My List of Links

To master page:

A look at what the New Testament has to say, about Apostles

A look at what the New Testament has to say, about Apostles

A look at what the New Testament has to say, about Apostles

By John Chopores


Eph.4: 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

We see here that it is God Himself who gives and calls apostles. We also see that only some are called to be apostles.

"In #1Co 12:8-28 the Spirit is seen as enduing the members of the body of Christ with spiritual gifts, or enablements for a varied service; here certain Spirit-endued men, viz. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, are themselves the gifts whom the glorified Christ bestows upon His body the church. In Corinthians the gifts are spiritual enablements for specific service; in Ephesians the gifts are men who have such enablements." [SCOFIELD].

"a power to work miracles for the confirmation of their doctrine; and had authority to go everywhere and preach the Gospel, and plant churches, and were not confined to anyone particular place or church;" [JOHN GILL].

" For the work of the ministry All these various officers, and the gifts and

graces conferred upon them, were judged necessary, by the great Head of

the Church, for its full instruction in the important doctrines of Christianity. The same officers and gifts are still necessary, and God gives them; but they do not know their places. In most Christian Churches there appears to be but one office, that of preacher; and one gift, that by which

he professes to preach. The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, are all compounded in the class preachers;" [ADAM CLARKE].

"{And he gave} (kai autov edwken). First aorist active indicative of didwmi. In #1Co 12:28 Paul uses eyeto (more common verb, appointed), but here repeats edwken from the quotation in verse #8. There are four groups (touv men, touv de three times, as the direct object of edwken). The titles are in the predicate accusative (apostolouv, profhtav, poimenav kai didaskalouv). Each of these words occurs in #1Co 12:28 (which see for discussion) except poimenav (shepherds)." [RWP].

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

"12. For--with a view to; the ultimate aim. "Unto."


perfecting--The Greek implies correcting in all that is deficient, instructing and completing in number and all parts.


for--a different Greek word; the immediate object. Compare #Ro 15:2, "Let every one...please his neighbor for his good unto edification."


the ministry--Greek, "ministration"; without the article. The office of the ministry is stated in this verse. The good aimed at in respect to the Church (#Eph 4:13). The way of growth (#Eph 4:14-16).


edifying--that is, building up as the temple of the Holy Ghost." [JFB].

"{For the perfecting} (prov ton katartismon). Late and rare word (in Galen in medical sense, in papyri for house-furnishing), only here in N.T., though katartisiv in #2Co 13:9, both from katartizw, to mend (#Mt 4:21; #Ga 6:1). "For the mending (repair) of the saints." {Unto the building up} (eiv oikodomhn). See #2:21. This is the ultimate goal in all these varied gifts, "building up."" [RWP].

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:

"Till we all come. These offices are given in order that all may come to a goal that is named just below. They must be continued in some form until that goal is reached.


Unto the unity of the faith. This is one of the great objects to be attained through these offices. In #Eph 4:2, Paul, as an apostle and a prophet, exhorts to the same end. As an apostle and prophets, he so exhorts still. Every evangelist and pastor who is under God's spirit should labor to the same end. Not only "unity of the faith, "but unity


of the knowledge of the Son of God is aimed at. Full unity of the faith will be found when all alike know Christ.


Unto a full-grown man (Revision). The second end to be attained is a noble manhood, fully developed, after the modes of life furnished in Christ Jesus. This must be the aim of all teaching, and of all living. If we cannot attain fully to it in the flesh, we certainly can aim at it and grow more and more into Christ's likeness." [PNT].

"13. come in--rather, "attain unto." ALFORD expresses the Greek order, "Until we arrive all of us at the unity, "etc.


faith and...knowledge--Full unity of faith is then found, when all alike thoroughly know Christ, the object of faith, and that in His highest dignity as "the Son of God" [DE WETTE] (#Eph 3:17,19 2Pe 1:5). Not even Paul counted himself to have fully "attained" (#Php 3:12-14). Amidst the variety of the gifts and the multitude of the Church's members, its "faith" is to be ONE: as contrasted with the state of "children carried about with EVERY WIND OF DOCTRINE." (#Eph 4:14)." [JFB].

"Till we all come; come fully. In the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God; better, as the margin, "into the unity, "etc.; meaning that unity which full establishment in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God gives. For the greater the measure of our faith and knowledge, the greater our unity in that faith and knowledge, and thus our unity with God and each other. Unto a perfect man; a full-grown, mature man, in contrast with babes in Christ. Verse #Eph 4:14. The fulness of Christ; the fulness that belongs to Christ; that is, Christ considered in his body the church. The kind and the measure of the different gifts which God bestows upon different Christians are according to his wise eternal purpose, and designed to promote the holiness and happiness of his kingdom. All these gifts therefore should be so employed as is best adapted to accomplish this end." [FAMILY].

"but the same with the "one faith", #Eph 4:5 and designs either the doctrine of faith, which is uniform, and all of a piece; and the sense is, that the ministration of the Gospel will continue until the saints entirely unite in their sentiments about it, and both watchmen and churches see eye to eye: or else the grace of faith, which as to its nature, object, author, spring, and cause, is the same; and it usually comes by hearing; and all God's elect shall have it; and the work and office of the ministry will remain until they are all brought to believe in Christ;

unto a perfect man; meaning either Christ, who is in every sense a perfect man; his human nature is the greater and more perfect tabernacle, and he is perfectly free from sin, and has been made perfect through sufferings in it; and coming to him may be understood either of coming to him now by faith, which the Gospel ministry is the means of, and encourages to; or of coming to him hereafter, for the saints will meet him, and be ever with him, and till that time the Gospel will be preached: or else the church, being a complete body with all its members, is designed; for when all the elect of God are gathered in and joined together, they will be as one man; or it may respect every individual believer, who though he is comparatively perfect, and with regard to parts, but not degrees, and as in Christ Jesus, yet is in himself imperfect in holiness and knowledge, though hereafter he will be perfect in both; when he comes

unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: not of Christ's natural body, but of his mystical body the church, which will be his fulness when all the elect are gathered in; and when they are filled with his gifts and graces, and are grown up to their proportion in it, they will be come to the measure and stature of it:" [JOHN GILL].

" Measure of the stature The full measure of knowledge, love, and holiness, which the Gospel of Christ requires. Many preachers, and multitudes of professing people, are studious to find out how many imperfections and infidelities, and how much inward sinfulness, is consistent with a safe state in religion but how few, very few, are bringing out the fair Gospel standard to try the height of the members of the Church; whether they be fit for the heavenly army; whether their stature be such as qualifies them for the ranks of the Church militant! The measure of the stature of the fullness is seldom seen; the measure of the stature of littleness, dwarfishness, and emptiness, is often exhibited." [ADAM CLARKE].

"{Till we all attain} (mecri katanthswmen oi pantev). Temporal clause with purpose idea with mecri and the first aorist active subjunctive of katantaw, late verb, to come down to the goal (#Php 3:11). "The whole" including every individual. Hence the need of so many gifts." [RWP].