The Book of Ephesians ~ Chapter 4:13-14 ~ Christ’s Desired Results for Giving us the Communication Gifts

Vol. 15 No. 33 – September 4, 2016

eph 4 vs 11 - 13The Book of Ephesians

Chapter 4,
The Believer’s Walk Based on His High Calling
 

In vs. 12, we had three purposes for Christ giving the communication spiritual gifts to the Church. The main purpose utilizing the Preposition PROS was; 1) To “equip,” train and prepare, all believers to live the Christian way of life inside of Satan’s cosmic system, i.e., spiritual warfare. Then with the Preposition EIS, we had two subordinate objectives to the main purpose of “equipping the saints” that includes; 2) To function in our Christian professional vocation, (the application of our spiritual gift), in the service of God and others; 3) To edify or build up the Body of Christ. Each phrase was led by a Preposition of Purpose, PROS, EIS and EIS.

Vs. 13, then transitions from a Purpose Clause to a Result Clause with four desired outcomes, which too employs the subordinating Preposition EIS as the markers. Here we have EIS, KAI, EIS, and EIS to identify Jesus Christ’s four desired results for giving the Church the communication spiritual gifts, especially the permanent gift of Shepherd-Teacher.

Vs. 13

Eph 4:13, “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

Here we have our Lord’s desired results for giving to the Church these communication spiritual gifts. There are four results laid out here. Each a subset of “until we all attain.” Similar to vs. 12, these results are divided by the Preposition EIS, but here they are used as Prepositions of Result, where in vs. 12 they were Prepositions of Purpose. Knowing that these are “results” is identified by the first phrase. It indicates the fact that if we are faithful in coming to hear the teaching of God’s Word, are faithful in the reception of Bible doctrine, inevitably and eventually we will reach spiritual maturity and the four desired goals of our Lord.

Until we all attain,” begins with the Improper Preposition MECHRI, μέχρι that is typically used as a marker of continuance in time up to a point, that is “until.” Even though it is a Preposition, it is used as a Conjunction or even a Temporal Adverb, as here, in this indefinite temporal clause, because it is before a verb in the Subjunctive mood. Nonetheless, it is translated, “until,” cf. Gal 4:19.

Gal 4:19, “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you.”

In addition, MECHRI indicates a future contingency from the perspective of the time of the main verb, which is in vs. 11, when Christ “gave” communication spiritual gifts at His Ascension. In other words, He gave these gifts for achievement of the four desired results, but it is contingent on the positive volition of believers throughout the Church Age.

Then we have the verb for “attain” in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive of KATANTAO, καταντάω that means, “to come to, arrive at, or attain to.” It was used for “crossing the goal line, to arrive at a goal, and to attain or reach a goal.” It is used here in a metaphoric sense of achieving an objective or result. The Culminative Aorist tense, views the entirety of the action of the Body of Christ with emphasis on the desired result of achieving these four results. The Active voice, the body of Jesus Christ, identified as, “we all,” HO PAS, (which Paul was a part of), is to perform the action of this verb, “attain.” In the Subjunctive mood, it is a potential that the Body of Christ achieves the four results based on each individual’s free will volition to advance to supergrace in the spiritual life or not.

Therefore, MECHRI HO PAS KATANTO, “until we all attain,” indicates the desired result for attainment and links the three Purposes of vs. 12, with the four Results noted in vs 13.

The desired “attainment” or results of our Lord giving the communication gifts, is found in the next four phrases:

1.) “To the unity of faith.

2.) “And of the knowledge of the Son of God.”

3.) “To a mature man.”

4.) “To the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

The First Result

To the unity of faith,” is the Preposition of Result EIS meaning, “so that or with the result that,” identifying Christ’s desired results or attainment for His body, with HO HENOTES. We noted the only other occurrence of HENOTES in the NT in Eph 4:3. It is a cognate of the number one in Greek, HEIS, and means, “unity or oneness.” This unity is having the like-mindedness of fellow believers who are going forward inside the Plan of God for their lives. As vs. 3 told us, it is unity gained inside the Body of Christ by means of the Holy Spirit working through us. The connotation of this unity is that we all grow spiritually and achieve the supergrace status; the Life Beyond GNOSIS, to the Life Beyond Dreams, to the Life Beyond Glory of Eph 3:17-21.

