesus Christ. “Truth,” ALETHEIA means, “truth, integrity, freedom from error, reality, etc.” It relates back to Eph 1:13, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation— having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

Therefore, it refers to God’s Word or Bible Doctrine that is the “mind of Christ,” 1 Cor 2:16.

As Jesus Christ is the “way, truth and life,” John 14:6, His message is both salvation and the Christian way of life, as we will note in vs. 24, “And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” So here, it speaks to the content of Christianity as the ultimate truth, versus the lie that comes from false religions and Satan’s cosmic system that is deceptive.

Vs. 22, We are to put off the old self, the old way of doing things.

Eph 4:22, “That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.”

Here we note that the old ways of doing things through the world, Satan’s cosmic system, and false religions is to be ended in the life of the believer.

In reference to” is KATA. “Your former,” is the Accusative of HO and the Adjective PROTEROS, πρότερος that means, “before, former, or earlier.” It is used with “manner of life,” which is the Accusative Noun ANASTROPHE, ἀναστροφή that means, “conduct, behavior, or manner of life.” In classical Greek, it literally meant to, “turn around.” Now figuratively it means, “human behavior, conduct, or life-style.” With the Adjective “former,” it represents our life as an unbeliever when we were focused on the world, false religions, and Satan cosmic system living an immoral life style as an enemy of God.

Next, we are to “lay aside the old self.” “Lay aside,” in the Greek is the Aorist, Middle, Infinitive of APOTITHEMI, ἀποτίθημι from APO a preposition of ultimate source and TITHMI that means, “to place or to put,” comes together to mean, “take off, lay aside, rid oneself of, or renounce.” It actually is at the beginning of the sentence in the Greek. Literally used for taking off something like clothing, it is used as a figurative action in which something undesirable is “laid aside,” (e.g., “works of darkness,” “the old man,” “lies,” and all kinds of sin), in Rom 13:12; Eph 4:22, 25; Col 3:8. The Infinitive is for purpose, so we have “that” in the English at the beginning of the sentence. The purpose here is to rid ourselves of the negative influence of the Old Sin Nature, OSN, which we can only do through Rebound and the application of Bible doctrine in our lives. So laying aside the old self means to Rebound and walk in the new life that God has given to us.

The thing laid aside is “the old self,” HO PALAIOS ANTHROPOS. It literally reads, “the old man.” This is what we call the Old Sin Nature, OSN, or the Adamic Nature. It is not just referencing our former behaviors, but that sin nature inside of us that prior to our salvation had exclusive rule over our souls. This word goes back to the fact that in the very beginning,the Old Sin Nature came upon man at the point of the fall. We are born with an OSN. Adam and the woman acquired one through the fall. But now that we are in Christ, we have a new nature as noted in the next verse. Therefore, this tells us to stop being controlled by our OSN, our Adamic Nature, and instead walk in our new nature.

Before we discuss the new nature, this verse reminds us what the OSN is doing. It is, “being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.”

“Being corrupted,” is the Present, Middle, Participle of the Verb PHTHEIRO, φθείρω that means, “to destroy, corrupt, defile, ruin, or spoil.” It refers to ruining or corrupting the believer’s inner life, either by false teaching or by immoral conduct, often accomplished by means of misleading tactics. It was also used in classical Greek for seducing a female or a female who “wandered off.” Therefore, we see the tie in with sexual immorality noted in vs. 19, and the corrupting effect it has on the soul. As such, it represents the Blackout of the Soul that leads to Scar Tissue upon the Soul.

2 Cor 11:3, “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

Jude 1:10, “But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.”

This corruption led by the power of the OSN over the soul is, “in accordance,” KATA, “with the lusts of deceit,” the Noun EPITHUMIA that means, “desire, longing, craving,” with the Genitive Noun APATE, ἀπάτη that means, “trick or treachery, deceit or deceitfulness and fraud.” It refers to false teaching of false doctrines and the falsehoods inside of Satan’s cosmic system. It reminds us of the KUBEIA of vs. 14.

The NT uses APATE only in reference to the deceit experienced by those outside of faith. Thus, we encounter a familiar motif in Scripture that the world is deceived and only the godly know the truth. It is used in reference to our unbelieving state when we were deceived and led astray by Satan’s cosmic system. This word also represents the world’s value system, in that riches are “deceptive” and lead people away from the truth of the gospel, and that false teachers “revel in their deceptions or pleasures,” Mat 13:22; Mark 4:19; 2 Peter 2:13. Other applications of this word in relation to our verse is that passions lead people astray and represent the old nature, cf. Heb 3:13, and that human philosophies are empty and deceptive, Col 2:8. Paul characterized those who are perishing as “deceived,” 2 Thes 2:10.

That is why we are to…

1 Tim 6:11, “But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”

1 Peter 1:15, “But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.”

In regards to our lustful desires that deceive us, although EPITHUMIA can be used in a positive sense, it is used in Eph 2:3, and here, as elsewhere, in the sense of an improper desire morally or ethically.

Man’s desires were distorted as a result of the Fall, when they exerted an unnatural control over man’s shattered image of God, Eph 4:17-19; Rom 1:20-32. As such, humanity in its present sinful state is apart from the saving grace of God, serving “various lusts and pleasures,” Titus 3:3.

Humanity’s “sinful lusts” are revealed in its sinful nature, manifest expressly in sexual, moral, and ethical rebellion against God, Rom 6:12; 7:23-24; 8:13, as evil desires of all kinds are seated in the heart, Mark 7:21-23.

Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

Paul used EPITHUMIA as that which motivates the actions of the fallen human being. As he notes here, the “old man” is corrupt “according to the deceitful lusts” and contrasts with the “new man” of the believer, which God “created in righteousness and true holiness.”

However, even within the believer the old nature, the sinful nature, “the flesh”, challenges the believer’s new man. As such, we are not to permit those sinful inclinations to rule our lives. If they remain unchecked, they may jeopardize your faith, Rom 8:13, “For if you are living according to the flesh you must die, but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

Gal 5:16-17, “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire / lust of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: for these are in opposition to one another.”

The battle of the believer is waged not only against obvious sinful acts, Gal 5:19-21, but against the temptations or desires of the sinful nature. Those belonging to Christ have crucified the OSN with its passions and desires, Gal 5:24.

James used EPITHUMIA as something which lures and entices man to sin, James 1:14.

Peter wrote of our “former lusts,” 1 Peter 1:14, i.e., desires that belong to the old life, and warned us to avoid these since they wage war against the soul, 1 Peter 2:11.  He also noted that corruption in the world comes through EPITHUMIA, 2 Peter 1:4.

Jude, in the same way, exposed spiritual deceivers as typically those who live according to their own desires, Jude 16-18.

John warned of the triad of Satan’s temptations, “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life” that are characteristic of the world and worldly life-style, 1 John 2:16. You cannot love these things because to do so would be a denial of your love for God.

The desires of the “flesh” are not only a compelling force within each individual, but they are the larger force of the world itself. Jesus traced this evil tendency to its progenitor, the Devil in John 8:44, “You are of your father the Devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”

The evil desires and schemes of the fallen world and the Devil have enlisted each other to fight against believers. That is why the writers of the NT speak of evil passions in harsh terms and depict them as having infiltrated virtually every aspect of life, 2 Peter 3:3; cf. Rom 1:24; Eph 4:22; Col 3:5; 1 Tim 6:9; 2 Tim 2:22; Titus 2:12; 1 Peter 4:2-3; 2 Peter 2:10; 1 John 2:16; Jude 18.

2 Peter 3:3, “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts.

That is why we are commanded  in 1 Tim 6:12 to, “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Vs. 23, We are to be renewed in the left lobe of the soul, (to counter the Blackout of the Soul).

Eph 4:23, “And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”

Now we come to the positive aspect of the process. Because the Christian life is not a void, MATAIOTES, believers need to “be renewed.” This verse tells us that the Christian way of life does not come naturally upon your salvation or by osmosis. It is something that must be learned and then applied, which takes time.

As noted in vs. 22, the believer is no longer to walk “after the flesh,” i.e., controlled by the OSN. Instead, he is to walk “after the Spirit,” Rom 8:4. By the Spirit, the “inner man” is renewed, Eph 4:23; Rom 12:2; 1 Cor 2:11-16. The one living in or by the Spirit does not fulfill the desires of the flesh, Gal 5:16. A new drive and purpose replaces the desires of the sinful nature; this enables a Christian to “put to death” any EPITHUMIA in their life, Col 3:5, and progress toward holiness.

Col 3:5, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”

As we learn God’s Word, we learn how to overcome our OSN, and we learn that Divine judgment solves the problems of the OSN.

Phase One, (the day of our conversion for salvation),  judgment,  Christ was judged for the sins of the world on the Cross, taking our place, bearing our sins, and being judged by God the Father, 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24.

Phase Two, (our Christian life here on earth), judgment, is the believer’s sins judged by the Rebound Technique, 1 Cor 11:31; 1 John 1:9. This is why 1 John 1:7 is so important. The principle is that in Phase Two the believer’s sins are judged by the Rebound Technique, he judges his own sins.

Phase Three, (being in heaven), judgment, solves the problem of the OSN, the believer’s human good is judged at the judgment seat of Christ, 1 Cor 3:12-16. The unbeliever’s human good is judged at the Great White Throne, Rev 20:12-15.

So here, we see the second purpose of the spiritual life, to be “renewed,” the verb ANANEOO, ἀνανεόω in the Present, Passive, Infinitive that means, “renew, be renewed, to renew oneself, or refresh.” It comes from the root NEOS that means, “new or fresh” and the prefix ANA meaning “again.” So literally it is “new again or fresh again.” It means to take in the Word of God consistently and get the garbage of Satan’s cosmic system out of your thinking, out of the heart of your soul. It means to refresh your thinking in terms of God’s word.

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

Col 3:9-10, “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him…”

In 2 Cor 4:16; Col 3:10, “renewed” is ANAKAINOO, ἀνακαινόω that means, “renew, amend, or change.” It comes from the root term KAINOS that emphasizes, “new in nature or essence, which is superior to the old.” We will see KAINOS in vs. 24.

ANANEOO is in the iterative Present Tense that means you do it repeatedly, over and over again in continuous process. When you renew over and over again, you are actually restoring or refreshing.

Lam 3:22-23; The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.”

It is Passive because God accomplishes the work only as believers yield to the Holy Spirit. The repentant believer receives the action of being renewed. The Infinitive is for purpose. It is God’s purpose for you to get the garbage of Satan’s cosmic system out of your soul and get His Word, Bible doctrine into your soul so that you have Divine viewpoint rather than cosmic viewpoint in life.

This renewing or restoring is in the quality of your thinking, the left lobe of your soul, as noted in the phrase “in the spirit of the mind,” PNEUMA HO NOUS. To renew the left lobe of our soul, it means that our volition is involved and therefore, we must be positive towards the intake of Bible doctrine. When we are, our thinking will be renewed.

This continues the discussion on the counter attack to the Blackout of the Soul, through Rebound, 1 John 1:9, and now we see the necessity for the consistent inculcation of Bible doctrine. Consistency is the concept, the consistent function of GAP is necessary for reversion recovery, as well as for achieving the tactical objective of the Supergrace life.

When we renew or restore the left lobe of our soul through Rebound and the inculcation of Bible Doctrine, it renews and restores the quality for your right lobe, which cleans out any Scar Tissue built up on your soul. Therefore, you are renewing the essence or make up of the left lobe that leads to the renewing or restoring of the essence or make up of the right lobe, heart of your soul.

Vs. 24, We are to put on the new self, by living in the new Christ like nature of righteousness and holiness as taught in His Word, (i.e., truth).

Eph 4:24, “And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

Having seen the necessity for the Rebound technique in vs. 22, (“lay aside the old man”), the consistent application of GAP in vs. 23, (“be renewed in the spirit of your mind”), we now have the necessity for building the Edification Complex of the Soul, ECS, as noted in the phrase, “put on the new man.

And put on” is the Coordinating Conjunction KAI, to include this third Infinitive of Purpose clause to the previous two, identifying the advance to the Supergrace life. Next, we have the Aorist, Middle, Infinitive of ENDUO, ἐνδύω that means, “dress, clothe oneself, or put on.” The Constative Aorist views the entirety of the action of taking in Bible Doctrine, building the Edification Complex of your Soul and operating in the Supergrace life that is possible because you have been made a new creation in Christ. The Infinitive is also Imperatival, meaning this is a command. The Middle Voice says that the believer performs the action of putting on the new man, where he benefits from the action. When you experience your new spiritual life, you benefit by it.

The NT also uses ENDUO figuratively to depict the putting on of immortality, 1 Cor 15:53, and being clothed with Christ, Gal 3:27, and in Eph 6:14, we will see Paul encouraging the believer to prepare for spiritual warfare by putting on the breastplate of righteousness and girding their loins with truth, Bible Doctrine. These are part of the armor of God needed to resist evil, and all three are a part of putting on the new man.

The new man” is the Adjective KAINOS, καινός for, “new” which denotes that which is new in nature or essence, which is superior to the old. Then we have ANTHROPOS, ἄνθρωπος that means, “man,” rather than self. This is in comparison to the “old man” in vs. 23 that spoke of our sinful nature called the Old Sin Nature or the Adamic Nature. As a born-again believer, we have a new nature or new man, which is a spiritual nature that the unbeliever does not possess. Being a “new man” is what we call being a “New Spiritual Species.” Cf. 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Eph 2:10; 2:15.

2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Gal 6:15, “For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.”

At the moment of our salvation, we were born again, which means we were born spiritually and given a new spiritual nature called the “human spirit.” Having been given this new nature, we became a New Spiritual Species with capability of receiving power to be victorious in the spiritual life, along with tremendous assets and benefits. 2 Cor 5:17 and Gal 6:15 both speak of being created a New Spiritual Species, which is our position in Christ that can never be taken away. In our passage, Eph 4:24, to “put on the new man” or “put on the New Spiritual Species,” does not mean we earn or gain this new nature over time, rather it means to utilize the new nature we have been given. You cannot earn the new nature; it is given to you at salvation. But, you can put on, wear, or clothe yourself with the new nature, which is something that you actively perform.

In the phrase “put on the new man,” it assumes you already own the new man, just like you already own the clothes in your closet. To “put on” means you have to actively dress yourself with it, just like you have to dress yourself with the clothes in your closet if you are going to utilize them. So, our phrase means we have to actively dress up with the New Spiritual Species that we have already been made. We have to adorn it. To do so, we need to actively take in God’s Word that builds the Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS).

Col 3:10, “And have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.”

Even though we have a new nature and have been created as a New Spiritual Species, the believer still has the Old Sin Nature, but it cannot function or control his life apart from his own consent and negative volition. The Old Sin Nature has not passed away, but it has lost its power because a new power is in you, and only by the use of Divine omnipotence in your New Man, found in God’s Word and the filling of the Holy Spirit, can we overcome the Old Man.

The New Spiritual Species

From 2 Cor 5:17 and Gal 6:15, we understand that the born again believer has been made into a new creature, a new creation, which we call a New Spiritual Species.

2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

 Gal 6:15, “For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.”

Characteristics of the New Spiritual Species.

  • The New Spiritual Species is created by the Baptism of the Spirit at salvation. This positional sanctification constitutes the equal privilege of predestination.
  • The New Spiritual Species is forever protected from liability at the last judgment; you cannot lose your salvation, Rom 8:1.
  • The New Spiritual Species possesses eternal life, 1 John 5:11-12.
  • The New Spiritual Species possesses a double Divine righteousness:

    1) The imputed perfect righteousness of God the Father, Rom 3:22.

    2) The perfect righteousness we share with Jesus Christ through positional sanctification, 1 Cor 1:30.

1 Cor 1:30, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

  • The New Spiritual Species has an inheritance protected by the omnipotence of God, 1 Peter 1:4-5, “To obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. 5who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
  • Being a New Spiritual Species is not progressive. It cannot be improved in time or in eternity. It is a gift of God and originates from His sovereignty; therefore, we cannot improve it by anything we do.
  • Yet, we are commanded to put it on which means, learn about and live in the holiness and righteousness of God through the intake and application of Bible doctrine through the filling of God the Holy Spirit, (GAP), Eph 2:15; 4:24; Col 3:10.

