Page images



The Apostle having thus given the Gentile Chriftians of Ephetus all fuitable Encouragement to continue in, and firmly to rely upon, the Chriftian Faith, without the Obfervation of the Jewish Law: Comes now to exhort their whole Church in general to the Practice af fuch Duties as became their holy Profeffion, especially that of Unity, Mutual Charity, and Forbearance; adviseth both the Jewish and Gentile Converts to confider themselves as all united into the fame Church and Privileges in Chrift, without Diftinction; warning the Gifted Teachers of both Parties to a fober and uniform Improvement of their Gifts and Offices; by fhewing them to be all derived from the fame Spirit, and intended for the fame religious Purposes. Then turns his Exhortation to the Gentile Part, fhewing them their Obligation to renounce all their former Heathenifh Practices, and live up to the Purity of the Gofpel Religion. Pointing out to them several of the most notorious Vices to which they had formerly been fubject.

A.D. 62. I
Lord, befeech you,
that ye walk worthy
of the vocation where
with ye are called,

Therefore the Pri
foner *
of the



HUS have I that am now a *Prisoner for Chrift's fake, and particularly for upholding you Gentile Chriftians to be his true Church, without your Obfervance of the Mofaical Ceremonies, given you full Encouragement to maintain that Privilege. And let me now by thefe Chains I wear, befeech all Parties among you to live worthy the Excellency of their holy Profeffion.

2 & 3. Taking

*I therefore, the Prifoner of the Lord: See Note on Chap iii. Ver. 1.

2 With all lowli. nefs and meeknefs, with long-fuffering, forbearing one ano

ther in love:
3 Endeavouring to
keep the unity of the
fpirit in the bond of
4 There is one body
and one spirit, even as
ye are called in one
hope of your calling.
5 One Lord, one
faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Fa-
ther of all, who is a
bove all, and through
all, and in you all.

2 & 3. Taking fpecial care to A.D. 62. preferve the Peace and Unity of the Church by a gentle, meek, and forbearing Behaviour to each other, agreeably to the Spirit of the Gofpel. peace.

4, 5 & 6. Duly confidering, that both Jewish and Gentile Believers are now joined together in one Chriftian Society, enlightened and endowed with the fame Spirit, and the fame common brought into Hope of Salvation; having the fame Chrift for your Saviour and Head, into whofe Faith you are all alike Baptized; and are become the Church and Servants of the fame God the Father, who is equally over you all by his Power, conducts you all by the fame good Providence, and dwells in you all by the fame Holy Spirit.


7 But unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Chrift.

7. But you ought to remember, That though you all belong to the fame Chriftian Church, the Body of Chrift; yet the Gifts and Graces of the Spirit may not be diftributed to every Member or Minifter alike; but to each of them in fuch Measures as Chrift knows them best able to improve for the Church's Benefit. So that none ought to be diffatisfied with his own, or to undervalue those of another.

8 Wherefore he 8. Thefe Spiritual Gifts to the faith, When he afcend- Chriftian Church, and the Variety ed up on high, he of them too, are represented in led captivity captive, thofe Prophetick Words of the and gave gifts unto Pfalmift, Pfal. lxviii. 18.) Re9 (Now fembling Chrift the Meffiah in his



* Grace xάgs, either Gifts and Endowments for an Office in the Miniftry, or the Office it felf.

4.D.62. Afcenfion into Heaven, after the Conquest of Sin, Satan, and Death, to an Earthly Monarch in Triumph after Victory, Scattering Gifts and Largefjes to his People.

9 (Now that he afcended, what is it but that he alfo defcended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that defcend ed, is the fame alfo that afcended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

(9 & 10. But whatever Degrees they are given in to any of you, they all come from this Triumphant Saviour, the very fame Jefus who came down upon Earth, died and was buried, to obtain this Conqueft, and then rofe again, and was exalted to the highest Degree of Heavenly Glory and Majefty, to become the Lord of the whole Church of God, to perfect and compleat it, and to guide and model it by fuch Measures as he in Wisdom fhould think fit. *) II And he gave fome apofties and fome, prophets and fome, evangelifts and fome, paftors and teachers ;


11. And accordingly he fulfilled that Prediction by this Variety of Endowments on the Ministers of the Chriftian Church; qualifying fome to be Apoftles, to declare the Dorines of it first to the World; others to be Prophets, to explain the Paffages of the Old Testament, relating to, and confirming, that Doctrine; others to be Evangelifts, to fpread it to farther diftant Nations, and to record it in Writing; and fome to be Paftors and Teachers, to build Men up in the Knowledge of it after they have embraced it †. 12 For the perfecting of the faints, for the work of the miniftry, for the edify ing of the body of Chrift:

12. Which Variety of Gifts and Offices, is fo far from being a Difadvantage, from the Excellency of one above another, that 'tis the very Thing intended to knit and compact the Chriftian Members into a more firm and perfect Society; to render the Discharge of the Chriftian Miniftry more orderly and effectual; all contributing

* I fee no Connexion in these two Verses with the foregoing and following Claufes, but by making them refer to the Variety of Gifts, and their being derived all from Chrift. And the Connexion is beft preferved by including them in a Parenthesis. See 1. Cor. xii. for the fame Expreffions and Argument more at large.

contributing, in their Places and Stations, to the better 4. D. 62. Edification of the whole Church.

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowlege of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the meafure of the ftature of the fulnefs of Chrift:

14 forth be no more chil. dren toffed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine

That we hence

by the fleight of men, and cunning craftinefs, whereby they lie

in wait to deceive : 15 But fpeaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Chrift: 16 From whom the whole body fitly join. ed together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of it felf in love.

17 This I fay there. fore, and testify in the Lord, that ye

[blocks in formation]

17. I must again particularly warn you Gentile Chriftians, how much it concerns, and is expected from you, entirely to renounce all in the vanity of their the vile Practices and Idolatrous Worship of the Heathen World,

henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk


18 Having the understanding darkned, being alienated from


18. Who ftill remain in that perfect State of Ignorance and Irreligion which you have folemnly forfaken,


A. D 62, the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart :

19 Who being paft
feeling, have given
themselves over unto
lafcivioufnefs, to work

all uncleanness with

20 But ye have not
fo learned Chrift:
21 If fo be that
ye have heard him,
and have been taught
by him, as the truth
is in Jefus :

22 That ye put off
concerning the for-
mer converfation, the
man, which is
corrupt according to
the deceitful lufts:
23 And be renew-
ed in the spirit of

your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man,

[blocks in formation]

22, 23, 24. Namely, to forfake all your old Heathenith Lufts, and ignorant Practices; and to become new, and reformed Men, by Obedience to thofe holy and righteous Laws, prescribed in the Gospel, that will raife you to the Imitation of God, and render you his true and happy Children.

which after God is created in righteoufnefs and true holiness.

25 Wherefore put-
ting away lying, fpeak
every man truth with

his neighbour: for we
are members one of

25. Beware then of thofe Vices you have been formerly most subthe Chriftian Spirit: For inftance, ject to, and are most oppofite to Deteft that dangerous Sin of lying, deceiving and over-reaching your Neighbours; remembring, you are all now Members of the fame Chriftian Body; fo that to deceive another is to injure and abuse your selves.


* If fo be ye have heard him

you have heard him.

26 & 27. Sup

εἴγε αὐτὸν ἠκέσατε. Since

« PreviousContinue »