The unity we are to attain is by means of “of faith,” which is the Genitive of Agency in the Singular of HO PISTIS. PISTIS can mean, “Faith, trust, trustworthiness, reliability, confidence, assurance, conviction, belief, what is believed, or doctrine.” Here it represents, “what is believed” which is the Word of God in our lives. Therefore, PISTIS is translated here as “the Word of God” or “Bible Doctrine.” We can only achieve unity inside the Body of Christ when we all think in the same terms of Bible Doctrine being resident within our souls. Moreover, it is through the teaching ministry of the Shepherd-Teacher that we are taught and learn God’s Word, which provides for our unity as members of the Body of Jesus Christ. This is emphasized in the next phrase.

Therefore, the first desired result for giving the communication gifts is for the Church to have unity with each other as members of the Royal Family of God, based on Bible Doctrine being resident within our souls.

The Second Result

The next phrase emphasizes the means of our unity, “and of the knowledge of the Son of God.” It begins with the coordinating Conjunction KAI for, “and” that links this phrase with the last, so that this result complements the previous one. In other words, they go hand in hand. Then we have HO EPIGNOSIS that means, “recognition or knowledge.” It is from EPI meaning “upon or on the basis of” and GNOSIS meaning “knowledge, science, doctrine, or wisdom.” Therefore, EPIGNOSIS comes to mean, “on the basis of knowledge, doctrine, or wisdom.” It also expresses a more thorough participation in the acquiring of knowledge on the part of the learner than GNOSIS does. It means knowledge that very powerfully influences the believer to live the Christian way of life.

EPIGNOSIS also emphasizes the relationship of the learner to the object of his knowledge, Eph 1:17; 4:13; Col 1:9, 10; 2:2; 1 Tim 2:4; 2 Tim 2:25; 3:7; Titus 1:1; Heb 10:26; 2 Peter 1:2-3, 8, which here is “of the Son of God,” HO HUIOS HO THEOS. Therefore, it represents the mind of Jesus Christ, which is the Word of God, Bible Doctrine, 1 Cor 2:16, and refers to being Occupied with the Person of Jesus Christ, the 10th Problem Solving Device.

Col 1:9-10, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

1 Tim 2:4, “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

PISTIS for “faith,” (what is believed / Bible Doctrine), goes hand in hand with “EPIGNOSIS knowledge of the Son of God,” which is the mind of Jesus Christ / Bible Doctrine. Therefore, the second desired result for giving the communication gifts is that all believers of the Church come to the EPIGNOSIS knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The Third Result

“To a mature man,” is the Preposition of Result EIS with the Adjective TELIOS, τέλειος that means, “complete, perfect, whole, full grown, mature, or adult.” With this is ANER, ἀνήρ that means, “male, man, husband, or bridegroom.” Notice this is not ANTHROPOS, which is the generic term for man. Instead, ANER emphasizes the relationship of a man to another. The “other” here is our Lord Jesus Christ, as He is the Head and we are the Body.

TELEIOS for “mature” was a significant term in Greek philosophical and ethical writings. In simplified terms, “perfection” is variously expressed as “attainment of purpose,” an “acquisition of wisdom or insight,” and the “ability to make the correct ethical or moral choices.”

Therefore, in our relationship to God, He is TELIOS, “absolute perfection.” Only through our Lord Jesus Christ can we as imperfect beings have a relationship with a perfect God. Jesus Christ achieved that positionally for us on the Cross, and Christ achieves that experientially for us through His Word when we obtain and apply it in our lives.

TELIOS also has the idea of “wholeness or completeness,” here in reference to the Body of Christ. When we achieve spiritual adulthood and the supergrace life, it means we have attained a mature spiritual character, 1 Cor 2:6; cf. 14:20; Eph 4:13; Phil 3:15; Heb 5:14; James 1:4, that coalesces with God’s “perfect nature.”

Heb 5:14, “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”

James 1:4, “And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Therefore, to go along with our positional relationship we have with God through the Cross of Jesus Christ, we attain experiential relationship with God through the Word of Jesus Christ being resident in our souls. This is achieved when we present ourselves in positive volition to our right Shepherd-Teacher.

Mature Christian behavior is the result of teaching and exhortation, Col 1:28f.; 4:12; the result of the communication spiritual gifts. Moreover, spiritual maturity is a relational quality rather than a positional state, achieved by walking in righteous by means of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God resident within our souls.

Col 1:28, “And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.”

Col 4:12, “Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.”

