Tag Archives: unity of the Spirit

Lesson 4 on Colossians: Christ the Head of the Local Church

Christ the Answer to Philosophy (For the Head) – Colossians 2.1-15
(19 questions with answers following)
Added on  May 11, 2017

Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 5

Answers at the end, following the questions. Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

This is an open book quiz meant to challenge the Bible believer – the saved person who believes the Word of God rather than the person who tries to fit particular Scriptures into a system of interpretation meant to validate one’s desired view of how things should be by philosophizing, allegorizing, or spiritualizing chosen Scriptures. The literal meaning, taken in its immediate context and within the context of all related Scripture is the basis for these studies. It is presented for the glory of God.

Colossians directs our attention to the head of the body who is Christ. The body itself is secondary. Christ is the theme. He is the center of the circle around which all Christian living revolves. Christ is the fullness of God. The dominating thought is that Christ is all I need; He is everything. He is the primary object, and the thought passes downward to the church as the body of Christ.

Colossians was written to the local church at Colosse (with the principles to be applied by all local churches and believers) to counteract the heresy of Gnosticism, the first heresy in the church. There were many forms of Gnosticism, and in Colosse there were the Essenes. There are three points of identification for this group: (1) They had an exclusive spirit. They felt that they were the people—they had knowledge in the jug and held the stopper in their hands. Thus, they felt that they were super-duper in knowledge and knew more than anyone else, including the Apostles. (2) They held speculative tenets on creation. They taught that God did not create the universe directly, but created a creature who in turn created another creature, until one finally created the physical universe. Christ was considered a creature in this long series of creations.  Paul refutes this in Colossians 1:15-19. (3) They practiced asceticism and unrestrained licentiousness. They got the asceticism from the influence of Greek Stoicism and the unrestrained licentiousness from the influence of Greek Epicureanism. Paul refutes this in Colossians 2.16, 23 and 3.5-9.

See, J. Vernon McGee, Colossians for more on this.

 Colossians 2.1-15 [Christ, the Answer to Philosophy (For the Head)] “1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

Questions:

Christ, the Answer to Philosophy 2.1-15
Review the answers to some of the more
difficult fill in the blanks before attempting to answer:

  1. Christianity has, on one extreme, always been in danger of either evaporating into a philosophy, in which case it becomes nothing but steam. An example of this is the philosophy of John Calvin which, among other things, redefines the Sovereignty of God and denies the free will of man. On the other hand, the opposite danger is that it will freeze into a form and become nothing more than a ritual. Christ is neither steam nor ice, neither of which can sustain life. Rather, He is water. That is why we need to guard against following a ______________ (e.g., Roman Catholicism or the Calvinism of John Calvin) or a ________ (e.g., Roman Catholicism and Protestantism). Christianity is ________. Christ is the answer to man’s head and his _______. Paul deals with five errors that endangered the Colossian church in Chapter 2: Enticing ________ (verses 4-7); b. ______________ (verses 8-13); c. ___________ (verses 14-17); d. ____________ (verses 18, 19) e. _____________ (verses 20-23). These are dangers today. Many _______ believers have slipped into one or more of these errors.
  2. Paul had great conflict (agony) in his heart for the churches at ________ and _________. He had not been to _________ and ________—they and others had not seen Paul. Paul saw that there was great ________ and it caused great conflict in Paul’s _______.
  3. “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love.” Heart indicates the entire inner _____, the whole propulsive nature of _____, their whole person.
  4. Paul desires that they will be drawn together in:

