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Ephesians 4:25-28


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Father God,


I am so full with You that I don't even know what to say...or how to open this study today. I love opening my bible as I go to do the next installment even though I don't even work from the NIV version. There's just something Holy, knowing I am stepping into Your presence through Your Word...


I love You Lord, open all our eyes and ears, that we might see and believe, hear and confess, that You are King of Kings and Lord of Lord, over all.



25. Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.


Henry writes, "Take heed of lying, and be ever careful to speak the truth (v. 25): "Wherefore, since you have been so well instructed in your duty, and are under such obligations to discharge it, let it appear, in your future behaviour and conduct, that there is a great and real change wrought in you, particularly by putting away lying." Of this sin the heathen were very guilty, affirming that a profitable lie was better than a hurtful truth; and therefore the apostle exhorts them to cease from lying, from every thing that is contrary to truth. This is a part of the old man that must be put off; and that branch of the new man that must be put on in opposition to it is speaking the truth in all our converse with others. It is the character of God's people that they are children who will not lie, who dare not lie, who hate and abhor lying. All who have grace make conscience of speaking the truth, and would not tell a deliberate lie for the greatest gain and benefit to themselves. The reason here given for veracity is, We are members one of another. Truth is a debt we owe to one another; and, if we love one another, we shall not deceive nor lie one to another. We belong to the same society or body, which falsehood or lying tends to dissolve; and therefore we should avoid it, and speak truth. Observe, Lying is a very great sin, a peculiar violation of the obligations which Christians are under, and very injurious and hurtful to Christian society."


That is a very sweet way of putting it, "truth is a DEBT we owe to one another". The enemy can use our lies, whether we think them 'white or black', whatever reason we have for doing it, and twist it in with great force and cause that desolate feeling of betrayal. Betrayal strikes us to the core, and to me, lying is a form of betrayal...betrayal of God's Word, betrayal to each other in the most disrespectful way. The funny thing (not haha funny, but the incredibly heartbreaking thing) is that we lie to ourselves more than any other...lying and betraying God and ourselves and who He created us to be.


Oh Father God, please give us Your sight...shed the light in our innermost hearts so that we may sweep clean and lay at the foot of the Cross, all these chains that bind us to sin. Let us stop lying to ourselves and may the freedom and healing which is found in the Blood of Christ flow through us, unto others.


Clarke comments, "Wherefore putting away lying] All falsity, all prevarication, because this is opposite to the truth as it is in Jesus, ver. 21, and to the holiness of truth, ver. 24.


Speak every man truth with his neighbour] Truth was but of small account among many of even the best heathens, for they taught that on many occasions a lie was to be preferred to the truth itself. Dr. Whitby collects some of their maxims on this head.


kreitton de elesqai yeudov, h alhqev kakon? "A lie is better than a hurtful truth."-Menander.


to gar agaqon kreitton esti thv alhqeiav? "Good is better than truth."-Proclus.


enqa gar ti dei kai yeugdov legesqai, legesqw. "When telling a lie will be profitable, let it be told."-Darius in Herodotus, lib. iii. p. 101.


"He may lie who knows how to do it ev deonti kairw, in a suitable time."-Plato apud Stob., ser. 12.


"There is nothing decorous in truth but when it is profitable; yea, sometimes kai yeudov wnhsen anqrwrouv, kai tÆ alhqev eblayen, truth is hurtful, and lying is profitable to men."-Maximus Tyrius, Diss. 3, p. 29.


Having been brought up in such a loose system of morality, these converted Gentiles had need of these apostolic directions; Put away lying; speak the truth: Let lying never come near you; let truth be ever present with you.


We are members one of another.] Consider yourselves as one body, of which Jesus Christ is the head; and as a man's right hand would not deceive or wrong his left hand, so deal honestly with each other; for ye are members one of another."


Calvin writes, "Wherefore, putting away lying. From this head of doctrine, that is, from the righteousness of the new man, all godly exhortations flow, like streams from a fountain; for if all the precepts which relate to life were collected, yet, without this principle, they would be of little value. Philosophers take a different method; but, in the doctrine of godliness, there is no other way than this for regulating the life. Now, therefore, he comes to lay down particular exhortations, drawn from the general doctrine. Having concluded from the truth of the gospel, that righteousness and holiness ought to be true, he now argues from the general statement to a particular instance, that every man should speak truth with his neighbour. Lying is here put for every kind of deceit, hypocrisy, or cunning; and truth for honest dealing. He demands that every kind of communication between them shall be sincere; and enforces it by this consideration, for we are members one of another. That members should not agree among themselves, — that they should act in a deceitful manner towards each other, is prodigious wickedness."


26. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:


Henry writes, ""Take heed of anger and ungoverned passions. Be you angry, and sin not," v. 26. This is borrowed from the LXX. translation of Ps. iv. 4, where we render it, Stand in awe, and sin not. Here is an easy concession; for as such we should consider it, rather than as a command. Be you angry. This we are apt enough to be, God knows: but we find it difficult enough to observe the restriction, and sin not. "If you have a just occasion to be angry at any time, see that it be without sin; and therefore take heed of excess in your anger." If we would be angry and not sin (says one), we must be angry at nothing but sin; and we should be more jealous for the glory of God than for any interest or reputation of our own. One great and common sin in anger is to suffer it to burn into wrath, and then to let it rest; and therefore we are here cautioned against that. "If you have been provoked and have had your spirits greatly discomposed, and if you have bitterly resented any affront that has been offered, before night calm and quiet your spirits, be reconciled to the offender, and let all be well again: Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. If it burn into wrath and bitterness of spirit, O see to it that you suppress it speedily." Observe, Though anger in itself is not sinful, yet there is the upmost danger of its becoming so if it be not carefully watched and speedily suppressed. And therefore, though anger may come into the bosom of a wise man, it rests only in the bosom of fools. "


Clarke shares, "Be ye angry, and sin not] orgizesqe, here, is the same as ei men orgizesqe, IF YE be angry, do not sin. We can never suppose that the apostle delivers this as a precept, if we take the words as they stand in our version. Perhaps the sense is, Take heed that ye be not angry, lest ye sin; for it would be very difficult, even for an apostle himself, to be angry and not sin. If we consider anger as implying displeasure simply, then there are a multitude of cases in which a man may be innocently, yea, laudably angry; for he should be displeased with every thing which is not for the glory of God, and the good of mankind. But, in any other sense, I do not see how the words can be safely taken.


Let not the sun go down upon your wrath] That is: If you do get angry with any one, see that the fire be cast with the utmost speed out of your bosom. Do not go to sleep with any unkind or unbrotherly feeling; anger, continued in, may produce malice and revenge. No temper of this kind can consist with peace of conscience, and the approbation of God's Spirit in the soul."


Calvin writes, " Be ye angry, and sin not. Whether or not the apostle had in his eye a part of the fourth Psalm is uncertain. The words used by him (᾿Οργίζεσθε καὶ υὴ ἁμαρτάνετε) occur in the Greek translation, though the word ὀργίζεσθε, which is translated, be ye angry, is considered by some to mean tremble. The Hebrew verb רגז (ragaz) signifies either to be agitated by anger, or, to tremble. As to the passage of the Psalm, the idea of trembling will be quite appropriate. “Do not choose to resemble madmen, who rush fearlessly in any direction, but let the dread of being accounted foolhardy keep you in awe.” The word sometimes signifies to strive or quarrel, as, in that instance, (Genesis 45:24,) “See that ye fall not out by the way;” and accordingly, the Psalmist adds, “Commune with your own heart, and be still,” — abstain from furious encounters.


In my opinion, Paul merely alludes to the passage with the following view. There are three faults by which we offend God in being angry. The first is, when our anger arises from slight causes, and often from no cause whatever, or at least from private injuries or offenses. The second is, when we go beyond the proper bounds, and are hurried into intemperate excesses. The third is, when our anger, which ought to have been directed against ourselves or against sins, is turned against our brethren. Most appropriately, therefore, did Paul, when he wished to describe the proper limitation of anger, employ the well-known passage, Be ye angry, and sin not. We comply with this injunction, if the objects of our anger are sought, not in others, but in ourselves, — if we pour out our indignation against our own faults. With respect to others, we ought to be angry, not at their persons, but at their faults; nor ought we to be excited to anger by private offenses, but by zeal for the glory of the Lord. Lastly, our anger, after a reasonable time, ought to be allowed to subside, without mixing itself with the violence of carnal passions.


Let not the sun go down. It is scarcely possible, however, but that we shall sometimes give way to improper and sinful passion, — so strong is the tendency of the human mind to what is evil. Paul therefore suggests a second remedy, that we shall quickly suppress our anger, and not suffer it to gather strength by continuance. The first remedy was, Be ye angry, and sin not; but, as the great weakness of human nature renders this exceedingly difficult, the next is — not to cherish wrath too long in our minds, or allow it sufficient time to become strong. He enjoins accordingly, let not the sun go down upon your wrath. If at any time we happen to be angry, let us endeavor to be appeased before the sun has set."


27. Neither give place to the devil.


Henry writes, "Neither give place to the devil, v. 27. Those who persevere in sinful anger and in wrath let the devil into their hearts, and suffer him to gain upon them, till he bring them to malice, mischievous machinations, &c. "Neither give place to the calumniator, or the false accuser" (so some read the words); that is, "let your ears be deaf to whisperers, talebearers, and slanderers."


Clarke shares, "Neither give place to the devil.] Your adversary will strive to influence your mind, and irritate your spirit; watch and pray that he may not get any place in you, or ascendancy over you.