Therefore, the third desired result for giving the Church the communication spiritual gifts is for the Church to individually and collectively grow to spiritual maturity, obtaining and maximizing our experiential relationship with God.

The Fourth Result

“To the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

This too begins with the Preposition of Result EIS, “to the,” that identifies Christ’s desired result or attainment for His body. Then we have, “measure” that is the noun METRON, μέτρον that means, “a measure or standard by which something is measured.” The figurative standard of measure here is the “stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ,” where “stature” is the Genitive noun of HELIKIA, ἡλικία that means, “age, maturity, stature, or size.” Here the spiritual maturity of the believer relatively compared to Jesus Christ is in view. In other words, how much of the mind of Jesus Christ do you have in your soul?

As you know, the desired result of the teaching ministry of the Shepherd-Teacher is for you to have a maximum amount of Bible Doctrine, the mind of Jesus Christ, in your soul. We see this in the phrase, “which belongs to the fullness of Christ” that begins with HO and the Noun in the Genitive Singular of PLEROMA πλήρωμα, the noun equivalent to PLEROO, that means, “that which fills, complement, fulfillment, that which makes something complete, full number, abundance, or fullness.”  Then we have HO CHRISTOS for “the Christ” our Lord. It means that Christ achieved spiritual maturity during His First Advent, and we should emulate that. This is what you might call following in the footsteps of the Lord. You follow in the footsteps of the Lord by taking in Bible doctrine until you attain spiritual maturity, the super-grace life, and you never stop taking it in. This means that there must be progression in your daily walk instead of retrogression.

We noted PLEROMA in Eph 1:23 that referred to the body of Christ as the full expression of Christ in the world. In that passage, the context is the Church, the body of Christ, which is “the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” It means that Christ’s body, the Church, is to be the full expression of God in the present world. Moreover, as individual members of His body, we have been given spiritual gifts, which are to be used as the manifestation of God here on earth. Therefore, the Church, (all believers in any given generation of the Church Age), is the manifestation of God on earth that fills “all in all,” which means we are the physical working and functioning ministry of God here on earth during the Church Age. It also indicates that the Church is filled with God’s Divine assets and that the Church receives its fullness from Christ, who is receiving complete fullness from God, as He builds the body of Christ through the Church. It also speaks of Christ giving all things, namely gifted people, to the Church for its edification.

Then we noted in Eph 3:19, PLEROMA concerning the life of the believer and the Church, where Paul prayed that believers might experience the “fullness” of God in that we realize the total nature and significance of God in the attainment of spiritual maturity in the “Life Beyond GNOSIS.”

Now in our verse, we see once again, the theme of spiritual maturity but in the corporate setting as the overall body of Christ is to be the “fullness of Christ,” which means maturity of character by functioning in the Christ-like nature, collectively.

Now that Christ has ascended to the right hand of the Father, He has given communication gifts to the Church so that His body could be the full expression of Jesus Christ in the world. Based upon the Ephesian passages, we can say that Christ’s body, the Church, is to be the full expression of God in the present world.

Putting this final phrase together, the fourth desired result of Jesus Christ in giving communication gifts to the Church is so that the Church collectively would grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ to spiritual maturity representing God and Jesus Christ in the World.

Summary of Vs. 13

Here we have four desired results for giving to the Church the four communication gifts, especially the gift of Pastor-Teacher in the post-Canon era. They include:

1.) That we have unity in the Body of Christ through like-mindedness, by means of the inculcation and application of Bible Doctrine.

2.) That we collectively gain the thinking or mind of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 2:16, coming to the EPIGNOSIS knowledge of Jesus Christ.

3.) That we collectively grow to spiritual adulthood/maturity, obtaining and max-imizing our experiential relationship with God.

4.) That we collectively put on the Christ-like nature and represent God in this world.

These are the desired results for the appropriate application of the communication spiritual gifts.

Summary of Vs. 11-13.

In Eph 4:11-13 we see the complete cycle.

1.) Jesus Christ, the Fullness of God, gave communication spiritual gifts to the Church.

2.) They included the temporary gifts of Apostles and Prophets, plus the permanent gifts of Evangelist and Shepherd-Teacher.

3.) There are three purposes for Christ giving His Church those communication gifts:

  • Prepare believers (the body of Christ) for the Christian way of life and spiritual warfare.
  • Prepare them to function in their Christian professional vocation; use their gifts in ministry for the Godly ordained effect, 1 Cor 12:4-6.
  • Prepare them so that they can collectively build up / edify the body Christ.