Eph 4:24, “And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

  • Being a New Spiritual Species is not an emotion or an experience. It is not an empirical function. Emotion is a normal part of life, a normal soul function, but it has no part in leading the Christian life, only in responding to it. You can be filled with the Holy Spirit and be emotional about something, but emotion is not a sign of spirituality; it is not a function of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
  • Being a New Spiritual Species is not related to any form of human works or human merit.
  • The New Spiritual Species of the Church Age is both justified and sanctified. We are justified as New Spiritual Species, Rom 3:24. (OT believers were also justified upon receiving the imputation of God’s perfect righteousness.) We are sanctified, (entered into union with Christ), as New Spiritual Species, 1 Cor 1:2, 30; Heb 10:10, 14. (No OT believer was ever entered into union with Christ.)

1 Cor 1:30, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

 Heb 10:14, “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”

  • OT believers were justified after the pattern of Abraham, Gen 15:6; Rom 4:3; Gal 3:6; James 2:23.

Gen 15:6, “Abraham believed in the Lord and it was credited to his account for righteousness.”

But it was not until the great power experiment of the hypostatic union was extended into the Church Age that a New Spiritual Species was created.

The New Spiritual Species is unique to the Church Age, never existed in any previous dispensation, nor will it exist in any future dispensation.

The Creation of the New Spiritual Species.

After four racial species, (descendants of Shem, Ham, Japheth, and Abraham), there now exists something far greater, a New Spiritual Species. In the history of the human race, only two new species have been added to genus Homo Sapien. 1) Israel was added as the new racial species, through Abraham. The Jew is racially different from all the descendants of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth, (all called Gentiles). 2) The Church is the New Spiritual Species.

The New Spiritual Species is classified in Scripture as the body of Christ, Royal Family of God, and Church. It is unique and exclusive to the Church Age only and provides equal privilege and equal opportunity for all believers in the execution of God’s will, plan, and purpose for the Church Age.

The New Spiritual Species originates from regeneration at the moment of salvation through faith in Christ and the mechanics of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The new racial species of Israel was perpetuated through procreation, while in the Church Age, the New Spiritual Species of the Royal Family of God is perpetuated through the Baptism of the Spirit at the point of salvation.

In addition, each new species, racial Jew and spiritual Church, originated from a category of Biblical death. Israel originated from Abraham’s sexual death, Rom 4:17-21; Heb 11:11-12. The Church originates from the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the union with the substitutionary spiritual death of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

As a result of the New Spiritual Species of the Church or body of Christ, distinction between Jew and Gentile is removed during the Church Age, Eph 2:11-22. God’s Word only distinguishes between believer and unbeliever during the Church Age. This erases any distinctions between mankind, and puts him in union with Christ. He is no longer any race or color, rich or poor; he is Royal Family of God forever. In fact, with the coming of the Church Age and the Baptism of the Spirit, the following distinctions are removed: racial, cultural, social, and sexual, Gal 3:26 28; 1 Cor 12:13ff.

When you understand this doctrine, you no longer think of yourself in terms of human distinctions, but as a distinct personality for whom God has provided the most fantastic plan and the greatest opportunity in all of human history. Therefore, the classification of a New Spiritual Species for the Church Age eliminates every racial, national, social, cultural, economic, or geographical distinction, all handicap distinctions, such as variation in I.Q., attractiveness, ability, talent, or any other factor.

The Reason for the New Spiritual Species is the perpetuation of the great power experiment of the hypostatic union into the Church Age. This extension demands that all the power first given to Jesus Christ in hypostatic union is now made available to every believer, (although it is not used by many believers). Our Lord’s humanity relied upon the omnipotence of God the Father, the author of the prototype Divine power system, (filling of the Holy Spirit plus application of Bible Doctrine in the Soul). Our Lord remained inside the prototype power system throughout His life and so relied on the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit. Being born without Adam’s original sin, the Old Sin Nature, and never committing a personal sin, our Lord remained impeccable by the sustaining power of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. So too is this power made available to every believer so that they can overcome their Old Nature: the Old Man, the Old Sin Nature.

The Church Age was created for the calling out of a Royal Family for our Lord’s new third royal warrant given at His session; King of kings and Lord of lords. We are here to complement our Lord’s strategic victory with tactical victories. We have the operational‑type power system, which extends to us the same maximum availability of Divine power. The omnipotence of God the Father has provided us a Portfolio of Invisible Assets, the omnipotence of God the Son sustains the universe and human history, and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit empowers us in the operational-type power system.

We now stand on the threshold of history with the opportunity to have an impact, which can change history and the course of our nation and of world history. Or, we can sink back into the morass of our preoccupation with self, our prejudices, our erroneous standards and priorities, our mixed‑up confused and hopeless standing around waiting to be amused attitude.

You have a choice. Whether you ever exploit your fantastic opportunity or not depends upon your renewing of your mind, Rom 12:2, a.k.a., epistemological rehabilitation, your cognition of Bible doctrine and its metabolization, and your resultant spiritual growth.

Rom 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Being a New Spiritual Species allows for a lifestyle of wisdom: cognition of Bible doctrine, inculcation of Divine viewpoint over human viewpoint, and the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit inside the Divine power system.

We have the same assets and Divine power available to us as Jesus Christ, yet we are imperfect. This is why we had to be created a New Spiritual Species at salvation, apart from which we could not use Divine power.

The Purpose of the New Spiritual Species is to remove all past actions of miracles on which believers leaned, and instead to make available God’s power to all believers. Miracles are the easiest thing for the sovereignty of God. However, to affect history through born-again believers is a system far, far greater than any miracle ever performed.

Should you reach spiritual adulthood, your impact on history is very great. In eternity future, all of man’s efforts in history are blotted out, and the only things recorded in the historical records of eternity are what mature believers did to change the course of history, cf. Rev 3:12.

As noted above, the power provision of the New Spiritual Species includes the omnipotence of God the Father related to our Portfolio of Invisible Assets, the omnipotence of God the Son related to the perpetuation of human history and holding the universe together, and the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit related to our Divine power system. The utilization of this Divine power demands putting on the new man that is, renewing of your mind, which is cognition of pertinent Bible doctrine and advancement to the three stages of spiritual adulthood; Spiritual Self-Esteem, Spiritual Autonomy, and Spiritual Maturity. Just as you did not feel or experience the Baptism of the Spirit at salvation, so you will not feel or experience the fantastic historical invisible impact of the Royal Family of God.

Because of this power provision, we have the unique opportunity to suffer for blessing under three categories, (providential preventive suffering, momentum testing, and evidence testing), for which there is no precedent in the Old Testament. The precedent for these three categories of suffering for blessing is found in the great power experiment of the hypostatic union.

Therefore, we are here to complement our Lord’s strategic victory of the Angelic Conflict with a tactical victory, as each new species is a witness for the prosecution in Satan’s appeal trial, which is coterminous with human history.

  • Israel was in the trial phase of the Angelic Conflict called Old Testament history. The trial phase was the duplication of Satan’s fall in the fall of Adam. The case for the prosecution, God, was Noah, Job, Abraham, Moses, etc. The case for the defense was suffering, persecution, adversity, and violence. Obviously, Satan could not make his point through violence.
  • The Church is in the rebuttal phase of the trial called New Testament history. The rebuttal phase of the trial for the prosecution was the First Advent of Christ, (the great power experiment of the hypostatic union). It has a second component called the great power experiment of the Church Age. The rebuttal of the defense, Satan, is the violence of the Tribulation.
  • The closing argument and summary of the prosecution is the Second Advent of Christ and His millennial reign, demonstrating once again that perfect environment is not the solution to man’s problems. The closing argument and summary of the defense is the Gog revolution at the end of the Millennium, at which time some of the population of the earth will revolt against the perfect environment on the earth.
  • Then history is closed down. Satan’s sentence is confirmed and carried out, and the earth is destroyed and there is the creation of the new heavens, new earth, and New Jerusalem.

Every time a believer is consistent in living daily inside the Plan of God, to learn and use his portfolio of invisible assets, and to take the giant step to spiritual self‑esteem, followed by the victory step to spiritual maturity, that believer is entered as evidence in Satan’s appeal trial, and he receives the conveyance of his escrow blessings. The combination of which glorifies God forever. The believer of the Church Age has been equipped to the maximum for the potential of winning tactical victories over his soul, being evidence for the prosecution, and glorifying God for all of eternity.

The Result of the New Spiritual Species is the invisible historical impact of the mature believer in three categories:

  • Personal impact is blessing by association when you receive your escrow blessings for time through execution of God’s Plan for your life.
  • National impact is historical impact in the client nation through the pivot of mature believers which, when large enough, (which could be ~ 5%), blesses the nation. In this dispensation, as goes the New Spiritual Species, so goes the client nation to God.
  • International impact is blessing to non‑client nations through quality missionaries sent from the client nation. The pivot in the client nation overflows into better missionary activity.

The Opportunity of the New Spiritual Species.

The Church Age is the greatest opportunity afforded to individual believers in all of human history. We have more going for us than even Adam had in the perfect environment of the garden, or any group of people in history. As a New Spiritual Species, you have a greater spiritual impact than Israel had in the Old Testament. Israel’s historical impact was visible; your historical impact is invisible. Never before has such an opportunity been afforded by God as is now given to each of us as believers in the Church Age.

You live in the age of the greatest potential dynamics to ever exist in human history. Having the greatest power and opportunity of all believers in human history to this point, you should never stoop to claim any superiority based on any human standards by which members of the human race are distinguished. Yet, you now have the privilege of becoming a person with a purpose under the greatest plan from God. Your impact cannot only be extensive and invisible in human history, but it also extends into the Angelic Conflict.

As such, we must entirely change our human viewpoint to Divine viewpoint. As a member of the Royal Family of God, with your very own portfolio of invisible assets, plus an absolutely perfect and wonderful plan, it guarantees to keep you on top of life as long as you live. It guarantees to allow for you to have a tremendous impact inside the Angelic Conflict, as it guarantees to give you a happiness you never dreamed existed, and to provide for your blessings beyond description. If you do not have all this right now, it is because you are either negative toward Bible doctrine or ignorant of doctrine, or too preoccupied with the distractions of life. Your ideas and dreams of happiness, greatness, or prosperity are nothing compared to what God provides, which is beyond what you can think or imagine, Eph 3:17-21.

Next in vs. 24 we have, “which according to God, has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

Which” is the Accusative singular of the definite article HO, but the definite article is used as a relative pronoun, “which.”

According to God,” is the Preposition KATA plus the Accusative of THEOS that means, “according to the standard of God.” In other words, God is the designer, author, and creator of the “New Man” Therefore, the new man is created in the standard of God, which is a perfect and holy standard, as we will note below. BDAG notes of KATA used here, that it is a, “marker of norm of similarity or homogeneity that is, “according to, in accordance with, or in conformity with,” to express equality, similarity, or example.” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature.) Therefore, this is a reference to God’s entire essence and anything that represents the essence of God has to be absolutely perfect, which the New Man is, cf. Heb 8:5. As such, God is not only the pattern after which our new nature was created but the author and creator of our new life as well. We further gain this understanding in the last word, “truth,” below.

Has been created,” is the Aorist, Passive, Participle of KTIZO, κτίζω that means, “create, form, shape, or found.” We noted this word in Eph 2:10, 15; 3:9. It is also used in the parallel verse Col 3:10. It is used in regard to God’s overall creative acts in Mat 19:4; Mark 13:19; Rom 1:25; 1 Cor 11:9; Col 1:16; 1 Tim 4:3; Rev 4:11; 10:6. Here it is used regarding the creation of the New Man, the New Spiritual Species, in the pattern of God’s perfect design.

The Culminative Aorist views the action of the verb in its entirety with emphasis on the existing results, resulting in the creation of something new – the New Man.

The Passive voice: the believer received the action of the verb at the moment of salvation, and adorns it through the daily function of GAP.

The Participle tells us that God did and does all the work.

Therefore, “putting on the new man,” means functioning and operating in the new spiritual nature that God has created in you, and building it up with the Word of God, which we call the Edification Complex of the Soul, which is adorning the New Man with the beauty and perfection of God’s Word, principles, and precepts and then walking in them.

God’s creative act of making the believer a new man, a new spiritual species, was done with two absolute guiding principles, “righteousness and holiness.”

  • The first guiding principles in the creation of the new man was that he is created, “in righteousness,” which is the Preposition EN, “in” and the Dative Noun DIKAIOSUNE, δικαιοσύνη that means, “righteousness, justice, or uprightness.” Righteousness, in general, is God’s uprightness or standard. It involves both a legal standard and a religious, ethical, or moral perspective. In other words, God was absolutely right and just to create the believer as a new man, a new spiritual species. At the same time, God created the new man ethically and morally perfect, just as God is perfect. It identifies the New Man’s position before God as just and right, meaning his sins have been paid for and God only views him by his perfection. It also indicates the concept that the believer has received the imputation of God’s righteousness at the moment of salvation. Therefore, we stand before God as absolutely righteous. So we translate this, “has been created in Divine righteousness,” which we call +R.

In addition, DIKAIOSUNE, is used as a major virtue in both Greek literature and the Bible. To walk in righteousness, you must have God’s Word resident within your soul. You have to have righteousness in your soul by way of doctrine before you can have righteousness in your life by way of practice. This is used of the believer in fellowship and filled with the Holy Spirit, and the building of the Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS). Therefore, walking in experiential righteousness is nobility, and since we are Royal Family, we might as well act like it!

  • The second guiding principles in the creation of the new man was that he is created in, “holiness.” The Preposition EN continues to apply to holiness because of the Conjunction KAI for “and.” So, “and in Divine holiness,” is our translation.

Holiness” here is not the typical Greek word for holiness, HAGIASMOS from the root for holy, HAGIOS. Instead, it is a word that is only used here and in Luke 1:75, the Dative Noun HOSIOTES, ὁσιότης that means, “piety, holiness, or devoutness.” In Luke it is used as part of the prophesy of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, regarding how God’s people would serve Him, “in holiness and righteousness.” In our verse, it serves two purposes. First, and primarily, it refers to the creative act of God, in that the New Man was created by a Holy God, “by His holiness” and “according to His holy standard.”

Secondly, given the context of the following verses, it speaks of a holy life devoted to God that refrains from the sinful deeds and habits of the former life, the Old Man, that the believer should walk in. Therefore, we were created in Divine righteousness and holiness, so that we could walk in Divine righteousness and holiness.

These are both seen in the last phrase, “of the truth,” which is the Genitive of Possession of HO ALETHEIA. ALETHEIA means, “truth, dependability, freedom from error, and integrity.” In regards to the creative act of God, which is the main principle here, “truth” stands for God’s essence, just as righteousness and holiness do, as He is Veracity or absolute truth, just as His Word is truth.

Deut 32:4, “He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.”

2 Sam 7:28, “And now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant.”

1 Thes 2:13, “For this cause we also thank God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe.”

As to our walk, we understand that we were created to walk in truth, which also represents Bible Doctrine. When we walk according to God’s Word, we will not walk in the Old Man, we will not commit the sins listed in the following verses, and instead we will walk in the integrity of God. Therefore, having been created a new man by the integrity of God, we are to walk in our new man in the sphere of the integrity of God, the sphere of being filled with the Holy Spirit with Bible Doctrine resident within our soul.

John 3:21, “But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been performed in God.”

John 4:24, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

1 Tim 3:15, “But in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”

Titus 1:1, “I Paul, a bond-servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness…..”

Therefore, the new man was created by the righteousness, holiness, and truth of God, which make up the integrity of God, so that he would walk in the New Man in righteousness, holiness, and truth, that is, in the sphere of the integrity of God.

Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”

Rom 6:4, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

 The believer must “put on the new man,” which means allowing the Holy Spirit to be the controlling force in his life coupled with the intake and application of God’s Word. If he is doing this, it will manifest itself in “righteousness and true holiness.” Under the filling of the Holy Spirit, the daily function of Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP) leads to reversion recovery for the reversionistic believer and spiritual growth for every believer. As the believer begins to recover and/or grow spiritually, it is inevitable that he will begin the construction of the Edification Complex of the Soul, (ECS), at which time he now is fulfilling the objective of reaching the super-grace life.

