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From Paul’s letter to the believers at Ephesus,
- “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31 – NASB0
As you well know, or let’s say, I think you well know, Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus is one of positional truths and practical truths. The positional truths are conveyed in chapters one through three. The practical ones are given in chapters four through six.
Having laid out positional doctrine in the first part of his letter, the apostle then says, in essence, “Now that you know these great truths,
- “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1 – NASB)
Paul is saying in essence, “Since you know these great truths, these things which I have just written to you in the first part of my letter, ‘I . . . entreat you to walk,’ to order your behavior (lit. what “walk” means), ‘in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.’ Now that you know what God has done for you in Christ, let me instruct you as to how you are to specifically behave.”
Let me note here, that all the letters of the New Testament contain instruction to believers on things they are not to do, things they are to stop doing, and, in turn, things they are to do. As believers, we struggle with the flesh, with sin. The temptation to cater to self and its old ways is always prevalent, and will be until we are “like Him.” That said, we, in our regenerated state, now have the power and the necessary counsel by which to order our behavior in a different way then we did before we were saved. We just need to know what that way is and set our will to do as He wills. We take instruction from God’s Word to “walk” in that “manner” He has “called” us to “walk in,” and by His enabling, we do it.
Our text indicates that the believers at Ephesus had some problems with certain behavioral matters that they were not to allow to continue. And we know that what was instruction to them is also instruction to us, we who make up the body of Christ, the church. We would be remiss to think it was those believers, at that time, who only had problems with these issues. Not the case!
So, the call . . . . we are to “put” these specific things “away.” In fact, we are to “put . . . all” of that which has to do with them “away;”
- “bitterness” – the Greek word speaks of a deeply, violent odor that is acidic in its nature. A poisonous attitude.
- “wrath” – the Greek word here speaks of a passionate fierceness that is unjustly aroused.
- “anger” – pretty self-explanatory; a violent passion; indignation; vengeful; note Ephesians 4:26-27
- “clamor” – the Greek word speaks of “an outcry.” Our English word notes “a vehement expression or desire of dissatisfaction”
- “slander” – the Greek word speaks of vilification; “evil speaking” (KJV); railing. Strong notes, “especially against God.”
- “malice” – badness, depravity, trouble, wickedness, evil; all associated translations. English: “intent to cause harm.”
It is to our instruction that we note these things, understand what they mean, and examine ourselves as to whether they are prevalent in our “walk.” If they are, we are to “put” these things “away.”
Have a good day brethren . . . and have as your desire to be as He desires.
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