    a. spirituality
    b. gifts
    c. love
    d. knowledge
  5. “Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding.” Nothing but ________ can lead the believer to truth. “Sanctify them through thy _______: thy word is _______” (John 17:17).
  6. The mystery spoken of in verse 2 is the institution of the ________. It is a mystery because it had not been revealed in the _____ ___________. Baptism brings unity since all members of a local New Testament church are ________ into one ______. A body must be local and connected to all other parts. Otherwise, it is not a body. We are told to “endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of _______” (Ephesians 4.3). How? By doing all the things God’s Word instructs us to do, not by falling prey to enticing _______, _____________, __________, ___________ , or ___________; by remaining in ________. ________ is the reservoir of all ____________.
  7. Paul warns them, in verse 4, not to let any man “beguile you with __________ _______.” __________ _______ are a lot of oratory or sweet talk. “_________” means to victimize. Believers are to follow the Word of God and not a ____________ or an _____________. The purpose of a church or believer is not to make one feel ______ all over. One purpose of a pastor is to preach the Word of God and make application for the _____________ of the body (See, e.g. 1 Corinthians 10.8, 13.10, 14.4-5, 12, 26; 2 Timothy 4.1-5; 1 Thessalonians 5.11; 1 Peter 5, 2). Believers are to follow the pastor as the pastor follows the ______ of God, in charity shepherding and overseeing the body so that all members may exercise their God-given gifts and function as a healthy ______ accomplishing their God-given goal (See, e.g. Romans 12.4-8, 1 Corinthians 12-13, Ephesians 4).
  8. At the time this epistle was written the church at Colosse were in proper _______ and they were “_________” in their faith (verse 5).. Church members ought to be ___________ shoulder to shoulder, not undermining or taking advantage of other church members.
  9. Steadfast means:

    a. to have a solid front
    b. to be immovable
    c. always abounding in the work of the Lord
    d. all the above

    “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye ___________, _____________, always ____________ in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your ________ is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
  10. Paul instructs believers to ______ in Christ, “________ and _______ up in him, and stablished in the _______ as ye have been ________, abounding therein with _______________.” Walk in _________, walk in the _________.
  11. Philosophers such as Kant, Locke, and Bultmann do not have a high view of the inspiration of the ______ of _____. Some very prominent theologies are based upon philosophy and not on a literal reading of the ______ of God. They look for the answers to the problems of life which are not found in _____________, in ________ knowledge. _________ is the answer to philosophy. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us ________, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Christ told the religious leaders of his day: “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your ____________?” (Matthew 15:3).
  12. Verse 9 is a clear statement of the ________ of Christ.
  13. Verse 10 makes clear that only in Christ alone are you ___________. What is your question? ________ is the answer. What is your need? Turn to ________. Are you carried away by enticing words? Turn to ________. Are you carried away by the systems and traditions of men? Turn to ________.
  14. Verse 11 teaches that the real circumcision is the new _______. “For in Christ Jesus neither _______________ availeth any thing, nor __________________, but a _____ creature” (Galatians 6:15). Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a _____ creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become _____” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  15. Salvation is accomplished (verse 12) by

    a. the resurrection power of God.
    b. some philosophy.
    c. some gimmick.
    d. taking some course that will enable you to live for God.
  16. Salvation is, contrary to men’s philosophies (verse 13)

    a. improvement of the old nature.
    b. impartation of a new nature.
    c. both a and b
    d. neither a nor b
  17. One philosophy is, then as now, that men can live so nobly that death cannot matter—one is not to be uplifted by good fortune nor cast down by adversity” (Stoicism). Another philosophy, Epicureanism, teaches that all is uncertain so it is vain to deny ourselves any present joy in view of possible future ill; let us eat and drink until we die (Epicureanism). Both those systems address the _____ man who is in the flesh, not the _____ man. Those systems have gimmicks and systems set before them to enable them to live a “spiritual” or a “good” life. No manmade _____________ works. The answer is to come into a personal relationship with _______ ________.
  18. What did Christ write on the cross?

    a. The Ten Commandments
    b. a law which I cannot keep
    c. ordinances which I am guilty of breaking
    d. ordinances which Christ kept
    e. all of the above
    f. a, b, and c
  19. “And having ___________ principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, _____________ over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). Hallelujah!

Answers

Christ, the Answer to Philosophy 2.1-15:

  1. Christianity has, on one extreme, always been in danger of either evaporating into a philosophy, in which case it becomes nothing but steam. An example of this is the philosophy of John Calvin which redefines the Sovereignty of God and the free will of man. On the other hand, the opposite danger is that it will freeze into a form and become nothing more than a ritual. Christ is neither steam nor ice, neither of which can sustain life. Rather, He is water. That is why we need to guard against following a philosophy (Roman Catholicism or John Calvin) or a ritual (e.g., Roman Catholicism). Christianity is Christ. Christ is the answer to man’s head and his heart. Paul deals with five errors that endangered the Colossian church in Chapter 2:  Enticing words (verses 4-7); b. Philosophy (verses 8-13); c. Legality (verses 14-17); d. Mysticism (verses 18, 19) e. Asceticism (verses 20-23). These are dangers today. Many Bible believers have slipped into one or more of these errors.
  2. Paul had great conflict (agony) in his heart for the churches at Colosse and Laodicea. He had not been to Laodicea and Colosse—they and others had not seen Paul. Paul saw that there was great danger and it caused great conflict in Paul’s heart.
  3. “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love.” Heart indicates the entire inner man, the whole propulsive nature of man, their whole person.
  4. Paul desires that they will be drawn together in:

    c. love (love is the glue that holds a church together)
  5. “Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding.” Nothing but Christ can lead the believer to truth. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
  6. The mystery spoken of in verse 2 is the institution of the church. It is a mystery because it had not been revealed in the Old Testament. Baptism brings unity since all members of a local New Testament church are baptized into one body. A body must be local and connected to all other parts. Otherwise, it is not a body. We are told to “endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4.3). How? By doing all the things God’s Word instructs us to do, not by falling prey to enticing words, philosophy, legality, mysticism , or asceticism; by remaining in Christ. Christ is the reservoir of all knowledge.
  7. Paul warns them, in verse 4, not to let any man “beguile you with enticing words.” Enticing words are a lot of oratory or sweet talk. “Beguile” means to victimize. Believers are to follow the Word of God and not a philosophy or an individual. The purpose of a church or believer is not to make one feel good all over. One purpose of a pastor is to preach the Word of God and make application for the edification of the body (See, e.g. 1 Corinthians 10.8, 13.10, 14.4-5, 12, 26; 2 Timothy 4.1-5; 1 Thessalonians 5.11; 1 Peter 5, 2). Believers are to follow the pastor as the pastor follows the Word of God, in charity shepherding and overseeing the body so that all members may exercise their God-given gifts and function as a healthy body accomplishing their God-given goal (See, e.g. Romans 12.4-8, 1 Corinthians 12-13, Ephesians 4).
  8. At the time this epistle was written the church at Colosse were in proper order and they were “steadfast” in their faith (verse 5).. Church members ought to be standing shoulder to shoulder, not undermining or taking advantage of other church members.
  9. Steadfast means:

    d. all the above (to have a solid front, to be immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord)

    “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
  10. Paul instructs believers to walk in Christ, “rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Walk in Christ, walk in the Spirit.
  11. Philosophers such as Kant, Locke, and Bultmann do not have a high view of the inspiration of the Word of God. Some very prominent theologies are based upon philosophy and not on a literal reading of the Word of God. They look for the answers to the problems of life which are not found in philosophy, in human knowledge. Christ is the answer to philosophy. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Christ told the religious leaders of his day: “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3).
  12. Verse 9 is a clear statement of the deity of Christ.
  13. Verse 10 makes clear that only in Christ alone are you complete. What is your question? Christ is the answer. What is your need? Turn to Christ. Are you carried away by enticing words? Turn to Christ. Are you carried away by the systems and traditions of men? Turn to Christ.
  14. Verse 11 teaches that the real circumcision is the new birth. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (Galatians 6:15). Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  15. Salvation is accomplished (verse 12) by

    a. the resurrection power of God.
  16. Salvation is, contrary to men’s philosophies (verse 13)

    b. impartation of a new nature.
  17. One philosophy is, then as now, that men can live so nobly that death cannot matter—one is not to be uplifted by good fortune nor cast down by adversity” (Stoicism). Another philosophy, Epicureanism, teaches that all is uncertain so it is vain to deny ourselves any present joy in view of possible future ill; let us eat and drink until we die (Epicureanism). Both those systems address the old man who is in the flesh, not the new man. Those systems have gimmicks and systems set before them to enable them to live a “spiritual” or a “good” life. No manmade philosophy works. The answer is to come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  18. What did Christ write on the cross?

    e. all of the above (a. The Ten Commandments, a law which I cannot keep’ ordinances which I am guilty of breaking, ordinances which Christ kept)
  19. “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). Hallelujah!

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.

Lesson 7 on the Doctrine of the Church

The Church Is a New Man: The Exhibition and Inhibition of the New Man – Ephesians 4.1-16
(17 questions from with answers following)
Click here to go to the “Bible Studies on the Doctrine of the Church” (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 8
Added on March 25, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions
Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

  1. Ephesians 4.1-6 consider the _______________ of the new man. The only way people can tell if you are a real child of God through faith in Christ is by your _______.