In contrast to the Old Man of vs. 17-19, ignorance of Bible doctrine is now replaced by devotion to Bible doctrine. How do you know when you are on the road to super-grace? You are totally devoted to God and His Word. You love God and you cannot get along without His Word; His Word becomes your life.

As a result of putting on the new man and growing spiritually, due to devotion to God and His Word, the believer will take on several characteristics of the new man, which is also called “the Christ like nature.”

The following are Characteristics of the New Man as a result of having God’s Word in his soul:

Post-salvation Renewing of Your Mind (Epistemological Rehabilitation). Epistemology is the study of knowledge itself, addressing the question of how man knows what he knows. After salvation, the believer must concentrate on a new source of truth, Bible Doctrine, under the teaching ministry of an academically prepared Pastor, theologically orthodox Pastor-Teacher filled with the Spirit. The believer must acquire a new doctrinal frame of reference through learning and metabolizing the Word of God by faith, for “the righteous believer shall live by faith,” Rom 1:17. This renewing encompasses all the Bible Doctrine the believer has learned between salvation and spiritual adulthood, Rom 12:2. This renovation of thought includes everything from understanding spirituality and how to execute the Plan of God, to appreciating one’s Portfolio of Invisible Assets.

The Beginning of Contentment. The contentment, or capacity for happiness in one’s present circumstances, of the New Man begins in Spiritual Self-Esteem, grows stronger in Spiritual Autonomy, and reaches a peak in Spiritual Maturity, 2 Cor 12:10; 1 Tim 6:6-8; Heb 13:5. In spiritual adulthood, sharing the happiness of God is the Christian’s greatest and most effective problem-solving device, Phil 4:11.

1 Tim 6:6-8, “But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. 7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.”

2 Cor 12:10, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Mental Stability. A stabilized mentality comes from the consistent and accurate application of Bible Doctrine in adversity and in prosperity, Phil 4:11-13.

Composure Marked By Self-Assurance. Self-assurance is a characteristic of the New Man who consistently and accurately applies Bible doctrine to life and who has experienced the efficacy of doctrine in his own life, James 1:22-25.

Grace Orientation to Life. The New Man appreciates the extension of God’s grace toward him without distorting that grace policy into antinomian license, Rom 6:1. Furthermore, he demonstrates a gracious attitude toward other people without distorting toleration into compromise of integrity, Rom 12:10.

Doctrinal Orientation to Reality, (Divine Viewpoint). The New Man orients his thinking to reality by maintaining his humility, by avoiding inordinate ambition and competition, by developing spiritual common sense, spiritual independence, and a sense of humor, Rom 12:3; Eph 4:23.

Good Decisions from a Position of Strength. The New Man will make good decision having the power of God residing and functioning with His soul. God’s Power System, (GPS – the filling of the Holy Spirit with the Word of God in the soul), is the position of strength in which good decisions are possible. Based on Divine viewpoint thinking and motivation from personal love for God, the New Man will make good decisions in life, Eph 6:10; Phil 2:2; Col 1:11.

Eph 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.”

The Beginning of Personal Control of One’s Life. The New Man has spiritual independence in his life based on maximum use of his royal priesthood, by which he represents himself before God. His perspective in life is focused on God rather than on people, Col 2:7; Heb 12:2-3.

Col 2:6-7, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”

Heb 12:1-2, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The Use of Spiritual Self-Esteem, (SSE), as a Problem-Solving Device. The New Man who has gained the first stage of spiritual adulthood, SSE, solves the problem of inadequacy, fear, emotional disturbance, lack of personality identity, and uncertainty concerning his niche in life, 2 Tim 1:7. The New Man views difficulties as opportunities to utilize the doctrine in his soul, 2 Tim 2:3-4.

2 Tim 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, (DEILIA – cowardice, fearful, lack of mental or moral strength), but of power and love and discipline.”

2 Tim 2:3-4, “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”

The Beginning of a Personal Sense of Destiny. Having a Personal Sense of Destiny means, you understand the objectives of the spiritual life for the New Man and you walk in them. As such, your Personal Sense of Destiny eventually becomes so great that it outweighs any problem, disaster, heartache, and tragedy that come your way. No matter what happens, you always remember that you have a destiny inside of God’s Plan. The meaning, purpose, and definition of your life become clear as you resolve your relationships with God, self, and people, Mat 6:26-34; Rom 8:29-32.

Mat 6:26-27, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27And which of you by worrying can add eighteen inches to his height (an hour to his life)?”

Command of Self. When the New Man has command of his feelings, emotions, and thinking, he will fulfill the responsibilities that accompany independence. As such, the New Man exercises self-control, self-restraint, poise, and self-regulation, Prov 19:11; 1 Cor 14:33; 2 Tim 2:10. Having command of yourself facilitates good communication with other people, which is mandatory in all successful relationships.

Prov 19:11, “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression.”

1 Cor 14:33, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”

A New Attitude Toward Life. Personal love for God gives the New Man a dynamic attitude, viewpoint, and perspective on life. His thoughts and priorities change as his focus on Christ motivates him in everything he does, John 15:10-17.

Qualification for Providential Preventative Suffering, (PPS). When the New Man reaches SSE it gives the believer the ability to handle suffering for blessing and qualifies him to pass the test of PPS giving him momentum to advance into the next stage of spiritual adulthood, spiritual autonomy, 1 Peter 4:12-16.

Attainment of the Unique Life. God has designed a unique life for the New Man in the Church Age, part of which is experienced and part of which is not, Rom 8:10. The non-experiential aspect of the unique life includes the indwelling of all three members of the Trinity. This is the Church Age believer’s permanent status, not his progressive experience. The experiential aspect of the unique life is the glorification of Christ in the body of the New Man, Eph 5:1-2; 1 Cor 6:20.

Rom 8:10, “And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

Eph 5:1-2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

1 Cor 6:20, “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

Four Deferred Benefits of the New Spiritual Species

Being a New Spiritual Species, having been made a New Man in Christ, has four deferred benefits for the believer that will be realized when we leave this world and enter into the eternal state. These are all made possible because of the saving work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross, 1 Peter 3:18.

1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.”

Release from the Sin Nature. At the end of the New Man’s physical walk here on earth, there will be the release from the lifelong conflict with the Old Man, the Old Sin Nature. The release from the Sin Nature involves a constitutional change; the removal of a force from within which has been an integral part of the believer his entire life, pre and post-salvation. Paul spoke of this lifelong struggle even at the height of his spiritual walk in Gal 5:17.

Gal 5:17, “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”

The end of this conflict was anticipated by Paul when he wrote at the closing testimony of his life, 2 Tim. 4:6-8.

2 Tim 4:6-8, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Our release from this lifelong conflict occurs when we vacate this physical body and receive our eternal resurrection body, 1 Cor 15:50-53.

1 Cor 15:50-53, “Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

Therefore, our first deferred benefit of being a New Man in Christ Jesus is the removal of the Old Sin Nature, which is found in our flesh, upon our death or the rapture of the Church, the latter being the time when we receive our final resurrection bodies that are prefect, imperishable, immortal, and without sin. As a result, the current daily struggle, battle, and warfare over our souls will be ended because the already defeated internal enemy will be removed once and for all, Eph 2:16.

Eph 2:16, “And might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.”

Release from Satan’s Cosmic System. Not only will we be released from the inward temptations from and struggles with the Old Man, but we will also be released from the struggles of the outward temptations of Satan and his cosmic system. Having sustained a lifelong warfare with Satan and his cosmic system, these forces from without, will be withdrawn from our presence forever, never having to battle with their pressures and temptations again, Rev 20:10, 14; cf. 21:4-5, 8.

The Actual Occupation of Heavenly Citizenship. In this deferred blessing for the New Man, even though we are currently citizens of heaven, Eph 2:19; Phil 3:20, we will be transferred from this sphere of ambassadorship, from this existence as a stranger and alien, into the eternal dwelling place in glory, which we have held by right and title, though unoccupied, from the moment of salvation through Christ, Rev 21:1-3, 9 – 22:5.

This is part of the New Spiritual Species’ eternal inheritance protected by the omnipotence of God, 1 Peter 1:4-5, “To obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. 5who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Our imaginations cannot portray nor can we speak any words to describe this amazing change with its transfer from earth to heaven, from part knowledge to whole knowledge, from seeing through a mirror dimly to seeing Him face to face, from association with fallen humanity to fellowship with glorified saints and angels, from a death-doomed body to a glorious, eternal body, from earthly dwellings to the mansions He has gone to prepare, and from an existence which is defined as “absent from the Lord,” to that which is characterized by His immediate presence.

John recalled our Lord’s promise in John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” This is fulfilled in Revelation, chapters 21-22.

The Possession of a Transformed Body. As noted in the first deferred benefit of being a New Man in Christ, this is the fourth deferred feature of being a New Man in Christ, a new Spiritual Species; to be released at the end of this life from our sinful, perishable, and mortal bodies, to receive and occupy a transformed body that is imperishable, immortal, and undefiled. This will be the finale of that which constitutes the Christian as a new creation.

In respect to the physical or material part of the New Man, a stupendous metamorphosis awaits him. This will occur through one of two possible processes, but the end is the same in either case. He may go by the way of death and resurrection, or he may go by translation at the rapture; yet a standardized reality awaits the New Man. He will have a resurrection body like Christ’s glorious body, Phil 3:20-21; cf. 1 Cor 15:20-23, 35-57.

Phil 3:20-21, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

In 1 Cor 15:20-23, the resurrection of the New Man’s body is seen in its order as preceded by the resurrection of Christ, being at the end of the Church Age, and followed by the resurrection of Old Testament saints and Tribulational saints who died during the Tribulation, to be resurrected at the end of the Tribulations just prior to the beginning of the Millennial reign, and then all Millennial reign believers being resurrected at the end of the Millennium.  These are four companies of resurrections: Alpha company, Jesus Christ; Bravo company, Church Age believers (the New Man); Charlie company, OT and Tribulation Saints who died; Delta company, all millennial saints.

Then in 1 Cor 15: 35-57, we are given the essential facts related to the resurrection of the bodies of those that are Christ’s. There we see a great variety of forms and bodies in God’s creation; therefore, it should not be strange that God will give the believer a transformed body in resurrection, or in translation.

Concerning the transformation that comes by resurrection, there are four contrasts drawn:

1) That “sown,” which is a significant synonym for the word burial, “in a perishable,” (EN PHTHORA, “in corruption”), “is raised imperishable,” (EN APHTHARSIA, “in incorruption”).

2) That “sown in dishonor,” (ATIMIA, “dishonour, disgrace, or shame), “is raised in glory.”

3) That “sown in weakness,” (ASTHENEIA, “weakness, sickness, distress, lack of strength), “is raised in power,” (DUNAMINS, a powerful, mighty body).

4) That “sown as a natural body,” (PSUCHIKOS, “natural, unspiritual, a soulish life without spiritual life), “is raised a spiritual body,” (PNEUMATIKOS), i.e. adapted to the human spirit.

This aspect of truth is concluded with the assuring words in vs. 49, “And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”

Though He did not see corruption, Psa 16: 10; Acts 2:27, 31, Christ’s present body is the pattern of the believer’s resurrection body. Christ’s resurrection was vastly more than a mere reversal of death, as will be the character of the believer’s glorified body. The transformed, resurrected body will be limitless in power, infinite in glory, eternal in endurance, and adapted to the regenerated spirit of the New Man. Such is the particular glory each individual will contribute to the whole New Creation.

All this is assured both by unfailing promise and by incomprehensible rights through identification with the glorified Savior. Being in Christ and therefore possessing all the values of His death and resurrection, the New Man’s body will yet be raised and be changed so that it may be like His glorious body, Phil 3:20-21, just as if the New Man had one actually died in Christ’s death and been actually raised in His resurrection.

In Rom 8:23, the “redemption of our body,” comprehends the metamorphosis which is formed either by becoming incorruptible or immortal. This parallels the resurrection doctrine; for the saints are redeemed in this present estate, and yet their bodies are to be redeemed. This is similar to the fact that though we are now raised in Christ, our bodies are yet to be raised or changed.

Conclusion:
Given the fact of reality that God has created the born again believer of the Church Age as a New Creation, a new spiritual species, and making him a New Man speaks volumes to the grace, mercy, and love that God has for you. As a New Creation, you have a new life unto Christ. As a New Man in Christ, you have a new nature that is already incorruptible, imperishable, and undefiled, as you stand positionally before the Lord, holy, blameless, and righteous. When we leave this world through death or the rapture, we will receive a resurrection body just like Christ’s resurrection body that joins physical perfection to our present and eternal spiritual perfection. Even though we have been given these great blessings positionally by God, our verse, Eph 4:24, instructs us to “put on the New Man,” which means we enter into God’s power provisions of His Spirit and Word being resident within our souls, so that we walk in the “newness of life” rather than in our old man, old nature, the Adamic nature, being led by our old sin nature. God desires for the New Man, who was created in righteousness, holiness, and truth, to walk experientially in righteousness, holiness, and truth. This is only accomplished when we are filled with God the Holy Spirit, learn Bible doctrine, and apply it in our lives consistently. When we do, we fulfill the mandate to “put on the new man,” and we glorify God to the maximum.

We now turn to the next subsection of Chapter 4, vs. 25-32, “Principles of Conduct for the New Man.” Here we are given the lifestyle the New Man should live in. This new lifestyle involves replacing sinful habits with righteous and holy habits. Here we have a short list of some of those characteristics. We should not take this as an exhaustive list of examples on how to live out our new identity, yet, these are characteristics or behaviors we should all endeavor to pursue.

Before we study these behaviors, there are a few important, overarching observations:

  • These practical exhortations are relational. That means that our new union with Christ should change the way we live in the community. Our sins affect others negatively, just as our righteousness will bless others positively.
  • In each grouping below the negative or sinful action is stated first and then a positive. That is important because holiness is not just about saying no to sin; it is also about saying yes to God. We must not only throw our dirty clothes in the hamper; we must put on the new suit as well!
  • We are given theological reasons for each of these mandates.

Vs. 25, “Do not lie, because we are all members of the Church,” we are the body of Christ.

Vs. 26-27, “Do not be angry, because it will give the Devil an opportunity,” Satan and his cosmic system do exist.

Vs. 28, “Do not steal, because we could help others,” our stewardship, care for the poor, and Divine good production.

 Vs. 29, “Do not use bad language, because it will not edify and give grace to others,” we are Royal Ambassadors for Christ, act like it. In addition, in vs. 30, if we live by the Old Man with these old characteristics, it will grieve the Holy Spirit.

Vs. 30-32, “Do not have bitterness, rage, anger, shouting, or slander, because you will not be living in the Christ-like nature.”

Vs. 25, The New Man must Replace Lying with Truth-Telling.

Eph 4:25, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH, EACH ONE of you, WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.”

The first Old Man characteristic we are to “put off,” (i.e., no longer use or participate in), is, “lying.” This is a sin in the category of verbal sins.

Therefore,” Is the Inferential Conjunction DIO that means, “Therefore, wherefore, on this account, because of this, or for this reason.” “It is used to pass from one proposition, statement, or judgment considered as true to another whose truth is believed to follow the former, denoting that the inference is self-evident.” (Bauer).  So, we have the transition from the characteristics of the New Man to characteristics of the Old Man that we should not be doing.

The prohibition for Old Man characteristics is noted in the “laying aside,” which is actually the Aorist, Middle, Participle of APOTITHEMI, which we noted in vs. 22 that means, “take off, lay aside, rid oneself of, or renounce.” In vs. 24 it spoke of the overall “putting off” of the Old Man, the old ways of living, and here it speaks to specific characteristics of the Old Man that we are to put off. In the following verses there are four specific characteristic we are to no long participate in; lying, bitter anger, stealing, and using bad/inappropriate language: swearing, coarse joking, gossiping, etc.

As we “put on” the New Man, we are to “take off” these characteristics of the Old Man, Eph 4:22, 31; Col 3:8; Heb 12:1; James 1:21; 1 Peter 2:1.

Col 3:8, “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.”

