“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” (
As the people of God grow, church leaders are our guides, and Christ’s likeness is our goal. We are moving toward being like Him, and that is a process which is never finished until we reach Heaven. Growth is measured not by the size of our buildings, the amount of our budget or the numbers of the bottoms placed in a pew, but by growth in godliness. It may well be that additional facilities are needed for additional souls being reached, who bring an increase in giving with the increase in attendance, drawn by the work that God is doing in a church that is honoring Christ. Still, this is not the goal. The goal is becoming like Jesus. The other growth is the outward display of the upward devotion.
“Unity of the faith,” is a needful part of this growth. This provides the fertile soil that nourishes the spiritual life of God’s people. We come together in a common faith in Jesus Christ and the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God. This focuses on “the knowledge of the Son of God.” We not only grow to know about Him, we grow to know Christ experientially. The focus on Jesus, as the One we worship and adore, brings the fruit of becoming like Him.
The destiny of the church is to manifest that majesty fully. While there are no perfect churches on earth, there will be a perfect church—“a perfect man”—in eternity. That perfection will be gauged by, “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
Let us not be too quick to excuse, however, the lack of Christ-likeness in our local assembly by the reality of the struggle with sin and self, where we do all stumble at times. Some aren’t striving; they have surrendered! Admitting that we won’t reach perfection, there should be progression! Our church ought to look more like Jesus this year than it did last year, and next year should move us closer to the ultimate goal of being just like Him in character—love, righteousness, justice and truth.
How does this happen in the church? It happens when individual members grow. You have an assignment this day. Your mission from God is to become more like Jesus. You need the environment of the community of believers to nurture that. As we all focus on the common goal of becoming like Jesus, unity is established, and we go and grow together toward that destination—encouraging each other along the way.