As the word diabolov is sometimes used to signify a calumniator, tale-bearer, whisperer, or backbiter; (see in the original, 1 Tim. iii. 11; 2 Tim. iii. 3, and Tit. ii. 3;) here it may have the same signification. Do not open your ear to the tale-bearer, to the slanderer, who comes to you with accusations against your brethren, or with surmisings and evil speakings. These are human devils; they may be the means of making you angry, even without any solid pretense; therefore give them no place, that you may not be angry at any time; but if, unhappily, you should be overtaken in this fault, let not the sun go down upon your wrath; go to your brother, against whom you have found your spirit irritated; tell him what you have heard, and what you fear; let your ears be open to receive his own account; carefully listen to his own explanation; and, if possible, let the matter be finally settled, that Satan may not gain advantage over either."


Calvin writes, "Neither give place (τῷ διαβόλῳ) to the devil. I am aware of the interpretation which some give of this passage. Erasmus, who translates it, “neither give place to the Slanderer,” (calumniatori,) shews plainly that he understood it as referring to malicious men. But I have no doubt, Paul’s intention was, to guard us against allowing Satan to take possession of our minds, and, by keeping in his hands this citadel, to do whatever he pleases. We feel every day how impossible, or, at least, how difficult it is to cure long-continued hatred. What is the cause of this, but that, instead of resisting the devil, we yield up to him the possession of our heart? Before the poison of hatred has found its way into the heart, anger must be thoroughly dislodged."


28. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.


Henry writes, "We are here warned against the sin of stealing, the breach of the eighth commandment, and advised to honest industry and to beneficence: Let his that stole steal no more, v. 28. It is a caution against all manner of wrong-doing, by force or fraud. "Let those of you who, in the time of your gentilism, have been guilty of this enormity, be no longer guilty of it." But we must not only take heed of the sin, but conscientiously abound in the opposite duty: not only not steal, but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing that is good. Idleness makes thieves. So Chrysostom, To gar kleptein argias estin.—Stealing is the effect of idleness. Those who will not work, and who are ashamed to beg, expose themselves greatly to temptations to thievery. Men should therefore be diligent and industrious, not in any unlawful way, but in some honest calling: Working the thing which is good. Industry, in some honest way, will keep people out of temptation of doing wrong. But there is another reason why men ought to be industrious, namely, that they may be capable of doing some good, as well as that they may be preserved from temptation: That he may have to give to him that needeth. They must labour not only that they may live themselves, and live honestly, but they may distribute for supplying the wants of others. Observe, Even those who get their living by their labour should be charitable out of their little to those who are disabled for labour. So necessary and incumbent a duty is it to be charitable to the poor that even labourers and servants, and those who have but little for themselves, must cast their mite into the treasury. God must have his dues and the poor are his receivers. Observe further, Those alms that are likely to be acceptable to God must not be the produce of unrighteousness and robbery, but of honesty and industry. God hates robbery for burnt-offerings."


Clarke writes, "Let him that stole steal no more] It is supposed that, among the rabbins, stealing was not entirely discountenanced, provided a portion was given to the poor. The apostle here teaches them a different doctrine: as they should speak truth every man with his neighbour, so they should in every respect act honestly, for nothing contrary to truth and righteousness could be tolerated under the Christian system. Let no man, under pretense of helping the poor, defraud another; but let him labour, working with his hands to provide that which is good, that he may have to give to him who is in necessity. Stealing, overreaching, defrauding, purloining, &c., are consistent with no kind of religion that acknowledges the true God. If Christianity does not make men honest, it does nothing for them. Those who are not saved from dishonesty fear not God, though they may dread man."


Calvin comments, "Let him that stole steal no more. This includes not merely the grosser thefts which are punished by human laws, but those of a more concealed nature, which do not fall under the cognizance of men, — every kind of depredation by which we seize the property of others. But he does not simply forbid us to take that property in an unjust or unlawful manner. He enjoins us to assist our brethren, as far as lies in our power.


That he may have to give to him that needeth. “Thou who formerly stolest must not only obtain thy subsistence by lawful and harmless toil, but must give assistance to others.” He is first required to labor, working with his hands, that he may not supply his wants at the expense of his brethren, but may support life by honorable labor. But the love which we owe to our neighbor carries us much farther. No one must live to himself alone, and neglect others. All must labor to supply each other’s necessities.


But a question arises, does Paul oblige all men to labor with their hands? This would be excessively hard. I reply, the meaning is plain, if it be duly considered. Every man is forbidden to steal. But many people are in the habit of pleading want, and that excuse is obviated by enjoining them rather to labor (μᾶλλον δε κοπιάτω) with their hands. As if he had said, “No condition, however hard or disagreeable, can entitle any man to do injury to another, or even to refrain from contributing to the necessities of his brethren.


