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The Satanic System (Eph. 4: 14, 15)
pp. 26 30
The Contrast to the Unity of Faith.
What a measure is set before us in attaining unto the unity of the faith! Nothing less
than the fullness, the pleroma of Christ. Nothing but the "perfect man" can reach this
In strong contrast to the "perfect" or the full grown adult is the "babe", as we have
observed in Heb. 5: and I Cor. 13: So we find the apostle immediately turning to the
"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" (Eph. 4: 14).
Perhaps we should be more accurate if we translated nepios by "infant", for the Greek
word is derived from ne = "not" and epo = "to speak", which thought is retained in the
word infant, which is from the Latin infans, in = "not" and fans = "speaking". This
meaning gives point to the Lord's words in Matt. 21: 16 "out of the mouth of infants
(nepios) and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise". So in I Cor. 13: 11 the apostle says
"When I was a child (nepios), I spake as a child".
The Corinthians were called infants (babes) by reason of their carnality and divisions.
They had not grown in grace. As a result the apostle was obliged to withhold from them
the deeper things of God, "the wisdom of God in a mystery", which however he said he
did speak to those who were "perfect" full grown adults. The fitness of the word "infant"
then will be seen in Eph. 4: There the great feature is the "Unity of the Spirit", those
like the Corinthians were more associated with the "divisions of the flesh". Eph. 4:
contemplates the believer as having reached "the perfect man", the extreme opposite of
the "infant". Ephesians throughout is the revelation of a "mystery", and such must be
withheld from "infants".
"Tossed and whirled about with every wind of doctrine."
The word "tossed" (kludonizomai) is used in the LXX of Isa. 57: 20: "The wicked
are like the troubled sea." Kludon is used by James, "He that wavereth is like a wave of
the sea driven with the wind and tossed" (James 1: 6). Katakluzo is to overwhelm with
water (II Pet. 3: 6), and kataklusmos is a flood (Matt. 24: 38), our English word
cataclysm. "Carried about" is periphero. We find the word in Heb. 13: 9, "Be not
carried about with divers and strange doctrines" (though here some MSS read
paraphero); and again in Jude 12, "Clouds are they without water, carried about of
winds" (though here again the truer reading is paraphero). Both instances however serve
to illustrate the meaning of the word. These two words convey the acme of instability
and perplexity. Such a condition is far removed from the serene atmosphere of the unity