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Studies in the Epistles of the Mystery.
#72. Eph. 4: 12-15.
Readjustment (Eph. 4: 12)
pp. 17 21
The fourfold gift to the church, which we have already considered, was given with a
very special object:--
For (pros) the perfecting of the saints:--
1. Unto (eis) a work of ministry.
2. Unto (eis) a building up of the body of Christ.
Before the work of ministry could be entered upon, or the body built up, something
had to be done to meet the dispensational crisis of Acts 28: The state of affairs at that
time is expressed in the word "perfecting". Had the church of the one body been the
"perfect" state of which the church of I Cor. 13: was the immature, then this
development of doctrine and status could have been expressed by the word so often
translated "to perfect" (teleioo). This however is not the case. The word used here for
the "perfecting" of the saints indicates a rupture, a break, a dislocation, such as we might
expect when such a drastic setting aside of the channel of blessing took place, as it did, in
Katartismos.--This word according to Cremer is used in classical Greek in medical
works only. Katartizo occurs in Matt. 4: 21, "mending their nets", where the primary
idea restore is seen. In I Cor. 1: 10 it comes in a context of division:--
"I beseech you . . . . . that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly
So also in Gal. 6: 1:--
"Ye which are spiritual restore such an one."
To mend as one would a broken net, to be perfectly joined together as contrasted with
division, to restore as one would a dislocated limb (the medical use of the word), this
sense seems uppermost in Eph. 4:
The apostles and prophets of the earlier order were not necessarily fitted to mend the
rupture that had been caused by Israel's rejection. A special set of apostles and prophets
was given by the Lord, whose primary business it was to bridge the gulf, and to reset the
saints into their new position. These laid the foundation (Eph. 2: 20). Their work was
accompanied and also followed by the evangelist and the teacher, and all united together
in the one great work of readjustment, for the very gospel took on new aspects, such as
the "gospel of peace" and the "gospel of glory". At such times some old things pass
away, some old things are brought over into the new setting, and some new things are