Heb 12:1, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

James 1:21, “Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”

1 Peter 2:1, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”

The word here for lying is “falsehood,” the Noun PSEUDOS, ψεῦδος that means, “lie, falsehood, or lying.” This word is in contrast to a characteristic of the New Man, ALETHEIA, “truth” that we are to “speak,” LALEO. In the contrast between, “the lie” and “the truth,” we also see false doctrine versus the truth of God’s word in view, cf. Rom 1:25; cf. Jer 10:14; 13:25. When someone spreads false doctrine, it is idolatry.

This part of the passage is quoted from Zech 8:16. In addition, we have the same mandate in Eph 4:15; Col 3:9.

Zech 8:16, “These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates.”

Col 3:9, “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.”

Then we see that the believer, “each one of you,” HEKASTOS, has a direction in which to speak truth, “with his neighbor” META HO PLESION AUTOS. The substantive use of the Adverb PLESION means,“neighbor, or the one nearby.” To speak truthfully with those we associate with at home, on the job, or wherever we go, is part of “loving our neighbor (PLESION) as we love ourselves,” Mat 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom 13:9-10; Gal 5:14; James 2:8.

The reason we are to speak truth to those we associate with is “because we are members of one another,” HOTI EIMI MELOS ALLELON. MELOS, μέλος means, “member, body, part, or limb.” Used figuratively here for members of the Church, the body of Christ, as in Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 6:15; 12:12-17. Therefore, especially when we are associating with fellow members of the Church, the Royal Family of God, we should be putting on the New Man by speaking truthfully in all situations.

Your words greatly affect the whole body. If your eye says to your hand, “The iron is not hot,” and your hand touches it, it will get burned. Since we are united together, false words hurt the whole body. Falsehood stifles unity; truth strengthens unity.

Principles:

  • Lying and pathological lying is a sign of tension, a sign of living a life of deceit and constantly being on guard lest someone penetrate the deceit.
  • The fruit that comes from a believer’s life, his actions, proves whether he is yielding to the sinful nature or to the Holy Spirit. Lying is an obvious manifestation of the fallen nature. While speaking truth is a manifestation of integrity inside the New Man.
  • We also learn from Scripture that God hates lying, Prov 6:16-17; 12:22; 12:19; 20:17; 21:6, and that Satan is a liar, John 8:44, “the father of lies.” When you tell the truth, you are imitating God. When you lie, you are imitating Satan.
  • As a result of putting on the New Man and recovering from reversionism, you recover Divine viewpoint, truth / Bible Doctrine and put away the lying.

Vs. 26, The New Man must Replace Unrighteous Anger with Righteous Anger.

Eph 4:26, “BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”

The second Old Man characteristic we are to “put off,” (i.e., no longer use or participate in), is, bitter or vengeful “anger.” This is a sin in the category of mental attitude sins. Here too we have both a positive command and a command of negation.

The first half of this passage is a quote from Psa 4:4, “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah.” The second half of this psalm is another way of saying what the second half of our verse is telling us.

The second half of this passage is also a principle found in Deut 24:15, “You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it; so that he may not cry against you to the LORD and it becomes sin in you.”

In other words, reconcile all your debts in the day you incur them, rather than putting them off to another day, because as Deuteronomy says, it will cause harm to the other party too. In our verse, we see that it will cause harm to you. So let us break this verse down a bit.

This admonition relates to the proper and improper use of anger. The improper use results from yielding to the Adamic nature, OSN, and the proper use of anger results from yielding to the Holy Spirit.

Be angry” is the Present, Middle, Imperative of ORGIZOMAI, ὀργίζομαι. It is used eight times in the NT. It represents an inner mental attitude of indignation, wrath, hatred, and fury usually targeted at a specific person, thing, or event, cf. Num 22:22; Prov 16:30. Generally, we are commanded not to be angry in the first place, Mat 5:22; Col 3:8.

Mat 5:22, “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘ Raca,’ (Empty-head, numbskull, senseless man, fool), shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”

Col 3:8, “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.”

However, there is a righteous anger or indignation that the believer can have. The same root word for anger, ORGE, is used of God in Mat 3:7; Mark 3:5; Rom 1:18; 12:19, so anger in itself is not sinful.

What does this righteous anger look like? Someone said, “It is when you get mad but you do not cuss.” Not exactly. Righteous indignation is a holy anger against sin, and not because your feelings got hurt or something like that. In addition, the context of the previous verse tells us what we can get angry at, “the lie,” false doctrine from false teachers and Satan’s cosmic system. Therefore, legitimate anger is reserved for false doctrine, that which is false compared to God’s Word, for apostasy, for religiosity, for revolution, for antiestablishment, for everything that is contrary to Bible doctrine. In addition, there is a place for righteous indignation toward the “fourth estate,” the press. The press no longer reports news, it comments on it, and therefore the news is slanted. If you are going to comment on it, you are going to get the news to support your petty ideas, and that is exactly what has happened to the Press in this country. This command says that you have the right to be angry without sinning.

Our Lord demonstrated this when He turned over the money tables in the Temple, not just once, but twice, Mat 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:14-15. This was prophesied of our Lord in Psa 69:9 and noted in John 2:16-17. Matthew and Mark’s account occurred just before His crucifixion; John’s account at the beginning of His ministry. Cf. Mark 3:5.

There are times when righteous anger should be manifested against injustice and other forms of sin. We need to feel anger as Christians. If we are indifferent to injustice, then evil will prevail. Do not encourage the spread of evil through indifference. We should hate sin just like God hates sin, Psa 119:53, cf. Gal 4:16.

Psa 119:53, “Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked, who forsake Your law.”

Gal 4:16, “Have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

Yet, anger is never to be allowed to fester within our souls, “AND yet DO NOT SIN,” KAI ME HAMARTANO, in the Present, Active, Imperative of command. Then we have the prohibition “do not let go down (set),” ME EPIDUO in the Present, Active, Imperative of prohibition, “the sun on your anger,” HO HELIOS EPI PARORGISMOS HUMEIS. The sunset is the end of the day according to Jewish time.

PARORGISMOS, παροργισμός is the Dative Noun for intensification of anger that means, “provocation, anger, rage, wrath, exasperation.” It is a cognate of the previous anger. The prefix PARA means, side by side, and here it means multiple sins going on in the mentality of your soul. In other words, one sin like jealousy, bitterness, implacability, etc. leads to this anger or wrath that is sinful. One sin provokes another in your soul, so you have multiple sins rather than just one. Therefore, it is an intensified sin.

Wuest puts it like this, “Be constantly angry with a righteous indignation, and stop sinning. Do not allow the sun to go down upon your irritated, exasperated, embittered anger.” So we could say, “do not let the day end on your intensified anger.” In other words, do not end the day by harboring mental attitude sins and accompanying anger.

This is illegitimate anger. Illegitimate anger is a sin; it is a sin based on mental attitude sins. These mental attitude sins, along with the guilt complex, produce pseudo anger or sinful anger. So, we have in the same passage a prohibition of illegitimate anger.

Vs. 31 also mentions unrighteous anger. This anger is self-defensive and being out of control due to emotional revolt of the soul. It leads to murder, jealousy, envy, and a host of other sins. That is sinful anger that we are to put away. We do not have permission to throw a fit, seek revenge, and dishonor the name of God in public by doing those things and others. We are to use Bible doctrine to resolve our anger and in faith turn it over to God.

Here in vs. 26, we again have a command. In this case, to not let our anger fester overnight and into the next day. In other words, at the end of each day, you should reconcile all issues in your life, primarily by turning them over to the Lord and trusting whole-heartedly that He will take care of them. This is a characteristic of the New Man, who has control over his soul, 2 Peter 1:6.

2 Peter 1:6, “And in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness.”

This is important because, anger can easily lead to resentment or bitterness, or worse. If a person becomes angry for some legitimate reason, whatever triggered the anger should be settled before the day is past. This is another way of saying it should be dealt with or taken care of immediately.

So Paul gives us three ways to deal with our anger to make sure it is and remains holy; 1) “Do not sin;” 2) “Do not let the sun go down without resolving it;” 3) “Do not give the Devil an opportunity,” which we will note in the next verse.

“Someone said, “Don’t go to bed with unresolved conflict or else you will sleep with the Devil.” Seek forgiveness and reconciliation quickly. Satan would love to use your anger as an opportunity to make you violent and divisive.” (Christ-Centered Exposition).

The first command demands legitimate righteous indignation as the result of spiritual growth and discernment. The second command demands rebound. The believer must keep short accounts of his sin and anger, otherwise mental attitude sins double and intensify, producing extensive mental attitude sins that produce misery of soul and body.

Furthermore, mental attitude sins combine with reactor factors to provide energy for various stages of reversionism. Like a hurricane gathering energy from heat, mental attitude sins are like the heat in a tropical storm turning into a hurricane because the heat provides energy and intensifies the storm. In the same way, when we have the doubling of mental attitude sins, it provides energy for anger.

Another implication of this verse is that only the mature believer in super-grace can handle legitimate anger and avoid illegitimate sinful anger. Hence, this verse is the result of reversion recovery and going as far as super-grace in the life of the believer. Therefore, when you put on the New Man and have recovery from reversionism, you have objective indignation, righteous anger when appropriate, without sinning.

Vs. 27, The New Man must not give Satan and the Old Man, an opportunity to exploit sin and evil in his soul.

Eph 4:27, “And do not give the Devil an opportunity.”

This is the consequence of not dealing with our sins, problems, or difficulties immediately. We give Satan and the Old Man, an opportunity to exploit the situation to their advantage, which becomes sin and evil in your soul. Our attitude should be not to give place to Satan.

Here we have another Present, Active, Imperative for a command with the Conjunction of connection and negation, MEDE from ME, “do not” and DE, “and,” and the verb DIDOMAI for “give.” The one we are not to give something too here is “the Devil,” HO DIABOLOS, διάβολος that literally means, “slanderer, false accuser, adversary, and the Devil.” The thing we are not to give him is “an opportunity,” TOPOS, τόπος that means, “place, location; area, region,” where we get our English word topography from. However, it can also be used for, “room; station, office; possibility, or opportunity,” as here.

When we have anger upon our soul, and we let it remain there for a prolonged period, even what may have started as righteous indignation, can easily be turned into sin with bitterness and vengefulness. When we let anger fester, the Sin Nature and Satan’s cosmic system are designed to turn your righteousness into sin. So the sooner you deal with your anger in the mentality of your soul, by turning it over to God, the better. In addition, the sooner you reach out to reconcile with the one or thing you are angry with, the better.

Rom 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”

The believer gives opportunity to the Devil by entering reversionism. Any believer in any stage of reversionism has given the Devil opportunity. Such a believer who has given opportunity to the Devil has become a casualty to the Angelic Conflict. This is totally incompatible with being a member of the royal family of God.

So remember that the Devil will use anything he can to hinder God’s people, and the improper use of anger is one of his greatest tools, especially because it can exploit the arrogance complex of sins within your soul. And, as you know, arrogance is truly the root of all sins. Therefore, never give Satan an opportunity to take advantage of the situations in your life. As you put on the New Man and have recovery from reversionism, you will have victory in the Angelic conflict.

Outline of the Devil’s Strategies.

  • The person of the Devil.
  1. He has a very pleasing personality, he is a genius, and is the smartest creature ever to exist.
  2. He is the highest of all angelic creatures; he is the ruler of all fallen angels, Mat 8:28; 9:34; 12:26.
  3. He is a prehistoric creature, Isa 14:12-17; Ezek 28:11-29.
  4. He as the Devil is the chief antagonist in the Angelic Conflict, Heb 1 & 2; Gen 6; 1 Peter 3:18-22.
  5. The Devil has the greatest and most thorough of all organizations, Eph 6:10-12.
  6. He was a murderer and liar from the beginning, John 8:44.
  7. He is the opponent of Bible doctrine, Mat 13:19, 39.
  8. He is the enemy of the Royal Family, Rev 2:9, 13, 24; 12:10.
  • The Devil’s rulership.

The Devil is not only the ruler of fallen angels but he is the ruler of this world, Luke 4:5-7; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2.

  • The Devil has strategy regarding nations in the world.

It is his strategy to wipe out the Jew. He always uses nations to try to destroy Israel. The Devil is anti-nationalism; he despises nationalism. Nationalism frustrates the function of his rulership. He desires “internationalism,” one world rule or government, because it is easier to control. Nationalism is a part of the laws of Divine establishment to preserve human freedom in the Devil’s kingdom, Rev 12:9, 19; 20:3, 8. He is the head of any international organization, like the United Nations. He is the chief opponent of the laws of Divine establishment and seeks to break down the sovereignty and the freedom of nationalism. It is his objective to turn those nations under his influence into empires and utilize them to further his own purposes in the strategy of nations.

  • His strategy regarding the unbelievers of this world.

He not only has a strategy for people collectively as nations, but he has strategies for persons individually. This runs the gamut from blinding their minds, (scar tissue of the soul in the unbeliever), to every form of believer in reversionism, as in 2 Peter 2. Since everyone is born into the world as an unbeliever and spiritually dead, we are born citizens of Satan’s kingdom. Spiritual death is the citizenship papers in cosmos diabolicus. Therefore, the Devil has to have strategy with regard to people. He has to do everything possible to keep people unbelievers. It is the devil’s objective that no one believes in Jesus Christ. References to the Devil’s strategy regarding the unbeliever included, Luke 8:12; 2 Cor 4:3-4; Col 2:8; 2 Thes 2:7-10; Rev 17. Therefore, when a person believes in Christ, the Devil does not give up on them. They are members of the Family of God and in God’s plan and totally separated from Satan’s plan. Therefore, the Devil has a strategy regarding believers, 2 Cor 2:11.

  • The Devil’s strategy regarding the Royal Family.

a.) His primary strategy is accusation. That is his strategy in heaven. He is constantly gathering information with regard to every believer, noting all of their sins. Then comes the accusations in the court of heaven. But the Lord Jesus Christ is not only our High Priest but He is our Advocate, and He represents us in heaven and the case is always thrown out, Job 1; 2 Cor 2:1; Zech 3:1-2; Rev 12:9-10; 1 John 2:1-2.

b.) The Devil is the sponsor of reversionism. Reversionism is a combination of Satanic strategy and the function of the Old Sin Nature, and the two combine with the volition of the soul, in order to bring about reversionism. This is giving the Devil an opportunity. He is always seeking to frustrate the will of God, Eph 4:14; 1 Thes 2:18; James 4:7-8. The Devil has been working for a long time to get one whole generation of believers in reversionism. 1 Cor 10:19-21. The devil has a communion table and it is designed to sponsor reversionism. This communion table is for reversionists, 2 Cor 11:3, 13-15.   Illustration: 1 Chron 21.

c.) It is the strategy of the Devil with regard to believers to frustrate the will of God in the believer’s life. The will of God is categorized and classified in three ways: mental, operational, and geographical.

    1) Mental will of God: What does He want me to think?

    2) Operational will of God: What does he want me to do?

    3) Geographical will of God: Where does He want me to be?

It is the Devil’s objective to frustrate all three categories. The mental, Eph 4:14, he tries to frustrate Divine viewpoint. Operational, James 4:7-8. Geographical, 1 Thes 2:18.

d.) He also seeks to neutralize Bible doctrine, doctrinal application, through worry and anxiety. Worry is the way the Devil makes a believer indifferent to the Word of God. Worry is a total soul function just as occupation with Christ is a total soul function. Occupation with Christ is the total soul occupation with Bible doctrine, whereas worry is the total soul function of facing your problems erroneously, 1 Peter 5:7-9. Worry is one of the greatest ways to eliminate doctrine on the negative volition basis. Obviously, the Devil seeks to get the believer’s eyes on people, self, and things. He tries to get believers so involved in improving the Devil’s world that they have no time for reaching super-grace because they have no time for doctrine. In addition, there are things that distract the soul. The soul is turned on by socialism, social action, social gospel, operation bleeding heart, and many other ways of trying to solve man’s problems. The inculcation of fear regarding physical death has always been the capstone on Satanic strategy for the believer, Heb 2:14-15.

e) It is Satan’s objective to obscure the focus of the believer. He does this in three ways:

    1) Getting eyes on self, 1 Kings 19:10.

    2) Getting eyes on people, Jer 17:5.

    3) Getting eyes on things, Heb 13:5-6.

Jer 17:5, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD’.”

f.) It is the Satanic objective to involve the believer in humanistic, temporal solutions to man’s problems so that Divine solutions are obscured and excluded, e.g. the so-called social gospel (social action).

