Vol. 15 No. 46 – December 4, 2016
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.
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 52:1-19; 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.
Our 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 he speaks 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 4:6.
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 again the Holy Spirit. The other two are:
1) “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.
2) “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. Its 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.
1) “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,” Mat 12:14-32. Believers cannot blasphemy the Holy Spirit.
2) “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.
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 16-135 through 16-137
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!