Eph 4:17-19 

Jan 9, 2022 // By:Dave // No Comment


We left off last week with a reminder of how gifts work:

Eph. 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers,

Eph. 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ;

Eph. 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

Eph. 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

Eph. 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ,

Eph. 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

the gifts are given in the gift of people using them (especially the ones mentioned in 4:11 as the core) are for 

  • the equipping of the saints
  • resulting in the maturity of the body
  • resulting in christians, functioning as part of a body
    • no longer tossed by bad doctrine or falsehoods
      • speaking the truth in love
      • growing into christlikeness
  • resulting in growth of the body (meaning more members)
  • resulting in more gifts being used
  • resulting in more equipping … and so on

Birds eye view of this would be:

Leaders are given to the body to

Equip the body for ministry

(Who is supposed to be doing the work of ministry ?)

The body 

(Wait, why do so many think it is the pastors job to witness, evangelize, visit, help, etc ?)

Paul now moves into a comparative statement;

His previous statement is this what people live like, walk like when they are in Christ

His next statement is describing what those not in Christ live and walk like

Eph. 4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

Similar to Solomons experience with vanity of vanities in Eccles

ἔθνος περιπατεῖ ἐν ματαιότητι τοῦ νοὸς αὐτῶν

ethnos = pagan

peripateo = lateral direction, spiritually means moral direction or path

mataiotēs = emptiness, futility, frustration

nous = mind, specifically it means “understanding, insight”

[Bible Words]  


NT 2. Phronesis: one’s way of thinking

3. Nous: one’s capacity to perceive

4. Dianoia: the faculty or organ of perception

this second half of verse 17 is saying:

“christians do not use the moral compass that pagans use. We chart a God honoring course and make God honoring moral choices 

  • based upon the conclusions and convictions 
  • resulting from the understanding of God’s truth (God gives us this ability to perceive)
  • an understanding that is not available to non-believers

this next verse explains why they do not have perception

Eph. 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

1John 1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1John 2:9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.

1John 2:10 The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

This idea of light (phos) is a metaphor for illumination, not in a room, but in the heart and mind of people.

it is a figurative, a poetic way of saying “God revealing His person, presence, or power to creation

Gen. 1:3 Then aGod said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Gen. 1:4 God saw that the light was agood; and God bseparated the light from the darkness.

what was the light ?

the stars, sun and moon are not created until the fourth day

Gen. 1:14 ¶ Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;

Gen. 1:15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.

Gen. 1:16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.

Gen. 1:17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,

Gen. 1:18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

Gen. 1:19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Psa. 27:1 ¶  The LORD is my alight and my bsalvation; 

Whom shall I fear? 

Psa. 43:3 ¶  O send out Your alight and Your truth, let them lead me; 

Let them bring me to Your bholy hill 

And to Your cdwelling places.

Psa. 44:3  For by their own sword they adid not possess the land, 

And their own arm did not save them, 

But Your right hand and Your barm and the clight of Your presence, 

For You dfavored them.

Psa. 119:105 ¶  Your word is a alamp to my feet 

And a light to my path.

Psa. 119:130  The aunfolding of Your words gives light; 

It gives bunderstanding to the simple.

Matt. 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

The Lord said:

Luke 11:33 ¶ “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.

Luke 11:34 “The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.

Luke 11:35 “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.

Luke 11:36 “If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.”

John 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

John 1:5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1:6 ¶ There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.

John 1:7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.

John 1:8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

John 1:9 ¶ There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

John 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

John 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

one either accepts truth from God, illumination/light

or rejects it

  • either in light or darkness
  • Christian or pagan
  • in Him or not in Him
  • for Him or against Him

Matt. 12:30 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

Luke 11:23 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.

leading people with your light towards God

leading people with your darkness away from God

Eph. 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

Eph. 4:19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

God allows people to turn deeper into the desires of their flesh when they reject the light

This sensuality is not just sex, it means living for the delight of the senses 

Problem is that you always want more

(The senses always want more and are never satisfied)

but Psalm 103

1Bless the LORD, O my soul;

all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and do not forget all His kind deeds—

3He who forgives all your iniquities

and heals all your diseases,

4who redeems your life from the Pit

and crowns you with loving devotion and compassion,

5who satisfies you with good things,

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psa. 81:11 ¶ “But My people did not listen to My voice, 

And Israel did not obey Me.

Psa. 81:12 “So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, 

To walk in their own devices.

God makes His voice discernible, His laws perceptible

those who refuse are without excuse (those who accept have even less excuse for we should know better)

Rom. 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Rom. 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Rom. 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Rom. 1:24 ¶ Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

Rom. 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Rom. 1:26 ¶ For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

Rom. 1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Rom. 1:28 ¶ And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

Rom. 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,

Rom. 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

Rom. 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

Rom. 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

clear demarkation between light and dark, truth and darkness, flesh and Spirit

Gal. 5:16 ¶ But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Gal. 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

Gal. 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

Gal. 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,

Gal. 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,

Gal. 5:21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal. 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Gal. 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Gal. 5:25 ¶ If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

About Dave

Browse Archived Articles by Dave

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.