The Book of Ephesians ~ Chapter 4 ~ Summary and Conclusion

Vol. 16 No. 1 – January 1, 2017

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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.”

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. 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.”

Tender-hearted,” which is the Adjective EUSPLAGCHNOS, εὔσπλαγχνος that means, “Compassionate or tenderhearted.” It is only used here and in 1 Peter 3:8. 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.

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.” 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 fulfil 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:

  • 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: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.

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

  • 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.
  3. The Regenerated New Man in Christ Jesus, vs. 20-24.
  4. 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.

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:

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.

That led us to Principles of the 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…”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

  • “The unity of faith.”
  • “The knowledge of the Son of God.”
  • “To a mature man.”
  • “To the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

Then in vs. 14, we noted the exhortation to grow up spiritually and four oppositions to our spiritual growth:

  • Not standing steadfast in the principles and promises of God’s Word.
  • Being seduced and confused by false doctrines.
  • 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.
  • Ministers of the Devil who scheme and cheat to deceive members of the Royal Family who neglect and reject true Bible doctrine.

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.

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.

The first section included understanding our Previous Walk of the Old Life, Eph 4:17-19.

There we learned The Doctrine of Reversionism for both unbelievers and believers, and the Eight Stages of Reversionism of the apostate believer.

    1) Reaction Stage.

    2) Frantic Search for Happiness.

    3) Operation Boomerang.

    4) Emotional Revolt of the Soul.

    5) Permanent Negative Volition Toward Doctrine.

    6) The Blackout of the Soul.

    7) Scar Tissue of the Soul.

    8) Reverse Process Reversionism.

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.

Next, we reviewed the Doctrine of “Sensuality” – Sexual Immorality, which is a result of the Blackout of and Scar Tissue on the Soul.

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.

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.

We studied The Doctrine of the New Spiritual Species, including the Characteristics, Creation, Reason, Purpose, Results, and Opportunity for the New Spiritual Species.

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.

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.

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.

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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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 16-143 & 16-144

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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you.  He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins.  He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.

To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

 

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