Their task is to equip God's people for the work of service that builds the body of the Messiah,
until we all arrive at the unity implied by trusting and knowing the Son of God, at full manhood, at the standard of maturity set by the Messiah's perfection.
We will then no longer be infants tossed about by the waves and blown along by every wind of teaching, at the mercy of people clever in devising ways to deceive.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in every respect grow up into him who is the head, the Messiah.
Under his control, the whole body is being fitted and held together by the support of every joint, with each part working to fulfill its function; this is how the body grows and builds itself up in love.
Therefore I say this - indeed, in union with the Lord I insist on it: do not live any longer as the pagans live, with their sterile ways of thinking.
Their intelligence has been shrouded in darkness, and they are estranged from the life of God, because of the ignorance in them, which in turn comes from resisting God's will.
They have lost all feeling, so they have abandoned themselves to sensuality, practicing any kind of impurity and always greedy for more.
But this is not the lesson you learned from the Messiah!
If you really listened to him and were instructed about him, then you learned that since what is in Yeshua is truth,
then, so far as your former way of life is concerned, you must strip off your old nature, because your old nature is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires;