The Book of Ephesians ~ Chapter 4:15-16 ~ We are to Grow up Spiritually Unto Christ; The Importance of the Joint (Pastor-Teacher)

Vol. 15 No. 34 – September 11, 2016

eph-4-vs-16-from-whom-the-whole-body-fitly-joined-together-and-compacted-that-which-every-joint-suppliesVs. 15

Eph 4:15, “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,”

This passage begins with the Contrasting Conjunction DE for “but,” which comes second in the Greek. It contrasts the failures and deception the baby believer falls into.

Then we have the Verb ALETHEUO, ἀληθεύω in the Present, Active, Particle that is related to the Noun ALETHIA that means, “true or truth,” and the Noun from ALETHES that means, “real, actual, or not counterfeit.” With the Participle, some expository translate it “truthing it.” It means the Pastor is to teach the unadulterated truth of God’s Word. This is in contrast to the deceitful schemers who teach a lie, as noted in vs. 14. It is in the Present, Active, Participle and comes to mean, “be truthful or speaking the truth.” In the Customary Present tense, it is something the Pastor is to be doing habitually; teach the truth of God’s Word. It is only used twice in the NT, and only by Paul, here and in Gal 4:16, “Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

Here it means to reflect the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and present the larger body of Christian truth / doctrines with the goal of leading others to spiritual maturity. This is why the communication gifts where given, especially the Shepherd-Teacher. In addition, we are all Royal Ambassadors and all have a responsibility to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the greater truths of God’s Word, to the lost and believers alike. God means for believers to present the truth to others, and it should always be presented in love.

Therefore, the Pastor and Royal Ambassadors are to speak/teach the truth of God’s Word “in love,” the qualifier for teaching the truth. “In love,” is in the Dative of Sphere of EN and AGAPE. Therefore, in the sphere of impersonal and unconditional love, that is Divine love, the Pastor is to teach the Word of God to his flock.

I pray that people would say about this church, “they teach the Bible faithfully.” I hope they also say, “They love each other like family and their neighbors as themselves.” If people do not agree with our doctrine, at least they will see that we love them. Ask yourself, “are you known for truth and love personally”, and “is your church known for truth and love corporately?”

This reminds us that all spiritual gifts, including the communication gifts, must be utilized in the sphere of AGAPE Love or it is all for not, 1 Cor 13:1-7. In that passage, we have a list of qualities that we must apply in order to function properly and effectively in our spiritual gifts. Those qualities are a good test to determine if a Pastor is a trickster with deceitful scheming, or one who teaches the truth out of genuine love for God and others. The list of qualities that represent AGAPE Love is found in 1 Cor 13:4-7.

1 Cor 13:4-7   
This passage has 15 qualities for verification of spiritual gifts operating in Divine love, as opposed to human good or human power, as the deceitful schemer would. The number fifteen being a multiple of 5, (grace), and 3 (Divine perfection), comes to represent acts wrought by the energy of Divine grace. In Acts 27:28, Paul’s ship was anchored in 15 fathoms, a reference to how the Word of God is the anchor of our souls. In addition, the feast of Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles are on the 15th day, of the 1st (Unity) and 7th (Spiritual Perfection) months respectfully.

Vs. 4

  • “Love is patient.”
  • “Love is kind.”
  • “Is not jealous.”
  • “Love does not brag.”
  • “And is not arrogant.”

Vs. 5

  • “Does not act unbecomingly.” (Sinfully in public.)
  • “Does not seek its own.”
  • “Is not provoked.”
  • “Does not take into account a wrong suffered.” (Does not hold a grudge.)

Vs. 6

  • “Does not rejoice in unrighteousness.”
  • “But rejoices in the truth, (ALETHEIA).”

Vs. 7

  • “Bears all things,” Cf. Eph 4:2; Col 3:13, (Enduring with disclosing toOthers.)
  • “Believes all things,” (With a good conscience you give other the benefit of the doubt and think good to another’s credit. In trust and faith you believe the very best you honestly can at all times).
  • “Hopes all things,” (Confidence in everything you say and do).
  • “Endures all things,” (Steadfast even in difficult circumstances, having a patient and loving spirit).

Then in Eph 4:15, we have a reiteration of the second desired result for the communication gifts; “we are to grow up,” which is from one Greek Verb in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive of AUXANO, that means, “Grow, increase, or become greater.” It is used in our verse for the spiritual growth and maturation of individual believers, as well as groups of believers, including the entire body of Christ, 2 Cor 9:10; 10:15; Col 1:10; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18.

1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

Col 1:10, “So 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.”

The Aorist tense views the entirety of the action of our spiritual growth with the Subjunctive mood of potential for growth, as maybe we will, and maybe we will not, because it is a volitional issue. This is the principle found in Proverbs 8.

Our spiritual growth is to be, “in all aspects into Him,” which is EIS AUTOS HO PANTA, literally,” unto Him the all things.” In other Words, we achieve spiritual growth one way and one way only; through Jesus Christ our Lord, which indicates that we grow by means of His Word resident within our souls. It tells us that spiritual growth means that in all areas of our life, Jesus, His Word, is present and leading us. If Christ is not leading you in all aspects of your life, you will not have spiritual growth. Yet, when His Word is, you will have spiritual growth and achieve the supergrace life.

As such, we are to grow into resemblance unto Him, (i.e., put on the Christ-like nature), and our growth is to be according to His example. This means that as He is the source from which the grace and power comes that makes it possible for us to grow, He is also the object and goal to which our growth, in its every stage, must look and is to be directed towards. Therefore, Jesus Christ, His Word, is the source from which the ability to grow spiritually comes, and He is the object or goal of that growth. That is why the communication gifts where given, so that we could learn God’s Word and grow spiritually in the likeness of Christ and for Christ.

In contrast to vs. 14, instead of falling for the trickery or sleight of hand of false teachers of false doctrines, Christians should be obedient to Christ. Obedience to Christ and the ability to recognize religious charlatans are definite signs of Christian maturity. Those who fall for the counterfeit have not matured in doctrine because of their lack of obedience to Christ. Christ is the source from which the ability to grow comes, and He is the object or goal of that growth.

Finally, we have, “who is the head, even Christ,” which is HOS, “who,” used pronominally with the Present, Active, Indicative of EIMI for “is” referring to Jesus Christ. With this is the Nominative Singular of HO KEPHALE, κεφαλή meaning, “the head or authority,” and CHRISTOS, Χριστός meaning, “Christ, anointed, or the Anointed One,” identifying Jesus Christ as the Head over the Body called the Church. He as the Head is the source of our spiritual growth and the well-being of each member.

Summary
Bible Doctrine causes the believer to grow up, and the intake of Bible doctrine causes the growth. Seed stored does not grow; seed in the ground is what grows. Bible doctrine must be in the soul before you can grow up spirtually.

The Headship of Jesus Christ Over His Body.

The book of Ephesians has much to say about the Headship of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ as the head of the body refers to the integral relationship between our Lord and each member of the Royal Family. The head and body analogy indicates relationship. The Royal Family of God is one organic body with the Lord Jesus Christ as the head. In addition, it identifies Jesus Christ as the supreme ruler over the Church as His body, Eph 1:22-23, 4:4, 15, 5:23.

There are three concepts of Christ as the head.

  • Christ is the ruler over all creation, including the angels, Col 2:10. Jesus Christ is the victor of the Angelic Conflict.
  • Christ is the “Head of the Corner,” which means He has two crowns. Jesus Christ as the son of David is the ruler of Israel. He is also the ruler of the Church because of His victory on the Cross, Eph 2; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7.
  • Christ is the supreme ruler over the Church as the body of Christ, Eph 1:22-23, 4:4, 15, 5:23. There is only one head to the body, and that head is the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph 4:4-6.

In addition, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the Body, Eph 5:23, 25, 30, the sanctifier of the body, Heb 2:11, 13:12, as He is Head of the body, Eph 1:22-23, 5:23-25. The function of Christ in the formation of the body is not just as an active agent, but also as the source of its life and as its ruler. Therefore, the Lord has an authority over us. We can recognize it and have great blessing, or we can reject it and be the most miserable people in life.

The analogy of Christ as the Head of the Body emphasizes the importance of the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age, where the believer receives his thought pattern, mental attitude, and motivation from Bible doctrine, described in 1 Cor 2:16 as the mind or thinking of Christ. Just as the function of the body is based on the mentality of the soul, so the way of life for the Church Age believer is based on the thinking of the head, which is our lord Jesus Christ. The communication spiritual gifts where given so the Body can learn and understand what the head is thinking and grow in spiritual maturity, Eph 4:10-16.

