“Perfecting” the Saints

I am currently reading a great book on Bible study titled Living By the Book by Dr. Howard Hendricks. Dr. Hendricks offers practical advice for Bible study regardless of your level of familiarity with Scripture. I highly recommend this book.

Today I want to share a brief study that Dr. Hendricks provides on the word translated “perfecting” in Galatians 4:12.* What does “perfecting” mean in this Scripture? One way to get a better understanding is to look up other uses of the same greek word in the New Testament.

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Galatians 4:11-12

This word is also used to describe the mending of broken nets. Fisherman had to repair their nets at the end of a long day of fishing. This is a beautiful picture of the purpose of the five-fold ministry; it is for the repairing of the saints.

The same word is also used to describe the setting of broken bones. When someone breaks a bone, a doctor must set the bone, or bring it back into alignment so that it can heal properly. Once again, we have a picture of the purpose of the five-fold ministry; it helps to bring healing to the saints.

Finally, this word is used to describe the preparing of a ship for its journey. When a ship sets our for a long journey, the crew must board everything that will be needed to get them safely to their destination. That is the purpose of the five-fold ministry; it equips the saints with everything they need to make the journey.

Dr. Hendricks’ book is packed full of these types of nuggets. If you have a desire to better understand the Word of God, this book will help tremendously.


*Dr. Hendricks uses the NASB version of the Bible which translates this word “equipping.” See numbers 2675 and 2677 in a Strong’s Concordance.


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