6.) Religion is the Devil’s basic strategy; it is his counterfeit of the plan of God. Christianity is a relationship with God through Christ, whereas religion is man by man’s efforts using man’s ability and man’s ingenuity to gain the approbation of God. The basic principle of religion is to counterfeit what God has done. There are nine different counterfeits in religion:

  • Counterfeit gospel, 2 Cor 11:3-4.
  • Counterfeit ministers, 2 Cor 11:13-15.
  • Counterfeit doctrine, 1 Tim 4:1.
  • Counterfeit communion table, 1 Cor 10:19-21.
  • Counterfeit righteousness, Mat 19:16-28.
  • Counterfeit way of life, Mat 23:27, (Whitewashed tombstones).
  • Counterfeit power, 2 Thes 2:8-10.
  • Counterfeit gods, 2 Thes 2:3-4.

7.) Satan himself is a great communicator and great in inculcating false doctrine. False teachers are his basic strategy for the communication of false doctrine, 2 Cor 11:13-15, cf. Deut 13.

  • False teachers always have a phony façade, Mat 7:15; Rom 16:18. This facade is a kind of Maddison Avenue presentation to impress people.
  • False teachers court believers, Gal 4:17-18; 2 Tim 3:5-7.
  • False teachers always appeal to human pride, 2 Cor 10:12.
  • False teachers like to promote idolatry because it is a quick way to demon possession, Hab 2:18-19.
  • False teachers often promote legalism, 1 Tim 1:7-8.
  • False teachers will continue throughout the cosmic era of Satan’s rulership, 1 John 4:1.

Chafer notes, “Next to the lie itself, the greatest delusion Satan imposes — reaching to all unsaved and to a large proportion of Christians — is the supposition that only such things as society considers evil could originate with the devil — if, indeed, there be any devil to originate anything. It is not the reason of man, but the revelation of God, which points out that governments, morals, education, art, commercialism, vast enterprises and organizations, and much of religious activity are included in the cosmos diabolicus. That is, the system which Satan has constructed includes all the good which he can incorporate into it and be consistent in the thing he aims to accomplish. A serious question arises whether the presence of gross evil in the world is due to Satan’s intention to have it so, or whether it indicates Satan’s inability to execute all he has designed. The probability is great that Satan’s ambition has led him to undertake more than any creature could ever administer. Revelation declares that the whole cosmos-system must be annihilated — not its evil alone, but all that is in it, both good and bad. God will incorporate nothing of Satan’s failure into that kingdom which He will set up in the earth.” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, “Systematic Theology”).

To overcome the devil’s schemes and strategies the unbeliever must receive salvation and the believer must put on the New Man through the inculcation of God’s Word and the Filling of the H.S. with the result of spiritual growth.

Psa 100:1-5, “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.

2Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.

3Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.

5For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations.”

 Psa 107:8-9, “Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! 9For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.”

Vs. 28, The New Man must Replace Stealing with Working and Giving.

Eph 4:28, “Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.”

Next we have the third Old Man characteristic we are to “put off,” (i.e., no longer use or participate in), which is, “stealing.” This is a sin in the category of overt sins, and violates the eighth commandment, Ex 20:15; Deut 5:19, “You shall not steal.”

Once again, we have a negative and positive aspect. The negative is the prohibition to stealing, the positive is the exhortation to work hard, be a contributor to society, and share with others.

Here we have the verb for “stealing, embezzling, or cheating,” twice, KLEPTO, κλέπτω, where we get our English term kleptomaniac, for one who habitually steals. The first is in the Present, Active, Participle for the “one who does steal from others.”  The iterative Present is for repeated action over successive intervals; we could say, “from time to time,” they steal. The second use is another command in the Present, Active, Imperative with the negative MEKETI, for “steal no more, steal no longer, or steal no further.” Given the admonition to be a “giver,” METADIDOMI, we understand that believers are in view, and that believers perform criminal activity as well as unbelievers.

To steal something means, “to take without right or permission secretly in a surreptitious way.” When we take something that does not belong to us, we are committing sin, and negatively affecting the one we sinfully took from. It is another manifestation of yielding to the Adamic nature and is not part of loving your neighbor. Stealing is used as the illustration, but it could be any type of criminal activity or overt sin. Criminality is a function of arrogance and volition; it is a matter of self-fragmentation of the soul.

This is another of the three categories of immoral degeneracy: 1. Sexual sins; 2. Chemical dependence sins, (drug and alcohol addiction, etc.); 3. Criminal sins.

In this passage, we see that certain believers have fallen into or can fall into criminality as an expression of reversionism and Christian degeneracy. This is recognized in Rom 2:21, “You therefore who teach another, do you teach yourself? You who teach that a person should not steal, do you steal?”

Criminality is a part of Christian degeneracy and the circumstantial participle of KLEPTO recognizes that a certain number of believers are dishonest to the point of being criminal. All criminals are the product of their own volition. They choose to be criminals.

R.B. Thieme noted, “In a two-volume book written by Doctor Samuel Yochelson and Dr. Stanton Samenow called The Criminal Personality, volume 1 chapter three there is a very lengthy discussion lasting over 100 pages on the criminal’s way of life. The chapter presents a detailed comprehensive picture of how criminals live, including how he interacts with his family, his peers, his teachers, his superiors at work and in military service.

    The secret life is established early in the criminal child. Lying is a major ingredient. His accounts of what he does are vague and superficial, he is hard to pin down and with lies of omission being far more frequent than lies of commission. He may even lie when there is seemingly no point to it. For example, saying he is going to the grocery store when he knows he is going to a pool hall. What seems to matter to him is getting away with things. The criminal child sets himself apart (volition). This keeping to himself also is a self-imposed isolation; he simply does not want other members of the family to be privy to what he is doing. The family may be having fun on a picnic. The criminal child does something to spoil it. He is the one who plays with the Bar B Que fire. In playing ball he starts a fight over an umpire’s call. If he attends a family activity or school function because he is required to, he wanders off and others do not know where he is. With so much lying, sneaking and concealment there is clearly a communication gap in the home of the criminal child. Usually the parents are faulted for not understanding the younger generation but he wants to keep his activities secret (Volition) so that others will not interfere with him. Indeed there is a communication breakdown but the child is the cause of the communication breakdown, not the parents.

   The criminal child gets his way in one fashion or another. Sometimes it is through secrecy and slickness. Perhaps even more frequently he engages in constant battles with his parents, wearing them down until they capitulate. The youngster makes a contest out of anything no matter how minor. He looks for a victory in a dispute about whether he will clean up his room, hang up a wet towel, take out the trash, or be in at a specified hour. Winning the fight overrides the significance of the issue at hand. It results in attrition of parental moral. Eventually his parents decide to ignore certain behavior. Another technique the child uses to get his way: he makes so many requests a contests so many things that the parents cannot keep track of them.

   The criminal does not maintain associations with responsible people. Basically, people are to the criminal what money is in the bank to a responsible person. The criminal wants people available to draw on them, to manipulate them, even being seen in the company of a respectable person builds up the criminal.

    In this particular section, what we try to show is that crime does not come to or force itself on a child. It is not the neighborhood, it is not the bad company that makes him bad. Rather a child decides very early whom he wants to be with and what kind of a life he wants to lead. He makes choices all along the way and criminal patterns are identifiable by the age of ten.”

Once again, we are commanded not to steal in Lev 19:11, “You shall not steal; nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” Here we have the whole system of criminality: steal, deal falsely, lie.

Jeremiah described the apostate southern kingdom as criminal. Jer 7:9, “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, and lie under oath, and offer sacrifices to Baal, and walk after other gods you have not known?”

Therefore, we see that believers who are involved in criminality are in spiritual degeneracy, the peak of Christian apostasy.

All criminality is acquired through arrogance plus volition. Some of the areas of arrogance that leads to criminality include: authority arrogance, mental attitude arrogance, self-righteous arrogance, sexual arrogance, arrogance of unhappiness related to subjective preoccupation with self, psychopathic arrogance, etc. Therefore, the criminal believer lives inside the cosmic system; he is totally preoccupied with himself; he is anti-authority and ant-establishment, and always gets into immoral type Christian degeneracy. He can be a con-artist, a liar, a thief, etc.

Criminality does not distinguish between the unbeliever and the believer, because both have the “Old Man,” an old sin nature that tempts in the way of criminality. Yet, the New Man, now in possession of a regenerated Human Spirit, the righteousness of God, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, is to no longer “steal,” because he should be free from greed, lusts, and desires.

In the command to “steal no longer,” the Present Tense of KLEPTO is a Futuristic Present. With the Adverb of negation MEKETI, it is a command to stop criminal functions right now and going forward into the future. The Active Voice, the believer produces the action by obeying the command to stop it. This indicates that the born-again criminal can have a change of heart and action; he can become an overcomer. When the Bible says, “stop it,” God in grace provides a way to do it through spiritual growth by perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine.

Next, we have a characteristic of the New Man, “but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good.”Labor,” is the Present, Active, Imperative of verb KOPIAO that means, “to work hard in a job, labor, become weary, fatigued, or work to the point of exhaustion.” “Let him” is not in the Greek, but inserted because of the 3rd Person Singular, and is not the best translation. Instead, this Imperative is a command to, “begin working hard.” With the preceding “but rather,” DE MALLON, it should read, “but rather he is to work hard.”

Performing,” is the Present, Middle Deponent, Participle, of the verb ERGAZOMAI, that means, “work, be active, do accomplish, carry out, or perform.” The Futuristic Present means recovery from immoral degeneracy by now being a contributing member of society, and going forward, rather than a taker from society. The Middle Deponent is like the active voice where the recovering New Man performs that action, and this action has not only a benefit for others, but also for himself.

In all societies, working was and is highly regarded over idleness because it profits the individual and the society as a whole, whereas idleness profits no one and leads to adverse effects like stealing. That is why it says, “what is good,” AGATHOS, “good, perfect, complete, upright, kind, benevolent, useful, acceptable, wholesome, or beneficial.” For the New Man it means, “good of intrinsic value,” or Divine good production. It is good of intrinsic value, and it refers to Divine good versus human good. When every able body person works, it benefits everyone and removes temptation to steal from others.

We are created to work. Work is a gift from God. Jesus put in an honest day’s work for years as a carpenter/stone mason. Paul worked throughout his ministry so that he would not be a burden on the church, Acts 18:3; 1 Cor 9:15, 18; 1 Thes 2:9. Work was highly valued in the Old Testament, Ex 20:9.

We should not only see the goodness of work, but we should also remember the need for work. 2 Thes 3:10-12, “If anyone is not willing to work, he should not eat.” Prov 28:19 says, “The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever pursues vanity will have his fill of poverty.” If you want food, then work. Christians should help one another find honest work when a brother is in need.

It also means that rather than being a taker or consumer of others property, he can be benevolent toward others, “in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.” Cf. Rom 12:13; Luke 19:1-18.

Something to share,” is the Verb METADIDOMI, μεταδίδωμι that is a compound word from META, “with,” and DIDOMI, “give,” that means, “give over, impart, share, or bestow,” In the Present, Active, Infinitive. It is linked with “he may have,” the Present, Active, Subjunctive of ECHO that is for the potential of being able to give to others, rather than taking from them.

Working is the best practical antidote to stealing. By working, we also have the opportunity for benevolence towards those who are truly in need; ECHO in the Present, Active, Participle with the Accusative Noun CHREIA, χρεία that means, “need, necessity, lack, etc.” Therefore, the New Man works so that he can also help those in need.

Therefore, when you put on the New Man and have recovery from reversionism, you have production of Divine good in the business world.

Vs. 29, The New Man must Replace Corrupt Talk with Edifying Talk.

Eph 4:29, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Here we have the fourth Old Man characteristic we are to “put off,” (i.e., no longer use or participate in), is, “using unwholesome words.” This is another sin in the category of verbal sins, just like lying was in vs. 25.

Remember also that three of the seven worst sins that are an abomination to the Lord are sins of the tongue, Prov 6:16-19. Verbal sins include gossip, maligning, slander, judging, lying, and verbal deception.

Unwholesome,” is the Greek Adjective SAPROS, σαπρός that means, “corrupt, rotten, putrid, filthy, rancid, useless, or unsound.” It has the meaning of “decay.” The more general use of the word was for, “unfit for use or worthless.” It was used to describe unpleasant or offensive sounds, such as unpleasant and clanging music.

In regards to words that are unpleasant or offensive sounds, such as dissonant and clangorous music, it reminds us of 1 Cor 13:1, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

That is what it is like when “unwholesome words proceed from the mouth.” It is a bunch of noise and static that makes no sense at all. It does not help anyone, and it certainly does not help yourself as it is a sin that severs your fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

In the NT it refers to rotten fruit, Mat 7:17-18, and rotten fish, Mat 13:48-49, both are appropriate pictures of sinful speech as we have here. BDAG defines it as, “of such poor quality as to be of little or no value, bad, not good, and unwholesome to the extent of being harmful and evil.”

Corrupt talk does not nourish you; it makes you sick, and it comes from a corrupt heart. Examples include, but are not limited to, lying, abusive language, vulgar references, Eph 5:4, vicious and unkind words, coarse jesting, in appropriate jokes, gossip, and slander, vs. 31.

This is the description of “words from your mouth,” LOGOS EK STOMA, that we are commanded to not allow out or proceed forth, ME EKPOREUO, in the Present, Middle, Imperative.

So, we have a broad categorization of verbal sins that are not to proceed from our mouths. This can include, gossiping, maligning, slandering, swearing, using the Lord’s name in vain, or coarse jesting as noted in Eph 5:4.

Eph 5:4, “And there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.”

Col 3:8, “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.”

These verbal sins, like all sins, emanate from the Old Man, the OSN, Psa 34:13, and are sponsored or motivated by mental attitude sins, Psa 5:9.

Psa 34:13-14, “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. 14Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace, and pursue it.”

Psa 5:9, “There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.”

When believers constantly work or live with others who speak in these ways, they are often subjected to much ungodly language and conversations. However, they must not use that fact as an excuse for succumbing to what is a normal way of life for others and in turn, use that same kind of language. The New Man has been raised up to a new life, and he should function and operate in that new higher way of living, Rom 16:17-18; 1 Peter 3:8-12. In addition, God protects the believer victimized by the sins of the tongue, Job 5:19-21;  Isa 54:17. He turns cursing into blessing when you are the victim of sins of the tongue, James 3:5-9; 4:11; 5:16.

Sins of the tongue are the sign of reversionism, James 4:11; 5:9, 12.The perpetuation of the sins of the tongue indicates verbal reversionism that can result in triple compound discipline, Psa 52:1-15; 64:8; Mat 7:1-2, and even in the sin unto death, Psa 12:3. Jesus said we will give an account on the final day for every careless word we speak, Mat 12:33-36.

In addition, with the following positive exhortation for having good language and conversations that “edifies the soul of others,” we also see the negative connotation that our bad language can have on others. It is detrimental and destructive to their souls, as the following picture describes.

  eph-4-vs-29-let-no-corrupt-word-proceed-from-your-mouthOur corrupt, rotten, putrid, filthy, and rancid language can be very abusive towards others, which too is not part of living in the New Man.

Next we have the characteristic of the New Man, “good speech” that has two benefits to those we speak with, “but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

First, we are to only speak words that are “good,” AGATHOS once again, “good of intrinsic value / Divine good production,” “for edification”, OIKODOME, when “needed,” CHREIA, which we noted in vs. 28. This means when the time is right and someone needs your advice, opinion, or counsel, you are available to them and share your insight, wisdom, and discernment with them, so that they grow spiritually within their souls, (i.e., are edified), are equipped to resist sin temptation, and make good decisions in their lives.

Prov 25:11, “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken at its proper time, (in right circumstances).”

Therefore, the New Man speaks constructive words that are helpful and build up others, and speaks encouraging words that give grace to the hearers.

By avoiding sins of the tongue, the New Man can find great happiness and add years to his life, Psa 34:12-13, as the control of the tongue or absence of the sins of the tongue is a sign of maturity and possessing the ECS, James 3:2; as well as the sign of a super-grace believer, James 1:26; 4:11-12; Col 4:5-6.

