Unto A Perfect Man
When God gave the church gifts of men as Apostle, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers; it was for a definite purpose.
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: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephe 4:11-16
The purpose is primarily to lead us to a place, that place is Christ; it is to grow up to a person, that person is Christ; it is to become a man, that man is Christ. Unfortunately, the gifts (Apostles, prophets etc.) have made us forgotten the primary purpose of their existence; this is the greatest evil the enemy has done unto the church in our generation. Everyone at the beginning of surrendering his or her live to Christ has entered into a journey, and the journey must be pursued progressively to produce Christ in us. To become like Christ cannot be over emphasized at all, this is the hallmark of our becoming a Christian and of any ministry we may receive if it is genuinely from the Lord. This message – Unto A Perfect Man, is not just a topic that can be exhausted in few words; it is actually the centrality of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation; it is what to be preached day in, day out. In this few sentences, I am trusting God to use me to impress and engrave afresh in our hearts the centrality of becoming like Christ.
Unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ This words vividly reveal to us that unto a perfect man we are talking about is to grow unto maturity that can be measured by Christ. Christ is the measurement of our life as a Christian; He is the goal, He is the end result, He is the definition of our Christianity, He is our pursuit. If you want to know if you are doing well as a Christian, Jesus is the measurement; If you want to know if you are a good husband or wife, Jesus is the measurement; If you want to know if your ministry or church is doing well, Jesus is the measurement. This is critical for us to understand. When we became born again, we have been enrolled in this spiritual university of God and unlike the universities of this world that have many courses to choose from, in this God’s university we all have one course to pursue and one degree to finish with. That only course is to become like Christ and the certificate of our completion is Christ. Christ is what God is looking for and longing for to be formed in us.
This was the pursuit of old patriarch and we cannot do otherwise if heaven is our goal. Paul said in Gal 4:19
“ My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you”
Paul was not travailing for them to be healed, nor travailing for them to be rich, nor travailing for them to prosper. Not that healing, riches and prosperity negate the gospel but those can be gotten by prophesying or by just a wish. But when it comes to the matter of becoming the person God desires us to be, it is beyond mere prophesy or wishing. It is a matter of travailing because Satan will do all he can to stop it.
God knew them before he made the world, and he chose them to be like his Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. Roman 8:29 NCV
God chose us primarily and only to be like Christ, whatever may be your calling or profession, the only person God is looking for to be seen, and that men should see is Christ. As a man, a pastor, husband or father; it is Christ that must be seen. If we are seeking for revival in the body of Christ, this is the revival we must seek for; there cannot be any meaningful move of God outside this. Any move of God that cannot move men to be like Christ is a fake move.
This was the pursuit of Apostle Paul himself. Philippians Chapter 3 is a vivid chapter that reveals this. Let me just show you few things that reveals this pursuit in his heart.
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Phil 3:7-10
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Things that were gain to Paul was counted as loss just for Christ. It shows that whatever was considered as a gain to him, it could be riches, honor, certificate, position is counted as a loss. I want you to know that it was not God that counted it as a loss, it was Paul that counted it. This issue of passion to become like Christ must donn on us personally, it must be a personal decision and determination to come to this realization and be ready to let go anything for the sake of Christ. Paul knew that if he held to those gains at the expense of Christ, it is a great lost. Those gains were real gain if He secured Christ first. Brother and sister, is there anything too big to surrender for Christ? What is the value of that gain that you want to deny Christ?
…That I may win Christ
Christ was his prize, that was who he wanted to win. I know in his time also, others may be looking for contract to win at the expense of Christ; some may be looking to win position by all means and do not bother if they lost Christ in the process. Please let this be your pursuit if you don’t want to be disappointed on the last day; whatever you have that has taken away Christ from your life and testimony, must be let go and let Christ stay in your life.
…And be found in HIM (Christ)
I hope you see the tenacity of this matter. Paul was not just to be found in the church denomination but IN Christ. It is only those found in Christ that has hope of eternal rest. Many are satisfied if they are found in their church’s register; some are okay with their names in the workers register. That is good because we must be relevant in church but the weightier matter is to be found in Christ. It’s only those that are found in Christ that are new creatures. 2 Cor 5:17. The bible says In Christ, there is no darkness.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5
In church, sinners can be found and workers of darkness can be present. But in Christ, sin and darkness cannot survive. Brother, if there is a sin in your life right now, if there’s any lie, any unrighteousness, any unforgiveness, any uncleanliness, or whatever thing known to you but cannot be shared in public because they are works of darkness and you love to continue that way, there’s no pricking in your heart; it is an evidence that you are only in church and not yet in Christ.