Thursday, September 26, 2013

Perfecting The Saints

The body of Christ cannot grow without some assistance.

Ephesians 4:11-16 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Before Jesus left earth he provided the leadership that the new organization called the church would need so that the church would be sustainable throughout the ages. The church leaders included apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.

The two main purposes of these leaders is to help the believers grow and to help them get along and work together in unity. Don't fall for the lie that these are the "professional" Christians that are employed to do all of the work of the church.

Ideally, if the leadership is successful then the work of the church will get done efficiently and the people in the church will be very happy doing their part. We don't usually take it very seriously but our maturity in the body of Christ is very important for two reasons:

1. Without maturity in our faith we will fall for the devils lies, he will send people that will try and trick us into believing something that is almost the truth, something similar to the deception that he used on Adam and Eve.

2. The world needs to see the body in a mature condition because a lack of maturity will result in behavior that will not be appealing. We must be mature so that we can be attractive to the world, if they see fighting and childish behavior and an absence of love then they will be repelled from us, love and unity are the best reasons for them to notice us.
Becoming like Jesus.
1 John 3:2  Dear friends, we are already God's children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is.
The work of perfecting the saints is a job that will not be finished until Jesus returns and takes us home to heaven. Until then the leaders of the church are here to equip us and help us grow to maturity. They will work along with the Holy Spirit and the Bible to help us grow more like Jesus. (Galatians 5:16, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 13:17)

Thank you Lord for the men of the Bible that show me how to live, thank you for the guidance of pastors and church leaders that help me know you better and help me apply your teaching to my life.