Col 4:5, “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

“We have a responsibility to witness to the lost around us and to seek to bring them into God’s family. To begin with, we have the responsibility to walk wisely (Col. 4:5). Walk refers, of course, to our conduct in daily life. The unsaved outsiders watch us Christians and are very critical of us. There must be nothing in our lives that would jeopardize our testimony.

This story has often been told about Dr. Will H. Houghton, who pastored the Calvary Baptist Church in New York City and later served as president of Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute till his death in 1946. When Dr. Houghton became pastor of the Baptist Tabernacle in Atlanta, a man in that city hired a private detective to follow Dr.Houghton and report on his conduct. After a few weeks, the detective was able to report to the man that Dr. Houghton’s life matched his preaching. As a result, that man became a Christian.” (Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 147–148). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)

As in vs. 28, the thief is no longer to steal with the potential that the needy can be assisted. Likewise, in vs. 29, those who use foul language are no longer to use that type of language and instead use language that builds up those in need. Therefore, not only should the New Man perform Divine good with his actions, he should perform Divine good with his speech as well.

The 2nd benefit here is, “that it may give grace to those who hear.” It may give” is the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive of DIDOMI with CHARIS for “grace.” It means to confer a blessing, whether temporal or spiritual. The ultimate source of all blessing is God Himself. The channel may be human and so even the everyday conversation of Christians may become a means of grace to others. In other words, the goal is that your words provide the potential of helping others. The caveat is that they listen, AKOUO, (i.e., learn through the ear gate), in the Present, Active, Participle, to your advice, opinion, or counsel and apply it. Therefore, rather than being a “Breacher” with your words, you should be a “Teacher” with your words.

When you put on the New Man and have recovery from reversionism, you control the tongue as a sign of spiritual maturity and have much fruit / Divine good production in your life to the glory of God.

Vs. 30, The New Man must not grieve the Holy Spirit.

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

Here we have the second negative affect of continuing to wear the Old Man. The first was giving the Devil an opportunity to control your soul and the second negative affect is “grieving” the Holy Spirit’s ministry of teaching and leading your soul to think in terms of holiness and righteousness. In fact, when we give the Devil an opportunity to control our souls, we are at the same time grieving God the Holy Spirit’s ministry within our souls. In other words, when we are consistently operating in sin, human good and evil, we are consistently out of fellowship with God the Holy Spirit and do not have the filling of the Spirit, which is His empowering and enabling ministry over our souls. We will note these things below.

As such, in addition to the four specific characteristics that we are to stop performing as when we were under the total control of the Old Man, (i.e., lying, sinful anger, stealing, and corrupt language), Paul warns us literally to, “stop grieving the Holy Spirit.” We also see here that among other things, this verse portrays the Holy Spirit as a Person with the ability to be grieved.

And do not grieve,” is KAI ME LUPEO. LUPEO, λυπέω means, “grieve, distress, or pain someone,” in the context of this verse. It is also used for, “sorrow, mourning, or sadness.” Here it is in the Present, Active, Imperative for a command. With the negative ME, it means,“do not do” this thing, (i.e., do not grieve the Holy Spirit). The Active voice says that the believer should not be the one grieving the Holy Spirit. The Present tense is a customary present tense for the ongoing action of not grieving the Holy Spirit.

The one we are commanded to not grieve, (by not living the reversionistic lifestyle by living under the Old Man), is “the Holy Spirit of God,” HO HAGIOS HO PNEUMA HO THEOS. HAGIOS meaning, “holy, consecrated, perfect, pure, upright, hallowed, worthy of reverence, and veneration.” The Holy Spirit is a reference to the third person of the Trinity, Gen 1:2; Psa 139:7; 1 Cor 12:4-11; 2 Cor 3:17; 13:14.

“Grieving the Holy Spirit,” is the God-ward side of the equation when we function and operate consistently in sin. This is the function of the believer in reversionism, whereby he produces extensive carnality in one of three categories as noted in the four prohibitions above: mental attitude sins, sins of the tongue, or overt sins. As a result, God the Holy Spirit is grieved and shut out from functioning and operating with our souls. The man-ward side of the equation is given to us in Eph 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” This is a command to the believer to be filled with the Holy Spirit with the result that we do not grieve Him.

Israel grieved the Holy Spirit by going into reversionism and apostasy, as noted in Isa 63:10, “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore, He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them.”

When the Holy Spirit controls the soul, the believer is, “filled with the Spirit.” However, when the old sin nature controls the soul, the believer is “out of fellowship” with the Holy Spirit being under carnality, reversionism, or even apostasy. The latter two are part of “grieving” and potentially “quenching the Holy Spirit,” 1 Thes 5:19. The Holy Spirit’s filling ministry in a person’s life is one of the most important proofs that he belongs to God. Because of this serious matter, believers must be careful not to do anything that would grieve Him.

In other words, when we have sin upon our soul, due to succumbing to the influence of our Old Man, we lose the filling of the Holy Spirit, which is His empowering and enabling ministry for our soul. He is then unable to function and operate inside of our soul. When this goes on for extended periods of time, it causes the Holy Spirit much pain and grief, because He loves us and desires the best for us. When He is not allowed to operate with our souls, we are left to fend for ourselves with only human power and human strength. This causes the Holy Spirit much pain, as we are left defenseless against the schemes of the Devil. However, when you put on the New Man by first applying 1 John 1:9, the confession of your sins, a.k.a., rebounding, and recover from reversionism, you discontinue the practice of grieving the Holy Spirit.

Grieving the Holy Spirit is a reference to the sinful lifestyle of the reversionistic believer. Grieving the Holy Spirit is not simply being temporarily out of fellowship for the advancing believer. That believer is still positive toward the Word and His relationship with God. Temporary sinning means carnality, but when he rebounds and gets back into fellowship very quickly, keeping short accounts with God, and does not neglect doctrine, then he is not grieving the Spirit. That is carnality and is not the same as what we have in grieving the Spirit. When a negative believer gets out of fellowship and stays out of fellowship, it is a part of reversionism, (rejection of rebound, along with other doctrines). This grieves the Holy Spirit. Therefore, carnality and reversionism are not the same. Grieving the Holy Spirit must be distinguished from carnality, it is the persistent sinfulness of the reversionistic believer, as in our passages, vs. 25-31.

When grieving the Holy Spirit continues, it then leads to “Quenching the Holy Spirit,” 1 Thes 5:19. This is a sin against the Holy Spirit emphasizing the reversionistic believer under the influence of evil and producing human good. It must be remembered that the function of evil in reversionism produces both sinfulness as well as human good. Grieving the Spirit emphasizes the sinfulness of the reversionist, whereas quenching the Spirit emphasizes the total Blackout of the Soul of the reversionistic believer who is walking completely inside of sin and Satan’s cosmic system producing human good and evil.

Grieving the Holy Spirit is one of three sins committed against the Holy Spirit. The other two are:

Lying to the Holy Spirit,” Acts 5:1-10. This is the function of a believer in reversionism; in this case the function of a believer in monetary reversionism. This is the case of Ananias and Sapphira. It is a combination of approbation lust plus false motivation under conditions of Blackout of the Soul. It is the sin of false motivation, doing something for personal glory rather than for the honor of the Lord. It led to their immediate Sin Unto Death.

Quenching the Holy Spirit,” 1 Thes 5:19. This is the function of the believer in reversionism by which he consistently produces human good and evil. It’s equivalent to putting your light under a basket, Mat 5:15; Mark 4:21; Luke 11:33.

For the unbeliever there are two sins committed against the Holy Spirit that are committed in the status of spiritual death.

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,” Mat 12:14-32. Believers cannot blasphemy the Holy Spirit.

Resistance of the Holy Spirit,” Acts 7:51.

They both are simply rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, since it is the Holy Spirit’s ministry under common grace to allow the unbeliever to understand the gospel message. When the unbeliever rejects the gospel message, they are sinning against the Holy Spirit and His ministry.

Grieving the Holy Spiri Related to the Phases of Reversionsim

Grieving the Holy Spirit can occur under the following phases of reversionism. It is something the believer does in one of the seven phases of reversionism.

  • The first is the reaction phase, it is the Reaction and Distraction phase in which sin accompanies disillusion. For example, if you are disillusioned about something and get bitter, that would be grieving the Holy Spirit.
  • In phase two of reversionism, there is a Frantic Search for Happiness and the sins here can run the gamut. This includes operation boomerang where this believer is in a constant downward spiral of searching for happiness in the world that results in more and more difficulties, yet they search even harder in the world to solve their problems and exclude or reject God more and more.
  • In phase three of reversionism, we have Emotional Revolt of the Soul. This is when the emotion of the soul takes over everything. The heart or the right lobe, which usually dominates the soul is now dominated by the emotion.
  • The fourth phase of reversionism is the Negative Volition phase. It may be apathy or antagonism which is grieving the Holy Spirit.
  • The fifth phase is the Blackout of the Soul which means you are now under Satanic influence. In this phase Blackout of the Soul leads to pride, bitterness, jealousy, vindictiveness, implacability. This is also the stage at which criminal activity becomes quite extensive.
  • Phase six is the Scar Tissue phase and in this phase, it is anything goes. When you grieve the Holy Spirit in the scar tissue phase, there is no sin that the worst unbeliever in the world has committed that you as a believer cannot commit. You are not going to lose your salvation, you are going to be under Divine discipline and will die the Sin Unto Death.
  • Phase seven is Reverse Process Reversionism in which we have the same principle. Under Reverse Process Reversionism, there is no interest in Bible doctrine. Their scale of values reverse to those things which distract them from ever executing the plan of God.

Up to the fifth stage of reversionism, the believer grieves the Holy Spirit. But, once he is in Blackout of the Soul, he is quenching the Holy Spirit.

Grieving the Holy Spirit is the status of post-salvation sinning. It is failure to Rebound. It is self-fragmentation from soul sins, (the arrogance complex of sins, the lust pattern, the emotional complex of sins), and polarized fragmentation, (polarization toward legalism or antinomianism).

No matter how low you go into sin, you always have choices, especially the choice to Rebound and then to learn Bible doctrine and recover.

In the second half of this sentence, we see one of the blessings and ministries of the indwelling Holy Spirit, “by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

It begins with the phrase, “by whom you were sealed,” EN HOS SPHRAGIZO. SPHRAGIZO, σφραγίζω means, “seal, affirm, authenticate, certify, or acknowledge.” It is in the Aorist, Passive, Indicative, 2nd Person, Plural that means it is a dogmatic fact of unchangeable reality that believers received the action of being sealed that continues into the future. It means that we have eternal security and that the believer will never lose his salvation, because with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, (from the moment of our baptism by the Holy Spirit on the day of our faith in Jesus Christ), we were certified, affirmed, and acknowledged as members of the Royal Family of God forever, 2 Cor 1:22.

2 Cor 1:21-22, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”

The sealing of the Spirit is the down-payment guarantee of security for the royal family forever.

In ancient days sealing was a signature guarantee. It was typically enacted by melting wax and stamping it with a signet ring or other impression that represented the one making a deal or contract. The seal was equivalent to a signature on a contract that guarantees something. When a king sealed a proclamation, it became a law. When people signed a contract by using a wax seal, it was their guarantee from their integrity that they would fulfill their part of the contract.

“Seals” in the ancient world were used in four ways

  • A guarantee of a transaction
  • Identification of ownership.
  • An authentication. The authentication of invoices, contracts, laws, directives, orders was always by the use of a seal to make them authentic.
  • The ratification of a treaty in the ancient world.

Sealing as a signature was used as a guarantee of transactions, identification of ownership, authentication of invoices, contracts, laws, directives, orders, and policies of kings or rulers, and sealing was used to ratify treaties or agreements, the sealing of tombs, (as Christ’s tomb was sealed with the Roman seal), libraries, or treasuries to indicate ownership.

Therefore, the sealing of the Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee that:

  • We have received salvation.
  • We were purchased by Jesus Christ upon the Cross.
  • We are members of the Royal Family of God forever.
  • We have eternal life because the sin barrier between God and man was destroyed at the Cross and now the believer has peace with God.

We will discuss the sealing of God the Holy Spirit further below.

Our eternal security is emphasized in the phrase, “for the day of redemption,” EIS HEMERA APOLUTROSIS. APOLUTROSIS, ἀπολύτρωσις means, “release, (as from slavery or our physical body of sin), redemption, or deliverance.” It is used in Luke 21:28; Rom 3:24; 8:23; 1 Cor 1:30; Eph 1:7, 14; 4:30; Col 1:14; Heb 9:15; 11: 35.

APOLUTROSIS is a derivative of LUTRON that means, “ransom,” where APOLUTROSIS is the act of release or state of being, resulting in release or redemption. Originally, APOLUTRŌSIS denoted “the buying back of a slave or captive, thus making him free by payment of a ransom.”  That is exactly what Jesus Christ did for every member of the human race. He purchased their sins upon the Cross, by taking them into Himself and paying the penalty for them. However, this ransom payment is only realized by those who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. It is they who are truly released from slavery to sin and given freedom to live the spiritual life unto God.

Mat 20:28, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Redemption in Scripture speaks of one of two redemptions or sometimes both. First of all there is the soteriological redemption, redemption of the soul, which means freedom from the slave market of sin at the moment of salvation through faith in Christ, Rom 3:24; 1 Cor 1:30; Eph. 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:12; Gal 2:13; 1 Peter 1:18. The second redemption in the Bible is the eschatological redemption, redemption of the body, Rom 8:23; Eph 1:14; 4:30.

Rom 8:23, “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”

This means that we lose this physical body of sin we are currently living in and receive a new, perfect, and eternal resurrection body. We will receive this final resurrection body at the Rapture of the Church, at the end of the Church Age. This latter redemption is in view in our passage. Therefore, redemption of the soul is related to the salvation work of Christ on the Cross. Whereas the redemption of the body is related to the resurrection body of the believer, which the Holy Spirit is the guarantor through His indwelling ministry during our physical lives here on earth until we die or are Raptured and receive our final resurrection bodies.

Eph 1:7, speaks of the believers’ present day soteriological redemption, being freed in our soul from the slave market of sin, (a.k.a., our positional sanctification). While vs. 14, speaks of the eschatological redemption, being freed from our physical body that houses the Old Man, the Old Sin Nature, and receiving our resurrection body, (a.k.a., our ultimate sanctification). Likewise, in our verse, the Holy Spirit has been given as a pledge or guarantee of our future inheritance in Christ, where Paul declared that we have received the Holy Spirit as a seal until the day of our redemption. This “day,” HEMERA, is for the believer only and includes the time we leave planet earth, either through death or the Rapture, through to the time of receiving our final resurrection bodies.

The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit is one of the 40+ things we receive at the moment of salvation. It is one of the seven things specifically done by God the Holy Spirit for each of us at the moment of salvation.

The seven things that the Holy Spirit does for us at the moment of salvation:

Common and Efficacious grace. It starts out with the gospel being presented to those who are in spiritual death, where God the Holy Spirit makes the gospel understandable because spiritually dead people cannot understand anything of spiritual phenomena. Therefore, the Holy Spirit acts as the human spirit to make the gospel understandable and this is what we call Common Grace. Then comes Efficacious Grace. This is when the unbeliever is positive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and believes. Because he is spiritually dead, he can do nothing regarding the spiritual life. Therefore, God the Holy Spirit takes his faith and makes it effective for salvation, and therefore the new believer receives salvation. Efficacious Grace is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in taking the faith in Christ of the spiritually dead person and making it effective for their salvation. When the Holy Spirit makes our faith effective for salvation and we receive salvation, that is sealing salvation.

Regeneration, Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23.

Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”

This is defined as the ministry of the Holy Spirit at salvation in creating a human spirit in the believer, which causes him to become instantly trichotomous: body, soul, and now having a human spirit. This is the second birth.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit takes each one of us at the moment of faith in Christ and enters us into union with the person of Christ. This is the basis for being created as a “New Man,” a new spiritual species.

The Holy Spirit indwells every believer at the moment of salvation, 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20; 2 Cor 6:16.

1 Cor 3:16, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” This provides a temple for God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to dwell and reside in, Eph 2:19-22.

The Filling of the Holy Spirit. This first occurs at the moment of salvation, but it is experiential and is lost when we sin, Eph 5:18. It is regained when we confess our sins to God, 1 John 1:5-9. The Filling of the Holy Spirit is His empowering and enabling ministry to the soul of the believer.

