Ephesians 4:12
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

King James Bible
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Darby Bible Translation
for the perfecting of the saints; with a view to the work of the ministry, with a view to the edifying of the body of Christ;

World English Bible
for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Christ;

Young's Literal Translation
unto the perfecting of the saints, for a work of ministration, for a building up of the body of the Christ,

Ephesians 4:12 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For the perfecting of the saints - On the meaning of the word rendered here as "perfecting" - καταρτισμὸν katartismon - see the notes on 2 Corinthians 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 (compare notes on 1 Corinthians 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 Corinthians 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 labor might be varied according to circumstances, and though there might be helpers, as occasion should demand. In founding churches among the pagan, 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 the notes on Romans 14:19.

The body of Christ - The Church; see the notes on Ephesians 1:23.

Ephesians 4:12 Parallel Commentaries

Library
June 15. "Grow up into Him in all Things" (Eph. Iv. 15).
"Grow up into Him in all things" (Eph. iv. 15). Harvest is a time of ripeness. Then the fruit and grain are fully developed, both in size and weight. Time has tempered the acid of the green fruit. It has been mellowed and softened by the rains and the heat of summer. The sun has tinted it into rich colors, and at last it is ready and ripe to fall into the hand. So Christian life ought to be. There are many things in life that need to be mellowed and ripened. Many Christians have orchards full of
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity the Christian Calling and Unity.
Text: Ephesians 4, 1-6. 1 I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Of the Church
"I beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:1-6. 1. How much do we almost continually hear about the Church!
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Ascension of Christ
It seemed expedient for him to stay, to accomplish the conversion of the world. Would not his presence have had an influence to win by eloquence of gracious word and argument of loving miracle? If he put forth his power the battle would soon be over, and his rule over all hearts would be for ever established. "Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee." Go not from the conflict, thou mighty bowman, but still cast thine all-subduing darts abroad.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Cross References
Romans 12:5
so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Romans 14:19
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

Romans 15:2
Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.

1 Corinthians 12:7
But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.

2 Corinthians 13:9
For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete.

2 Corinthians 13:11
Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

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