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EPHESIANS - Chapter 4 - Verse 12

Verse 12. For the perfecting of the saints. On the meaning of the word here rendered perfectingkatartismonSee Barnes "2 Co 13:9".

It properly refers to the restoring of anything to its place; then putting in order, making complete, etc. Here it means that these various officers were appointed in order that everything in the church might be well arranged, or put into its proper place; or that the church might be complete. It is that Christians may have every possible advantage for becoming complete in love, and knowledge, and order.

For the work of the ministry. All these are engaged in the work of the ministry, though in different departments. Together they constituted THE ministry by which Christ meant to establish and edify the church. All these offices had an existence at that time, and all were proper; though it is clear that they were not all designed to be permanent. The apostolic office was of course to cease with the death of those who were the witnesses of the life and doctrines of Jesus, See Barnes "1 Co 9:1; the office of prophets was to cease with the cessation of inspiration; and, in like manner, it is possible that the office of teacher or evangelist might be suspended, as circumstances might demand. But is it not clear, from this, that Christ did not appoint merely three orders of clergy to be permanent in the church? Here are five orders enumerated, and in 1 Co 12:28 there are eight mentioned; and how can it be demonstrated that the Saviour intended that there should be three only, and that they should be permanent? The presumption is rather that he meant that there should be but one permanent order of ministers, though the departments of their labour might be varied according to circumstances, and though there might be helpers, as occasion should demand founding churches among the heathen, and in instructing and governing them there, there is need of reviving nearly all the offices of teacher, helper, evangelist, etc., which Paul has enumerated as actually existing in his time.

For the edifying. For building it up; that is, in the knowledge of the truth, and in piety. See Barnes "Ro 14:19".

 

The body of Christ. The church. See Barnes "Eph 1:23".

 

{*} "edifying" "Edification"

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