“till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;”
Ephesians 4:13 NKJV
“The measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
That phrase has been rolling around in my head for a long while now. This is what Paul called “a perfect man” in Ephesians 4:13.
Wow. Perfect. Isn’t that the dream of each of us, to be perfect? Well, being perfect is just fine, but putting in the work to become perfect? Hmm… What’s that involve?
Backing up from verse 13, we can learn a few things about what God had in mind here. It says something will continue until we come unto this perfection. What is it?
Verse 11 says Christ Himself gave the church various servants to instruct the church, also called edifying, to equip or enable them to serve in the ministry of Christ. We know that at least one aspect of Christ’s ministry is that of reconciliation. See 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.
This section of the Book of Ephesians begins with imploring believers to walk worthy of this vocation and describes how to do that.
“with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Ephesians 4:2-3 NKJV
Bearing with one another in love: Try applying that thought to your latest interaction. How close did you come to that standard?
Keeping the unity of the Spirit between us selfish humans takes a certain kind of glue, the bond of peace. We must do our best to pursue peace with as much as lies within us–with everything we’ve got.
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Romans 12:17-21 NKJV
The trap we often fall into is pursuing pacifism rather than peace, avoiding conflicting rather than being a peacemaker, looking the other way rather than bearing the infirmities of the weak.
Jesus did the opposite. He pursued peace with everything that was within Him. He gave his life every day, until ultimately His life was taken by those He served. Yet even in that, we know He chose to give His life because no one had power over Him.
How do you measure up to the pattern of the fullness of who Jesus is? Are you pursuing peace and holiness? Are you walking worthy of the vocation of the ministry Jesus calls His people to?
Are you getting along with others, or are you stirring up trouble? Are you being lowly and gentle, or are you fighting for your rights? Are you serving as a reconciler, someone who fixes broken things, or are you part of the problem, breaking trust and relationships?
Take a look at your life by overlaying Jesus’ example over your actions the past while. If you’re honest, you will see the areas that need improvement because all believers are still working toward that measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Repent. Ask God for forgiveness. Pray to be filled with the Spirit. Reconcile.
Until we all come…