10/12/17 Ephesians 4:11-24 “Putting off the old man and putting on the new man”
Ephesians 4:11 – And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
some – (a primary particle) truly; certainly; surely; indeed.
“And He (He and He alone) gave (bestowed; caused; appointed to office) some (implying “some men”) as prophets; some as evangelists; and some as pastors and teachers.”
This appears to refer back to Ephesians 4:8 where He “gave gifts to men.” The emphasis is not upon whether it was “some” men, but that a diversity of gifts was bestowed upon people, or a diversity of appointments to office were made. (For the spiritual gifts were associated with a calling to a spiritual office – 1 Peter 4:10) Not all had the same gifts (that is, office), but appears to be diverse in order to put the many together to form one whole, the body of Christ (Vs 12).
An apostle was one sent with orders, yet it probably here refers to those called to be apostles, which included Paul – see Ephesians 1:1.
A prophet was one who spoke according to the word of God given him.
1 Corinthians 14:4b – he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
Barnes says these were people who did by immediate revelation interpret the Scriptures, and not only such as did foretell things to come.
Evangelists were preachers of the gospel somewhat like missionaries today.
There were pastors (shepherds of the flock) and teachers (of the Word; doctrine); it appears that both of these offices were tagged together here, often both being found in the one person. However, they could have been separate offices, yet this is not obvious here.
There may have been other offices appointed (Eg 1 Corinthians 12:28) but this list in Ephesians may not be an exhaustive list but an example of appointed officers.
Ephesians 4:12 – For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
perfecting – equipping; completing; restoring; mending. restore such an one in the spirit of meekness (Galatians 6:1) or mending nets (Matthew 4:21) Vincent says In classical Greek of refitting a ship or setting a bone.
work – ergon (employment; that with which anyone is occupied; enterprise; undertaking)
ministry – diakonia (service; ministering; those who carry out commands of others; ministry)
“For the perfecting (equipping; completing) of the saints, for the work (undertaking) of the ministry (service), for the edifying (building up) of the body of Christ (the Church).”
This is the purpose of the appointing to office of the members of the church: each member has a specific office (and would be gifted – charisma – accordingly).
1 Peter 4:10 – As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
See Ephesians 4:16 – unto the edifying of itself (the body) in love.
Ephesians 4:13 – Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
“Till we all come (arrive; attain to) in the unity (one-ness) of the faith (of one mind as to what we believe), and of the knowledge (precise and correct knowledge) of the Son of God, unto a perfect (brought to its end; finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness) man, unto the measure (determined extent; required measure) of the fulness (pleroma) of Christ.”
This is clearly the ultimate outcome for the Church, yet, with our imperfections of the flesh, it will not be totally fulfilled in the flesh. However, it is presented as the goal to be achieved, our ultimate objective, rather than what we have to achieve, in much the same way as we see ourselves having to be holy as God is holy, yet realistically never able to achieve this on this earth.
Paul told the Philippians that this ongoing work of being perfected would continue until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
Ephesians 4:14 – That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
children – little child; metaphorically childish; untaught; unskilled.
sleight – kubeia (literally a cube, a die for playing; dice-playing; metaphorically the deception of men, because dice players sometimes cheated and defrauded their fellow players)
“That we (from now on) be like children (childish; untaught) no more (no longer; not hereafter), tossed to and fro (be mentally agitated, like a ship on the waves), carried about (in doubt and hesitation to be led away now to this opinion, now to that) with every wind of doctrine (teaching), by the sleight (deception; cheating) of men, (and) cunning craftiness, wherein they lie in wait to deceive (cause to be led astray; cause to be led into error, deceit or fraud).”
When we are children, we can lack understanding and discernment, and can be easily deceived. As we mature as Christians, our discernment should increase and the ability of others to deceive us should be significantly reduced.
1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Hebrews 5:13-14 – 13 For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (child, childish, babe are all the same word as “children” in Ephesians 4:14)
Thus, test all things! Read your Bible for yourself! Check out all teachers!
1 Thessalonians 5:21 – Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
James 1:5-6 – 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Ephesians 4:15 – But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:
speaking the truth – used only twice, also in the following:
Galatians 4:16 – Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
The following use a related word for “truth”.
John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
3 John 1:1 – The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
Truth should never be overruled by love, yet should not be sacrificed for the sake of love. Truth should always be spoken, with love, if at all possible, although there will be times when truth must be spoken even if it sacrifices love.
may grow up – used for “groweth” in the following:
Ephesians 2:21 – In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
may grow up into him in all things – We are to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29); this clearly means all aspects of Christ. We are to grow up into Him
such that when we come face to face with Christ, we will be like Him.
1 John 3:2 – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And Christ is the head of the body, the Church.
Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.
And we are the members of that same body.
1 Corinthians 12:27 – Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Ephesians 4:16 – From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
fitly joined together – sunarmologeo (to be closely joined together, from syn + harmos = a joining + lego = used in the original sense of “laying”, that is, placed or laid down together in harmony with each other)
Translated “fitly framed together” in Ephesians 2:21.
compacted – sumbibazo (cause to coalesce; join together; knit together, from syn + bibazo – to force) Translated “being knit together” in the following:
Colossians 2:2 – That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
“From whom (Christ) the whole body (of the Church) closely joined together and knit together by that which every joint (bond; connection) supplies, according to the effectual (efficient) working in (through; according to) the measure (required measure; proper measure) of every (each) part, makes increase (growth) of the body unto (toward) the edifying (building up) of itself (the body) in love.”