The sovereign distribution of a spiritual gift by the Holy Spirit at salvation, 1 Cor 12:11, through which we execute God’s Plan for our lives.

The sealing ministry of the Spirit; a signature guarantee. It is a signature guarantee of four things:

  • Efficacious grace, the Holy Spirit takes the faith of the spiritually dead person and makes it effective for salvation;
  • The guarantee of eternal life.
  • The guarantee of eternal security.
  • The guarantee of your very own Portfolio of Invisible Assets, which God the Father prepared for each one of us in eternity past.

Therefore, the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit covers eternity past, our life in time, and eternity future, (“the day of our redemption”), in these four guarantees.

The “day of redemption” also speaks to our “Ultimate Sanctification,” of which the Holy Spirit is the agent. Not only is the Holy Spirit the agent of our ultimate sanctification, but also our positional and experiential sanctification, Rom 15:16; 2 Thes 2:13.

2 Thes 2:13, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through, (positional), sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”

Rom 15:16, “To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, (experiential).”

He is the agent in sanctification by the seven things noted above that he does for us at salvation.

Three Sanctifications:

Phase One, or Positional Sanctification refers to the ministry of God the Holy Spirit taking every believer at the moment he believes and is saved and enters him into union with Christ who is seated at the right hand of the Father. Christ is eternal life; we have His life. He is righteousness,;we share His righteousness. He is the Son; we share His sonship. We share His heirship, His election, His destiny, and His Kingship, 1 Cor 1:2, 30; 6:11; Heb 10:10, 14.

1 Cor 6:11, “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”

Phase Two or Experiential Sanctification is divided into two areas. a) The growing area; b) The victorious area, which is the sphere of maturity. The growing area of putting on the New Man and being filled with the Spirit, 2 Thes 2:13.

2 Thes 2:13, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”

It is also the daily function of GAP, John 17:17; Eph 5:26.

John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.”

The second area is the super-grace stage, the objective where we glorify God and where we have occupation with the person of Jesus Christ.

Phase Three or Ultimate Sanctification, where the believer receives his resurrection body, Rom 8:29; 1 Cor 1:8; Eph 4:30; Phil 3:21; 1 Thes 5:23; 1 John 3:1-2. This is the Royal Family being prepared to return with Jesus Christ.

Phil 3:21, “Who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

Ultimate sanctification involves at least three principles.

  • The acquisition of a resurrection body, 1 Cor 15:51-57.
  • The removal of all human good by divine judgment, 1 Cor 3:11-16.
  • The removal of the Old Sin Nature, Phil 3:21.

The Royal Family on earth is called the body of Christ collectively. It is called in heaven, after the resurrection, the bride and then wife of Christ collectively.

Vs. 31-32, The New Man must Replace Bitterness, Rage, Anger, Shouting, Slander, and/or, Malice with Kindness, Compassion, and Forgiveness.

In vs. 31, we have the fifth and cumulative or summation Old Man characteristics we are to “put off,” (i.e., no longer use or participate in), “bitterness, rage, anger, shouting, slander, or malice.” These are a summary of what we noted in the first four and are mental attitude, verbal, and overt sins.

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

Let” in the Greek actually comes towards the end of the sentence as one word that also encompasses “be put away.” It is the Verb AIRO, αἴρω that means, “raise, lift up, take up, pick up, bear away, or carry off.” Essentially, it means, “to lift from the ground,” hence “to carry or to take.”  So it means, “to take away or remove,” with the idea of lifting away from, usually with the idea of violence and authority.

This reminds us of the Cross of Jesus Christ where He suffered the violence of the payment of the penalty of our sins so that they would be removed from our account. It has to do with the completed work of the Lord signified in the taking up of His life, or the payment of the penalty of our sins, John 10:18; Acts 8:33.

It also reminds us of the judgment He received through the sovereign authority of God the Father for our sins, as well as, the authority the filling of the Holy Spirit should have over our souls, and the authority the Word of God in us should have over our lives.

AIRO can also refer to the act of weighing anchor, and thus mean, “to depart,” Acts 27:13. This sense suggests the idea of taking or carrying along for the purposes of removal. Jesus spoke of taking up or carrying His yoke, which He contrasted with the yoke of the Law, Mat 11:28-30. In other words, give your burdens and temptation to Christ, for His yoke is easy and light, whereas the yoke of the Law (human good) is heavy, cumbersome, and actually impossible to bear.

In the Aorist, Passive, Imperative it is yet another command that we receive the action of having these mental, verbal, and overt sins be removed or taken away from us. The Ingressive Aorist with the Imperative stresses that we begin or enter into the action of “letting” these behaviors be removed from our life. The Passive voice tells us, that linked with reversionism, reversionism grieves the Holy Spirit, and the believer must receive removal of these things through the intake of Bible doctrine and spiritual growth.

Given the various usages of AIRO in the NT, we understand that these sinful behaviors are only removed when we go back to the Cross of Jesus Christ in faith, post salvation, by the power of the filling of the Holy Spirit. In other words, Jesus paid for every sin we would ever commit. As we go forward in the spiritual life, the only way we become overcomers in life is by turning our temptations to sin over to Jesus by means of the filling of the Holy Spirit. When we do, the temptations to sin are removed from the mentality of our soul so that we do not commit sin. Likewise, if we do sin, the answer is also simple, easy, and light. We go back to the Cross in confession of our sins, 1 John 1:9, so that we are cleansed of our known and unknown sins, “all unrighteousness.” This halts sinful trends in their tracks, whereby we receive experiential forgiveness of sins, as well as the removal of sinful trends in our life. Therefore, we are commanded to let the Holy Spirit, through the Cross of Jesus Christ, remove sins from our lives experientially.

In the Greek this sentence actually begins with the Subject Nominative of the Adjective PAS that means, “all or every.” This introduces the list of sinful behaviors we are commanded to give over to Christ and the Holy Spirit. It emphasizes “every instance,” of mental, verbal, or overt sin listed here, but more generally, it means all sins. We are to allow the removal of these sins from our life, as it says, “from you,” APO HUMEIS, that means, “from or away from you.”

Then we have a list of six, (the number of man), vices that the believer can have in his life that he is commanded to allow God to remove, either before or after he commits them. Each is connected with the coordinating Conjunction KAI for “and,” except for the last one, “malice,” which is added to the list using, “along with all,” SUN PAS.

  • Bitterness,” PIKRIA, πικρία that means, “bitter, animosity, anger, harshness, or resentfulness.” Used only in Acts 8:23; Rom 3:14; Heb 12:15 and our verse. It originally meant, “pointed or sharp,” as in arrows, or the sharp or bitterness and penetrating of taste or smell, the shrill of a noise, or painful feeling. In regards to the use in the sphere of the soul, it meant experience of what is unpleasant, unexpected, or undesired. It is expressing intense hostility towards others. So here with other sins it means, “bitterness, resentment, or an incensed and angry attitude of mind,” towards one’s neighbor.

Heb 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” It denotes extreme wickedness, highly offensive to God and obnoxious to men.

Husbands are command not to have this attitude, especially towards their wives, either in thought or more particularly in word and deed, Col 3:19.

  • Wrath,” THUMOS, θυμός means, “great anger, wrath, rage, or passion.” In classical Greek, it meant, “to well up or boil over.” It is strong anger, often with a desire for revenge. It stands for a violent outburst of anger, a violent emotion, or passion of the mind. Paul used THUMOS five times. On four of these, it is a deplorable human condition, and he joined it with other such base sins as in our verse and 2 Cor 12:20; Gal 5:20; Col 3:8.

Col 3:8, “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.”

  • Anger,” ORGE, ὀργή, which was used in vs. 26, means “anger or wrath, a settled feeling of anger.” The most basic meaning of ORGE relates to the inner disposition as evidenced by passion, impulse, and especially outward expressions of displeasure or anger. One might be characterized by an unhappy or “angry” disposition. Therefore, it is a state of relatively strong displeasure, with focus on emotional revolt of the soul. In our passage, it is the sinful type of anger from the human emotional disposition of a strong feeling of grievance and displeasure that is not acceptable in the Christian way of life.

James 1:19, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”

  • Clamor,” KRAUGE, κραυγή that means, “to shout, outcry, clamor, uproar, or crying.” It is based on the croaking sound of ravens. Although it has a positive sense, it is used in the negative of demons driven out by Jesus and their raised cries in Mat 8:29; Mark 5:5, 7; 9:26; Luke 4:33; 8:28; 9:39. In our passage, it has the negative connotation of shouting without proper restraint. It is a persistent demand for something, made in an excited, noisily, and/or angry way. Therefore, it is people shouting back and forth in a quarrel to incite one another, i.e., verbal brawling.

Acts 23:9, “And there arose a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?””

  • Slander,” BLASPHEMIA, βλασφημία it means, “blasphemy, evil speaking, slander, or reviling.” It is from BLAPTO that means, “to hurt, harm, or injure,” and PHEME that means, “speech.” It means, “injurious speech or words.” It can mean, “profane speech, defamation, slander, speech that denigrates or defames, reviling, denigration, disrespect, or slander.” It is the strongest form of mockery or slander. It means murder with your mouth, or character assassination. In reference to God, it is the misrepresentation of His true nature or power, Mat 12:31. In our passage, it is used primarily regarding our speech towards our fellow man, Mat 15:19; Mark 7:22; Col 3:8; 1 Tim 6:4; Jude 9, the act or offense of saying something false or malicious that damages somebody’s reputation.

Mat 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”

  • Malice,” KAKIA, κακία that means, “badness, depravity, evil, trouble, wickedness, vice, malice, or ill will.” It generally means evil or wickedness,” from KAKOS that means, “bad.” It is the intention or desire to commit an unlawful and unjustifiable act that will result in harm or pain to another. In our verse it typifies the wide range of wicked behaviors that oppose godly living and righteousness, and sums up all the above, plus any other types or categories of sin, cf. Rom 1:29; Col 3:8; James 1:21; Titus 3:3; 1 Peter 2:1, 16.

Rom 1:29, “Being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips.”

James 1:21, “Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”

Titus 3:3, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.”

1 Peter 2:1, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.”

Conclusion:

Any one of these individually or in combination produces five categories of misery.

  • Self-induced misery.
  • Chain sinning.
  • Misery to those in your periphery.
  • Revenge type misery. i.e., two wrongs do not make a right, and you cannot build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness.
  • The various categories of Divine discipline, which are administered to the reversionist.

Therefore, we are commanded to allow all sin to be put away from us by God, so that we do not incur misery and instead have the inner peace, happiness, and joy of God in our lives, through the filling of the Holy Spirit and the application of Bible doctrine from our souls that will lead us to Divine Good Production as noted in our next and final verse of this chapter.

Vs. 32

Eph 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

In this passage, we have three counter positive characteristics of the New Man that he is to “put on,” in contrast to the six negative ones we are to let God remove in vs. 31. Like vs. 31, these three traits or virtues are a summation of all the positive traits the New Man is to “put on,” as noted in vs. 25-30.

Our Lord tells us that we must put off resentful attitudes (bitterness), indignant outbursts (wrath), festering anger, public shouting (clamor), abusive language (slander), and all evil actions (malice). In their place, we are to put on kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Wear these virtues like you wear your clothes, every day.

It begins with “And,” which is the contrasting Conjunction DE that typically is translated, “but, rather, or however.”

Then we have, “be” in the Present, Passive Deponent, Imperative of GINOMAI, γίνομαι that means, “to be, to come into being, to be made, be done, become, etc.” To go along with the Passive voice command in vs. 31, this is a Passive Deponent command, which too stresses that we “let God” work out these positive attributes in our New Man. The Deponent places volitional responsibility on the believer to walk in his new nature through positive volition to God’s Word and the filling of the Holy Spirit. When he does, the Word and Spirit will form these New Man traits in the believer’s life. The Customary Present tense emphasizes this command for the believer to regularly and consistently receive these attributes and then walk in the New Nature of holiness, righteousness, and love as characterized in the three following attributes of kind, compassionate, and forgiving. So, we could say, “keep on becoming.” That is, we have to abandon the mental condition of our Old Man and make our way, beginning now, into its opposite, the New Man and its Christ-like nature. In other words, we are to abandon the Old Man attributes and attitudes completely, and allow God to replace them with the New Man attributes and attitudes.

Next in the Greek is “to one another,” that begins with the Preposition EIS, “to or toward.” This is the direction our New Man attributes are to be applied. ALLELON is the direct object Accusative that means, “each other or one another.” These are the ones we are to apply these characteristics towards; our fellow members of the Royal Family first, and then to our fellow man; our neighbors.

Next, we have the three traits the New Man must walk in that are a summation of all the holy and righteous attributes he is to acquire and apply. Note that these are also attributes of God. Therefore, they speak to the Christ-like nature and walking in brotherly love.

The Three New Man summary attributes include:

  • Kind,” which is the Adjective CHRESTOS, χρηστός that means, “Good, pleasant, easy; useful, reputable; kind, or even loving.” It is used in Mat 11:30 regarding the “easy” yoke of the Lord. It is also in Luke 5:39; 6:35; Rom 2:4; 1 Cor 15:33; Eph 4:32; 1 Peter 2:3. Only in our passage is it used regarding the New Man. Mostly it is a reference to the attributes of God.

1 Peter 2:3, “If you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”

Luke 6:35, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.”

In 1 Cor 13:4 we have the verb CHRESTEUOMAI used regarding the New Man. 1 Cor 13:4, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.” Read vs. 4-8a.

In the context of the uses of CHRESTOS, it means “useful, serviceable,” as well as being “good” ethically and morally. It is also associated with “bravery, kindness, and honesty.” Finally, it describes the qualities of being “kind, merciful, generous, etc.”

All are in view concerning how we deal with our fellow members of the Royal Family of God and our neighbors as we operate in impersonal and unconditional love; being “kind, benevolent, and gracious” as opposed to being, “harsh, hard, bitter, and sharp.” Kindness is often mistaken for weakness, but it absolutely is not. It is actually a strength and it takes strength to love, especially the unlovable.

  • Tender-hearted,” which is the Adjective EUSPLAGCHNOS, εὔσπλαγχνος that means, “Compassionate or tenderhearted.” It is only used here and in 1 Peter 3:8.

1 Peter 3:8, “To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.”

It comes from EU that means, “good,” and SPLAGCHNON that means, “inward parts.” Originally, it was a medical term for the inwards parts, (intestines, liver, heart, etc.), but later became used for “affection or tender mercies,” as in the verb SPLAGCHNIZOMAI, (splangk-nid-zom-i), that means to, “have compassion, feel sympathy, or have mercy.”

Outside of the Bible, this term was used for human virtues in general. So we could say, “have virtue,” which means integrity, honesty, righteousness, etc. Nevertheless, compassion and tenderheartedness are the application of this word.

Compassion and being compassionate mean, “the deep feeling of sharing the suffering of another in the inclination to give aid or support, or to show mercy.” It has the connotation of overt graciousness because of graciousness in the soul.

We have all experienced the graciousness or compassion of God, and we are to share that same experience with those around us. This is why there is no place for revenge or rejoicing when you see your enemy fall.

Psa 78:38, “But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; and often He restrained His anger, and did not arouse all His wrath.”

Lam 3:22-23, “The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

Col 3:12, “And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Virtuous compassion of the New Man is his or her kindness, sympathy, tenderness, mercy, and clemency directed toward others. It is his commiseration, longsuffering, forbearance toward others, as a result of the believer fulfilling his spiritual life under the function of the three spiritual skills, (filling of the Holy Spirit, metabolization of Bible doctrine, and the Problem Solving Devices). It emphasizes grace orientation and the precedence for the Christian way of life, which comes from the humanity of Christ in hypostatic union. Compassion is also a personal function as illustrated by evangelism, the spiritual gift of helps, intercessory prayer, and personal motivation in giving.

  • Compassion is our motivation to desire and/or help others bring about healing in their lives, Mat 14:13-14, Luke 15:20, (Prodigal son).
  • Compassion motivates feeding the hungry, Mat 15:32.
  • Compassion motivates identification with those who have lost loved ones, Luke 7:13.
  • Compassion motivates forgiveness toward others, Mat 18:27.
  • Compassion motivates the believer to perform Divine good, Luke 10:30-37, (the Good Samaritan).

