13 Till [mechri] we all [pas] come [katantao] in [eis] the unity [henotes] of the
faith, [pistis] and [kai] of the knowledge [epignosis]
of the Son [huios] of God, [theos] unto [eis] a perfect [teleios] man, [aner] unto [eis] the measure [metron] of the
stature [helikia] of the fulness [pleroma] of Christ: [Christos] KJV-Interlinear
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 fulness of
Now this is a very interesting verse. For in it is stated the duration of the gifts that have been described in the previous verses.
Until, 'mechri,' means as far as, up to a certain point. This word indicated a space of time in which something will occur and then when it does occur, it will cease.
The office of apostle and prophet ceased in the first century when the scriptures were completed. That leaves three remaining offices as far as the instruction of the word of God is concerned - evangelist, pastor and teacher.
These offices will continue until something happens, which is until we all come in the unity of faith.
Faith often times refers to a trust in something unseen. But here, faith is a reference to a belief in something that is known, or in something that is based on fact or knowledge. Faith is not empty, but is fulfilled in the knowledge of the work of Christ on the Cross. Therefore faith is not an empty hope or wish, but is supported by a confidence through the knowledge of Christ.
This is salvation.
And since salvation will not be relevant in eternity, for only believers who obviously have already believed in Christ will exist in eternity, then these offices will no longer be necessary.
But there is another principle in view here. In the Tribulation, there will be again prophets. Two of which will stand out, and 144,000 of them that will all be evangelizing and warning the entire world. As the world is crumbling all around everyone, there will not be local churches as all churches will be under attack and most folks will be in hiding and just trying to survive.
So this emphasis is on the Church Age, which is our current dispensation. There will be a specific number of people who will believe in Christ during our dispensation. That number is known by God alone, for obvious reasons.
When that number is reached, then all believers will be removed from the world in the Rapture and thus the removal of all memberships of local churches and study groups and so forth.
Faith has already been defined as one faith. There are not many faiths that need to be brought into alignment, but rather one faith, of which many people will use in order to be saved through the knowledge of Christ. That is, faith in Christ, or believing in Christ.
Unto the perfect man, unto the measure of the fullness of Christ, is a reference to the spiritual growth process to spiritual maturity and the subsequent completion of the individual.
Doctrine, the written word, is Christ. Doctrine is that which is learned from the teaching or instruction of evangelists, pastors or teachers. Just because one person has a particular gift, evangelist, does not mean that they cannot teach as well.
Perfect man, is a phrase that refers to the flawlessness of that which is flawed. Fullness of Christ, is a phrase which refers to the completion of that which is incomplete.
Doctrine is the fundamental material that is used in the construction of the soul. Ones daily application of doctrine and the principles it teaches, become the production that finishes or puts the finishing touches on the spiritual life of the individual spiritually mature person.
While there will be those who will advance to spiritual maturity during the Tribulation, the emphasis obviously will be placed on the salvation of as many people as is possible during those days of terrible hardship. Weekly classes or even online studies will not likely be available during the Tribulation, given the high level of disasters that are going to occur.
During our dispensation there are many opportunities for a daily study, even in the worst of situations. Life now, regardless of how difficult things might be at any given time during our dispensation, will not be anywhere near the hardships that people will face during the Tribulation. So now, opportunity thrives for people who have a positive attitude and want to grow in their spiritual life.
There are two completion concepts. The first is for the individual who pursues his spiritual studies, day in and day out during their life. The second is in reference to the completion, in total numbers, of the body of Christ or the Royal Family as we are often times referred to, during this dispensation.
When our numbers are complete, then the Rapture will occur and we will all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and there receive our evaluation and reward, thus completing our completion in readiness for eternity.
Thus ends the earthly gifts as we have come to know them. The Tribulation and the Millennium will have similar but different sets of gifts unique to them for the purpose of teaching those populations, the things they will need in order to sustain them and allow them to grow spiritually in their respective periods.
Table of Contents
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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