Ephesians 4:17-19

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,

18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;

19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

this I say (v.17) — what Paul is about to write

therefore (v.17) — based on all Paul has said so far in the book but also resuming his thoughts from vs. 1-3

testify (v.17) = solemnly declare

in the Lord (v.17) — the declaration is one made by the Lord Himself

walk (v.17) = conduct one’s self, order one’s behavior

futility (v.17) = aimless, without result

mind (v.17) = intellectual faculty, but also the faculty for recognizing spiritual truth and moral rightness

understanding (v.18) = the faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring

darkened (v.18) = blinded — the tense indicates a process completed in the past with continuing results

alienated (v.18) = estranged — shut out from one’s fellowship and unity — here, from God and true life

ignorance (v.18) = not merely lack of intellect, but an ignorance of divine things, an inexcusable want of knowledge — this ignorance is in them; the cause is not external, casual or superficial — it is in their own nature and heart (see Acts 3:17; Acts 17:30; 1 Peter 1:14).

blindness (v.18) = hardness, covered with a callous (see Mark 3:5; Romans 11:25)

who (v.19) = who are of such a nature that

being past feeling (v.19) = to cease to feel pain or grief, insensible to pain, apathetic, morally insensible

given themselves over (v.19) = give into the hands of another, to betray, to give one’s self up

lewdness (v.19) = wanton lawless insolence — acknowledging no restraints — a complete surrender of self

to work (v.19) — the word has the sense of a trade, of the prosecution of a business

all uncleanness (v.19) = every kind of uncleanness, moral uncleanness in the widest sense

greediness (v.19) — the condition of the mind in which they did the uncleanness

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