Winger, Thomas M. "Creedal Unity in the Spirit: One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism: 4:1-16." Ephesians. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2014, 424-501.
Winger repeats his point of view that Ephesians 4:1 does not serve as a sharp division between a doctrinal and an ethical section of the letter. In his opinion, "It would need to be demonstrated that exhortation language dominated the second half of the book . . . this is clearly not the case" (Winger 2014, 424-425). Winger further observes that the other Pauline epistles also fail to cooperate with such a theory when evaluated closely.
The exhortation of Ephesians 4:1 is not so much a demand for a change of behavior, as we might expect in Hellenistic philosophy. Rather, Winter sees it as a comforting piece of encouragement (Winger 2014, 426). Paul, as a prisoner in prison as well as a prisoner of the bonds of the Lord's peace (4:3), encourages the Ephesians that they are partakers of the same Gospel. This is the calling in which they walk (Winger 2014, 427). The hope is that the Ephesians will walk in a way worthy of their calling, which they received from God (Winger 2014, 428).
The walk of the Ephesians is to be characterized by a humility of attitude, according to 4:2. Paul describes it by placing a near synonym, "gentleness," in apposition (Winger 2014, 429). This is also characterized by a patience or forbearance, which, rooted in love ,cares for one another. Winger notes the repetitive use of love as an important theme in Ephesians (Winger 2014, 430).
Ephesians 4:3 speaks to the importance of guarding unity of the faith. Winger observes the important semantic range of the verb τηρέω, "to keep," which normally indicates preserving or guarding something one already has possession of (Winger 2014, 431). The treasure, worth keeping, is unity. Paul will locate that unity in baptism, central to his upcoming argument (Winger 2014, 432). Of interest here is Paul's revisiting of the word element δέσμος, which indicates being in bondage. Paul is in bondage to a jailer and is also in bondage to the peace of God (Winger 2014, 432).
Ephesians 4:4 begins a series of elements identified as "one." Winger notes the absence of a verb, which may signal adoption of a piece of liturgy with a relatively elevated tone assuming a verb of being (Winger 2014, 433). Christ is the source of unity, which is created through his action of making many people into one body, by means of Christ's body given for them. In verse four there is what appears to be an insertion, "just as you were called in one hope of your calling," which breaks the rhythm but serves to bring the count of "one" statements "to seven, the number of divine completeness" (Winger 2014, 434).
In Ephesians 4:5, Paul reminds the Ephesians of their being "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." Winger observes that this triad of "one" completes the pattern in which the persons of the Trinity have been listed (Winger 2014, 434-435). The confession of God also comes right at the center of Ephesians.
Ephesians 4:6 refers to God as the "father of all." Winger compares this passage with 1 Corinthians 8:6 and suggests that the "all" is likely a neuter, referring to "all things" (Winger 2014, 437). While he is particularly the father of all who believe, he is also the father of all of creation. The immediately following statement of 4:7, about grace being given to each of us, suggests to Winger that Paul's emphasis is not on different gifts of grace for different people, but a gift of grace which is distributed to each in order to create unity (Winger 2014, 438). Winger takes this to refer to the generous gift of one Gospel.
Ephesians 4:8 introduces a quotation based on Psalm 68:19, but with variants from both the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text. Winger discusses the variations in the reading in some detail (Winger 2014, 439ff). Probably the most significant change Paul had made in his reference is that, as he uses the verse, rather than receiving gifts, God gives gifts (Winger 2014, 441). The Psalm, typically used at Pentecost, refers to God's presence on Mount Zion or as a king returning from a victory. There is possibly some question whether he receives gifts from mankind or receives them for the benefit of mankind.
In Ephesians 4:9, Paul interprets his use of Psalm 68 by qualifying "he ascended" with a descent "into the lower (part) of the earth" (Winger 2014, 443). Winger notes the testimony of the Fathers who take this to refer to a descent to Hades or hell 444). This view is in contrast to much of more recent scholarship which takes the descent to be to the lower place, earth, as opposed to the heavenly place. Both views can be supported by the grammar of the passage. Winger weighs them carefully before concluding, in comparison with John 3:13, that Paul is referring to Christ's incarnation as the descent (Winger 2014, 447). Verse ten, in which the process of John 3:13 is reversed to descent and ascent, emphasizes Jesus' status as the one over all, filling all things. Here Winger sees an emphasis on Jesus as the divine one (Winger 2014, 448).
The theme of giving gifts returns in Ephesians 4:11, where Winger notes the emphatic use of αὐτός, stressing that Christ is the one who gave gifts such as apostles to the Church (Winger 2014, 449). The grammar within the list of apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers is challenging, particularly due to the placement of various conjunctions. Winger discusses them in some detail. He concludes that the use of articles with the first three nouns is probably due to the conjunctions, which are postpositive. The last noun follows a καί, which is not postpositive and which routinely signals the last element in a list (Winger 2014, 452). This makes the pastors and the teachers recipients of different offices. Winger further observes that the "apostles and prophets" in that order, as were introduced in Ephesians 2:20 as foundations on which the Church is built, would be a relatively limited, closed group. However, the other three offices of evangelists, pastors and teachers are not foundational in the same way. Their offices would be ongoing in the long run. Winger further suggests that an "evangelist" in the way it is used in the New Testament may have been one who preserves testimony of the Gospel in written archives, rather than our more recent understanding of the person as a flamboyant preacher (Winger 2014, 454-455).
