The Perfecting of the Saints

Ephesians 4:12-14 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive

‘For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.’ There are seven duties noted here of N.T. ministers: To perfect the saints (4:12). All the work of the ministry (4:12). To edify the body of Christ (4:12). To unify people in the faith (4:13). To unify people in doctrine (4:13). To perfect Christians in Christ (4:13). To bring people to maturity in Christ (4:13). Christians must be brought to the height of the gospel standard and the unlimited promises of God. The measure of the stature of the fullness is seldom mentioned much less demonstrated, while the stature of littleness, emptiness, and powerlessness of Christianity is often emphasized and demonstrated.

‘Perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.’ This is the 7th New Testament prophecy in Ephesians (4:12-13) being fulfilled. The Greek word teleios means that which has reached maturity (Matt. 5:48; 1Cor. 2:6; Php. 3:15).

‘That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro.’ Seven blessings of perfection: Maturity – no longer children (4:14). Established in the faith – no longer of doubtful mind or tossed to and fro like the waves (4:14; Jas. 1:5-8). Rooted and grounded in truth – no longer carried about by winds of doctrine (3:17; 4:14; John 8:32-36; Col. 2:6-7; 2Pet. 1:12). Freedom from deception – able to discern truth from error (4:14; 2Tim. 2:15; Heb. 5:11-14; John 8:32-36). The ability to speak the truth in love (4:15; Rom. 15:14; Col. 3:16). Constant growth in spiritual things (4:15; 1Pet. 2:2; 3:18). Harmony with all others in Christ (4:16; 2Cor. 1:10; 13:11).

‘Wind of doctrine’ – Evil teaching of the prince of the power of the air (2:2; 1Tim. 4:1; 2Cor. 4:4).

‘Sleight’ [Greek: kubeia] cube. It refers to loaded dice against which no man can win. Those who play around with false doctrines cannot win eternal life.

‘Cunning craftiness’ [Greek: panourgia] cheating and subtlety. It signifies the art and wiles of the devil to destroy souls by fallacy (4:14; 27; 6:11; 1Tim. 4:1; 2Cor. 4:4; Matt. 13:19). It refers to the systematizing of error and making it such a perfect counterfeit of truth that only those who are experienced in truth can detect it.

‘Lie in wait to deceive’ – False teachers lie in wait to catch ignorant souls by their fallacies.