Therefore, in the analogy, the body is totally dependent upon the Head to provide the thinking, motivation, decision making, and execution of the Plan of God. All Church Age believers have a common life based on the Plan of God provided for us. We also have a common purpose, which is to become spiritually mature and be invisible heroes.

Vs. 16

Eph 4:16, “From whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

This is the conclusion of the purpose and desired results for the Lord giving the communication gifts to the Church. The first half of the verse emphasizes the fact that, “The Building and Unity of the Body of Christ is provided for through Pastor-Teachers.”

From whom the whole body,” is EK

HOS PAN HO SOMA referring to Jesus Christ as the source of the Church called His body, which includes all believers from the day of Pentecost to the day of the Rapture of the Church. These are the ones benefited by the communication spiritual gifts, especially the gift of Pastor-Teacher.

Being fitted and held together,” is the Verb SUNARMOLOGEO the Conjunction KAI with the verb SUMBIBAZO. Both verbs here are in the Present, Passive, Participle in the Nominative, Neuter, Singular.

SUNARMOLOGEO, συναρμολογέω means, “to fit closely, join together, or frame together.” It is used only here and in Eph 2:21, which we previously noted, as an architectural metaphor of the Church being built into a “holy temple” of the Lord.

It is a compound word from SUN, “together,” and HARMOLOGEO, “to join together,” which is from HARMOS, “joint” and LOGOS, “word, account, or reckoning.” Combined, it means here being joined together through the teaching of God’s Word. The metaphor here is that of a living organism, where all believers are members of the body of Christ, who is the head, vs. 15, and we are being joined and knit together through the Word so that we advance to spiritual adulthood and maximize the exercise of our spiritual gifts.

The Progressive Present tense describes continuous action of being joined together through the Church Age.
In the Passive voice, the Church receives the action of being fitted together, we do not do the fitting ourselves; God’s Word through the teaching ministry of our right Pastor-Techer does that work.

The Participle represents this as a position or thing the Church receives as the body of Jesus Christ and the Temple of our Lord.

SUMBIBAZO, συμβιβάζω means, “to unite, bring together, prove, conclude, teach or instruct.” In extra-Biblical Greek it means, “to cause to stride together,” and includes various connotations, such as, “to bring together, to reconcile, to conclude, or to unite,” and even “to teach or instruct.” Notice that both SUNARMOLOGEO and SUMBIBAZO have to do with teaching or instructing.

In the LXX it is used exclusively for, “to teach someone something, or to instruct about something,” e.g., Ex 4:12, 15; Lev 10:11; Deut 4:9; Judges 13:8; Isa 40:13-14.

It is used six times in the NT, Acts 9:22; 16:10; 19:33; 1 Cor 2:16; Eph 4:16; Col 2:2, 9. Each time, it has the connotation of something being accomplished as a result of teaching or instruction, and sometimes translated as, “concluded or proved.” In our passage, as in Col 2:2, 19, it speaks of the Church being united or held together because of the communication of Bible Doctrine. The Progressive Present and Passive Voice means the Church continually keeps on receiving this unity and the Participle says we become unity.

Col 2:2, “That their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself.”

Col 2:19. “And not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.”

Next, we see how this “fitting and holding together” is accomplished, “By that which every joint supplies,” is the Preposition of intermediate agency DIA that means, “through, by, with, or because of,” and the Adjective PAS for, “all or every,” with the Singular Noun HAPHE, ἁφή that means, “ligament or that which connects a joint,” and HO EPICHOREGIA, ἐπιχορηγία that means, “supply, provision, support or aid,” used here and Phil 1:19.

In classical Greek the noun HAPHE had three basic meanings, 1) “lighting, or kindling,” 2) “touch,” including the grip of wrestlers, and 3) “junction, or point of contact.” Some even say it became a technical term for the arena. The grip of wrestlers in the arena yielded the meaning, “fastening,” hence, as a physiological term it means, “ligaments.” Thus the body, as a metaphor for the union of God’s people, is being “joined together and held together by that which every ligament supplies.” The ligaments are called Pastor-Teachers.

