1 Series: Ephesians Title: Till We All Come Text: Ephesians 4: 13 Date: April 25, 27, 2014 Place: FFF, SGBC, New Jersey Ephesians 4: 8: Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.11: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Verse 13 is our text: Ephesians 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: Title: Till We All Come Proposition: The main point the Holy Spirit declares in this verse is that Christ shall continue to give his preachers till all God s elect come to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ so that Christ s body is complete. I. CHRIST SHALL GIVE HIS PREACHERS Ephesians 4: 13: Till we all come in the unity of the faith,--or till we all come into the oneness of faith in Christ. God-given faith is a faith of union. Everyone to whom God gives faith are united to God and to one another in Christ. This is not true of those with feigned, self-wrought faith in another jesus that other gospel which is not another. (Gal 1: 6-7) But it is true of those with true, God-given faith. The whole context of this passage in Ephesians 4: 1-13 tells us there is one body. So the meaning of verse 13 is that Christ will continue to give his true, faithful preachers to preach the gospel in truth, until all God s elect are called into his one body in faith. WE First, the we spoken of in the text are those elected unto salvation in Christ by God the Father. God wrote the names of each of his elect in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev 13: 8) 2 Timothy 1: 9: [God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, Titus1: 1: Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 2: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 3: But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour. The apostle Paul was called of Christ directly, audibly which was a requirement to being an apostle. But when Paul was called by the Lord Jesus, Ananias was sent by Christ to Paul with the same good news that Christ brings to each of his elect through the gospel. Acts 22: 14: And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. 15: For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
2 All whom God shall call to faith in Christ are the elect, chosen of God from before the foundation of the world in Christ Jesus. God does not send us the Spirit of his Son to make us children but because we already are by divine election. Galatians 4: 6: And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. So the we spoken of are God s elect. TILL WE ALL COME IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH Secondly, the Holy Spirit clearly declares that Christ shall call all God s elect to faith in Christ till we all come in the unity of the faith. Faith in Christ is a necessity. We must believe on Christ. There is no coming to God apart from faith in Christ. When the tower of Siloam fell, some blamed the deaths of those who died on their being guilty of some particular sins. Christ declared the necessity of repentance with one of his many excepts, saying, I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Lu 13: 3) We must repent, renouncing our sinful righteousness as filthy rags, renouncing our former vain, idolatrous religion and we must believe on Christ. In John 6, Christ gave another one of his excepts, declaring that we must believe on the Lord Jesus for this is the will of god the Father, John 6: 29: Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent 40: And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day 47: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life..53: Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54: Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. Some think that because God the Father elected a people unto salvation in Christ Jesus they will be saved whether they believe or not. That is not so. Hebrews 10:38: Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. The whole body of scripture agrees with our text. All those whom God the Father chose to save in Christ Jesus shall be brought to faith in Christ. The only exception is the death of God s elect who die as unborn or as infants. But even then the secret things belong unto the LORD our God. It is those things which are revealed that belong to us and to our children. (Deut 29: 29) We base our hope on that which is clearly revealed in the word of God, such as our text declares. Throughout scripture, the Holy Spirit makes a clear distinction between those who pass from this life in unbelief and those who depart in faith. God the Spirit declares that those who do not believe shall be damned because they would not believe on Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2: 12: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But the same Holy Spirit declares that those who believe on Christ do so only by God s grace:
3 2 Thessalonians 2: 13: But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice, that God s election unto salvation, always includes sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth through the hearing of the faith of Christ Jesus. 1 Peter 1:2: Elect according to the foreknowledge [foreordination] of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ Acts 13:48: And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. Romans 8: 29: For whom he did foreknow, [those God foreordained to eternal life] he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30: Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. UNITY OF THE FAITH Now, note the context in which our text is found. It is unity oneness of the faith which Christ brings us into. This unity is what the Holy Spirit declares believers already have and what we are urged to endeavor to keep in this chapter. Some vainly imagine that our text means that all religions shall be made one. They maintain that one day free will, works religionists will be one with those of us who believe the truth of salvation by the grace of God in Christ. They argue that there can be no unity of faith in the earth, supporting their arguments, not from the word of God, but by looking at the visible divisions amongst those who profess to preach and believe Christ. Never look at man or your experiences to determine how God saves sinners. Read God s word and submit to God. Truth is, believers are one right now by the work of our triune God in Christ accomplished for us and by the work of God accomplished in our hearts. Ephesians 4: 3: Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4: There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5: One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6: One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. It would be impossible to endeavor to keep that which we do not already have. But every true believer, born again by the irresistible work of God the Holy Spirit are united with God and our fellow brethren in Christ Jesus because we are given like precious faith. 