4:25-32 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Neither give place to the devil.
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
In the last study we introduced the “old man” and the “new man”. In this portion of chapter 4, we discuss what it looks like to put off the old man and put on the new man.
These verses contrast actions and characteristics of the old man with the actions and the characteristics of the new man.
The old man is a liar while the new man equips and pursues truth. Particularly, with his neighbor.
Within the context, a neighbor here is referring to a neighbor within the Body of Christ. We see that truth is a key to unity within the Body of Christ.
Interestingly enough, this is not the only place within the book of Ephesians that we are instructed to put on truth. We will see in the coming chapter 6 that we are instructed to girt our loins with truth!
Paul introduces a truth himself that shows that being angry does not have to be a sin. In fact there is a place for it when it is not derived from carnality; but rather, righteousness
Matthew Henry refers to sinful anger as an “ungoverned passion”. Who is it ungoverned by? Christ and His truth.
Furthermore, humanity developing wrath has never ended well, especially in the Bible (ex. Romans 12:19). Do not let the sun go down on it and burrow within the crevices of your heart where it will sharply try and contest the dwelling of the new man.
Do not give place to the Devil in this way. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Verse 28 depicts a sequence of transformation.
Steal no longer, labour, receive the fruits of your labour, and then give to those who are in need.
It begins with sin and ends with righteousness. This is what putting on the new man practically accomplishes in the lives of a member of the Body of Christ.
Once again, putting on the new man has a multi-fold purpose and when Paul refers to communication, this means that someone is interacting with another.
When we become Christians, we are to put away corrupt communications from our mouth and re-purpose our words for the building up of the Body. This is all to be done so that men can experience the grace of Christ Jesus and Gospel be our primary focus.
Verse 30, has been controversial with Christian circles and many interpretations have been offered. Oxford dictionary defines grieve as to “cause great distress to someone”.
We grieve the Spirit when we defy the Holy Spirit within us. Particularly, in this case by allowing the old man to continue.
Our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit and this temple was bought at a price. God sealed us unto the day of redemption. We were bought by the literal and spiritual anguish of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:27).
This verse specifically affirms the doctrine of eternal security in very plain language.
We are instructed to glorify God in all that we do and anything contrary causes distress to the Spirit which dwells inside of us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Moreover, in verse 31 Paul reviews the traits that are of the old man and grieve the Holy Spirit and instructs the Body of Christ to put these things away!
Rather equip the new man which is kind and forgiven; because, in this way we follow the example of God himself who has forgiven us of all our sins and seals us within His Body.