4:1 I therefore, 1 the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that
ye walk worthy of the a vocation wherewith ye are called,
(1) Another part of the epistle, containing precepts of the
Christian life, the sum of which is this, that every man
behave himself as it is fitting for so excellent a grace of
(a) By this is meant the general calling of the faithful,
which is this, to be holy as our God is holy.
4:22 With all lowliness and meekness, with b longsuffering,
forbearing one another in love;
(2) Secondly, he commends the meekness of the mind, which is
demonstrated by bearing with one another.
(b) See (Mt 18:25-27).
4:33 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond
(3) Thirdly he requires perfect agreement, but yet such that is
joined with the band of the Holy Spirit.
4:44 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are
called in one hope of your calling;
(4) An argument of great weight for an earnest displaying of
brotherly love and charity with one another, because we are
made one body as it were of one God and Father, by one
Spirit, worshipping one Lord with one faith, and
consecrated to him with one baptism, and having hope of one
self same glory, unto which we are called. Therefore,
whoever breaks charity, breaks all of these things apart.
4:6 One God and Father of all, who [is] c above all, and d
through all, and e in you all.
(c) Who alone has the chief authority over the Church.
(d) Who alone pours forth his providence, through all the
members of the Church.
(e) Who alone is joined together with us in Christ.
4:75 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the
measure of the f gift of Christ.
(5) He teaches us that we indeed are all one body, and that all
good gifts proceed from Christ alone, who reigns in heaven
having mightily conquered all his enemies, from where he
heaps all gifts upon his Church. But yet nonetheless these
gifts are differently and variously divided according to
his will and pleasure, and therefore every man ought to be
content with that measure that God has given him, and to
bestow it to the common profit of the whole body.
(f) Which Christ has given.
4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led g
captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(g) A multitude of captives.
4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended
first into the h lower parts of the earth?
(h) Down to the earth, which is the lowest part of the
4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far
above all heavens, that he might i fill k all things.)
(i) Fill with his gifts.
(k) The Church.
4:116 And he gave some, l apostles; and some, m prophets;
and some, n evangelists; and some, o pastors and
(6) First of all he lists the ecclesiastical functions,
which are partly extraordinary and for a season, such as
apostles, prophets, and evangelists, and partly ordinary and
perpetual, such as pastors and teachers.
(l) The apostles were those twelve to whom Paul was
afterward added, whose office was to plant churches
throughout all the world.
(m) The prophet's office was one of the chiefest, who were
men of marvellous wisdom, and some of them could
foretell things to come.
(n) The apostles used these as companions in the execution
of their office, being not able to go to all places by
(o) Pastors are those who govern the Church, and teachers
are those who govern the schools.
4:127 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the
ministry, for the edifying of the p body of Christ:
(7) He shows the aim of ecclesiastical functions, that is, that
by the ministry of men all the saints may so grow up
together, that they may make one mystical body of Christ.
(p) The Church.
4:138 Till we all come in the q unity of the faith, and of
the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto
the measure of the r stature of the fulness of Christ:
(8) The use of this ministry is perpetual so long as we are in
this world, that is, until that time that having put off
the flesh, and thoroughly and perfectly agreeing between
ourselves, we will be joined with Christ our head. And
this thing is done by the knowledge of the Son of God
increasing in us, and he himself by little and little
growing up in us until we come to be a perfect man, which
will be in the world to come, when God will be all in all.
(q) In that most near joining which is knit and fastened
together by faith.
(r) Christ is said to grow up to full age, not in himself,
but in us.
4:149 That we [henceforth] be no more children, 10 tossed
to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the s sleight of men, [and] t cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(9) Between our childhood (that is to say, a very weak state,
when we are still wavering) and our perfect age, which we
will have at length in another world, there is a mean, that
is, our youth, and steady going forward to perfection.
(10) He compares those who do not rest themselves upon the word
of God, to little boats which are tossed here and there
with the doctrines of men as it were with contrary winds,
and in addition forewarns them that it comes to pass not
only by the unsteadiness of man's brain, but also by the
craftiness of certain ones, who make as it were an art of
(s) With those uncertain events which toss men to and fro.
(t) By the deceit of those men who are very well practised
in deceiving others.
