B O 4:1-15. Among themselves; as worthy of their calling, being members of one body. Ecclesiastical. P 4:17-5:21. Among others. Spiritual. O 5:22-6:9. Among themselves. Domestic. P 6:10-20. Among others. Spiritual.
O s 1-3. Exhortation. t 4-6. Unity of the Body. t 7-13. Gifts to the body. s 14-16. Exhortation.
1 I therefore (resuming his teaching after the parenthesis of 3:1-21), the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the calling wherewith you were called,
2 With all humility of mind and meekness (cp. 1 Cor. 4:21), with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love; (If you are serving God, your vocation is to help those who are lost. Do it humbly, patiently and in love. Understand everyone may have problems in this troubled world, and be tolerant of one another.)
3 Endeavoring (cp. 2 Tim. 2:15 [studying]) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of the peace. (Be a peace maker, not a trouble maker.)
4 You are one body, and one Spirit, even as you were called also in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith (i.e. doctrine), one baptism, (The baptism of the Spirit by Whom we are baptized into the one body. What is the calling of a Christian? Seek the lost. That is the entire purpose of this earth age. Focus on the purpose.)
6 One God and Father of all (Note the 7 occ. of "one"; body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, God and Father; 3 on either side of the Lord Christ Jesus), who is above all, and through all, and in all. (The indwelling of God in the members of the body by pneuma theou. See Rom. 8:9. This is important. This is what allows you to reach the goal. Reaching the goal is a precious thing. It is eternal life.)
7 But to each one of us was given the grace according to the measure (see Rom. 12:3) of the gift of Christ. (Each member of the body of Christ receives gifts based on what they are able to handle. But every gift is important. The gifts are what nourishes the body and keeps it going.)
8 Wherefore He said, "When He ascended on high (see Luke 1:78. Rev. 21:16), He led a body of captives captive (see Matt. 27:52. Rom. 1:4), and gave gifts to men." (Quoted from Ps. 98:18. Jesus resurrected, and we can look forward to resurrecting to be with Him.)
9 (Now this fact, He ascended, what does it imply but that He descended also first into the lower parts (i.e. Hades) of the earth?
10 He That descended is the same That ascended also up far above all the heavens, in order that He might fill all things.) (Opens salvation all the way back to Noah, even back to Adam. Jesus went to those who had passed away under the law (1 Peter 3:19). He preached the good news, and many believed and were saved.)
11 And He gave some indeed, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, [as] shepherds and teachers; (Basically the same thing.)
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (For everybody. God gives gifts to all His servants to accomplish the work at hand. Again, the work is finding the lost. That is what it is all about, beloved. Edify the body of Christ. Teach people how to reach the goal.)
13 Till we all attain in the unity of the faith, even of the full (or perfect) knowledge of the Son of God (see 2 Cor. 1:19), to a complete man (full grown, mature. No gender intended), to the measure of the stature (see Matt. 6:27) of the fullness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth may be no longer children, tossed to and fro, and borne here and there (see 2 Cor. 4:10) with every wind of the teaching (the evil teaching of the ruler of the power of the air and of demons. Cp. 1 Tim. 4:1), [or] by the sleight of men, with subtlety, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (= with a view to the wile, or stratagem, of the error. The association of stratagem with Satan shows that the method of scheme is that of the devil himself, and not merely error. God's Word is the same today, as it was in the past, and as it will be tomorrow and forever. Nothing new under the sun. They tend to to stray from God's Word, and many of them would have you believe there is more than one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith and one baptism. Don't listen to their lies.)
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, Who is the Head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body being perfectly fitted together and knit together by that which every ligament ("the bond of peace" [v.3]) of the supply (i.e. from the Head), according to an effectual working in the measure of each several part, makes increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love. (Which knits it together. See 1 Cor. 2:9. It takes every member of the body bringing forth a message of peace and understanding to help the body reach the goal.)
P Q 4:17-19. The others. R 4:20-32. Themselves. R 5:1-4. Themselves. Q 5:5-21. The others.
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the Gentiles walk (they were Gentiles, but now are members of the church, His body. Cp. 1 Cor. 10:32), in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having in the understanding having been darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance (see Acts 3:17) that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling (lit. hardened) gave themselves up to lasciviousness (see Mark 7:22), to the working of all uncleanness with covetousness. (The ways of the world. That's not how He taught you.)
20 But you did not so learn Christ;
21 If so be that you heard Him, and were instructed by Him, as truth is in Jesus: (Frequently misquoted. See John 14:6)
22 That you put away concerning the former conversation the old man (the old Adam nature. Don't let flesh control you. See Rom. 6:6), which is being corrupted according to the desires of the deceit; (Here, the desires of the deceiver, as in v.14 "the error" is used for the cause of it, the devil. Cp. Rev. 12:9; 20:3,8,10.)
23 And be renewed (implies the whole course of life now flows in a different direction. See 2 Cor. 4:16; 5:17) in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that you put on the new nature, that which after God was created in righteousness and true holiness. (Contrast Adam, Gen. 1:27.)
25 Wherefore having put away the lie (cp. John 8:44. Rom. 1:25. 2 Thess. 2:11), speak every man truth with his neighbor: because we are members one of another. (From Zech. 8:16.)
26 Be you angry (positive command, the context showing that "righteous indignation: is referred to), yet sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (The quotation is from Ps. 4:4, where Heb. reads, "tremble, and sin not", the meaning of which is shown by the use here, for it is as east to tremble from anger as far as from powerful emotions.)
27 Neither give opportunity to the devil. (The ruler of the darkness, cp. 6:12; the deceiver of vv.14,22; the "lie" of v.25. Now revealed as the devil. See Rev. 12:9.)
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor (as Acts 20:35), working with his hands that which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. (See Rom. 12:8.)
29 Let no corrupt (lit. putrid) word proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may give grace to the hearers. (Be a comfort. Don't upset people.)
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God (don't disappoint Him), by Whom (the Giver here is the Sealer) you were sealed (see Rev. 7:1-4) until a day of redemption. (Final deliverance; now we have the earnest. See 1:14)
31 Let all bitterness (see Rom. 3:14), and wrath (Luke 4:28), and anger, and uproar, and railing (see 1 Tim. 6:4), be put away from you, with all malice: (As in Rom. 1:29)
32 And be you gracious one to another, tenderly compassionate, forgiving each other (good way to live, even in your own family. There are times to win an argument and to lose an argument. Sometimes you win if you loose it temporarily. Keep quit if it is something that doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Stick to main subject. Satan loves people to argue over nonsense. The seal of God may be seen in your actions.), even as God also in Christ forgave you.