The first three chapters of this epistle were mainly doctrinalNow we begin to get into the practical aspects of the epistle.  This chapter is the commencement of the practical part of the epistle, and is made up, like the remaining chapters, of various exhortations. It was a habit of Paul’s to conduct an argument in his epistles, and, then to enforce various practical duties, either growing out of the argument which he had maintained, or adapted to some particular situation in the church to which he was writing. The points of exhortation in this chapter are, in general, the following:–

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.”

      “I therefore”
      Literally: ”I therefore;” or “then I.”–In view of the great and glorious truths which God has revealed, and of the grace which he has manifested towards you who are Gentiles. Because God has provided for you such an abundant salvation, and you have his testimonies among you, and have full liberty to use all the means of grace.    

                 THEREFORE:  (Greeksun)The sense of the word “therefore” (sun) in this place, is, “Such being your exalted privileges; since God has done so much for you; since He has revealed for you such a glorious system; since He has bestowed on you the honor of calling you into His kingdom, and making you partakers of His mercy, I entreat you to live in accordance with these elevated privileges, and to show your sense of His goodness by devoting your all to His service.”

         “Therefore” is a transitional word that really connects what Paul is now saying with the previous chapters.  A good rule of thumb is this:  “Whenever you find the wordtherefore in a Bible passage, you should go back and read what came before it to see what the thereforeis there for.
         Here is an appeal and exhortation from the founder of their church (their spiritual father); one who had endured much for them, and who was now in bonds on account of his devotion to the welfare of the Gentile world.

“the prisoner of the Lord”
Literally: “I am the prisoner in {the} Lord.”  I am deprived of my liberty for the Lord's sake.  It means, that he was now a prisoner, or in confinement in the cause of the Lord.

         Paul is telling them that he has been imprisoned for Christ’s sake and also for their sakes–that is, for the sake of the gospel which he had preached amongst them.  This was therefore a powerful motive to them to comfort him under it by their obedience. He did not feel particularly that he was the prisoner of Nero; he was bound and kept because the Lord willed it, and because it was in his service to the Lord.

“beseech you that you walk worthy”
Literally: “exhort you to walk worthily”–That you live as becomes those who have been called in this manner into the kingdom of God. The word walk is often used to denote life, conduct, etc.

         To walk worthy or our vocation is to walk answerable to those high and glorious hopes which the gospel raises up the Christian.   They had been called to a glorious calling, as he had shown in chapter 3. The Christian has been called to the highest calling with which man has ever been honored.  We are to “walk worthy” of our calling.   This same admonition goes for us today:  to walk worthy of the Gospel (see I John 1:7)–“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
       People may not be telling you this, but they are evaluating whether you are a real child of God through your “walk.”.  The only way they can tell is by your everyday Christian walk. Paul is really saying to these Ephesian believers, “You have your liberty, and may walk; I am deprived of mine, and cannot.”  This is a fine stroke, and wrought up into a strong argument.  “You who are at large can show forth the virtues of Him who called you into His marvelous light; I am in bondage, and can only exhort others by my writing, and show my submission to God by my patient suffering.”                                  

        BESEECH:  (Gr.-parakalô)–This word for “beseech” (or beg) is the same word that we find in Romans 12:1–“I beseech (parakalô) you therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, {which is} your reasonable service.}  It is not the command of Sinai with fire and thunder; on the contrary, it is the gentle wooing of love. 

Keep in mind that this is really eternal God, through the Holy Spirt of God, and thus through the inspired pen of Paul’s, actually asking us (i.e., begging us), to live holily.  As our heavenly Father He really has the right to demand or order us to do this, but here we see that out of His infinite love He has condescended to ask us (beg us) to be living as we know we ought.

         In the O.T. God says, “Obey Me and I will bless you.”  But here in the N.T. we see God saying, “I have already blessed you, now in response to the love and grace, I have blessed you with,  I am asking you to obey me.”

        WALK:  (Gr.-perpataeô)–Literally:  “to walk; to live; to conduct oneself.”  That you live as becomes those who have been called in this manner into the kingdom of God.        

         of the vocation wherewith you are called”

Literally:  “of the calling (klêsôs) in which you were called (eklêthête)”–This calling or vocation is through the agency of the Holy Spirit, and is His appropriate work on the human heart.  Here we see another one of Paul’s “play on words” in the Greek by using two versions of the same Greek word (kaleô)“to call.”  This is the same root word from which we get the Greek word for “church”–(ekklêsia), or “called out assembly.”

