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Ephesians 4


 1  (*) I therefore, (1) being prisoner in the (♣) Lord, pray you that ye walk worthy of the (a) vocation whereunto ye are called,


(*) Philippians 1:27; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12 .

(1) Another part of the Epistle containing precepts of the Christian life, the sum whereof is this, that every man behave himself as it is meet for so excellent grace of God.

(♣) For the Lord's cause.
(a) By this is meant the general calling of the faithful, which is this, to be holy, as our God is holy.


 2  (2) With all humbleness of mind, and meekness, with (b) longsuffering, supporting one another through love,


(2) Secondly, he commendeth meekness of mind, which is shewed forth by bearing one with another.
(b) Look at Matthew 18:25-27 .


 3  (3) Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


(3) Thirdly, he requireth perfect agreement, but yet such as is knit with the band of the holy Ghost.


 4  (4) There is (*) one body, and one (♣) Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your vocation.


(4) An argument of great weight, for an earnest entertaining of brotherly love and charity one with 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 hope for one selfsame glory, whereunto we are called. Therefore, whosoever breaketh charity, breaketh all of these things asunder.

(*) Which by dissentions you separate asunder.

(♣) So that ye cannot dissent one from another, seeing the Spirit, which joineth you in one body, cannot dissent from himself.


 5 There is one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism,


 6  (*) One God and Father of all, which is (c) (♣) above all, and (d) through all, and (e) in you all.


(*) Malachi 2:10 .

(c) Who only hath the chief authority over the Church.

(♣) In power.
(d) Who only poureth forth his providence, through all the members of the Church.
(e) Who only is joined together with us in Christ.


 7  (5) (*) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the (f) gift of Christ.


(5) He teacheth us, that we indeed are all one body, and that all good gifts proceed from Christ only, who reigneth in heaven having mightily conquered all his enemies (from whence he heapeth all gifts upon his Church;) but yet notwithstanding these gifts are diversely and sundry ways divided according to his will and pleasure, and therefore every man ought to be content with that measure that God hath given him, and to bestow it to the common profit of the whole body.

(*) Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 12:11 .
(f) Which Christ hath given.


 8 Wherefore he saith, (*) When he ascended up on high, he (♣) led (g) captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.


(*) 2 Corinthians 10:13; Psalm 68:19 .

(♣) The Messiah came down from heaven into the earth, to triumph over Satan, death and sin, and led them as prisoners and slaves, which before were conquerors, and kept all in subjection; which victory he got and also gave it as a most precious gift to his Church.

(g) A multitude of captives.


 9 (Now, in that he ascended, what is it but that he had also descended first into the (h) lowest parts of the earth?


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


 10 He that descended, is even the same that ascended, far above all heavens, that he might (i) fill (k) (*) all things.)


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

(*) With his gifts and benefits.


 11  (6) (*) He therefore gave some to be (l) Apostles, and some (m) Prophets, and some (n) Evangelists, and some (o) Pastors, and Teachers,


(6) First of all he reckoneth up the Ecclesiastical functions, which are partly extraordinary and for a season, as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, and partly ordinary and perpetual, such as Pastors and Doctors.

(*) 1 Corinthians 12:27 .
(l) The Apostles were those twelve, unto 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, which were men of marvelous wisdom, and some of them could foretell things to come.
(n) These Apostles used as follows in the execution of their office, being not able to answer all places themselves.
(o) Pastors are they which govern the Church, and Teachers are they which govern the schools.


 12  (7) For the (*) gathering together of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, (♣) and for the edification of the (p) body of Christ,


(7) He sheweth the end of Ecclesiastical functions, to wit, that by the ministry of men all the Saints may so grow up together, that they may make one mystical body of Christ.

(*) To restore that which was out of order, or to repair.

(♣) That the body of Christ might be perfect.
(p) The Church.


 13  (8) Till we all meet together (in the (q) unity of faith and the acknowledging of the Son of God) unto a (*) perfect man, and unto the measure of the (r) age of the fullness 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 shall be joined with Christ our head. Which thing is done by that 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 shall be in the world to come, when God shall be all in all.
(q) In that most near conjunction which is knit and fastened together by faith.

(*) That we may be of a ripe Christian age and come to the full measure of the knowledge which we shall have of Christ.
(r) Christ is said to grow up to full age, not in himself, but in us.


 14  (9) That we henceforth be no more children, (10) wavering and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the (s) deceit of men, and (t) with craftiness, whereby they lay in wait to deceive.


(9) Between our childhood (that is to say, a very weak state, while as we do yet altogether waver) and our perfect age, which we shall have at length in another world, there is a mean, to wit, our youth, and steady going forward to perfection.
(10) He compareth them which rest not themselves upon the word of God, to little boats which are tossed hither and thither with the doctrines of men, as it were with contrary winds, and therewithal forewarneth them that it cometh to pass not only by the lightness of man's brain, but also by the craftiness of certain, which make, as it were, an art of it.
(s) With those uncertain chances which toss men to and fro.
(t) By the deceit of those men which are very well practiced in deceiving of others.


 15  (11) But let us follow the truth in love, and in all things, grow up into him, which is the (*) head, that is, 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 doth so quicken the whole body, that it nourisheth all the limbs thereof it according to the measure and proportion of each one) quickeneth and cherisheth his Church, which consisteth of divers functions, as of divers members, and preserveth the proportion of every one. And thereof it followeth that neither this body can live without Christ, neither can any man grow up spiritually, which separateth himself from the other members.

