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Geneva Study Notes
Ephesians Chapter 4

Ephesians 4:1
4:1 I therefore, {1} the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that
    ye walk worthy of the {a} vocation wherewith ye are called,

 (1) Another part of the epistle, containing precepts of the
     Christian life, the sum of which is this, that every man
     behave himself as it is fitting for so excellent a grace of
     God.
     (a) By this is meant the general calling of the faithful,
         which is this, to be holy as our God is holy.

Ephesians 4:2
4:2 {2} With all lowliness and meekness, with {b} longsuffering,
    forbearing one another in love;

 (2) Secondly, he commends the meekness of the mind, which is
     demonstrated by bearing with one another.
     (b) See Matthew 18:25-27.

Ephesians 4:3
4:3 {3} Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond
    of peace.

 (3) Thirdly he requires perfect agreement, but yet such that is
     joined with the band of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:4
4:4 {4} [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are
    called in one hope of your calling;

 (4) An argument of great weight for an earnest displaying of
     brotherly love and charity with one another, because we are
     made one body as it were of one God and Father, by one
     Spirit, worshipping one Lord with one faith, and
     consecrated to him with one baptism, and having hope of one
     self same glory, unto which we are called.  Therefore,
     whoever breaks charity, breaks all of these things apart.

Ephesians 4:6
4:6 One God and Father of all, who [is] {c} above all, and {d}
    through all, and {e} in you all.

    (c) Who alone has the chief authority over the Church.
    (d) Who alone pours forth his providence, through all the
        members of the Church.
    (e) Who alone is joined together with us in Christ.

Ephesians 4:7
4:7 {5} But unto every one of us is given grace according to the
    measure of the {f} gift of Christ.

 (5) He teaches us that we indeed are all one body, and that all
     good gifts proceed from Christ alone, who reigns in heaven
     having mightily conquered all his enemies, from where he
     heaps all gifts upon his Church.  But yet nonetheless these
     gifts are differently and variously divided according to
     his will and pleasure, and therefore every man ought to be
     content with that measure that God has given him, and to
     bestow it to the common profit of the whole body.
     (f) Which Christ has given.

Ephesians 4:8
4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led {g}
    captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

    (g) A multitude of captives.

Ephesians 4:9
4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended
    first into the {h} lower parts of the earth?

    (h) Down to the earth, which is the lowest part of the
        world.

Ephesians 4:10
4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far
     above all heavens, that he might {i} fill {k} all things.)

     (i) Fill with his gifts.
     (k) The Church.

Ephesians 4:11
4:11 {6} And he gave some, {l} apostles; and some, {m} prophets;
     and some, {n} evangelists; and some, {o} pastors and
     teachers;

 (6) First of all he lists the ecclesiastical functions,
     which are partly extraordinary and for a season, such as
     apostles, prophets, and evangelists, and partly ordinary and
     perpetual, such as pastors and teachers.
     (l) The apostles were those twelve to whom Paul was
         afterward added, whose office was to plant churches
         throughout all the world.
     (m) The prophet's office was one of the chiefest, who were
         men of marvellous wisdom, and some of them could
         foretell things to come.
     (n) The apostles used these as companions in the execution
         of their office, being not able to go to all places by
         themselves.
     (o) Pastors are those who govern the Church, and teachers
         are those who govern the schools.

Ephesians 4:12
4:12 {7} For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the
     ministry, for the edifying of the {p} body of Christ:

 (7) He shows the aim of ecclesiastical functions, that is, that
     by the ministry of men all the saints may so grow up
     together, that they may make one mystical body of Christ.
     (p) The Church.

Ephesians 4:13
4:13 {8} Till we all come in the {q} unity of the faith, and of
     the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto
     the measure of the {r} stature of the fulness of Christ:

 (8) The use of this ministry is perpetual so long as we are in
     this world, that is, until that time that having put off
     the flesh, and thoroughly and perfectly agreeing between
     ourselves, we will be joined with Christ our head.  And
     this thing is done by the knowledge of the Son of God
     increasing in us, and he himself by little and little
     growing up in us until we come to be a perfect man, which
     will be in the world to come, when God will be all in all.
     (q) In that most near joining which is knit and fastened
         together by faith.
     (r) Christ is said to grow up to full age, not in himself,
         but in us.

Ephesians 4:14
4:14 {9} That we [henceforth] be no more children, {10} tossed
     to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
     by the {s} sleight of men, [and] {t} cunning craftiness,
     whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

  (9) Between our childhood (that is to say, a very weak state,
      when we are still wavering) and our perfect age, which we
      will have at length in another world, there is a mean, that
      is, our youth, and steady going forward to perfection.
 (10) He compares those who do not rest themselves upon the word
      of God, to little boats which are tossed here and there
      with the doctrines of men as it were with contrary winds,
      and in addition forewarns them that it comes to pass not
      only by the unsteadiness of man's brain, but also by the
      craftiness of certain ones, who make as it were an art of
      it.
      (s) With those uncertain events which toss men to and fro.
      (t) By the deceit of those men who are very well practised
          in deceiving others.