2 Peter 1:1: Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Christ came to fulfill the prophets and this unity given us, as believers in this earth even now, was promised by God through the prophets when he said, I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them. (Jer 32: 39) No doubt we shall have a perfect unity in final glory but we do have unity in the new man in Christ even now because God has given it
4 in our hearts through God-given faith in Christ. It is Christ s lost sheep that Christ is now calling into the unity of the faith through the gospel of Christ. II. CHRIST SHALL GIVE HIS PREACHERS Ephesians 4: 13: Till we all come of the knowledge of the Son of God Those who vainly teach that God s elect shall be saved apart from faith in Christ, also maintain that it is not necessary for God s elect to hear the preaching of the gospel of Christ. That is not true. The Holy Spirit of God declares through the apostle Paul, How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? (Rom 10: 14-15) God declares it is absolutely impossible for any sinner to believe on Christ in truth unless we have been taught Christ in truth. And it is absolutely impossible to be taught Christ in truth without a Christ-sent preacher. When God says it is impossible, it is because God has made it impossible. It is God alone who gives a knowledge of God. Therefore, God will give this knowledge to his elect by the means that pleases him, by the means God has ordained to bring to nothing the wisdom and strength of men, while giving all the glory to Christ who is the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. That means is the preaching of the gospel which gives all the glory to Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 1: 17: For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19: For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20: Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21: For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22: For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24: But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25: Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26: For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28: And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30: But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. TRUE KNOWLEDGE Through the preaching of the gospel of Christ, all God s elect shall come to Christ in the true knowledge of the Son of God, as well as in the true knowledge of God the Father. Christ said, This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (Jn 17: 3) Believers are not saved by lies for no lie is of the truth. God s elect are taught the truth and saved by the truth of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. Through the apostle John, God declares of every true believer, But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (1 Jn 2: 20-21)
5 All three persons in the Godhead are glorified in the scriptures as giving God s people this knowledge of God. Christ quoted the prophet Isaiah when he declared that God the Father shall teach all his people, therefore all his people shall come to Christ: John 6: 44: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45: It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. He said all his people shall be taught of God. Since all his people shall be taught of God, all his people shall, therefore, come to Christ. Again, we are told that all grace, peace, utterance, knowledge, testimony and gifts are given from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1: 3: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 4: I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5: That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6: Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9: God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Also, Christ declared that this knowledge of the truth shall be given to all his people by the Holy Spirit of truth. John 16: 7: Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8: And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9: Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10: Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11: Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12: I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. But our text gives the glory to Christ. Christ s resurrection glory promised to him by God the Father is to be the Head of his body and to give life to each member he redeemed on the cross through the preaching of the gospel. This glory is what Christ prayed for in John 17. John 17: 1: These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. God the Father not only predestinated each of his elect to be given the Spirit of adoption, but he predestinated that the Spirit of adoption would be given by Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 1 Peter 5:10: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus,. Likewise, the believers fruit and growth is by Christ
