Our Search For Spiritual Perfection: (Part Two)
by Terry Broome
The goal of Paul’s preaching was that he might present every man perfect in Christ. This is the goal of Christ Jesus as well. It is a goal too huge for human power. Our generation with its lack of moral principles needs to be converted and transformed – presented perfect in Christ. This was what Paul attempted to do by a preaching of the Gospel. It was his fervent desire for us to grow and attain to a fully developed spiritual man in Christ Jesus. Paul expresses this aim in Col. 1:28, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
The Lord provided for our spiritual growth by setting certain elements within the church: “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 fullness of Christ,” (Ephesians 4:12-13).
There should be a constant process of growth, self-purification, and service following our conversion until our death. Paul writes both of this process of growth as well as its results in Col. 1:9-12: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understandings; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”
God’s plan for our spiritual development then is evident: We are to be filled with knowledge accompanied with applied wisdom and spiritual understanding. We are thus made able to walk worthy and please the Lord. The results in our lives are that we are fruitful, and that we will grow strong. Qualities such as patience, longsuffering, joyfulness, and thankfulness – true spiritual qualities – will abound. We need to open up our hearts and become such partakers of the inheritance of the saints.
Once we have been reconciled to God by the message of Christ’s death, then it is God’s further goal to present us holy, and without blemish before Him. Paul continues in Col. 1:21-23a – “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to Present You Holy and Unblameable and Unreproveable in His Sight: If Ye Continue in the Faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel….”
Christ is the basis of the Christian’s holy new life. Indeed, Christ in us is “the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27) – the basis upon which every man can be presented spiritually complete (Col. 1:28).
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.