“for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 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 fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming …”
The word “equip” in Ephesians 4:12 implies three things:
First, it is used in the context of mending nets. Fishermen’s nets would become broken and torn from use so in the evening they would repair (literally “equip”) them for the next day’s use. This gives new meaning to what Scripture refers to when it instructs gifted men to equip the saints; they can actually help repair and mend the brokenness in the lives of others.
Secondly, the word is used as a medical term for setting bones. The physician takes a broken bone and sets it back in place so it can heal correctly. So here it has the idea of using the Word of God to heal, to set back in place, to set right.
Thirdly, to equip means to outfit a ship in preparation for sailing. The crew must load all the supplies the ship will need for a long journey. Equipping has to do with “outfitting” the people of God with everything they will need for their spiritual journey of ministry.
If we put the three together we see the role of gifted individuals who help repair and heal and outfit believers to effectively do the work of ministry.
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