    “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye _______ __________ of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ep. 4.1)
  2. Paul begs believers to walk “With all ____________ and ____________, with __________________, forbearing one another in _______: Endeavoring to keep the _________ of the Spirit in the bond of __________” (Ep. 4.2-3).

    Lowliness is the flagship of all Christian virtues and is the opposite of _________. (See also, Philippians 2.3).

    Meekness means mildness but it does not mean ____________. Meekness is __________ yourself to the will of God. (McGee, Ephesians, p. 111).

    Longsuffering, a ________ of the Spirit, means that we don’t have a ________

    “Forbearing one another in love” means to hold one’s self _______ in the spirit of _______. (See also, Col. 3.13)
  3. “Endeavoring to keep the ________ of the Spirit” (See also, Jn. 17.21). There are seven unities to be kept: one _______, one __________, one _______ of your calling, one _______, one ________, one baptism, one _____ and Father of all, who is above _____, and through _____, and in you _____. (Ep. 4.3-6). God is not the _________ of unbelievers.
  4. In Ephesians 4.1-6, Paul started with the individual _____________. Then he widens out to the entire __________ which is one _______ and one __________. Then, he brings this passage to a great crescendo, which pictures the imminence and transcendence of _____.

Questions 5 through 17 are based on Ephesians 4.7-16

  1. In Ephesians 4.7-16, we learn of the ____________ of the new man. (Inhibition = Something that restrains, blocks, or suppresses).
  2. God has given ________ to every believer, not that he may develop him spiritually, but in order that each believer may function in the ______ of believers to ____________ and bless the __________. (See Ro. 12, 1 Co. 12.7, 1 Co. 12, 13, and 14). Every member of my body needs to work __________. My eyes, brain, legs, etc. need to work __________. When one member of a body is not exercising his gift, he throws the whole body out of tune.
  3. God “led captivity _____________, and gave ________ to men” “when he __________ up on high.” (Ep. 4.8). He first received those ________ for men (Ps. 68.18). Then He came to earth and went back to the Father and is now distributing the ________ among men. “When he ascended up on high” (the ascension) he did two things: (1) He “led captivity ____________” (referring to the redeemed of the ______ _______________ who went to _____________ when they died). (2) When He ascended, He conferred ________ on living believers in the church so that they might __________ to the world. At the day of __________, the Holy Spirit endowed ___________ with certain ________, enabling them to function as members of the _________ (the church at Jerusalem). The Holy Spirit put each of them in a certain place in the _______, and He has been doing that ever since.
  4. Christ takes certain men who have been given certain ________ and gives them to the ________:

    “And he [ __________ ] gave some, apostles; and some, ____________; and some, evangelists; and some, ___________ and teachers” (Ep. 4.11)
  5. An apostle had seen the Lord Jesus Christ but had also been directly and personally commissioned by Him to be an __________. He enjoyed special ______________. (See Ga. 1.1, 2).
  6. “Prophets” refers to New Testament prophets, men with particular insight into the ____________ of faith. (cf. Ep. 3.5).
  7. “Evangelists” were traveling missionaries. Paul was an example. They went ________ into new territory with the __________ of ______ who went before them.
  8. He also gave “pastors” who were _____________ of the flock.
  9. He gave some “teachers” who were to ____________ the flock. (See also, 1 Co. 12.28, 29, and 1 Ti. 3.2).
  10. He gave these men to the church for specified purposes:

    “For the ______________ of the saints, for the ______ of the ministry, for the ____________ of the body of Christ: (Ep. 4.12).
  11. A church has a purpose which is to complete itself that it might grow up:

    “Till we all come in the unity of the ________, and of the __________ of the Son of God, unto a __________ man, unto the __________ of the stature of the __________ of Christ: That we ______________ be no more ____________, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of ____________, by the sleight of _____, and cunning __________, whereby they lie in wait to __________;” (Ep. 4.13-14).
  12. A church is not to make a “nut” of herself before the ________; she is not to appear ignorant before the ________. All these men are to prepare the _________ so that the believers might do the work of _____________ and ____________ up the body of Christ. The pastor has a special ______, a ______ of teaching the Word of God so that his __________, those who are under him, might do the work of the ____________. A __________ or other member of a church cannot be all things. No man has ______ the gifts. The business of the pastor is to ________ the members of the church for the ______ of the ministry. All believers need to be ___________ in the Word of God so they can do the ______ of the ministry. Christ’s purpose in giving men with different ______ to a __________ is to __________ believers from babyhood to full maturity. (See McGee, Ephesians, p. 119-122).
  13. The final goal:“But speaking the truth in ______, may ______ up into him in all things, which is the ______, even Christ: From whom the whole ______ fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint ___________, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, _________ increase of the ______ unto the edifying of itself in ______.” (Ep. 4.15-16)