(*) Christ being head of his Church, nourisheth his members and joineth them together by joints, so that every part hath his just proportion of food, that at length the body may grow up to perfection.


 16 By whom all the body being coupled and knit together by every joint, for the furniture thereof (according to the (u) effectual power, which is in the measure of every part) receiveth (x) increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in (y) love.


(u) Of Christ, who in manner of the soul, quickeneth all the members.
(x) Such increase as is meet the body should have.
(y) Charity is the knitting of the limbs together.


 17  (12) This I say therefore and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as (*) other Gentiles walk, in (z) vanity of their (♣) mind,


(12) He descendeth to the fruits of Christian doctrine, and reasoneth first upon the principles of manners and actions, setting down a most grave comparison between the children of God, and them which 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.

(*) Romans 1:21 .
(z) If the noblest parts of the soul are corrupt, what is man but corruption only?

(♣) Man not regenerate hath his mind, understanding and heart corrupt.


 18 Having their understanding darkened, and being strangers from the (a) life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the (*) hardness of their heart;


(a) Whereby God liveth in them.

(*) The hardness of heart is the fountain of ignorance.


 19 Which being (b) (♣) past (*) feeling, have given themselves unto wantonness, to work all uncleanness, even with (c) greediness.


(b) Void of all judgment.

(♣) Or, without remorse of conscience.

(*) 1 Timothy 4:2 .
(c) They strove to pass one another as though there had been some gain to be gotten by it.


 20  (13) But ye have not so learned Christ,


(13) Here followeth the contrary part touching men which are regenerated by the true and lively knowledge of Christ, which have other principles of their doings far different, to wit, holy and honest desires, and a mind clean changed by the virtue of the holy Ghost, from whence proceeds also like effects, as a just and holy life indeed.


 21 If so be ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, (d) as the (*) truth is in Jesus,


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

(*) As they are taught which truly know Christ.


 22  (*) That is, that ye cast off, concerning the conversation in time past, (e) the (♣) old man, which is corrupt through the deceivable lusts,


(*) Colossians 3:8 .

(e) Yourselves.

(♣) That is, all the natural corruption that is in us.


 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 wasteth all things.


 24  (*) And put on the new man, which (g) (♣) after God is created in (h) righteousness, and (i) true holiness.


(*) Romans 6:4; Colossians 3:8; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 2:1; 1 Peter 4:2;

(g) After the image of God.

(♣) Which is created according to the image of God.
(h) The effect and end of the new creation.
(i) Not feigned nor counterfeit.


 25  (14) (*) Wherefore cast off lying, and speak every man truth unto his neighbor, for we are members one of another.


(*) Zechariah 8:16 .

(14) He commendeth severally certain peculiar Christian virtues, and first of all he requireth truth (that is to say, sincere manners) condemning all deceit and dissembling, because we are born one for another.


 26  (15) (*) Be (k) (♣) angry, but sin not; let not the sun go down (l) upon your wrath,


(15) He teacheth us how to bridle our anger in such sort, that although it be not, yet that it break not out, and that it be straightways quenched before we sleep, lest Satan taking occasion to give us evil counsel through the wicked counselor, destroy us.

(*) Psalm 4:5 .
(k) If it so fall out, that you be angry, yet sin not; that is, bridle your anger, and do not wickedly put that in execution, which you have wickedly conceived.

(♣) If so be that ye be angry, so moderate your affection, that it burst not out into any evil's work, but be soon appeased.
(l) Let not the night come upon you in your anger, that is, make an atonement quickly for all matters.


 27  (*) Neither give place to the devil.


(*) James 4:7 .


 28  (16) Let him that stole, steal no more; but let him rather labor, and work with his hands the thing which is (m) good, that he may have to give unto him that needeth.


(16) He descendeth from the heart to the hands condemning theft; and because that men which give themselves to this wickedness, use to pretend poverty, he sheweth that labor is a good remedy against poverty, which God blesseth in such sort that they which labor have always some overplus to help others so far it is from this, that they are constrained to steal other men's goods.
(m) By laboring in things that are holy, and profitable to his neighbor.


 29  (17) (*) Let no (n) corrupt communication proceed out of your mouths, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister (o) (♣) grace unto the hearers.


(17) He bridleth the tongue also, teaching us so to temper our talk, that our hearer's minds be not destroyed, but also instructed.

(*) Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 4:6 .
(n) Word for word, rotten.
(o) By grace he meaneth that, whereby men may profit to the going on forward in godliness and love.

(♣) And cause them to profit in godliness.


 30  (18) And (*) grieve not the holy Spirit of God, by whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.


(18) A general precept against all excess of affections which dwell in the part of the mind, which they call, Angry, and he setteth against them the contrary means. And useth a most vehement preface, how we ought to take heed that we grieve not the holy Spirit of God through our immoderateness and intemperancy, who dwelleth in us to this end, of moderate all our affections.

(*) So behave yourselves that the holy Ghost may willingly dwell in you, and give him no occasion to depart for sorrow by your abusing of God's graces.


 31 Let all bitterness, and anger, and wrath, out crying, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all maliciousness.


 32  (*) Be ye courteous one to another, and tenderhearted, forgiving one another, (19) even as God for Christís sake, forgave you.


(*) Colossians 3:19 .

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




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