Ephesians 4:12 has taken on a critical role in understanding the work of ministry, according to Winger, since the mid 20th century (Winger 2014, 458). Here we have three prepositional phrases, using two different prepositions. We must ask what the nature of "ministry" is here and who is doing it. As traditionally understood, the holders of the four offices of verse eleven are engaged in three activities, seen as parallels. In more recent interpretations, the holders of the offices do one task, that of preparing the saints, who, in turn, do the work of the ministry and build the body of Christ (Winger 2014, 459). Winger's analysis of the grammatical and lexical elements of the list suggests strongly that the older point of view is more likely to be correct (Winger 2014, 459-462 passim). Winger goes on to discuss each of the three prepositional phrases in order (Winger 2014, 462-466).
The goal of the gift of ministry is revealed in Ephesians 4:13, where the goal is the attainment of three characteristics: unity, completion, and maturity (Winger 2014, 466). I observe, though Winger has not mentioned it, that we are typically seeing groups of three prepositional phrases, which leads me to question whether Paul is emphasizing a Trinitarian theme. Winger does note that the three prepositional phrases move us to progressively more difficult goals, but that they are presented as attainable through the work of ministry given by God (Winger 2014, 467-468). Verse 14, stating yet another goal, still shows a dependence on the gift of God and the result of the work of ministry (Winger 2014, 468). Here, we should no longer be infants. The image of being tossed by waves and blown about by doctrines indicates an instability. Winger observes that the sea, and particularly rough sea waves, may rightly be understood as symbolic of demonic opposition to Christ (Winger 2014, 469). This concept serves well as an explanation for the reference to doctrine and trickery in verse 14. According to verse 15, one of the marks of this maturity is truthfulness. Though "speaking" truth is not specified, Winger considers this to be the most normal way one could be ἀληθεύοντες (truthing) (Winger 2014, 471). However, he is also open to the possibility that the Ephesians are to be "hearing" truth, which keeps them connected to Christ as their head (Winger 2014, 472). It is from him, in verse 16, that we find all our unity. The body fits together but only because Jesus, the head, unifies it (Winger 2014, 473). The language used here is that of anatomy and physiology. All the correct operation is accomplished by Jesus (Winger 2014, 474).
As he considers the structural aspects of Ephesians 4:1-16, Wingr reiterates his argument that there is not a clear shift at 4:1 from doctrinal to motivational content, and that the language of exhortation doesn't indicate a solely ethical type of content (Winger 2014, 476-477). There is a fairly consistent mix of law and gospel throughout the entirety of Ephesians (Winger 2014, 477-478). It is through the Gospel, rather than the Law, that Christian lives are shaped. Winger finds Ephesians as focused on the Gospel which changes lives (Winger 2014, 479).
From a rhetorical standpoint, Winger finds Ephesians 4:1-16 as advancing Paul's overall argument (Winger 2014, 479). The unity which the Ephesians have due to their baptism is really theirs, their treasure. Winger divides the pericope into four units. In Ephesians 4:1-3 the Ephesians are "to treasure the unity of the Spirit" (Winger 2014, 480). A creed follows in 4:4-6. Christ has given tests that can show the nature of his work, revealed in 4:7-10. In verses 11-16 the ministry is God's gift to the church. Winger discusses each of these four units from a conceptual point of view in turn (Winger 2014, 483ff).
In Ephesians 4:1-6, Paul urges the Ephesians to emulate Chris and himself in showing the humility which will characterize their unity (Winger 2014, 483). Winger observes that the character qualities in play would generally have been despised in Greco-Roman culture. Yet they are decidedly Christ-like qualities. They serve to make the whole body more like Christ (Winger 2014, 484). Winger is clear that pursuit of the character qualities of Christ does not create unity. That comes only from Jesus. Yet the character qualities reflect the work of the Gospel (Winger 2014, 486).
Ephesians 4:7-16 turns our attention to the office of ministry, given as a gift of God (Winger 2014, 490). Rather than the "grace" given, which involves unity in salvation, here we encounter "gifts" which differ from one person to another. Winger finds the gifts of ministry described here to flow from the power of Jesus to bind sin, shown in his incarnation, resurrection, and ascension, which provide the logical connection of Ephesians 4:9-10 with what follows (Winger 2014, 493). The effectiveness of ministry is tied up to the faithfulness we show in unity which comes from the Lord. The work of the apostles, prophets, and evangelists broadens in its scope and reach in the work of pastors and teachers, who deliver God's Word to others. Winger observes that individuals are not mentioned in the passage, suggesting an office given by God rather than work of a particular person (Winger 2014, 494). The authority of the office rather than of the individual is the focus, not only in Paul, but also in early Christians such as Ignatius, who affirm the leadership of bishops (Winger 2014, 497-498).