Answers

  1. Ephesians 4.1-6 consider the exhibition of the new man. The only way people can tell if you are a real child of God through faith in Christ is by your walk.

    “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ep. 4.1)
  2. Paul begs believers to walk “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love: Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ep. 4.2-3).

    Lowliness is the flagship of all Christian virtues and is the opposite of pride. (See also, Philippians 2.3).

    Meekness means mildness but it does not mean weakness. Meekness is bowing yourself to the will of God. (McGee, Ephesians, p. 111).

    Longsuffering, a fruit of the Spirit, means that we don’t have a short

    “Forbearing one another in love” means to hold one’s self back in the spirit of love. (See also, Col. 3.13)
  3. “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit” (See also, Jn. 17.21). There are seven unities to be kept: one body, one Spirit, 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. (Ep. 4.3-6). God is not the father of unbelievers.
  4. In Ephesians 4.1-6, Paul started with the individual believer. Then he widens out to the entire church which is one body and one Spirit. Then, he brings this passage to a great crescendo, which pictures the imminence and transcendence of God.

Questions  through  are based on Ephesians 4.7-16

  1. In Ephesians 4.7-16, we learn of the inhibition of the new man. (inhibition = Something that restrains, blocks, or suppresses).
  2. God has given gifts to every believer, not that he may develop him spiritually, but in order that each believer may function in the body of believers to benefit and bless the church. (See Ro. 12, 1 Co. 12.7, 1 Co. 12, 13, and 14). Every member of my body needs to work together. My eyes, brain, legs, etc. need to work together. When one member of a body is not exercising his gift, he throws the whole body out of tune.
  3. God “led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men” “when he ascended up on high.” (Ep. 4.8). He first received those gifts for men (Ps. 68.18). Then He came to earth and went back to the Father and is now distributing the gifts among men. “When he ascended up on high” (the ascension) he did two things: (1) He “led captivity captive” (referring to the redeemed of the Old Testament who went to Paradise when they died). (2) When He ascended, He conferred gifts on living believers in the church so that they might witness to the world. At the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit endowed believers with certain gifts, enabling them to function as members of the body (the church at Jerusalem). The Holy Spirit put each of them in a certain place in the body, and He has been doing that ever since.
  4. Christ takes certain men who have been given certain gifts and gives them to the church:

    “And he [Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Ep. 4.11)
  5. An apostle had seen the Lord Jesus Christ but had also been directly and personally commissioned by Him to be an apostle. He enjoyed special inspiration. (See Ga. 1.1, 2).
  6. “Prophets” refers to New Testament prophets, men with particular insight into the doctrines of faith. (cf. Ep. 3.5).
  7. “Evangelists” were traveling missionaries. Paul was an example. They went alone into new territory with the Spirit of God who went before them.
  8. He also gave “pastors” who were shepherds of the flock.
  9. He gave some “teachers” who were to instruct the flock. (See also, 1 Co. 12.28, 29, and 1 Ti. 3.2).
  10. He gave these men to the church for specified purposes:

    “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ep. 4.12).
  11. A church has a purpose which is to complete itself that it might grow up:

    “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;” (Ep. 4.13-14).
  12. A church is not to make a “nut” of herself before the world; she is not to appear ignorant before the world. All these men are to prepare the church so that the believers might do the work of ministering and building up the body of Christ. The pastor has a special gift, a gift of teaching the Word of God so that his members, those who are under him, might do the work of the ministry. A pastor or other member of a church cannot be all things. No man has all the gifts. The business of the pastor is to build the members of the church for the work of the ministry. All believers need to be trained in the Word of God so they can do the work of the ministry. Christ’s purpose in giving men with different gifts to a church is to develop believers from babyhood to full maturity. (See McGee, Ephesians, p. 119-122).
  13. The final desired result for a church:“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ep. 4.15-16)

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.