James J. Barker

Lesson 11

Text: EPHESIANS 4:1-6


  1. The word “walk” is found often in Paul’s epistles (cf. 4:1, 17).
  2. Romans 6:4 says, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
  3. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
  4. Romans 13:13 says, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”
  5. Second Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
  6. Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
  7. Galatians 5:25 says, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
  8. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
  9. Ephesians 5:2 says, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us.”
  10. Ephesians 5:8 says, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.”
  11. Ephesians 5:15 says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.”
  12. Colossians 1:10 says, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
  13. Colossians 2:6 says, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.”
  14. Colossians 4:5 says, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
  15. First Thessalonians 2:12 says, “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”
  16. There are many other references, but this gives us an idea of how important this theme is – our walk with God.
  17. Vine’s Expository Dictionary says the word “walk” is used figuratively to signify “the whole round of the activities of the individual life, whether of the unregenerate (Eph. 4:17), or of the believer (I Cor. 7:17).”



  1. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says “walk” in Scripture means “to live and act or behave; to pursue a particular course of life,” and this dictionary gives many Scriptural references.
  2. I also have Webster’s Unabridged 1996 edition, and there are no Scriptural references given.
  3. The 1828 Dictionary gives these references:
  • o walk with God – to live in obedience to His commands, and have communion with Him.  “And Enoch walked with God…” (Gen. 5:22, 24).
  • To walk in darkness – to live in ignorance, error and sin, without comfort.  “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (I John 1:6).
  • To walk in the light – to live in the practice of religion, and to enjoy its consolations.  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).
  • To walk by faith – to live in the firm belief of the gospel and its promises, and to rely on Christ for salvation.  “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Cor. 5:7).
  • To walk through the fire – to be exercised with severe afflictions.  “When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isa. 43:2).
  • To walk after the flesh – to indulge sensual appetites, and to live in sin.  “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4).
  • To walk after the Spirit – to be guided by the counsels and influences of the Spirit and by the word of God, and to live a life of holy deportment.  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).
  • To walk in the flesh – to live this natural life, which is subject to infirmities and calamities.  “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh” (II Cor. 10:3).



  1. The word “therefore” (4:1) connects the first half of the epistle (chapters 1—3) with the second half (chapters 4—6).
  2. The first part deals with our calling, the second with our conduct.
  3. “Paul now passes from the heavenly calling to the worthy conduct…The conduct is the logical issue of the calling.  The calling is the motive for the conduct” (PB Fitzwater).
  4. The calling shows what conception the church should have of herself (cf. 1:3-6).
  5. The walk shows the conception which God desires the world should have of the church (cf. 5:8, 27).
  6. There are certain virtues which are essential to unity in the church.
  • Lowliness (4:2) – this means esteeming oneself as small. This is the opposite of selfish ambition or vainglory.
  • Meekness (4:2) – “self-suppression to serve others” (Fitzwater). Meekness is not weakness.  Numbers 12:3 says, “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)”  Our great example of meekness is the Lord Jesus.  He said in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”   Paul says in II Corinthians 10:1, “Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ…”
  • Longsuffering (4:2) – forbearing and patient.   Exodus 34:6 says the LORD is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth…”  Galatians 5:22, 23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
  • “Forbearing one another in love” (4:2) – “This means restraint under just provocation” (Fitzwater).
  • “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit…” (4:3).  “Endeavoring” means we have to work at it.  The devil brings in discord and disunity, but the Holy Spirit brings peace.



  1. There is one body (4:4).  The church is the body of Christ (cf. 1:22, 23).
  2. The word “church” and the word “body” are used different ways in the Bible.  Most references are to the local church (cf. I Cor. 1:2; II Cor. 1:1; I Thess. 1:1; II Thess. 1:1; etc.).
  3. Sometimes the word “church” is used in a generic or a general way.  For example, we speak of “the separation of church and state.”
  4. First Corinthians 10:32 says, “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.”
  5. Hebrews 12:23 says, “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven...”
  6. Here the word “church” seems to refer to all believers – the entire family of God.  There is a unity amongst all born again believers.
  7. “There is one body, and one Spirit…” (Eph. 4:4).  There are many false spirits, but only one Holy Spirit (cf. II Cor. 11:4; I John 4:1-4).
  8. The Holy Spirit regenerates every born again believer the moment he believes.  Jesus said in John 3:5-7 says, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
  9. The Holy Spirit indwells every born again believer.  First Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (Cf. I Cor. 6:19).
  10. The Holy Spirit seals every born again believer (Eph. 1:13; 4:30).
  11. We are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
  12. Some people teach that a person can be saved and still not have the Holy Spirit, but this is contrary to Scripture (Romans 8:9).



  1. True Christian unity is based upon faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

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