3 Questions on Eph 4:13

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Benjamin, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    (Eph 4:13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

    I’m leaving most of my opinions out of this to simply find out what others here think:

    #1 What does “onto the perfect man” refer to, “glorification”? If so, do you believe a Christian can reach glorification while alive, meaning alive in the flesh? Part 2: Is Paul suggesting this has already happened in Rom 8:20, and/or when?

    #2 I’m having trouble wording this question, but: In the 1689 London Baptist Faith Confession, Of Free Will, chapter 9:5, concerning free will it says:


    If glorification can be achieved in this life what does the Calvinist believe about his free will at this point? Meaning while alive is he really in a state of free will and only able to do good at this point, is it that he has reached a state where he freely decides to only do good, truly of his own free will? Or is this speaking of the point at which he is permanently transformed to only be able to make one choice, because that doesn’t sound like free will to me if one has been ‘transformed’ to the point where he can’t make any other choice?

    #3 Is Ephesians 4:13 even a good, in context, proof text for #5?
     
  2. Van

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    Great questions!

    Are people glorified in some manner when they are spiritually placed in Christ? Yes
    We are spiritually glorified because we are in the presence of God spiritually. When we are raised in gloriifed bodies, we will be physically glorified because we will be physically in the presence of god.

    John 7:39 indicates the process of being raised from the dead can be called "glorified,"

    Romans 8:17 indicates when we are raised up, we are glorified also.

    Romans 8:30 says when we are justified, and that occurs when we are spiritually placed in Christ, we are also "glorified." Thus we are "raised up" spiritually, made alive together with Christ, and so spiritually we have been "glorified."

    As far as question #2, Ephesians 4:13 does not support the idea expressed in #5 of the Faith Confession. All it actually says we are given teachers and evangelists to help us grow into Christian maturity, so we in our flawed likeness of Christ, at least reflect His stature to the lost, both in word and deed.

    Limited free will, where we exercise our will autonomously within the confines God allows is a sound, though non-Calvinist, biblical doctrine. Once we are saved, God protects our faith, such at we will always believe in and love Jesus, 1 Peter 1:3-5, and so once we are saved, God limits to a greater degree our range of autonomous choices.
     
  3. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Thank you…And good answer! You apparently even caught that I meant “Rom 8:30” and not “8:20” in the Op.

    I’m trying to understand, if according to the Calvinist doctrines, if it is perceived (through the 1689 LBFC, Ch9:5) that there is some sort transformation in free will, and if so what that entails and when that happens. IOWs, although, I do not see free will being logically supported at any time within the Determinist view I am not trying to argue that point; I am mostly curious if from within the Calvinist view (those who might rest on the Ch9 LBFC view “OF Free Will”) if they perceive a significant change in their view of the “elect’s free will” (volition) at any time as the LBFC suggests, and if so what is that difference?
     
  4. Van

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    Hi Benjamin, Calvinism must pay lip service to the concept of autonomous decisions because if the decisions were predestined, then God and not man would be the author of sin. At its core, Calvinism presents a logical impossiblity, God ordains whatsoever comes to pass, but God is not the author of sin.

    Basically Calvinists accept the idea that God predestines everything, or in other words, exhaustive determinism, but they deny that makes God the author of sin.

    As far as shaping or controlling the areas where men can make autonomous choices, they say fallen man if free to choose to sin, but not free to seek God through faith in Christ, because they are "spiritually dead" which they define as having no ability to seek God effectively. Then when a person is altered by Irresistible Grace, the person is "free" to trust in Christ, but because the grace is irresistible, they are no longer free not to seek God through faith in Christ.

    When I looked into the doctrine, it did not hang together for me, but obviously lots of posters say, yes that is exactly what the Bible teaches.
     
  5. DHK

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    I'll just look at this much of your quote and say that the verse is taken out of context.

    And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 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; (Ephesians 4:11-14)

    The entire passage is directed to the local church. God gave to the local churches: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. By the first century (the apostolic age), there were no more apostles and no more prophets. We don't have those offices today. They were the foundation of our churches.

    But we still have evangelists, pastors and teachers. For what reason?
    For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:12)
    --For the perfecting of the saints. This word means "complete furnishing." Every believer needs to be completely furnished to carry on the ministry, and pastors and teachers will help the believers to be that way. They have the duty of furnishing the saints to do the work of God.

    Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Ephesians 4:13)
    --"we all" is the Ephesian church. And so it is with each local church. Pastors and teachers (and evangelists) so teach their congregations that they may be unified in doctrine. I hope that your churches are united in doctrine, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
    "unto a perfect man." The word "perfect" is 'teleios,' otherwise translated "mature." He is not speaking of glorification here, but rather the work of the pastors and teachers is to so teach their congregation that each believer may become mature believers as they grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is complemented by the rest of the verse ..."unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ," also speaking of the maturity of the believer.

    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; (Ephesians 4:14)
    --Verse 14 carries on the same train of thought. We cannot remain children. We must grow up and be mature Christians, solid in doctrine.
     
  6. Iconoclast

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    perfect.....means mature ,or complete

    There is no"free will"....we are free to serve, not free to sin. Here because we make choices we are able to serve God , but we struggle with the flesh and remaining corruption, so still able to sin.
    In heaven we will no longer be able to sin, by God's grace and mercy. Each individual elected by God will be glorified in this manner. [fully conformed to the Son]

    When the confession speaks of glorification and uses eph4 I believe it is speaking of our glorification in heaven focusing on this term
    ..."unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ

    Christ Jesus is restoring us as image bearers of God...the Last Adam is in sanctification conforming us to the true Image bearer, the Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  7. DHK

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    That may be a true statement, but it has nothing to do with Eph. 4:11-14.
     
  8. Iconoclast

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    Interesting.....you think these three verses are divorced from the rest of the chapter describing our sanctification and walking as new men..restored image bearers.....why did Paul link it? 1-16 describes what is our current condition,and the link in 17 points to this restoring work of God ...
    You think different on this DHK?
    [QUOTE 1I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

    3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

    5One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

    6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

    7But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

    8Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

    9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

    10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

    11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

    12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

    13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14That 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;

    15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
    17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

    18Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

    19Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

    20But ye have not so learned Christ;

    21If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

    22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

    23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

    24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

    26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

    27Neither give place to the devil.

    28Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

    29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

    30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

    31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

    32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

    ][/QUOTE]
    As part of being restored Image bearers , we are becoming more Christlike in our service to edify the brethren. God saves us individually,then places us in the body corporatly to worship and serve Him,and testify to the unsaved by standing apart and when need be reproving the unfruitful works of darkness, in chapter 5.
     
    #8 Iconoclast, Apr 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2011
  9. Benjamin

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    So, can I assume that you believe God made your non-free will able to sin while alive and he will remake (“transform”) your non-free will to be unable to sin in heaven? If so, do you have a reason that you believe He would determine your non-free will to struggle now but determine it not to be able to sin in heaven? Why would doing this (non-free will change) bring God glory?
     

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