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John Wesley's notes on the Epistle to the Ephesians 4:17-32

17  This therefore I say - He returns thither where he begun, Eph 4:1. And testify in the Lord - In the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus. In the vanity of their mind - Having lost the knowledge of the true God, Rom 1:21. This is the root of all evil walking. 

18  Having their understanding darkened, through the ignorance that is in them - So that they are totally void of the light of God, neither have they any knowledge of his will. Being alienated from the life of God - Utter strangers to the divine, the spiritual life. Through the hardness of their hearts - Callous and senseless. And where there is no sense, there can be no life. 

19  Who being past feeling - The original word is peculiarly significant. It properly means, past feeling pain. Pain urges the sick to seek a remedy, which, where there is no pain, is little thought of. Have given themselves up - Freely, of their own accord. Lasciviousness is but one branch of uncleanness, which implies impurity of every kind. 

20  But ye have not so learned Christ - That is, ye cannot act thus, now ye know him, since you know the Christian dispensation allows of no sin. 

21  Seeing ye have heard him - Teaching you inwardly by his Spirit. As the truth is in Jesus - According to his own gospel. 

22  The old man - That is, the whole body of sin. All sinful desires are deceitful; promising the happiness which they cannot give. 

23  The spirit of your mind - The very ground of your heart. 

24  The new man - Universal holiness. After - In the very image of God. 

25  Wherefore - Seeing ye are thus created anew, walk accordingly, in every particular. For we are members one of another - To which intimate union all deceit is quite repugnant. 

26  Be ye angry, and sin not - That is, if ye are angry, take heed ye sin not. Anger at sin is not evil; but we should feel only pity to the sinner. If we are angry at the person, as well as the fault, we sin. And how hardly do we avoid it. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath - Reprove your brother, and be reconciled immediately. Lose not one day. A clear, express command. Reader, do you keep it? 

27  Neither give place to the devil - By any delay. 

28  But rather let him labour - Lest idleness lead him to steal again. And whoever has sinned in any kind ought the more zealously to practise the opposite virtue. That he may have to give - And so be no longer a burden and nuisance, but a blessing, to his neighbours. 

29  But that which is good - Profitable to the speaker and hearers. To the use of edifying - To forward them in repentance, faith, or holiness. That it may minister grace - Be a means of conveying more grace into their hearts. Hence we learn, what discourse is corrupt, as it were stinking in the nostrils of God; namely, all that is not profitable, not edifying, not apt to minister grace to the hearers. 

30  Grieve not the Holy Spirit - By any disobedience. Particularly by corrupt discourse; or by any of the following sins. Do not force him to withdraw from you, as a friend does whom you grieve by unkind behaviour. The day of redemption - That is, the day of judgment, in which our redemption will be completed. 

31  Let all bitterness - The height of settled anger, opposite to kindness, ver.32. And wrath - Lasting displeasure toward the ignorant, and them that are out of the way, opposite to tenderheartedness. And anger - The very first risings of disgust at those that injure you, opposite to forgiving one another. And clamour - Or bawling. "I am not angry," says one; "but it is my way to speak so." Then unlearn that way: it is the way to hell. And evil speaking - Be it in ever so mild and soft a tone, or with ever such professions of kindness. Here is a beautiful retrogradation, beginning with the highest, and descending to the lowest, degree of the want of love. 

32  As God, showing himself kind and tenderhearted in the highest degree, hath forgiven you.