Scriptural Gem for August 2011

In Ephesians 4: 11-13 we read the following: "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ."

The background to the phrase "to prepare God's people for works of service" in verse 11 is very interesting. Some versions of the Bible have "to equip" and others have "to perfect". The true meaning of what Paul is writing to the Ephesians is found in the original Greek. The original root word is 'Katartizoo'. This word means 'to repair, to mend, to stitch up, to make as it ought to be' and it is also used when describing the setting of a broken bone.   

So, the idea behind this passage in the original language is that the Church is a place where people come to be repaired and mended by God Himself, to make them as they ought to be, in order that they can be useful to the  him. This also fits in with the rest of Ephesians 4 which speaks about the body of Christ (the Church) which is held together by every bone and every supporting ligament in its right place and working as it ought to be. We cannot think that we join the church and then we are automatically available and useful to God. God Himself, our great physician mends us, makes us as we ought to be and makes us useful instruments.

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