4:1511 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him
in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:
(11) By earnest affection of the truth and love, we grow up
into Christ: for he (being effectual by the ministry of
his word, which as the vital Spirit makes alive the whole
body in such a way that it nourishes all the limbs of it
according to the measure and proportion of each one)
quickens and cherishes his Church, which consists of
various functions, as of various members, and preserves the
need of every one. And from this it follows that
neither this body can live without Christ, neither can any
man grow up spiritually, who separates himself from the
4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and
compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to
the u effectual working in the measure of every part,
maketh x increase of the body unto the edifying of itself
in y love.
(u) Of Christ, who with regard to the soul, empowers all the
(x) Such increase as is fit for the body to have.
(y) Charity is the knitting of the limbs together.
4:1712 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye
henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the z
vanity of their mind,
(12) He descends to the fruits of Christian doctrine, and
reasons first upon the principles of conduct and actions,
setting down a most grave comparison between the children
of God, and those who are not regenerated. For in these
men all the powers of the mind are corrupted, and their
mind is given to vanity, and their senses are darkened
with most gross mistiness, and their affections are so
accustomed by little and little to wickedness, that at
length they run headlong into all uncleanness, being
utterly destitute of all judgment.
(z) If the noblest parts of the soul are corrupted, what
is man but solely corruption?
4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the
a life of God through the ignorance that is in them,
because of the blindness of their heart:
(a) By which God lives in them.
4:19 Who being b past feeling have given themselves over unto
lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with c
(b) Void of all judgment.
(c) They strove to surpass one another, as though there
were some gain to be gotten by it.
4:2013 But ye have not so learned Christ;
(13) Here follows the contrary part concerning men who are
regenerated by the true and living knowledge of Christ,
who have other principles by which they act that are very
different, that is, holy and honest desires, and a mind
completely changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, from
which proceeds also like effects, as a just and holy life
4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by
him, d as the truth is in Jesus:
(d) As they have learned who acknowledge Christ indeed, and
in good earnest.
4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation e the
old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
4:23 And be renewed in the f spirit of your mind;
(f) Where there ought to have been the greatest force of
reason, there is the greatest corruption of all, which
gradually weakens all things.
4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which g after God is
created h in righteousness and i true holiness.
(g) After the image of God.
(h) The effect and end of the new creation.
(i) Not fake nor counterfeit.
4:2514 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth
with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
(14) He commends separately certain special Christian virtues,
and first of all he requires truth (that is to say, sincere
manners), condemning all deceit and hypocrisy, because we
are born one for another.
4:2615 Be k ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down
l upon your wrath:
(15) He teaches us how to bridle our anger in such a way that,
even though our anger is fierce, yet it does not break
out, and that it is without delay quenched before we
sleep. And this is so that Satan may not take occasion to
give us evil counsel through the wicked counsellor, and
(k) If it so happens that you are angry, yet do not sin,
that is, bridle your anger, and do not wickedly do
that which you have wickedly conceived.
(l) Let not the night come upon you in your anger, that
is, make atonement quickly, for all matters.
4:2816 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him
labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is m
good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
(16) He descends from the heart to the hands, condemning theft:
and because the men who give themselves to this wickedness
often pretend to be poor, he shows that labour is a good
remedy against poverty, which God blesses in such a way
that those who labour always have some surplus to help
others. And therefore it is far from being the case that
they are forced to steal other men's goods.
(m) By labouring in things that are holy, and profitable
to his neighbour.
4:2917 Let no n corrupt communication proceed out of your
mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that
it may minister o grace unto the hearers.
(17) He bridles the tongue as well, teaching us to so temper
our talk, that our hearer's minds are not destroyed, and
are rather instructed.
(n) Literally, "rotten".
(o) By grace he means that by which men most profit with
regard to going forward in godliness and love.
4:3018 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are
sealed unto the day of redemption.
(18) A general precept against all excess of affections which
dwell in that part of the mind, which they call "angry",
and he sets against them the contrary means. And he uses
a most strong preface, how we ought to take heed that we
grieve not the Holy Spirit of God through our
immoderateness and excessiveness, who dwells in us to the
end of moderating all our affections.
4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, 19 even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven
(19) An argument taken from the example of Christ, most grave
and strong, both for the pardoning of those injuries
which have been done to us by our greatest enemies, and
much more for having consideration of the miserable, and
using moderation and gentle behaviour towards all men.