Zech 7:9, “Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice, and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother’.”

Jude 1:22-23, “And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.”

 1 Peter 3:8, “To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.”

Col 3:12, “And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Because of compassion, God forgives sin, just as we should forgive the sins or wrongs others have committed against us, Psa 51:1-13; 78:38; Lam 3:22-23; Dan 9:9; Micah 7:19; Heb 5:2.

Psa 78:38, “But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; and often He restrained His anger, and did not arouse all His wrath.”

Lam 3:22-23, “The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

This now leads us to the third and final New Man characteristic found in this passage, “forgiving.”

  1. Forgiving,” which is the Verb CHARIZOMAI, χαρίζομαι in the Present, Middle Deponent, Participle. It means, “Give generously, grant, bestow; remit, forgive, release, or pardon.” In classical Greek, it describes the action of saying or doing something agreeable for or to a person, i.e., “to show favor or kindness.” It further describes the nature of such actions, “to give graciously, freely, or cheerfully.”

It is not the Greek word for “forgiving,” APHIEMI, that is usually used when God forgives or removes our sins, which means, “to put away, let go, leave, to disregard, leave behind, dismiss, divorce, cancel, pardon, remit, forgive, or abandon.” That forgiving is God forgiving our sins in the sense that He in the Person of His Son bore them on the Cross, paying the penalty, satisfying the just demands of His law, cf. Mat 6:12f; 1 John 1:9. Yet CHARIZOMAI, meaning, “to do a favor to, do something agreeable or pleasant to someone, to show one’s self gracious, benevolent, or to forgive in the sense of treating the offending party graciously,” this word is used in our passage twice. Once for the forgiveness of other’s offenses against us, and the second time, because God forgave the offenses, (sins), we committed against Him, cf. Col 2:13; 3:13.

Col 2:13, “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.”

Col 3:13, “Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

Likewise, the Greek word used for forgiveness of sins committed before faith in Christ is CHARIZOMAI. The Greek word used for forgiveness of sins committed after faith in Christ is APHIEMI. Utilizing CHARIZOMAI in our passage, Eph 4:32, tells us that the precedence for our forgiving of others is found in God forgiving our sins at the moment of our salvation. It is a benevolent act towards the sinner, the one(s) who sinned against us.

Only Luke and Paul used this word. Luke understood it as the demonstration of our Lord’s “gracious giving,” His “bestowing favor” upon candidates for salvation, and it is the outworking of God’s “grace,” CHARIS, cf. Luke 7:21, 42-43.

Paul uses it six times connecting it to God’s graciousness in His giving of Christ on behalf of the world, Rom 8:32; cf. 1 Cor 2:12.

Rom 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”

As you know, God’s grace is freely given and does not depend upon our efforts, Gal 3:18.

Gal 3:18, “For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.”

Furthermore, it concerns God’s forgiveness of the individual. That is where the New Man comes in. Just as God forgave and forgives you and others, you too must have forgiveness for “each other,” the Personal Pronoun HEAUTOU in the plural.

That why this verse closes with, “just as God in Christ also has forgiven you,” KATHOS KAI HO THEOS EN CHRISTOS CHARIZOMAI HUMEIS. This is our motivation to forgive!

Here CHARIZOMAI, χαρίζομαι is in reference to God the Father’s forgiveness towards each of us, as it is in the Aorist, Middle Deponent, Indicative. As such, it is a dogmatic fact of reality, (Indicative mood), that God the Father has forgiven you of your sins, (culminative Aorist tense), with the result that He has entered you into His Royal Family forever, (Middle Deponent voice). Therefore, we get our precedent for forgiving others from God who has forgiven us.

Forgiving other people is not always easy, but we Christians have the greatest of all incentives for doing so, the fact that Christ forgave us all. We also have the greatest power available to be able to forgive, His Word and Spirit operating within our souls.

God’s forgiveness towards us is free, it precedes even our repentance, and it is exercised despite the number and enormity of our sins, and the long period of time we have sinned our sins. He forgives us far more than we can ever be called on to forgive others, Psa 78:38; Col 2:13; cf. Eph 4:32; Col 3:13; 2 Cor 2:7, 10; 12:13.

Psa 78:38, “But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; and often He restrained His anger, and did not arouse all His wrath.”

Col 2:13, “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.”

This shows us that mutual forgiveness is a further mark of true Christian fellowship. There is a give and take in this matter. Our forgiveness of others is to be like God’s forgiveness of us. It must flow from ungrudging love. The parable of the unmerciful servant is what we are not to do, Mat 18:23-35.

What does forgiving others mean? The principle of legal pardon is no different from the principle of personal pardon and forgiveness. This means that if someone asks for your forgiveness, in honor you forgive them, then with integrity and loyalty to Bible doctrine you forget whatever was done against you, and never again recall it to mind or penalize the individual for it. However, arrogance has no ability to forgive. Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers gives us a great example of how to forgive, Gen 50:21f.

The pattern for such pardon and forgiveness is found in Psa 103:12; Isa 43:25; Micah 7:19; Luke 23:34; Col 2:14.

Psa 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Isa 43:25, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, (because of My honor and integrity). Furthermore, I will not remember your sin.”

Isa 44:22, “I have blotted out as a cloud your transgressions and as a cloud your sins.”

Micah 7:19, “He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

Luke 23:34, “But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing”.”

Col 2:14, “Having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of the decrees against us, which were hostile to us and He has taken it out of the way and nailed it to His cross.”

The mandate in Eph 4:32, is for all believers, especially for those who have attained spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity, the winner/overcomer believer, who is tenderhearted, to forgive others on the basis of the fact that God has forgiven them.

Rom 12:19, “Beloved, do not take your own revenge, but defer to the wrath of God. For it stands written (Deut 32:35), `Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord.’”

Mat 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

Summary, Vs. 25-32.

Christians should not only live differently from unbelievers, but they also should live differently for different reasons. We believe in God, sin, the Devil, the Spirit, the church, and Christ’s death on the Cross. These truths should affect the way we live. Therefore, when you put on the New Man and recover from reversionism, you have nobility of the soul under the function of grace. As such, you are Divinely empowered to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving, along with the other attributes of the New Man found in vs. 25-30, based on the Filling of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word resident within your soul.

In these passages, we have seen certain results that accompany reversion recovery, which also speak of having put on the New Man. They include:

  • The New Man must Replace Lying with Truth-Telling. You recover the Divine viewpoint, vs. 25.
  • The New Man must Replace Unrighteous Anger with Righteous Anger. You have objective indignation, vs. 26.
  • The New Man must not give Satan and the Old Man, an opportunity to exploit sin and evil in his soul. Victory in the Angelic Conflict, vs. 27.
  • The New Man must Replace Stealing with Working and Giving. Production of Divine good in the business world, vs. 28.
  • The New Man must Replace Corrupt Talk with Edifying Talk. Control of the tongue as a sign of maturity, vs. 29.
  • The New Man must discontinue the practice of grieving the Holy Spirit, vs. 30.
  • The New Man must replace Bitterness, Rage, Anger, Shouting, Slander, and/or, Malice with Kindness, Compassion, and Forgiveness. Nobility of the soul under the function of grace, vs. 31-32.

“This total passage, along with many others, shows that the apostle Paul certainly did not believe the fallen, sinful nature was removed completely at salvation. Instead, at conversion the power of the Adamic nature is broken so a person is no longer a slave to it. At the same time God places within the person His Holy Spirit, so in a real sense he then has two natures. This results in a struggle that continues throughout this earthly life. But the more the Christian yields to the Holy Spirit, the easier it becomes. Also, the more a person resists the cravings of the Adamic nature, the easier it will be for his spiritual nature to dominate his way of life.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

Oswald Chambers notes, “All of this is the revelation of the natural to the spiritual. The natural must be turned into the spiritual by sacrifice, otherwise a tremendous divorce will be produced in the actual life. Why should God ordain the natural to be sacrificed? God did not. It is not God’s order but His permissive will. God’s order was that the natural should be transformed into the spiritual by obedience; it is sin that made it necessary for the natural to be sacrificed.

     Abraham had to offer up Ishmael before he offered up Isaac. Some of us are trying to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God before we have sacrificed the natural. The only way in which we can offer a spiritual sacrifice to God is by presenting our bodies a living sacrifice. Sanctification means more than deliverance from sin, it means the deliberate commitment of myself whom God has saved to God, and that I do not care what it costs.

     If we do not sacrifice the natural to the spiritual, the natural life will mock at the life of the Son of God in us and produce a continual wavering. This is always the result of an undisciplined spiritual nature. We go wrong because we stubbornly refuse to discipline ourselves, physically, morally or mentally. “I wasn’t disciplined when I was a child.” You must discipline yourself now. If you do not, you will ruin the whole of your personal life for God.

     God is not with our natural life while we pamper it; but when we put it out in the desert and resolutely keep it under, then God will be with it; and He will open up wells and oases, and fulfill all His promises for the natural.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.)

Summary of Chapter 4

Recalling our outline of Chapter 4, we have noted:

A.) The Believer’s Walk in Unity; God’s Plan for Faithful Living in the Church to Build the Church, Eph 4:1-16.

The first half of this chapter was broken down into three sections regarding the unity that God has given to us and the unity we are to live in each day:

  1. The Appeal to Preserve Unity; Walking worthy of the calling by which we have been called, Eph 4:1-3.
  2. The Basis for Unity; The seven unities given to us by God, Eph 4:4-6.
  3. The Means of Unity; The ministry gifts of Christ given to His body, Eph 4:7-16.

In section 3, we had a subtopic before describing the purpose of the main topic:

a) Christ’s Death, Resurrection and Ascension proclaimed, as well as being the giver of gifts, vs. 8-10. This showed us the power available to us in the giving and application of our spiritual gifts. The power of God that raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him victory over sin and Satan, is the same power available to us to fulfill God’s plan for our lives.

b) The purpose of our gifts; building up of the body of Christ, individually and collectively, vs. 12-16.

B.) The Believer’s Walk in Righteousness; God’s Pattern and Principles for Members of the Church and His Standards for Faithfulness, Eph 4:17-32.

The second half of this chapter was broken down into two sections regarding our daily walk in life:

  1. The Previous Walk of the Old Life, Eph 4:17-19.
  2. The Present Walk of the New Life, Eph 4:20-32.

a) The Regenerated New Man in Christ Jesus, vs. 20-24.

b) Principles of Conduct for the New Man, vs. 25-32

In addition, we noted that Chapter 4 begins a discourse on “The Practice of Believers,” that begins in Eph 4:1 and runs through to Eph 6:9, as this and the following chapters teach us about our spiritual walk in Christ.

A.) The Believer’s Walk in Unity; God’s Plan for Faithful Living in the Church to Build the Church, Eph 4:1-16. As we studied these passages and principles, we noted several main topics and doctrines in the first half of this chapter including:

1.) Principles of Walking, which is living the unique spiritual life of the Church Age under the power and filling of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.

Gal 5:16, But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

Eph 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”

2 Cor 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

3 John 3, For I was very glad when brethren came and bore witness to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth.”

Eph 5:2, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

1 John 2:6, “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

Eph 5:8, “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.”

Therefore, our spiritual walk is the Divine viewpoint thinking, the doctrinal thinking of the soul that results in application of Divine good production.

2.) That led us to Principles of the Royal Family Honor Code (RFHC), in vs. 2-3, where we were given seven characteristics of the RFHC the believer is to possess and apply.

James 2:8a, “If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture…”

3.) Then we noted the basis for our unity given to us by God at the moment of salvation in vs. 4-6, with a wonderful doxology in praise of God and His Plan. It emphasized our “oneness” in seven ways. Seven is the number of “spiritual perfection” in Scripture.

4.) In that we noted various Principles of the Body of Christ, that we are all a part of, plus Principles of the Baptism of the Spirit; and Principles of God the Father, who is Sovereign, Omnipresent, and Indwelling.

5.) Then before getting into the doctrine of Spiritual gifts, vs. 7, 11, we noted The Doctrine of the Ascension of Jesus Christ, with His descending and session, in vs. 8-10.

6.) Then coming to vs. 11, we noted The Doctrine of Spiritual Gifts, that included: 1) The giving or distribution of spiritual gifts; 2) Identifying and describing the permanent versus temporary spiritual gifts; 3) The discovery and abuse of spiritual gifts.

We then went into detail about the application of the four mentioned communication spiritual gifts for the Church; the first two being part of the temporary gifts, Apostle and Prophet, and the last two being part of the permanent gifts for the Church, Evangelist and Pastor-Teacher.

7.) Then beginning in vs. 12 we learned about the reason why our Lord gave these four communication spiritual gifts to the Church and their purpose. We noted the desired “attainment” or results of our Lord giving the communication gifts, as found in vs. 13, in four phrases:

a) “The unity of faith.”

b) “The knowledge of the Son of God.”

c) “To a mature man.”

d) “To the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

8.) Then in vs. 14, we noted the exhortation to grow up spiritually and four oppositions to our spiritual growth:

a) Not standing steadfast in the principles and promises of God’s Word.

b) Being seduced and confused by false doctrines.

c) False teacher of false doctrine who in one hand speak passages of God’s Word, and in the other, false principles and precepts that are man-made.

d) Ministers of the Devil who scheme and cheat to deceive members of the Royal Family who neglect and reject true Bible doctrine.

9.) In vs. 15-16, we are exhorted to grow up spiritually and be productive functioning members of the Body of Jesus Christ. There we learned: Principles of AGAPE Love, found in 1 Cor 13:4-7; The Headship of Jesus Christ Over His Body; and The Doctrine of Joints and Ligaments, (Pastor-Teachers).

That concluded the first half of the Chapter.

B.) Then we began the second half entitled: God’s Pattern and Principles for Members of the Church and His Standards for Faithfulness in the Church, vs. 17-32.

1.) The first section included understanding our Previous Walk of the Old Life, Eph 4:17-19.

a) There we learned The Doctrine of Reversionism for both unbelievers and believers, and the Eight Stages of Reversionism of the apostate believer.

  •     Reaction Stage.
  •     Frantic Search for Happiness.
  •     Operation Boomerang.
  •     Emotional Revolt of the Soul.
  •     Permanent Negative Volition Toward Doctrine.
  •     The Blackout of the Soul.
  •     Scar Tissue of the Soul.
  •     Reverse Process Reversionism.

b) Then in vs. 18-19, we emphasized two important doctrines from this list, The Doctrine of the Blackout of the Soul, and the Doctrine of the Scar Tissue of the Soul, in regards to the Greek word MATAIOTES, the futility of mind.

c) Next, we reviewed the Doctrine of “Sensuality” – Sexual Immorality, which is a result of the Blackout of and Scar Tissue on the Soul.

2.) The second section included understanding The Present Walk of the New Life, vs. 20-32: 1) The Regenerated New Man in Christ Jesus, vs. 20-24. 2) Principles of Conduct for the New Man, vs. 25-32.

a) Here, we noted that we are to put off the Old Man, the old way of living under and by means of the Old Sin Nature, and put on the New Man, by living in the new Christ like nature of righteousness and holiness.

b) We studied The Doctrine of the New Spiritual Species, including the Characteristics, Creation, Reason, Purpose, Results, and Opportunity for the New Spiritual Species.

c) We also noted Characteristics of the New Man as a result of having God’s Word in his soul, as well as, Four Deferred Benefits of being a New Spiritual Species.

d) Then beginning in vs 25 running through vs. 32, we concluded Chapter 4, with Principles of Conduct for the New Man that included: Old Man characteristics we are to put off, and replace them by putting on our New Man characteristics.

e) We also learned that the New Man must not give Satan an opportunity to exploit sin and evil in his soul, as we also noted the Outline of the Devil and his Strategies, and not to grieve the Holy Spirit, including the Doctrine of Grieving the Holy Spirit.

f) In addition, we noted The Sealing Ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is part of The Seven Things that the Holy Spirit does for us at the Moment of Salvation: 1) Common and Efficacious Grace; 2) Regeneration; 3) The Baptism of the Holy Spirit; 4) Indwelling of the Holy Spirit; 5) The Filling of the Holy Spirit; 6) The distribution of a spiritual gift; 7) The sealing ministry of the Spirit – a signature guarantee.

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