4:12 to prepare [katartismos] God's people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built [oikodoma] up
a) prepare God's people b) for works of service c) so that the body of Christ may be built up
4:13 - until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature (man), attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
- This verse identifies the goal of the A,P,E,P,T in preparing people for the service of building the body.
- This may best be understood as one of the "now/but not yet" concepts
- Notice we return to the theme of 4:1-6, unity. This unity of the body (group) is attained and maintained by the diversity within the body (individuals).
- "Until" - mechri means "until, as far as". It is used to point toward the goal. The A,P,E,P,T and their purpose are to continue until this goal is reached.
- "we reach" - katantasomen (aorist subjuntive active of katantao) means "to come to, to arrive at, to reach, to attain to, to come down to the goal." The goal is three fold: a) unity in faith, b) unity in knowledge, c) mature (fullness of Christ)
- a) "in the faith" - communication of the "one faith" leads people out of their error and ignorance to one hope and one Lord as seen in 4:5. Our goal is to discover, communicate and understand this body of truth called "faith" or "one faith". This is not the activity of believing, but the body of doctrines (truth) revealed by God
- b) "in the knowledge of the Son of God"
-"knowledge of the Son of God" - know Son of God as Savior, - know what the Son of God did, - know what the Son of God taught, - know who the Son of God is, - know Son of God as the One from the Old Testament, - know Son of God as the Eternal God, - know the future of the Son of God.
-Revelation1-3, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty (1:8) . . . the First and the Last. . . the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades (1:17-19) . . . who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seen golden lampstands (2:1) . . . who has the sharp, double-edged sword (2:12) . . . whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze (2:18) . . . who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars (3:1) . . . who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open (3:7) . . . the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation (3:14)."
- Where is a person going to learn about the Son of God? Ans: From the Word received, declared and taught by the Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher. "In the beginning was the Word . . . The Word became flesh (1 Jn.1:1,14)
- Paul sought this knowledge of the Son of God in Philippians 3:10
- "Son of God" indicates the full role of the second member of the trinity. The use of the title "Christ" is often limited to his role as Messiah and head of the church.
- c) "become mature" - teleios refers to that which has reached the set goal, perfect, mature.
- "man" is not translated into the NIV but is the word "andra" which means "mature, full grown man" and not "anthropos" which means "man, or mankind or human". Notice the contrast with unstable, directionless infants who have been deceived by men (anthropos). Together teleios and andra translate as "into a perfect, full grown man." The singular form of man refers to the group called the church and not to individual people (Ep. 2:15)
- "attaining to the" - means "attain or arrive at a particular state"
- "whole measure of the fullness of Christ" - "whole" is helikia which means "age, full age, ripeness of full age." It can also refer to stature but is best understood to refer to mature age. - "measure" is metron. "fullness" is plaromatos and means "fullness". See Eph. 3:19
-All these words together: Mature, Whole, Measure, Fullness.
- Mature Manhood = the whole, measure, fullness of Christ.
- We, as a church, are to strive for this perfection. Phil. 3:12 Paul sought this as an individual. Our striving for this apparently unreachable goal will keep us far above the ways of the world. Ultimately it will be completed in heaven, Revelation 19:7.
- Understand the faith (body of truth) and Understand the knowledge of the Son of God and then attain the whole, fullness of Christ.
4:14 - Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
4:15 - Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ.
4:16 - From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.