        VOCATION:  (Gr.-klêsôs)–This word literally means “a call,” or an “invitation”–as to a banquet.

Hence it means that Divine invitation or calling by which Christians are introduced into the privileges of the gospel. The word is translated “calling” in 1:18; 4:14; Rom. 11:29; I Cor. 1:26; 7:20; Phil. 3:14; II Thess. 1:11; II Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; II Pet. 1:10.

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love”

“With all lowliness”
Literally:  “with all humility”–Lowliness means a mind brought low.  It is by acting as Paul here directs that a man walks worthy of our high vocation.
  Lowliness is the flagship of all Christian virtues: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Phil. 2:3).  “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart…” (Matt. 11:29).

        LOWLINESS:  (Gr.-tapeinophrosune)–Literally:  “humble-minded, humble.”  This is the opposite of pride.

         Lowliness is a grace which we acquire, not one with which we are born.  The very opposite is evidence in every human being from infancy to old age.  Christ indwelling, controlling and molding a life produces this lowliness.  The more we become like Him Who “took upon Him the form of a servant,” and empties Himself, the more we shall walk like him in all lowliness.
         See Acts 20:19, where the same Greek word is used.–“Serving the Lord with all humility (tapeinophrosune) of mind…”  Compare, also, the following places, where the same Greek word occurs: Phil. 2:3, “in lowliness (tapeinophrosune) of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves;” Col. 2:18, “in a voluntary humility (tapeinophrosune). The idea is, that humility of mind becomes those who are “called,” (v. 1), and that we walk worthy of that calling when we evince it.  
         It is an interesting fact that in the Greek culture of Paul’s day, humility was considered as a vice; something that was to be practiced by slaves.  Here Paul says that believers should be humble in their daily living.

        MEEKNESS: (Gr.-prautêtos)Literally:  “meekness” means mildness but it does not mean weakness.   To be meek does not mean to be “Mr. Milquetoast.”  

         There are two men in the Bible who are noted for being meek.  In the O.T. it was Moses, and in the N.T. it was the Lord Jesus.  When you see Moses come down from the mount and break the Ten Commandments written on the stone tablets and when you hear what he said to his brother Aaron and to the children of Israel, would you call that meekness?  But God called it that.  In the N.T. it is Jesus.  When you see the Lord Jesus going in and driving the money changers out of the temple, was that meekness?  It certainly was. 
         Meekness relates to the manner in which we receive injuries. We are to bear them patiently, and not to retaliate, or seek revenge. The meaning here is, that we adorn the gospel when we show its power in enabling us to bear injuries without anger or a desire of revenge, or with a mild and forgiving spirit (see II Cor. 10:1; Gal. 5:23; 6:1; II Tim. 2:25; Titus 3:2) where the same Greek word occurs.

The world defines meekness with weakness.  The Bible calls meekness a willingness to stand and do the will of God regardless of the cost.  Meekness is…
1.       Bowing yourself to the will of God.
2.       The grace exhibited when one is slow to take offense.
          It enables one to be long suffering and kind.
3.       That spirit in which we accept God's dealings with us without disputing and resisting
4.       The accepting patiently of the injuries done us by men, out of the thought that they are permitted by God for the chastening and purifying of His people.

        LONGSUFFERING:  (Gr.-makrothumias)-Longsuffering means a long temper.  In other words, we should not have a short fuse.  This is a fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22)–“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.” 