The thing which is good. This latter clause, which contains an argument from the greater to the less, gives no small additional strength to the exhortation. As there are many occupations which do little to promote the lawful enjoyments of men, he recommends to them to choose those employments which yield the greatest advantage to their neighbors. We need not wonder at this. If those trades which can have no other effect than to lead men into immorality, were denounced by heathens — and Cicero among the number — as highly disgraceful, would an apostle of Christ reckon them among the lawful callings of God?"


Heavenly Father,


As I've read and written out today's study, I'm beginning to see some 'do's and don'ts'...do this, don't do that, it interferes with our right relationship with our Lord. So, I sit here and think to myself, ok, this is what God has said...don't do this because the consequences here will lead you into this heartbreak, that heartbreak and it's a life I've known practically all my life. Doing what I wanna (that wasn't good), but so many times, trying NOT to do what I don't wanna do, and yet still somehow finding myself there.


So, it's vitally important for me to learn and understand Your ways, to etch them in my heart so that I can truly learn Your ways, but after that Father, all I know to do is to then press into You, to seek Your face through prayer, fellowship with Your children and Your Word. I see the do's and don'ts and I understand it, and I know that Jesus died and broke the servitude I had to these sins, so I know that the victory has already been won. And the thing I am learning is that it is only when I press into You, when I become so emptied of myself, and so full of You, it is only THEN is that victory manifested in my life, visible to others. I don't know how to put this into words Lord, so please help me...


I'm so grateful practically every waking moment when I'm not having to talk to someone else, I'm talking to You. I'm so grateful that I have loads of times when the phone doesn't ring and the children are in school. I'm finding it kinda cute these days that when I wake up bright and early in the morning and look at the clock and see that it's 5:30am (2 hours before I really need to get up) that a smile comes to my face and my heart and my thoughts immediately turn to You. My heart says, ok Lord, let me get up cause today You woke me at 5:30, so 5:30 is when my day begins with You. These quiet times are incredibly beautiful. I love being in Your presence, I love pressing towards You, I love and crave and seek and ask ask ask that there become less of me so that there can be more of You. I don't know how to put all this experience that You are working in my life, into the mere written word Father. All I know is that when I try, it sounds crazy and lame, but I KNOW You can transcend these words, this internet...and isn't it just like You, to use something crazy like the internet (that the enemy is desperately trying to use to destroy lives) to touch Your children, to touch their hearts, like You have mine...wooing us, calling us, moving us into a closer, deeper relationship with You.


So Holy Father, do that thang You do so well, which is full of power and might and all glory to You...You are Worthy Lord...You alone are God.


I love You.


In Jesus Precious Name I pray,

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I think there's something very humbling about telling the 'full' Truth. Sometimes the temptation is to avoid lying by simply not telling the full Truth in order to avoid accountability. Maybe something of 'pride' that wants to keep us from being 'completely' honest and avoiding responsibility for our own behavior. Like only partially answering a question or avoiding what the clear intent of the question was. It's simply not honoring each other in Truth. That is just as wicked because it sows the seeds of distrust and most people know when they're not being told the whole truth anyhow. It's just our intuition that grows stronger as we listen to the Lord. Like a 'quickening' in our spirit. Looking long and hard in the mirror considering that is humbling indeed.


The passage about anger is interesting also. Usually, in order for us to 'be' angry, we've made some sort of judgment about the other person or that situation. 1 Cor 13 tells us the characteristics of true love. One of them is 'loves thinks not evil' meaning (at least to me) that we do not allow 'evil' thoughts of condemnation or judgment to enter our minds. And we certainly reckon them as more than 'just thoughts' but as fertile ground for the enemy to sow bitterness. If we're 'thinking evil' and making judgments about other people without ever considering their hearts, we've just given the enemy ground in our hearts and our souls. That only leads to one place. One of the other characteristics of true love mentioned in 1 Cor is that 'love is not easily offended'. If we're quick to take offense, judge others as 'wrong' and even take up anger about it, we've fallen into the oldest trap the enemy can lay. It's in the frailty of our human hearts when we're not 'guarding our hearts' and every single thought that enters. 2 Corinthians tells us to 'take every thought captive in obedience to Jesus Christ' so that these seeds don't get sown in the field of our souls. That takes diligence and submitting every single thought (or motive) to Him. If those thoughts are not from my heart (in true love) but something I 'heard', and we're pretty sure it's not the voice of the Lord leading us by His Spirit, there's only one other place it can come from. It's also a picture of the awesome responsibility the Lord has given us (as individuals as well as families) to be ever aware and to respond with Mercy and the Love of Jesus Christ with our words as well as the 'tone' of our voice. Words don't count as loving if the tone of our voice doesn't match the words.

Thanks for posting this study. Gives all of us lots to think about.




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