This is why ita says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives1 in his train and gave gifts to men."b29
(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regionsc ?
He who descended is the very one who ascended3 higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)411
It was he who gave5 some to be apostles,6 some to be prophets,7 some to be evangelists,8 and some to be pastors and teachers,912
to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ10 may be built up1113
until we all reach unity12 in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God13 and become mature,14 attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.1514
Then we will no longer be infants,16 tossed back and forth by the waves,17 and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.1815
Instead, speaking the truth in love,19 we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head,20 that is, Christ.
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows21 and builds itself up22 in love,23 as each part does its work.
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer24 live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.2518
They are darkened in their understanding26 and separated from the life of God27 because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.28