Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO EPHESIANS 4\\

The apostle having in the three former chapters treated of the
doctrines of grace, and explained and established them, proceeds in
the three following to exhort to the duties of religion; and in this
advises to a becoming conversation in general, and to brotherly
concord and unity in particular; and dehorts from several vices, and
encourages to the contrary virtues. And inasmuch as these Ephesians
were called with an holy calling, he entreats them, if they had any
regard for him as a prisoner of Christ, that they would walk worthy of
it, \\#Eph 4:1\\, and directs to the manner in which they should act
becoming it, with all humility, patience, forbearance, and love;
seeking to preserve a spiritual harmony, unity, and peace, one among
another, \\#Eph 4:2,3\\, for the encouragement of which, he makes use
of various arguments, taken from the unity of the body, of which they
were members; from their being quickened and influenced by one and the
same Spirit; from having the same hope of eternal happiness, to which
they were called; from their having one Lord over them, who is Christ;
from their having the same like precious faith in him; from their
being baptized with the same baptism in him; and from their having
one, and the same God and Father, \\#Eph 4:4-6\\, and from all of them
having gifts, though different, for mutual usefulness; which gifts are
described by the author and donor of them, Christ, \\#Eph 4:7\\, which
is proved \\#Eph 4:8\\, out of a passage in \\#Ps 68:18\\, which is
explained of the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, of his descent
from heaven, and ascension thither; the end of which latter was to
fill all things, or persons, with gifts, \\#Eph 4:9,10\\, of which a
particular enumeration is given, \\#Eph 4:11\\, the design of which
is, to fit men for the work of the ministry, and by them to convert
sinners, and edify saints, \\#Eph 4:12\\, which ministry is to be
continued, until all the saints arrive to a perfection of spiritual
knowledge, and make up one perfect man, or body of men in Christ,
\\#Eph 4:13\\, for the use and end of the Gospel ministry is not, that
such who are converted by it should continue children, be in suspense
about truth, and under the deceptions of men, \\#Eph 4:14\\, but that
through speaking the truth in love, they should grow up into Christ
their head; from whom supplies of grace are communicated, for the
increase and edification of every member of the body, \\#Eph 4:15,16\\,
and seeing these Ephesians to whom the apostle writes were separated
in the effectual calling from the rest of the Gentiles, they ought not to
walk as the others did; whose minds were vain, their understandings
darkened, and their hearts blinded, hardened, and ignorant; and had no
sense of things, but were given up to all manner of wickedness,
\\#Eph 4:17-19\\, whereas they had learned Christ, and through hearing
had been taught the truth of the Gospel, as it was in him,
\\#Eph 4:20,21\\, wherefore it became them in their conversation, not
to follow the dictates of corrupt nature, called the old man, that
being full of lusts, corrupt, and deceitful, but to act becoming the
renewing work of the Spirit upon their souls, and agreeably to the new
principles of the grace of God created in them, in order to
righteousness and holiness, \\#Eph 4:22-24\\, and in particular it
became them to avoid lying, and on the contrary to speak truth to one
another; and that for this reason, because they were members of the
same body, and of one another, \\#Eph 4:25\\, and likewise to abstain
from sinful anger, and not continue a wrathful disposition, \\#Eph 4:26\\,
nor was it advisable to yield to the suggestions, solicitations, and
temptations of Satan, \\#Eph 4:27\\, nor to commit theft, but on the
other hand give themselves to manual labour at some commendable
calling, that they might have for their own use, and others too,
\\#Eph 4:28\\, and it was also right to be careful not to suffer
corrupt and unchaste words to come out of their mouths, but such as
would be grateful and useful to others, \\#Eph 4:29\\, and the rather
this, and all the rest of the things mentioned, and likewise what
follows, should be attended to; since by such evil lusts, words, and
actions, the Holy Spirit of God is grieved, who should not, since he
is the sealer of the saints unto the day of redemption, \\#Eph 4:30\\.
And the chapter is concluded with a dehortation from several vices of
the mind and tongue, respecting wrath and revenge; and an exhortation
to the contrary virtues, kindness, tenderness, and forgiveness; to
which encouragement is given, by the example of God, who forgives for
Christ's sake, \\#Eph 4:31,32\\.