Ephesians 4:14-16

14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ —

16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

children (v.14) = infants — the opposite of “perfect” (mature) in v.13

tossed to and fro (v.14) = tossed by the waves — a nautical term used here to describe mental agitation

carried about (v.14) = carried around in circles

doctrine (v.14) = teaching — here, false teachings

trickery (v.14) = dice playing

All this in v.14 is in contrast to “the faith and … knowledge of” Christ in v.13

cunning craftiness (v.14) = knavishness, treachery, deceitfulness

deceitful (v.14) — indicates a deliberate plan and/or system — the Greek word methodeia is where we get the English word “method”

speaking the truth (v.15) = lit. “truthing” — being and walking in the truth

in love (v.15) = agape — qualifies “speaking in truth” — speaking truth and being truth with loving caution and kind allowance

into (v.15) = unto — This means more than that we are to grow into resemblance to Him, or that our growth is to be according to His example. It means that as He is the source from which the grace or power comes that makes it possible for us to grow, He is also the object and goal to which our growth in its every stage must look and is to be directed. — Wuest, page. 104.

joined (v.16) = to closely join together — the tense indicates a process still going on

knit together (v.16) = to cause to coalesce, to unite — the tense indicates a process still going on

The statement “fitly joined together” is also found in Ephesians 2:21 where it’s referred to as a building “fitly framed together.” In both cases it has the idea of that which is connected. For example, as we consider the wonder of the human body, the femur (thighbone) is connected to the tibia (shinbone) by the kneecap. Each is essentially dependent upon the other in order for the leg to function properly. The same can be said of the Body of Christ; every member is bound together in a vital union. Thus, when a member falls from grace, those who are in close proximity feel the pain of the one who has fallen. — Sadler, page 191

The process by which the members of the Body of Christ are being joined together and growing together is brought about by “what every joint supplies” (v.16) — through the intermediate agency of every joint of supply.

The entire Body composed of individual saints, constantly being more closely joined together and constantly growing together into an organic union through the life of the Head flowing through the bands of supply that join its members together, does so “according to the measure of every part.” The words “effectual working” are the translation of energeia, “Working, efficiency.” The word speaks of power in exercise, operative power. “According to” is kata, “down.” The word speaks of control, domination. “Measure,” is metron, “an instrument for measuring, a vessel for receiving and determining the quantity of things, determined extent, portion measured off.” The life of the Head flowing through the bands of supply, is constantly joining together and causing to grow together the individual members, this process being controlled or dominated by the operative energy put forth, the volume or strength of this operative energy coming from the Head of the Body, being determined by the capacity of each part to hold and allow to operated in him or her. That is, the degree to which this life of the Head flowing through the members operates, joining the members of the Body more closely together into a more compact organic union, is determined by the individual saint’s fellowship with the Lord and with his fellow saints. — Wuest, page 105.

edifying (v.16) = building up

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