The body, which is many individual parts put together and knit together into one because of the bonds (cf. the bond of peace – Ephesians 4:3), and according to the efficient working according to the abilities of every part (member), causes the body of Christ, the Church, to be built up in love. This clearly refers back to the previously-mentioned gifts and appointments to office.
Our ministries and supporting gifts should be used efficiently for the building up of others in the body – 1 Peter 4:10 – As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Ephesians 4:17 – This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
vanity – what is devoid of truth and appropriateness; depravity; the illusion of seeing pleasure in sin.
“vanity” is also used of evil in Romans 8:20 – For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope
And 2 Peter 2:18 – For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
“This I say (affirm) therefore, and testify (witness to the truth of) in the Lord (by the authority of the Lord). that you no longer walk (live or control your lives) as other Gentiles (ethnos) walk (live or control their lives), in the vanity (depravity; the illusion of seeing pleasure in sin) of their minds.”
That is, you should no longer live your lives in depravity as other (non-Christian) Gentiles do.
Ephesians 4:18 – Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
“(Other Gentiles) having their understanding darkened (deprived of light – cf 2 Corinthians 4:4), being alienated (shut out from fellowship and intimacy) from the life of God (which has been received as a gift by you Gentile saints – 1 John 5:11) through the ignorance (moral blindness) that is in them, because (as a consequence) of the blindness (calloused; dulled perception; stubbornness; hardening) of their hearts.”
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Ephesians 4:19 – Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
“Who being past feeling (ceased to feel pain of grief, become calloused, apathetic, as a consequence of the callousing or hardening of their hearts), have given themselves over (delivered themselves voluntarily – of their own free will) to lasciviousness (unbridled lust; licentiousness), to work (produce with diligence) all uncleanness (impurity; lustful living) with greediness (covetousness; always wanting more than they have).”
These people are literally addicted to evil! Such people no longer have consciences; they are past feeling moral anguish.
1 Timothy 4:1-3 – 1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
2 Corinthians 12:21 – [And] lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and [that] I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
Ephesians 4:20 – But ye have not so learned Christ;
But, you have learned differently from Christ. You have been taught the truth about such depraved living and should not take part in it because you are not blinded, nor have seared consciences. You should have the discernment from your learning of Christ that should cause you to lead a different life from those other Gentiles.
And if we take note of that mystery that Paul has told them they could understand Paul’s knowledge concerning the mystery of the gospel of Christ being made available to the Gentiles.
Ephesians 3:3-4; 6 – 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
They now had the mind of Christ and could spiritually discern the things of the Spirit of God. (Or should spiritually discern!)
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 – 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Philippians 3:10 – That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Ephesians 4:21 – If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
That is, if it is Christ you have heard and paid attention to, and have “so learned Christ”, as (seeing that) the truth is in Jesus (alone – Note John 14:6). Or, seeing that there is no truth other than that taught and revealed by Jesus.
John 17:17 – Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
And Jesus is known as the logos (the Word) of God (John 1:1-2)
2 Corinthians 2:14 – But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.
Ephesians 4:22 – That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
If you have so learned Christ, knowing that Jesus (who is the Christ) is the One who has the truth (Thy Word is truth), then you should lay aside the old (former) man (the man you used to be) [concerning your previous behaviour as non-Christian Gentiles (see Ephesians 4:17-19)] which is corrupt (depraved) according to (in accordance with) your former deceitful lusts. Note the “new man” of Vs 24 below. Also see:
Colossians 3:9-10 – 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Ephesians 4:23 – And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
It has been said that the spirit of the mind is the innermost part of your mind.
Paul taught the Colossians that they could have a fleshly mind, seemingly as opposed to your spiritual mind.
Colossians 2:18 – Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
be renewed – ananeoo (be renewed [in the mind] from ana [among; amidst; between] – and neos [recently born; young; youthful; new])
It has the idea of growth (not “corrupt” of previous Vs) as the result of their new life in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). The new creature is now able to grow, not decay.
Ephesians 4:24 – And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
put on – to put on clothing (can be seen as opposite of “put off’ Vs 22 above) In this context, it can mean to “put on Christ” as in Galatians 3:27 – For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
after God – according to (the image of) God (who created him). Note the following:
Colossians 3:10 – And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
“And that you put on (clothe yourself with) the new (recently made; unused; unworn (not second-hand!); of a new kind) man, which, according to (the image of) God, is (was) created (can mean to completely change or transform) in righteousness (the condition acceptable to God) and true holiness (piety toward God).”
true – may be contrasted with “deceitful” in Vs 22 above.
The calvinists should love this passage – it’s so works-based! It so clearly defines the puritan life! But, no, it can’t be of works, because the last thing they would want to do would be to boast, surely? I mean, you couldn’t accuse the calvinists of being arrogant, could you? Surely not!