         Never permitting a trial or provocation to get to the end of your patience. How much of this grace do we possess?  What is your attitude toward those who misrepresent you?  Do you pay them back in their own coin?  Do you fight fire with fire?  If so, you are not long-suffering.  To take offense easily, and to seek to “pay back” any fancied injuries, are the opposite of these qualities
         Bearing patiently with the foibles, faults, and infirmities of others. The virtue here required is that which is to be manifested in our manner of receiving the provocations which we meet with from our brethren. No virtue, perhaps, is more frequently demanded in our intercourse with others. We do not go far with any fellow-traveler on the journey of life before we find there is great occasion for its exercise. He has a temperament different from our own. He may be naturally irritable, or he may have been so trained that his modes of speech and conduct differ much from ours.
         Hence, if we would have life move on smoothly, we must learn to bear and forbear. We must indulge the friend that we love in the little peculiarities of saying and doing things which may be important to him, but which may be of little moment to us. Like children, we must suffer each one to build his playhouse in his own way, and not quarrel with him because he does not think our way the best. All usefulness, and all comfort, may be prevented by an unkind, a sour, a crabbed temper of mind–a mind that can bear with no difference of opinion or temperament.

         “forbearing one another in love”
         Literally:  “bearing with one another in love”–

        FORBEARANCE (Gr.-anechomenoi)–Means “to put up with,” to hold one’s self back in the spirit of love; “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any:  even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:13).  

         It is a grace which Christians should possess who live with unconverted loved ones.   Regardless of how aggravating circumstances may be, the indwelling Christ can, and will, strengthen us and enable us to walk in a lowly manner, with meekness, forbearance and long-suffering.
         Sustaining one another-helping to support each other in all the miseries and trials of life: or, if the word be taken in the sense of bearing with each other, it may mean that, through the love of God working in our hearts, we should bear with each other's infirmities, ignorance, etc., knowing how much others have been or are still obliged to bear with us.
         Helping to support each other in all the miseries and trials of life: or, if the word be taken in the sense of bearing with each other, it may mean that, through the love of God working in our hearts, we should bear with each other's infirmities, ignorance, etc., knowing how much others have been or are still obliged to bear with us.

        IN LOVE:  (Gr.-en agapê)-If the heart is filled with love, the other qualities will be shown forth.

“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

         “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit”
         Literally:  “being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit”–Forbearance and long-suffering are essential to unity and peace.

ENDEAVORING:  (Gr.-spoudazontes)–This word means, “eagerness; diligence, eager to do one’s best;” or as we might say, “trying with all your heart.” 

         Translating this Greek word as “endeavoring” does not really do the word justice.  “Endeavoring” suggest the possibility of failure, whereas this Greek word conveys the idea of zealous effort and care. “Giving  diligence” or “sparing no effort” would have been more appropriate renderings of the Greek word (spoudazontes).

        “But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored (spoudazontes) the more abundantly to see your face with great desire” (I Thess. 2:17).

        “Study (spoudazontes–be diligent in study) to show thyself approved unto God…” (II Tim. 2:15).
        “Wherefore rather, brethren, give diligence (spoudazontes) to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall”|
       “Moreover I will endeavor
(spoudazontes) that ye may be able after my decease to have things always in remembrance” (II Pet. 1:10, 15)

        “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent  (spoudazontes) that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blamelss” (II Pet. 3:14).

        TO KEEP:  (Gr.-têrein)–This word is a derivative of the Greek verb, (têreô)  which means, “to keep; observe, obey, pay attention to; keep under guard; keep in custody.”

        UNITY:  (Gr.-enotêta)–This Greek word is used in the N.T. only here and in v. 13–“Till we all come in the unity (enotêta) of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God..”  This unity cannot be created by man; rather, it is given to man to man as a responsibility to keep it, to guard it in the face of so many attempted from within, and without, the Church to take it away.

         Note the exact wording of this statement.  It is not unity of the body which we are to keep.  The Holy Spirit does  that, for we have nothing to do with the keeping of the unity of the Body of Christ.  The unity of believers began on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to indwell and empower.  From that day to the present one, every believer has been united in the Body of Christ, with that unity being preserved by the indwelling Holy Spirit in every redeemed heart.
         Back in John 17:21 the Lord Jesus prayed that we might be one“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Cor. 12:13).  We cannot make that unity. The Spirit of God has baptized us into one body.  Only the Holy Spirit makes the unity, but we are to maintain it. that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called”  All true believers in Christ Jesus belong to one body–the Body of Christ.

How do we keep the
“Unity of the Spirit?”

