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Summary: The maturity of the church

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Ephesians 4:16-18

August 15, 2012

The main idea so far is that the church of Christ is one body under one Head. This body has gifts to build it up while we wait until “we all come in the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God.” But in the meantime, there are many who would trick and deceive us, so we must speak the truth in love that we “may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”

16From whom

The Greek word for “from” is ἐκ (ek). It means “out of.” The body is growing up into Christ. “Out of” whom,

the whole body fitly joined together

The Greek is συναρμολογέω (synarmologeo). Think of our word “synergy.” It means to draw something closely together. Remember that there was a dividing wall between Jew and Gentile (2:15). Think of a building being assembled.

and compacted

This word is similar, but it’s not the same. Compacted is συμβιβάζω (symbibazo). It means to gather or unite or knit together. It’s used in Acts 9:22 where it says that Paul confounded the Jews proving that Jesus is Christ. “Fitly joined” is all the pieces of a building coming together to make one structure, and “compacted” is like being united in mind or thought.

by that which every joint supplieth,

“Joint” is ἁφή (haphe). It means “bond.” All these bonds (:3-6, 13) supply us with all we need to grow up into Christ.

according to the effectual working

This is superhuman power: I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily (Col. 1:25-29).

in the measure of every part,

That which every part of the body contributes,

maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Skip forward a little bit to 5:29—“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” Why do we walk in humility with gentleness? Because we’re one body caring for itself. And in this way, we’re different from the Gentiles and from our old way:

17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord,

This is a solemn testimony,

that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity

Vanity is “devoid of truth”

of their mind,

Faith and knowledge make a difference. To walk in vanity is a contradiction to the truth which we claim to profess. They don’t know it because,

18Having the understanding darkened,

Their spiritual understanding is without light. They don’t know Christ: Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (II Cor. 4:1-6).

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (I Cor. 2:12-14).

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