6 Philippians 1:11: Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Ephesians 4: 16: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and maketh increase It is this very glory that Satan abhors for Christ to have. Those who are yet under the dominion of the prince of the power of the air do his bidding, denying that Christ shall send his preachers, shall pray the Father who shall send the Holy Spirit, and shall give life and faith to all those he redeemed with his precious blood! They object with all sorts of foolish scenarios, saying, What if a man dies before he hears the truth? Or what if a man is in some remote place where there is no gospel? It is God who appoints where men shall be born and live, it is God who appoints the the hour of a man s death, and it is God is ruling all things that come to pass in this earth. God has the power to bring the gospel to his lost child and Christ is that Power. Romans 16: 25: Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26: But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: 27: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. So we have no reason to lament as to whether or not God will send gospel preachers into his vineyard. He shall unto the end of the world. Christ said, Matthew 28: 20: Go, teach all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost: and, lo, I am with you to the end of the world. We will meet under the sound of the gospel at our Lord s table till Christ has called the last lost sheep into the fold and then Christ shall return. 1 Corinthians 11: 26: For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord s death till he come. God our Savior Jesus Christ is the Wisdom and Power to get the gospel to his lost child and to give his child life and faith in Christ in true knowledge of Christ. III. CHRIST SHALL CONTINUE TO GIVE HIS PREACHERS Epesians 4: 13: Till we all come unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: This verse begins to speak of our personal growth as believers. But the next verse speaks more about that. So we will look at that next time. But this verse is speaking more about each member of Christ s body being called into Christ s body through faith in Christ. CHRIST S BODY SHALL BE COMPLETE It says, till we all come to the fulness of Christ. Remember from Ephesians 1: 23 that this speaks of Christ s body, his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. So our text declares that when each and every member of Christ s body every elect, redeemed child of God is called to faith in Christ through the knowledge of the Son of God then Christ s body shall be full, a perfect man. In the dispensation of the fulness of times he [shall] gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. (Eph 1: 10)
7 What great assurance we have here that Christ shall not lose even one of God s elect whom he redeemed. Christ s very body will not be full and complete until every last one is called to faith in Christ. God will not destroy this world before the last elect child is called to faith in Christ through the gospel. God waited while Noah prepared the ark. The same word that held the flood of judgment in Noah s day, till all were safe in the ark, shall hold back the flood of judgment reserved for ungodly men, until all God s elect are called by Christ, safely into Christ in faith. 2 Peter 3: 3: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4: And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5: For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, [his elect] not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Whatever the Lord will s the Lord performs. All God s elect are predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. (Eph 1: 11) God declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. (Is 46: 10-11) So Peter is declaring through the Holy Spirit of God that God is waiting because God is not willing that any of his elect should perish, therefore none shall perish. God is willing that all shall be called to repentance, therefore all shall be called to repentance. He tells us to account that the longsuffering of God shall terminate in the calling of each and every one which Christ redeemed to faith in Christ so that all shall be saved, And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation. (2 Peter 3: 15) Christ said in no uncertain terms, John 6: 37: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38: For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39: And this is the Father s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. WHY DO MEN DENY THIS TRUTH? There are many reasons that men deny the truth that Christ shall call each of his elect to faith through the preaching of the gospel. One, they have not been taught of God in the heart. Rather than bow to God, in enmity against God, the natural mind will rather bend and omit the word of God for he is not subject to the word of God, neither indeed can be. (Rom 8: 7) Those taught of God submit to the word of God, saying, Amen! Two, men naturally do not want to support missionaries. Covetousness is the idolatry of the natural heart! Men covet God s glory and desire to be their own saviors therefore men will not submit to Christ. Three, natural, unregenerate men love their loved ones more than God. They would rather lie, saying that if they were elect they were saved even though they never believed God, rather than love Christ more than father or mother, son or daughter. (Mt 10: 37) If their loved ones pass from this earth in unbelief then they prove they were not the elect of God. The Holy Spirit tells us we know someone is elect of God by their faith in Christ in truth, Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. (1 Thess 1: 4) Others deny the truth because they try to make disciples after themselves. Some deny that Christ is still sending his
8 preachers they claim the age of the church is now over this they do to make disciples after themselves. (Acts 20: 30) All of these vain reasons show us why we must never deny even one article of faith: we must not deny the necessity of gospel preaching nor faith in Christ. Or it opens the flood gates for all kinds of lies. We desire for our loved ones to know the gospel and believe on Christ. But beloved, in the midst of an ungodly world and amongst so many false preachers, this is the most assuring word to us who believe. Christ shall continue to give his preachers till all come in faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God till his body is complete. Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!thy God reigneth! Amen!