This chapter of this letter is an encouragement to walk as a Christian. Paul was now a prisoner at Rome; and he was the prisoner of the Lord, or in the Lord. Considering what God has done for us, we should walk to approve ourselves as good citizens of the kingdom of God, and live up to our profession and calling; We walk according to the grace that God has brought us with. We are called to God's kingdom and glory; and we must keep this in mind, and walk as heirs of the Kingdom.
Nothing is pressed more earnestly in the Scriptures, than to walk as those called to Christ's kingdom and glory. We walk as Abraham did, before God by lowliness, understanding humility, which is opposed to pride. By meekness, that excellent disposition of soul, which makes men slow to anger, and not easily to be provoked or offended. We are not to walk in the offence which is one of the sins choking the church today. We are to walk as people of victory not as victims. As we walk this way we will find much in ourselves for which we can hardly forgive ourselves; so we will not find it hard to forgive others. There is one Christ in whom all believers hope, and one heaven they are all hoping for; so we should be of one heart. They had all one faith, one object, one Author of our nature and power. We are to believe the same as to the great truths of God; We have all been admitted into the church by one baptism, with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, as the sign of regeneration. In all believers God the Father dwells, as in his holy temple, by his Spirit and special grace. Without this grace this would not be possible – man does not have the ability to restore himself apart from God – however with God we have all the ability; Applying this ability is by our own will. Without God we have no ability to live by the law; with God we have all the ability to live perfectly by the law. Abraham walked in fellowship with; He did things with God; this is what life is to be all about; living with God.
To every believer is given some gift of grace, for their mutual help. All is given from Christ to every one who lives as God's child. He received for them, that he might give to them, a large measure of gifts and graces; particularly the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not a mere head knowledge, or bare acknowledging Christ to be the Son of God, but such as brings trust and obedience. The gift to love to be disciplined by God. There is a fullness in Christ, and a measure of that fullness given in the counsel of God to every believer; but we never come to the perfect measure until we come to heaven. God's children are growing, as long as they are in this world; and the child's growth should bring the glory of Christ. The more a man finds himself drawn out to improve in his station, and according to his measure, all that he has received, to the spiritual good of others, he may the more certainly believe that he has the grace of sincere love of God grounded and rooted in his heart.
The apostle charged the Ephesians in the name and by the authority of the Christ and lord, that having professed the gospel, they should not be as the unconverted Gentiles, who walked in vainness and carnal affections, walking in the vanity of their minds? We need all the more today to distinguish between real and nominal Christians. They were void of all saving knowledge; they sat in darkness, and loved it rather than light. They dislike and hate a life of holiness, which is the way of life God requires and approves, and by which we live with him, but which has some likeness to God himself in his purity, righteousness, truth, and goodness. The truth of Christ appears in its beauty and power, when it appears as in the Lord Jesus. The corrupt nature is called a man; like the human body, it is of different parts, supporting and strengthening one another. Sinful desires are deceitful lusts; they promise men happiness, but give them more misery; and bring them destruction in the end. These must be put off, as an old filthy garment.
But it is not enough to shake off corrupt principles; we must have gracious ones. By the new man, is meant the new nature, the new creature, directed by a new principle, even regenerating grace, enabling a man to lead a new life of righteousness and holiness. This is created, or brought forward by God's almighty power not man vainness and corrupt ways.
Notice the particulars we should live with. Take control of every thing that is contrary to truth. No longer flatter or deceive others. God's people are children who will not lie, who hate lying. Take control of anger and uncontrolled passions. If there is an occasion to express displeasure at what is wrong, or to approve of what is right, do this without sin. We give permission to the devil, when the first thoughts or actions of sin are carnal; when we consent to them; and when we repeat an evil deed. This teaches that sin, if given into, lets in the devil in and we are not able to resist evil. We need to understand that anger is an emotion that is God given and at times we will use it. However we need to control it as well.
Idleness makes trouble for us and exposes us to temptations and keeps us from doing good. We need to keep busy and live live honestly so we can give to others what God wants for them.. What then must we think of those called Christians, who grow rich by fraud, oppression, and deceitful practices! Give to be accepted by God and what we give must not be gained by unrighteousness and robbery, but by honesty and work. God hates offerings not earned by honesty and our own work. They are someone else gift to give.
Filthy words come from corruption (sin) in the speaker, and they corrupt the minds and manners of those who hear them: Christians should beware of all such actions. It is the duty of all Christians by the blessing of God, to bring people to think seriously about their life, and to encourage and warn believers by their conversation. Be kind one to another. This sets the principle of love in the heart, and the outward expression of it, in a humble, courteous behaviour. Mark how God's forgiveness causes us to forgive. God forgives us. We must forgive, as he has forgiven us. All lying, and corrupt talk, that stir up evil desires and lusts, grieve the Spirit of God. Corrupt passions of bitterness, wrath, anger, lustfulness, evil-speaking, and malice, grieve the Holy Spirit. The last thing we need is for the Holy Spirit to withdraw His presence and his gracious influences. The Lord's plea is that your salvation is used to build the nature of Godliness in you.