I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.

Ephesians 1:18a -- I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you

Ephesians 4 Commentary of the Bible

This page contains a listing of all the material on the website that contains Ephesians 4 commentary. Each entry contains a title, scripture reference, an audio player (if we have the audio), as well as the first portion of the text. Please click on the title to see the complete message for any listed entry.

Key pages for Ephesians commentary in the library:

Why the Church Exists  ( Ephesians 4:1-3 )  Sunday Message

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We have been considering the defense of the Christian in the midst of a highly confused and darkened world. Now it is important that we take up the equally valid matter of the place of the church, i.e., the corporate body of Christians, in the world and the specific character of its ministry and its power.

Body Life — Ch 2: The Church's Highest Priority  ( Ephesians 4:1-3 )  Online Book

This is a revolutionary age. The hurricane winds of change are howling around the world. The human race seethes with unrest and rebellion. Our political institutions are polarized, divided to the left and right without any common ground in the center. Despite the signs of current prosperity, our debt©ridden, hair©triggered economy seems precariously balanced on the verge of collapse. We have barred and deadbolted our homes, making ourselves prisoners while criminals roam free in our neighborhoods, grafitti-tagging and shooting at random, filling our hearts with fear.

When All Else Fails...Read the Directions — Ch 2: The Living Church  ( Ephesians 4:1-16 )  Online Book


The church as described in the New Testament is very much alive. It is described as a living organism, designed to operate very much like the human body with its intricate interrelationship of many parts and functions. This figure is employed particularly in Paul's New Testament letters about the church, as in Ephesians 4:l-l6:

The Cry for Unity  ( Ephesians 4:1-6 )  Sunday Message

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In this present series, we are concerned with the great questions the Apostle Paul is answering in Ephesians 4 about the fundamental nature and purpose of the church, and its relationships to the world in which it must live. You will recognize these as pertinent questions of the present hour as well. We are being told today that the church is irrelevant (I wonder if there was ever a more overworked word than that), that it is a useless appendage to a society which has long outgrown the need for the church.

Why The Church Exists  ( Ephesians 4:1-3 )  Daily Devotion

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. (Ephesians 4:1)

Body Life — Ch 3: Not Union--Unity  ( Ephesians 4:4-6 )  Online Book

In one of her "Anne of Green Gables" novels, Lucy Maud Montgomery relates a story of an cranky old churchwoman named Aunt Atossa. At Sunday evening prayer services in Aunt Atossa's church, the members would stand and pray in turn or share a prayer need or praise report. It happened that one of these services was led by a visiting minister--a very kind and spiritual man, but also very deaf! He would lean toward each person who stood and spoke, and he would appear to be very attentive, but he could scarcely understand a word that was said!

A Cry For Unity  ( Ephesians 4:4-6 )  Daily Devotion

There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope when you were called... (Ephesians 4:4)

Open Your Gifts!  ( Ephesians 4:7-10 )  Daily Devotion

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (Ephesians 4:7)

Body Life — Ch 6: According to the Power  ( Ephesians 4:7-10 )  Online Book

Pastor Johnson leaned against the fender of the fire-truck, watching helplessly as the church building burned to the ground. The firemen continued battling the flames, but it was clear that the flames were winning. Just then, Mrs. Wimple, one of Pastor Johnson's Easter-only parishioners, came up to him, shaking her head sadly. "Oh, Pastor Johnson," she said sympathetically, "it's just awful! It doesn't look like they'll be able to save any of it!"

Body Life — Ch 4: All God's Children Have Gifts  ( Ephesians 4:7 )  Online Book

Many people think that the incarnation of Jesus Christ began at the first Christmas and ended when Jesus was taken up into the clouds. But in fact, that was only the beginning of the incarnation of Christ. The process of the incarnation is still going on.

How the Church Works  ( Ephesians 4:7-10 )  Sunday Message

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We are examining now Paul's great message to the church to be faithful to its calling. Today the church seems to have lost its sense of identity. Like someone suffering from amnesia, the church is asking, "Who am I, and what am I here for?" The apostle is calling us back to those great purposes of God for which the church was established and still exists. The church has never any right to determine its own goals; it is here because its Lord has put it here.

What Is Your Gift?  ( Ephesians 4:11-12 )  Daily Devotion

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up... (Ephesians 4:11-12)

Your gift may fall in one of the two major divisions within the body. There are certain gifts that might be called general support ministries, from which the whole body receives benefit. There are four of these. Then there is another division of gifts, which might be called working gifts.

Shaping Up the Saints  ( Ephesians 4:11-12 )  Sunday Message

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This week the eyes of the whole world were fastened upon an event of historic significance in the meeting of the Roman Catholic Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury. We were told that this was the first official meeting of these two heads of churches for four hundred years, since the time of the Reformation, when Henry VIII split off the English church from the Roman Catholic Church. It was a very newsworthy event.

What is your Gift?  ( Ephesians 4:11-15 )  Sunday Message

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I have a sense of quickening anticipation and of enthusiasm in approaching this passage of Scripture again. It is somewhat akin to the feeling I had when I watched a surgical operation for the first time. It was with a mingled sense of awe and uneasiness that I stood behind the surgeon in an operating room and watched him preparing to do a surgical appendectomy. I watched him draw the scalpel and lay the wound open, and saw his assistants catch the blood vessels to tie them and stop the flow of blood. I watched him open the abdomen and expose the inner organs of the body to my gaze.

Understanding your Gift  ( Ephesians 4:11-12 )  Sunday Message

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Recently I listened to two radio programs, both religious. One was a panel of pastors and laymen discussing the subject, "Religion in the Space Age." The members of this panel were obviously educated men, suave, cultured. They spoke, with obvious understanding of the times in which we live, about the effects of technology on daily lives, the appeal and challenge of the exploration of the frontiers of science to young people particularly, and the need in this kind of world for faith and morals.

The Contemporary Christ  ( Ephesians 4:11 )  Sunday Message

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In our studies of Ephesians 4, we have learned that the church is not to be a pressure group to influence legislatures, or some kind of religious club intended to comfort and assuage the feelings of people in trouble. The unique character of the church is that it is the body of Christ. Its calling, therefore, is to declare and demonstrate the life that inhabits it. That is the life of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the church is a body whose purpose is to demonstrate and to declare the power of Christ in today's world.

Body Life — Ch 7: How the Body Works  ( Ephesians 4:11-12 )  Online Book

In his letter to the Ephesian Christians, the apostle Paul uses two great figures of speech or word pictures to help us understand the true nature and functioning of the church. The apostle likens the church, first, to a human body of flesh and bones, made up of many members articulated and coordinated together. The apostle likens the church, second, to a building which he describes as growing through the centuries to be a habitation for God through the Spirit.

Body Life — Ch 8: Shaping Up the Saints  ( Ephesians 4:11-12 )  Online Book

Throughout the Christian centuries, no principle of church life has proved more revolutionary--and more bitterly fought!--than the declaration of Ephesians 4 that the ultimate work of the church in the world is to be done by the saints--plain, ordinary, Christians--and not by a professional clergy or a few select laymen. We must never lose the impact of the apostle Paul's statement that apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers exist "for the equipment of the saints for the work of Christian ministry, for building up of the body of Christ (Ephesians. 4:12).

Body Language  ( Ephesians 4:11-16 )  Sunday Message

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I recently received an e-mail from an early PBC intern in which he reminded me of an amusing incident that occurred when I did some team-teaching with a woman who is an excellent Bible teacher but who has a style very different from mine (and superior to mine as well). After one of my sessions, one of the women in the audience remarked, "You and Kay are diabolically different, but your message is the same." I console myself to this day that she really meant "diametrically different."

The Church's Building and Maintenance Service  ( Ephesians 4:11-12 )  Sunday Message

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Our subject is the building and maintenance service of the church. If you are a bit surprised by that title, let me reassure you: We shall not be talking about the janitorial service. The odd title is an attempt to focus your attention on the words of Ephesians 4, Verse 11, which mark the divine program for coordinating, developing and articulating the gifts and activities of the members of the body of Christ to make it an effective instrument in human society.

Body Life — Ch 11: The Goal Is Maturity  ( Ephesians 4:13-18 )  Online Book

What is God doing through the church? What is He after? What is the end of it all?

Slow Growth  ( Ephesians 4:13-16 )  Daily Devotion

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:16)

On Growing Up  ( Ephesians 4:13-16 )  Sunday Message

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We have been examining the church, trying to learn from the words of the great apostle why the church is here on earth. We saw that it is not here to do what other groups can do; it is here to do what no other group can possibly do. It is here to manifest the life and power of Jesus Christ in this 20th century hour. This is the ministry of Christ exactly as it was detailed by the prophet Isaiah in his 61st chapter, which our Lord quoted in the synagogue of Nazareth, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me...to bring good tidings...to bind up the brokenhearted..

When All Else Fails...Read the Directions — Ch 3: Looking for Missing Links  ( Ephesians 4:16 )  Online Book


People and Principles

"...the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, make: bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love." (Ephesians 4:16)

Darkness of Mind  ( Ephesians 4:17-21 )  Sunday Message

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What a baffling and confusing world we live in today. So many conflicting ideas and concepts are thrust upon us from every direction and many of them seem directly contradictory. Authorities of equal repute tell us one thing and then another and what they say clashes violently. It is hard to know what to believe today. In the last few weeks people have said to me:

A Radical Change  ( Ephesians 4:17-21 )  Daily Devotion

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. (Ephesians 4:17)

Putting On, Putting Off  ( Ephesians 4:22-24 )  Sunday Message

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One way or another, put in their own way, Christians everywhere are asking the same question. They do not ask, "How can we be sure that when we die we will go to heaven?" Those who are newly introduced to Christian life are concerned in these areas, and quite properly so. But for the most part Christians are everywhere increasingly aware that there is far more to Christianity than a promise that when we die we will go to heaven.

Put Off And Put On  ( Ephesians 4:22-32 )  Daily Devotion

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self... (Ephesians 4:22-24a)

Practicing Christianity  ( Ephesians 4:25-27 )  Sunday Message

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The question we are facing in the present series, centering on Paul's letter to the Ephesians in Chapter 4, is, How to live a Christian life in the midst of a confused world. That was the problem in the 1st century and that is the problem in the 20th century. It is the same kind of a world, demanding the same kind of a life. Perhaps we could put it very well in the words of the title of one of Dr. Tournier's books, A Whole Person In A Broken World. That is a very expressive way of facing the question that is before us in this present series.

Living in Focus  ( Ephesians 4:28-29 )  Sunday Message

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A number of years ago at Stanford University, Arnold Toynbee, the prominent historian, said that most people today have rejected Christianity on the basis of a caricature. What did he mean? He meant that most people have never seen the real thing. They have never seen real Christianity. What they have seen was a blurred, distorted and twisted picture of Christianity, and they turned away disappointed and indifferent to the claims of Christ. Well, what were they looking for?

Forgive and Live  ( Ephesians 4:30-32 )  Sunday Message

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There is an oft-quoted prayer of an anonymous child who prayed, "Lord, make the bad people good and the good people nice." I think we all empathize with that prayer. So often it seems that being religious has a souring effect. We all know people who are undeniably "good" in the sense that they are moral, honest, upright, and truthful, but so often they are cold, rigid and unpleasant to be with, not nice at all. These are the kind who moved that child to pray that way.