Ephesians 4b-Learning to Walk in a Mature Manner
- 1. 4:17-24 Walking in Maturity 1 – What Goes In
a. In context with verse 15, which stated that we grow up in all aspects, I believe this next section deals with some aspects that can hinder our growth if we do not deal with them and grow out of them. What goes in: Verses 17-24 deal with things that we allow into our lives, minds, and spirits, that influence us. I title the next section, vv 25-32, What Comes Out. This pertains to how we influence, act, speak; essentially our character. The order is significant because what we allow in will affect what comes out. These things that we must grow out of are childish; so the next point is going to be about putting aside childish things.
b. 1 Corinthians 13:9-12 - We individually and corporately are presented with a revelation of Jesus Christ the more we grow and the closer we get to the return of Christ, the more clear that revelation becomes. The ministry gifts and the spiritual gifts are given so that all the pieces (the partial) may come together to give us a greater and greater revelation of Jesus until we see Him fully revealed and face to face (12). The knowledge of Him will increase until we know Him fully just as He has fully known us. These gifts are given until Christ is full unveiled in glory. When this happens, we will not need the partial (gifts) that bring revelation of Jesus because we are in His presence. Love will remain, so we need that hear because that is the greatest revelation of Jesus to any one and when we are looking Him in the face, the gifts will no longer be needed, but until then, we need all the revelations that He gives us of Himself so we can be like Him, (but not neglecting to love).
- c. 4:17-19 Getting closer to and growing up in Jesus means putting away things we got away with when we were spiritual babies. And we are still doing them; we will grow by putting them aside. Gentiles, here, refers to unbelievers since most of them were possibly gentiles. He is referring to a way of living which he is about to describe rather than a race of people.
- 4:20-24 These childish and worldly things are not characteristic of Christ. We came to Him in His perfection and in our weakness. We grow by turning that weakness into strength (Eph 3:16). The darkness is driven away the closer we get to the light of Jesus. We should not try to remain as we were before we met Christ. 22 – We lay that old self down renewing our minds, and putting on the new self in Christ. We are walking toward fullness and not continuing in sin.
2. 4:25-32 Walking in Maturity 2 – What Comes Out
- a. 4:25We must be real with each other speaking the truth in love. Remember if we hurt another member of the Body we are actually hurting ourselves. We are also hurting the body as a whole.
- b. 4:26We will be angry and that is not wrong. There will be disagreements within the body. This is our family and we should lovingly resolve our problems.
- c. 4:27When we get mad and gossip or let bitterness build up, we are giving satan a foothold, room for deceit and division. Not letting the sun go sown may mean dealing with the problem quickly and no letting it settle in our hearts.
- d. 4:28-29 The Body is the source and we must help all with all their needs. Our words have power. They affect all who hear them; us, people, God. We need to bless and lift up. We need to not sin when we are angry by saying something that we will regret. If we want our words to have power when we speak then we need to watch what we say!
- e. 4:30All these things we do and say can hinder us in our ministry. They grieve the Holy Spirit. If He strengthens our inner-man, and we grieve Him, then we are weakening our inner-man. Growth is giving place to the Spirit in all things. Our life is not our own it belongs to God. He leads us and guides us as sons. Let us not act like bastards. Embrace His presence in our lives and He will lead us away form these things. If we resist Him in this then there will be resistance in our ministry. For growth inside and out, we must not grieve the Holy Spirit.
- f. 4:31-32 All of these things divide, but we must seek the unity of the Spirit in the Body. We must be forgiving in all things. Authentic church consists of authentic believers who are not false with one another, but they are real with each other, and are able to forgive because they love each other.
This section deals with the function of the spiritual gifts and is also closely related to the ministry gifts so it is added to bridge the context as well as prepare for the walking in maturity sections.
 When you’re face to face, the picture is not needed, but until then the picture will be of great comfort.
 Cross ref Romans 12:1-2.
 Holiness is not perfection, but the pursuit thereof. We are not perfect, but we can be perfect (Matt 5:48), as He is perfect (He being the key). We should be walking away from sin and towards the Lord.
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