         We do so when we meet a believer in the Lord and recognize him as our brother regardless of race, nationality or social position.  If he trusts Christ as His Savior, he is our brother.  We must recognize Him as joined to, united with us. Forbearance and long-suffering are essential to unity and peace.  A united spirit, or oneness of spirit. This does not refer to the fact that there is one Holy Spirit.
1.       It also refers to unity of affection, of confidence, of love.
2.       It means that Christians should be united in temper and affection.
3.       It means that Christians should not be split up in factions and parties.

It may be implied here, as is undoubtedly true, that such a unity would be produced only by the Holy Spirit; and that, as there was but one Spirit which had acted on their hearts to renew them, they ought to evince the same feelings and views. There was occasion among the Ephesians for this exhortation; for they were composed of Jews and Gentiles, and there might be danger of divisions and strife, as there had been in other churches. There is always occasion for such an exhortation; for

1.      Unity of feeling is eminently desirable to honor the gospel,
2.       There is always danger of discord where men are brought together in one society.

There are so many different tastes and habits; there is such a variety of intellect and feeling; the modes of education have been so various, and the temperament may be so different, that there is constant danger of division. Hence the subject is so often dwelt on in the scriptures, and hence there is so much need of caution and of care in the churches.

“in the bond of peace”
Literally:  “in the bond  of peace”–An outward unity, which does not secure peace, cannot be the unity of the Spirit. But there is no peace without love (v. 2). 

        BOND OF PEACE:  (Gr.-sundesmôi tês eirênês)-By the bond of peace we are to understand a peace or union, where the interests of all parties are concentrated, cemented, and sealed; the Spirit of God being the seal upon this knot. An outward unity, which does not secure peace, cannot be the unity of the Spirit.  Paul tells us how the Body gets its unity.

         Love (agapê) is the “bond (sundesmos).There can be no peace without love (verse 2).

         Be united in affection and live in peace, according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The privileges and blessings graciously bestowed upon believers, lay them under peculiar obligations to be meek and lowly in heart, patient under trials, forgiving of injuries, and active in promoting the union and harmony of all friends of God.
         The Church at Ephesus was composed partly of converted Jews, as well as Gentiles.  Now, from the different manner in which they had been brought up, there might be frequent causes of altercation.  Indeed, the Jews, though converted, might be envious that the Gentiles were admitted to the same glorious privileges with themselves, without being initiated into them by bearing the yoke and burden of the Mosaic law. 
         Paul guards them against this, and shows them that they should intensely labor (for so the word (spoudazein) implies to promote and preserve peace and unity.  By the unity of the Spirit we are to nderstand, not only a spiritual unity, but also a unity of sentiments, desires, and affections, such as is worthy of and springs from the Spirit of God. 

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;”
Here again we see Paul’s play-on-words in the Greek as he did in verse 1 in which he takes the Greek verb (kaleô), which means, “to call,” and makes two versions, or applications, out of this word.  Here Paul uses eklêthête, for “you were called” (past-tense) and klêseôs for “calling.” 

“There is one body,”
Literally:  {there is} one body”– One mystical Body of Christ.  Notice that “there is” is in italics in the English text.  This means that it was not in the original Greek text and was added by the English translators. 

         We are NOT told to make one Body.  The Holy Spirit of God has already done that.  The Body is composed of individuals who have had their sins washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, and thus been regenerated by the Holy Spirit.  Every believer in Christ, regardless of nationality, is a member of the “Church, which is His body.”
         One body refers to the total number of believers from Pentecost to the Rapture.  This one body has been called the Invisible Church, but this is not wholly accurate.  All true believers should also be visible.  The meaning here is, that as there is really only one Church on earth; therefore, there ought to be unity in that Body.
         The church is, at present, divided into many denominations. It has different forms of worship, and different rites and ceremonies. It embraces those of different complexions and ranks in life, and it cannot be denied that there are often unhappy contentions and jealousies in different parts of that church. Still, there is but one, and that Church should feel that it is one. Christ did not come to redeem and save different churches, and to give them a different place in heaven.
1.      He did not come to save the Episcopal communion merely, or the Presbyterian or the Methodist communions only.
2.      He did not leave the world to fit up for them different mansions in heaven.
3.      He did not come to save merely the black man, or the red, or the white man.
         Nor did he leave the world to set up for them separate mansions in the skies.