Ephesians 4:15
4:15 {11} But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him
     in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:

 (11) By earnest affection of the truth and love, we grow up
      into Christ: for he (being effectual by the ministry of
      his word, which as the vital Spirit makes alive the whole
      body in such a way that it nourishes all the limbs of it
      according to the measure and proportion of each one)
      quickens and cherishes his Church, which consists of
      various functions, as of various members, and preserves the
      need of every one.  And from this it follows that
      neither this body can live without Christ, neither can any
      man grow up spiritually, who separates himself from the
      other members.

Ephesians 4:16
4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and
     compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to
     the {u} effectual working in the measure of every part,
     maketh {x} increase of the body unto the edifying of itself
     in {y} love.

     (u) Of Christ, who with regard to the soul, empowers all the
         members.
     (x) Such increase as is fit for the body to have.
     (y) Charity is the knitting of the limbs together.

Ephesians 4:17
4:17 {12} This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye
     henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the {z}
     vanity of their mind,

 (12) He descends to the fruits of Christian doctrine, and
      reasons first upon the principles of conduct and actions,
      setting down a most grave comparison between the children
      of God, and those who are not regenerated.  For in these
      men all the powers of the mind are corrupted, and their
      mind is given to vanity, and their senses are darkened
      with most gross mistiness, and their affections are so
      accustomed by little and little to wickedness, that at
      length they run headlong into all uncleanness, being
      utterly destitute of all judgment.
      (z) If the noblest parts of the soul are corrupted, what
          is man but solely corruption?

Ephesians 4:18
4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the
     {a} life of God through the ignorance that is in them,
     because of the blindness of their heart:

     (a) By which God lives in them.

Ephesians 4:19
4:19 Who being {b} past feeling have given themselves over unto
     lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with {c}
     greediness.

     (b) Void of all judgment.
     (c) They strove to surpass one another, as though there
         were some gain to be gotten by it.

Ephesians 4:20
4:20 {13} But ye have not so learned Christ;

 (13) Here follows the contrary part concerning men who are
      regenerated by the true and living knowledge of Christ,
      who have other principles by which they act that are very
      different, that is, holy and honest desires, and a mind
      completely changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, from
      which proceeds also like effects, as a just and holy life
      indeed.

Ephesians 4:21
4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by
     him, {d} as the truth is in Jesus:

     (d) As they have learned who acknowledge Christ indeed, and
         in good earnest.

Ephesians 4:22
4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation {e} the
     old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

     (e) Yourselves.

Ephesians 4:23
4:23 And be renewed in the {f} spirit of your mind;

     (f) Where there ought to have been the greatest force of
         reason, there is the greatest corruption of all, which
         gradually weakens all things.

Ephesians 4:24
4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which {g} after God is
     created {h} in righteousness and {i} true holiness.

     (g) After the image of God.
     (h) The effect and end of the new creation.
     (i) Not fake nor counterfeit.

Ephesians 4:25
4:25 {14} Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth
     with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

 (14) He commends separately certain special Christian virtues,
      and first of all he requires truth (that is to say, sincere
      manners), condemning all deceit and hypocrisy, because we
      are born one for another.

Ephesians 4:26
4:26 {15} Be {k} ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down
     {l} upon your wrath:

 (15) He teaches us how to bridle our anger in such a way that,
      even though our anger is fierce, yet it does not break
      out, and that it is without delay quenched before we
      sleep.  And this is so that Satan may not take occasion to
      give us evil counsel through the wicked counsellor, and
      destroy us.
      (k) If it so happens that you are angry, yet do not sin,
          that is, bridle your anger, and do not wickedly do
          that which you have wickedly conceived.
      (l) Let not the night come upon you in your anger, that
          is, make atonement quickly, for all matters.

Ephesians 4:28
4:28 {16} Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him
     labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is {m}
     good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

 (16) He descends from the heart to the hands, condemning theft:
      and because the men who give themselves to this wickedness
      often pretend to be poor, he shows that labour is a good
      remedy against poverty, which God blesses in such a way
      that those who labour always have some surplus to help
      others.  And therefore it is far from being the case that
      they are forced to steal other men's goods.
      (m) By labouring in things that are holy, and profitable
          to his neighbour.

Ephesians 4:29
4:29 {17} Let no {n} corrupt communication proceed out of your
     mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that
     it may minister {o} grace unto the hearers.

 (17) He bridles the tongue as well, teaching us to so temper
      our talk, that our hearer's minds are not destroyed, and
      are rather instructed.
      (n) Literally, "rotten".
      (o) By grace he means that by which men most profit with
          regard to going forward in godliness and love.

Ephesians 4:30
4:30 {18} And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are
     sealed unto the day of redemption.

 (18) A general precept against all excess of affections which
      dwell in that part of the mind, which they call "angry",
      and he sets against them the contrary means.  And he uses
      a most strong preface, how we ought to take heed that we
      grieve not the Holy Spirit of God through our
      immoderateness and excessiveness, who dwells in us to the
      end of moderating all our affections.

Ephesians 4:32
4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
     another, {19} even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven
     you.

 (19) An argument taken from the example of Christ, most grave
      and strong, both for the pardoning of those injuries
      which have been done to us by our greatest enemies, and
      much more for having consideration of the miserable, and
      using moderation and gentle behaviour towards all men.



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