4.) Then there are four desired results for the application of the communication gifts:

  • That we have unity in the Body of Christ through like-mindedness, by means of the inculcation and application of Bible Doctrine.
  • That we collectively gain the thinking or mind of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 2:16.
  • That we collectively grow to spiritual adulthood / maturity.
  • That we collectively put on the Christ-like nature and represent God in this world, (i.e., Satan’s cosmic system).

5.) When we do, we represent the Fullness of Christ to a lost and dying world.

Vs. 14

Eph 4:14, “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”

Here we have a secondary desired result of our Lord for giving the four communication spiritual gifts to the Church. Using the Conjunction, HINA, with a Subjunctive mood, gives us another “results” clause, which because of the negative is also a command. The conjunction links the desired results of vs. 13, with the desired result of vs. 14. It is translated in the NASB “as a result.” From that translation you would think this is the overall desired result, but it should actually be translated, “that, so that, or in order that,” cf. Gal 5:17, indicating a secondary desired result.

The secondary desired result is that “we are no longer to be children,” which in the Greek begins with MEKETI, μηκέτι that means, “no longer, no more, or no further.” It is from the negative ME and adverb ETI that means “yet or still.” It is used with the moods of possibility, (subjunctive, optative, or imperative), like it is here with the Subjunctive mood of EIMI. Together they indicate a negative command.

EIMI, εἰμί is used in the Present, Active, Subjunctive, 1st Person, Plural, translated here “we are to be.” The Present tense is a Stative Present for the ongoing condition of childhood, which here we are to end. The Subjunctive mood is for potential indicating our free will to grow up spiritually or not. With the negative MEKITI, it is a command of prohibition that we do not remain children spiritually and instead grow to spiritual adulthood to achieve the supergrace life. The Subjunctive mood means maybe you will and maybe we will not. Notice also the 1st Person Plural where Paul includes himself. We all have free will, we all have and Old Sin Nature, and we all need to make the right decisions to learn the Word of God from our Pastor-Teacher and grow up spiritually.

“Children,” is the Nominative Plural Noun NEPIOS, νήπιος that means, “infant, minor, child, childlike, etc.” Here it is speaking of our spiritual life, where Jesus Christ’s desire is that we do not remain as baby believers, but instead we grow up spiritually through the teaching ministry of our right Pastor-Teacher. So this is a potential based on our free will volition, but is also a command of negation. Stop being babies!

As we will see, instability is a definite sign of immaturity. Paul himself reprimanded some Corinthians who were still “babes in Christ” after apparently being Christians for about 5 years, 1 Cor 3:1-4. He also dealt with the same basic problem in his letter to the Heb 5:11-6:12.

NEPIOS is in contrast to ANER from our previous verse, which meant a “mature or noble man.” It refers to a person who is childish in his thinking, no matter what his chronological age may be. This means:

1.) It is used for immaturity spiritually, for the various stages of reversionism.

2.) To be childish means to be encumbered with reactor factors, i.e., disillusion, boredom, discouragement, self-pity, frustration, and filled with mental attitude sins, which intensify them.

3.) To be childish is to be on a frantic search for happiness, emotional revolt of the soul, negative volition, blackout of the soul, and practicing reverse process reversionism.

4.) The scar tissue of the soul presented in vs. 17-19 is anticipated by this exhortation.

Then we have a naval analogy to warn us of the damaging effects that result from not growing up spiritually. Here we have two descriptions of what happens to the reversionistic believer that keep them in the baby believer status. It is linked by the Conjunction KAI for “and.” The number two in Scripture means division, and here we see the division of believers as a result of not growing up spiritually. They are:

1.) “Tossed here and there by waves,”

2.) “Carried about by every wind of doctrine.”

The First Warning

Tossed here and there by waves,” is found in the one Verb KLUDONIZOMAI, κλυδωνίζομαι that means, “to be tossed around or agitated.” It is used here in the Present, Middle or Passive Deponent, Participle, Nominative, Plural. The Participle is circumstantial describing conditions that accompany reversionism. The second meaning, “agitated,” reminds me of someone being thrown into a washing machine. It also means a ship out of control, a ship without a rudder that is at the mercy of the wind and waves. It also means this person cannot handle the storms of life. This is a hapaxlegomena, meaning it is only used here in the N.T.

