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Ephesians 4:12

    Ephesians 4:12 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

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

    American King James Version (AKJV)

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

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For the training of the saints as servants in the church, for the building up of the body of Christ:

    Webster's Revision

    for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up 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;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ:

    Definitions for Ephesians 4:12

    Saints - Men and women of God.

    Clarke's Commentary on Ephesians 4:12

    For the perfecting of the saints - For the complete instruction, purification, and union of all who have believed in Christ Jesus, both Jews and Gentiles. For the meaning of καταρτισμος, perfecting, see the note on 2 Corinthians 13:9.

    For the work of the ministry - All these various officers, and the gifts and graces conferred upon them, were judged necessary, by the great Head of the Church, for its full instruction in the important doctrines of Christianity. The same officers and gifts are still necessary, and God gives them; but they do not know their places. In most Christian Churches there appears to be but one office, that of preacher; and one gift, that by which he professes to preach. The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, are all compounded in the class preachers; and many, to whom God has given nothing but the gift of exhortation, take texts to explain them; and thus lose their time, and mar their ministry.

    Edifying of the body - The body of Christ is his Church, see Ephesians 2:20, etc.; and its edification consists in its thorough instruction in Divine things, and its being filled with faith and holiness.

    Barnes' Notes on Ephesians 4:12

    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.

    Wesley's Notes on Ephesians 4:12

    4:12 In this verse is noted the office of ministers; in the next, the aim of the saints; in the 14th, 15th, 16th, the way of growing in grace. And each of these has three parts, standing in the same order. For the perfecting the saints - The completing them both in number and their various gifts and graces. To the work of the ministry - The serving God and his church in their various ministrations. To the edifying of the body of Christ - The building up this his mystical body in faith, love, holiness.