He came that he might collect into one community a multitude of every complexion, and from every land, and unite them in one great brotherhood on earth, and ultimately assemble them in the same heaven. The church is ONE. Every sincere Christian is a brother in that church, and has an equal right with all others to its privileges. Being one by the design of the Savior, they should be one in feeling; and every Christian, no matter what his rank, should be ready to hail every other Christian as a fellow-heir of heaven.  The Unity commanded has a basis in seven unities which existed in the church, and should exist in all ages. There was then only one body, the church, the Body of Christ; not a Gentile body and a Jewish body. Modern denominations were unknown. Compare 2:16; Rom. 12:5; I Cor. 12:12,13.          

“one Spirit”
Literally:  “one Spirit”–This refers to the Holy Spirit Who baptizes each believer into the Body of Christ.  The same Spirit bestowed upon Jew and Gentile, and upon all saints.  One Holy Spirit dwelling in the hearts of all, and animating all, by which you are all animated and enlivened, and therefore keep the unity of the Spirit.

         The work of the Holy Spirit is to unify believers in Christ.  This is the unity (enotêta) that the believer is instructed to keep.  We see this vividly explained in I Cor. 12:13– “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”  Every believer has been baptized by the Holy Ghost.
         Sadly, far too many people confuse, or equate, the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the filling of the Holy Spirit.  THE TWO ARE NOT THE SAME!  We are to understand that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an experience, or something to seek.  It is the dispensational act of the Holy Spirit, uniting you and me to the one Body.  This is the “washing of regeneration” to which Paul refers in Titus 3:5. The Filling of the Holy Spirit is an entirely different subject and a repetitive action of the Holy Spirit.  Paul explains filling this in Eph. 5:18–“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”  When one is filled with wine (i.e., drunk) then the wine is in control of him; but when he is filled with the Holy Spirit then the Spirit  is controlling him.

The same Spirit is bestowed upon Jew and Gentile, and upon all saints. There is one and the self-same Spirit that dwells in the church. The same Spirit has awakened all; enlightened all; convicted all; converted all. Wherever they may be, and whoever, yet there has been substantially the same work of the Spirit on the heart of every Christian.
1.       There are circumstantial differences arising from diversities of temperament, disposition, and education.|
2.       There may be a difference in the depth and power of his operations on the soul.

3.       There may be a difference in the degree of conviction for sin and in the evidence of conversion.

But still there are the same operations on the heart essentially, produced by the same Spirit.  All the gifts of prayer, and of preaching; all the zeal, the ardor, the love, the self-denial in the church, are produced by the same Spirit. Therefore there should be unity (enotêta). The church is united in the agency by which it is saved; it should be united in the feelings which influence its members.

“even as ye are called”
Literally:  “even also you were called”– Wherever called and from whatever state, all were filled with one hope, that of immortality.    Wherever called and from whatever state, all were filled with one hope, that of immortality.

“one hope of your calling”
Literally:  “in one hope of your calling”– The hope (certainty) of everlasting glory, to which glory ye have been called by the preaching of the Gospel; through which you have become the body of Christ, instinct with the energy of the Holy Ghost.

         What is that “hope?”  It is that someday we shall behold the face of the Lord Jesus Christ and shall be transformed into His image.  All true believers are included.  “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall bear the image of the heavenly” (I Cor. 15:49).  In one hope resulting from your being called into his kingdom. All Christians have the same hope, and therefore they should be one. They are looking forward to the same heaven; they hope for the same happiness beyond the grave.
1.      This is the goal set before all believers.
         They will be taken out of this world into the presence of Christ.
2.      This is the blessed hope (see Titus 2:13)–“Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearance of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” 
         a.      A Christian does not have a thousand hopes; he has only ONE.  An unconverted person has multiplied hopes which are never realized. 
         b.      A believer has the “one hope” which he will realize in the coming of the Lord.  This “hope” is called the “hope of your calling.”

3.      This is the element IN WHICH we are “called” to live.

Instead of privileged classes, as the Jews under the law, a unity of dispensation was henceforth to be the common privilege of Jew and Gentile alike. Spirituality, universality, and unity, were designed to characterize the Church; and it shall be so at last (Isa. 2:2-4; 11:9, 13; Zeph. 3:9; Zech. 14:9).

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