Their purpose is to prepare God's people, to serve, and to build up the body of Christ.
This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God's Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard.
Then we will no longer be little children, tossed and carried about by all kinds of teachings that change like the wind. We will no longer be influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray.
Instead, as we lovingly speak the truth, we will grow up completely in our relationship to Christ, who is the head.
He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint. As each and every part does its job, he makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
So I tell you and encourage you in the Lord's name not to live any longer like other people in the world. Their minds are set on worthless things.
They can't understand because they are in the dark. They are excluded from the life that God approves of because of their ignorance and stubbornness.
Since they no longer have any sense of shame, they have become promiscuous. They practice every kind of sexual perversion with a constant desire for more.
But that is not what you learned from Christ's teachings.
You have certainly heard his message and have been taught his ways. The truth is in Jesus.
You were taught to change the way you were living. The person you used to be will ruin you through desires that deceive you.