The term “joint” is used here and in Col 2:19, primarily because in Colossians HAPHE is joined together with the word SUNDESMOS that means, “bond, that which binds together, fetter fastening, etc.” Pictorially it represents a ligament better than HAPHE. So SUNDESOMOS is translated “lig-ament,” where HAPHE defaults back to “joint,” in both passages. Be it joint or ligament, the analogy is of the Pastor-Teacher, as teaching the Word of God is the principle reference.

Then we have EPICHOREGIA whose root meaning is, “sufficient support of provision for a choral dance troupe,” hence the metaphoric meaning of, “abundant support, or ample supply.” So by analogy, it comes to mean, “the abundant teaching of God’s Word.”

Therefore, we should translate this phrase as, “by means of that which every ligament, (Pastor-Teacher), abundantly supplies (Bible Doctrine).

Doctrine of Joints and Ligaments

Eph 4:16; Col 2:19

Definition and Description.

  • From the Greek word HAPHE we get the word “joint” or better, “a ligament that connects.” Either way, it is used metaphorically for the Pastor-Teacher who teaches the Word of God that fits and holds together the Body of Jesus Christ. You could say that the Word of God is in view, as it is, but more specifically the one who teaches the Word is in view, as the main topic in Eph 4:11-16 and Col 2:19, is the provision and importance of the communication of Bible Doctrine to the Church.
  • By way of analogy, every part of the human body is linked by joints and connective tissue called ligaments. It is where bones or parts the skeletal structure are joined together. Joints and ligaments allow for motion and coordination of the entire human body. The joints and ligaments being used as one analogy in Eph 4:19 and Col 2:19, provide for the unity of the body and give it cohesion, because joints and ligaments are the point of contact and connection between various parts of the body. In analogy, all coordination in the body of Christ is based upon the function of joints and ligaments, which represent the Pastor who teaches the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age.
  • In 1 Cor 12, different parts of the body represent different members of the body of Christ in the exercise of their spiritual gifts. Different parts of the body represent the variety of differences among believers from the standpoint of spiritual gifts, varieties of ministry, and varieties of effects. Likewise, we all have different spiritual growth, progress, function, and personality, there are different parts to the body.
  • Regarding the joints, there too are differences in the body, so there are differences among Pastor-Teachers inside the Church. The spiritual gift is given to many different types of men with varying ministries, effects, personalities, vocations, attitudes, activities, functions in life, etc.
  • In analogy to “supply,” EPICHOREGIA, in the theatrical use, the joint or Pastor supplies everything necessary for the other members of the cast, (body of Christ), to learn, grow, mature, and perform. The casting director is God the Holy Spirit. In His marvelous sense of humor, He has given the gift of Pastor-Teacher to many different tyes of personalities.
  • All the members of the Royal Family of God are linked together by the doctrinal teaching of the Pastor, not by similarity of personalities, conformity to standards of legalism, human rapport concepts, nor conformity to false standards or doctrine. They are united by doctrinal teaching from the Pastor and resultant advance toward spiritual maturity. Christianity is not changing your personality to a certain mold, but it is growing spiritually through the perception of Bible doctrine.
  • There are all kinds of Pastors, just as there are all kinds of joints. The Pastor’s function must not be related to his personality, but to the content of his message. The less there is of content in the message, the more there is of emotional preaching and nonsense.
  • You can receive limited blessing from reading the Bible for yourself, but you can never learn how to execute the Plan of God for your life. Only the spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher is equipped to dig out the truth of the Mystery Doctrine and communicate it to you. Without joints, you go nowhere, both physically and spiritually,

Joints are the basis for exercise and building strength in the body.

  • As the basis for exercise and building strength in the body, without joints, the human body would atrophy. Likewise, without the faithful function of Pastor-Teachers, the body of Christ would lack spiritual growth and retrogress from lack of spiritual food, vitality, and power.
  • Muscle is constructed from consistent exercise, which involves the use of the joints. Repetitious and beneficial exercise involves the consistent and constant function of the joints. The constant use of the joints in exercise is analogous to the faithful and consistent teaching of Bible doctrine by whoever is your right Pastor-Teacher.
  • In the development of strength, the joints function against pressure, which they overcome through the function of their own perception, metabolization, and application of Bible Doctrine. So, there must be both pressure and the use of that which overcomes the pressure, (i.e., God’s Word, especially the Eleven Problem Solving Devices). This applies to both the Pastor and those in his congregation.
  • As a result of the congregation’s consistent perception of the Mystery Doctrine, the believer becomes the muscle of the body, possessing definition, symmetry, strength, endurance, and coordination. This is analogous to the believer’s advance through the three stages of spiritual adulthood by which an invisible hero is manufactured.

Joints provide body action.

  • By analogy, every function and action in life must be motivated by thought energy. For the spiritual life, it is the Divine viewpoint printed on the neurons of the brain in the form of metabolized Bible doctrine. Two categories of doctrine cause you to function and grow spiritually.
  • EPIGNOSIS is the metabolized doctrine that goes into your right lobe.
  • SOPHIA is the metabolized doctrine on the launching pad of your right lobe being applied to experience in life.
  • Joints provide the information so that the body of Christ can have action, (function and grow spiritually), which refers to believers who grow spiritually, produce Divine good, serve others, glorify God, and become invisible heroes.
  • Body action can be described in terms of expending tremendous energy. The atom represents energy with its core of protons, neurons, and electrons in the outer ring. The power that holds the atom together, or the energy locked in the atom, equals its mass times the speed of light squared. This energy or power is nothing compared to metabolized Bible doctrine in the right lobe printed on the neurons of the brain.
  • The faithful teaching of the omnipotent Word of God by Pastors, provides the dynamic energy for the Royal Family of God, reflected in the use of Problem Solving Devices and in the execution of the Plan of God for their life.

Joints provide body coordination.

  • Without the function of the joints, there would be neither body action nor body coordination. Without the faithful teaching of the Pastor, there would be no fulfillment of the Plan of God and therefore, no invisible heroes to have impact in five areas, Personal, Historical, International, Angelic, or Heritage.

Karl Von Clausewitz wrote the book, “On War.” In book one of chapter three, he said, “Every specific calling in life requires special qualities of intellect and temperament.  When these are of a high order and manifest themselves by extraordinary achievements, the mind to which they belong is termed genius. Genius is a superior mental capacity for certain activities. The essence of military genius is to bring under consideration all of the tendencies of mind and soul in combination toward the business of war. We say “in combination,” for military genius is not just one single quality bearing on war, as for instance courage, but it is a harmonious combination of powers in which one or the other may predominate, but none must be in opposition.

a) Our special calling is the fact that we were elected into the Royal Family of God at the moment of our salvation. Now our life has meaning, purpose, and definition. Therefore, special qualities are required of us.

b) By attaining spiritual maturity, you should become a spiritual genius.

c) “All of the tendencies of mind and soul” refers to our concentration on the message under the filling of the Spirit.

d) When we have different parts of ourself in opposition, we are living the fragmented life in the cosmic system. For none to be in opposition, we must attain spiritual self-esteem, which requires the consistent perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. You must consistently listen to the teaching of a prepared Pastor.

  • Just as military genius must have the coordination of all of its faculties, so the body of Christ must have the coordination of all the spiritual gifts, which function to the maximum when the believer involved has attained spiritual maturity.
  • This coordination depends upon the communication of the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age by whomever is your right Pastor-Teacher. Therefore, body coordination demands communication of the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age by the Pastor-Teacher, so that tactical victories and winners may be produced in very generation of the Church Age.

Summary

Therefore, joints are the basis for building muscle and strength in the body. Without joints the human body would be in a state of atrophy. Without Pastor-Teachers, Christianity/ the Royal Family would be in a state of spiritual atrophy on the earth. If you want to have muscles, you have to bend at the joints. Repetitious exercise demands the use of joints (sometimes this is painful). Repetitious exercise is analogous to repetitious GAPing to super-grace. Using the joints in exercise is like using the daily function of GAP. The inevitable result of exercise is muscle, strength, endurance, coordination, and so on. The inevitable result of GAP under the authority and teaching of the joint / Pastor-Teacher, is the construction of the ECS and entrance into the super-grace life. Joints also provide body action and body coordination. Every function and action in life must be motivated by doctrine and the mental attitude dynamics of Divine viewpoint. Therefore, Bible teaching from the Pastor is like the joints that make action, coordination, and team function possible. Without the function of joints, there would be no body action and no coordination for tactical victories inside the Angelic Conflict.

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 16-101 through 16-102

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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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