The lexicon Liddell-Scott notes that this verb appears frequently in classical Greek as KLUDONIZO meaning, “to be buffeted by heavy seas,” or metaphorically, “to be disturbed or thrown into confusion.” It is used in the LXX of the OT for a similar meaning in Isa 57:20, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up refuse and mud.” It speaks of being tossed to and fro like a cork in a surging sea, James 1:6.

James 1:6, “But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”

The word pictures someone who is unprepared to combat the conflicting and confusing doctrines urged upon him by false teachers with evil motivations. He is helplessly “tossed” around like a small craft on raging waters. (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary.)

When we do not grow up spiritually by learning God’s Word from our right Pastor-Teacher, this will be the result. Instead of knowing God’s Word and standing steadfast in its principles and promises, we will be smashed by the various waves of false doctrines that are in the world, never coming to the calm; (peace, love and steadfastness of God).

The Second Warning

This is another analogy, “Carried about by every wind of doctrine.” This is from the Verb PERIPHERO, περιφέρω in the Present, Middle or Passive Deponent, Participle, Nominative, Plural. PERIPHERO means, “carry about or bear about; something unsteady or wavering.” BDAG notes that it is, “a tendency or trend that causes one to move from a view or belief.” In the NT it has the overall suggestion of something carried passively. In other words, we receive being carried from place to place. It is used of spinning tops and feeling dizzy. Such is the confusing effect of false doctrine. The Participle is circumstantial to indicate the influence of false doctrine and the receptivity of false doctrine by those in reversionism. It is also used in Heb 13:9; Jude 1:12

Heb 13:9, “Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were thus occupied were not benefited.

Jude 1:12, “These men are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted.”

Then we have the Dative of Means Adjective PAS for “by every,” with the Noun ANEMOS for “wind.” It denotes “the wind” in classical as well as Biblical Greek. This included different kinds of winds such as gales, breezes, directional winds, and even the breath of a person blowing. The metaphors of intangible and hence worthless, invisible yet strong, effective but uncontainable, make it a suitable metaphor for false doctrines that are empty but have a strong effect on a person to drive them off course, especially those who are not safely anchored in the Word of God.

With this is the Genitive Singular of HO DIDASKALIA, διδασκαλία that means, “teaching or instruction.” “Teaching” could be either the activity of instruction or, as here, the passive reception of false teaching or false doctrine. It speaks of being whirled around by every chance gust of fashionable heretical doctrine and speaks of the false doctrines taught by false teachers. False doctrine is called in 1 Tim 4:1, “doctrine of demons,” that is the false and worldly doctrine that enters the vacuum of the soul of the negative believer.

1 Tim 4:1-2, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.”               

Correct DIDASKALIA was a crucial plea from Paul in the Pastoral Epistles. “Sound or good teaching” is the solution to these erroneous teachings, cf. 1 Tim 1:10; 4:6, 13; 6:3; 2 Tim 3:10; 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1, 10.

The Shepherd-Teacher in the Church, after the time of the apostles, does not have any authority to introduce any new teaching but only to teach the doctrine of Christ and the apostles. The duty of the teachers is to express the “unsearchable riches of Christ,” Eph 3:8. The teacher is also responsible for protecting the Church against the false teachings that may threaten it, Eph 4:14; cf. 1 Tim 4:13, 16.

Next, we have a gambling analogy depicting the manner by which these false teachers influence the baby believer. This answers the question “how” the false teacher tosses and carries about those who are spiritually immature.

1.) “By the trickery of men,”

2.) “By craftiness in deceitful scheming.”

The First Manner of Deception.

By the trickery of men,” is the Dative Preposition EN with the Article HO and the Noun KUBEIA, κυβεία. It comes from a word that means “cube or dice” and means, “dice playing, craftiness, or trickery.” It is only used here in the NT. “In its earliest occurrences in classical Greek, this word meant dice playing. Later it came to refer to the crafty sleight of hand and the trickery commonly practiced with dice playing. A clever dice thrower could conceal two sets of dice in his hand and throw at any time he chose the set which had been altered. This meaning of “clever deception” is used in Eph 4:14. Paul warned believers not to be tossed to and fro “by the sleight (trickery) of men.” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary.)

With this is the Genitive of HO ANTHROPOS, “of men,” meaning man-made doctrines, principles and precepts, that they have manufactured and fabricated, rather than teaching the truth of God’s Word.

By way of analogy, this is what the false teacher of false doctrine does. In one hand, they have passages of God’s Word and in the other, false principles and precepts that are man-made. They throw out, (read passages of) God’s Word and then throw out false principles regarding His Word to suit their own needs, lusts, and desires. The men involved here are gamblers who make their living by loading the dice.

These “tricksters,” who use crafty methods, appeal to immature Christians who do not grow spiritually. Likewise, the “babes in Christ” seem always to be looking for something a little more sensational than the last thing that appealed to them. Unfortunately, these individuals help many religious hucksters to build their own kingdom, rather than concentrating on building God’s kingdom.

The Second Manner of Deception.

By craftiness in deceitful scheming,” is once again the Dative of Manner of EN and the Noun PANOURGIA, πανουργία that means, “shrewdness, skill, craftiness, cunning, subtly, trickery, or to cheat.” In classical Greek it was used for negative and pejorative meanings for those who had an “unprincipled ability or readiness to do anything.” It means those who are unscrupulous and stop at nothing.

This craftiness is that craft that is used by seducers, people in error, and the tricksters noted above. It is used for those who “pervert” the Word of God, which is a continual device of Satan himself, cf. Luke 20:23; 1 Cor 3:19; 2 Cor 4:2; 11:3.

1 Cor 3:19, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS“.”

2 Cor 4:2, “But we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the Word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

2 Cor 11:3, “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

With this evil craftiness we have, “in deceitful scheming,” which is the Preposition PROS, meaning “with,” that speaks of personal interaction, and the Accusative of HO METHODEIA, μεθοδεία that means, “Method, strategy, scheming, craftiness, or planned deceitful procedure.” It is only used here and in Eph 6:11 regarding Satan’s schemes. It is derived from a word which means “to follow anyone, or to track him,” as a wild animal tracks its prey. So it means, “deceitful strategy,” and has the connotation of deceit.

Therefore, the reversionistic believer is shooting craps with the devil and the devil has loaded the dice, as it were, with false deceptive doctrines. The devil cheats those members of the royal family who neglect and reject true Bible doctrine. Your neglect of Bible doctrine inevitably results in being outsmarted by the devil. False doctrine loads the dice.

Then we have “deceitful,” which is the Genitive of HO PLANE, πλάνη that means, “wandering, (from the path of truth); error, or delusion.” It comes from the Verb PLANAO that means, “to lead astray, to cause to wander, or to deceive.” So we understand twice now that deceit is involved here. It denotes a “wandering or roaming,” or a “digression” in the literal sense, and in a metaphoric sense, “error, delusion, or deception.” “Deception and error” dominate its use in the NT. So we translate this “the deceptive.” Combined it is “with craftiness in the deceptive strategy.”

“Deception” is a trick employed by religious hucksters who sell religion for profit, 2 Peter 2:18; Jude 1:11; cf. 2 Thes 2:8-12.

2 Peter 2:18, “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error.”

Jude 1:11, “Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”

Delusion, therefore, is not simply being deceived; rather, it is active acceptance of the lies of the Evil One. People can only willfully be deceived by Satan. He has no power to make them believe his lies. He tricks them because of their own sinful willingness to delight in evil (cf. James 1:13-15).” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary.)

This is the direct opposite of the faithful Pastor-Teacher who sticks to teaching the truth of God’s Word no matter what, 1 Thes 2:3-6.

By either or both of these manners of deception, the believer who does not grow up spiritually is easily tossed here and there and carried about by these teachers of false doctrines, never coming to spiritual adulthood, the supergrace life or glorifying God.

Summary

1.) The childish believer, (reversionist), is compared to a ship out of control in a storm and floundering that indicates his instability, and this instability is related to the reactor factors of life. An unstable person reacts.

2.) The childish reversionist is compared to a sucker in a crap game playing against the house with loaded dice. This means that no matter how smart you are, or think you are, you cannot hold up against the opening of false doctrines entering your soul and the infiltration of demon doctrines into your soul. Your only hope is GAPing it with Bible doctrine. No matter how you slice it, the odds are totally against the reversionistic believer.

3.) The two analogies (naval and gambling) are designed to awaken the reversionist to his status, to encourage him to change his mind toward doctrine and to recover through the function of GAP.

4.) Therefore, the secondary desire of our Lord for giving the communication spiritual gifts to the Church is for each believer to grow up spiritually and avoid the pitfalls and schemes of Satan and His cosmic system designed to lead us astray and defeat us in spiritual warfare.

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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you.  He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins.  He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.

To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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