(PERFECTING THE SAINTS FOR ACTS OF SERVICE. -Ephesians 4:12)
He gave some to be Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist, Pastors and Teachers for what? Perfecting of the saints for acts of service. Those who are being perfected today will become tomorrow’s Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist, and Pastor’s . For what? To also perfect others. It’s like the mothers of today training their girls to be tomorrow’s mothers.’ It is God’s way of sustaining life and ensuring continuity, not just in every day life but ministry as well.
What does it mean to perfect the saints for service(works) ?
PERFECTING THE SAINT FOR ACTS OF SERVICE, This is a narrative on Christian maturity, obviously suggesting a period of imperfection, where one transits to perfection by a conscious effort of ‘ the perfector’ or trainer. The purpose is for service.
Illustration from human endeavour.
This is the way of all human endeavours. Nothing gets done unless done by those trained to do it. For instance aeroplanes are handled by pilots, not trainee pilots. But perfected ones. Same is true also for doctors in medicine, engineers building roads, and the tailors who made my wedding suits. These are professionals (perfect guys) providing services. However they all started as amateurs until with a lot of training they have been perfected for those services. Such is the way of God and spiritual life also.
Illustration from God
This illustration in fact is a borrowed concept of man from God. Whatever God does must grow from a point of imperfection to the perfect, there is the beginning and then the end comes, or better when we are born and when we grow , it is the same as the beginning and then the fullness of time.
Some examples from Genesis chapter 1and 2 may help ‘in the beginning ‘ referring to when God started creation and there is ‘ in the end judgement ‘ referring to the end of all creation. ( Revelation 21)
There is again ‘ day one’ when God started creation and there is ‘ the seventh day ‘ when God finished creation and rested.
We also have morning and evening denoting the starting of the day and maturity of it.
We also have birth and death. And we have a child and an adult.
Our God is one who start from imperfection and works to perfect it. You are a work in progress. Say Amen.
Look at a seed and look at a tree.
Look at a sperm and look at a man
Look at an egg and look at a fowl.
The difference is a God who works on the imperfection until it becomes perfect.
Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:6 Paul planted and Apollos watered but the increase is from the Lord who makes all things grow. So neither he who plants nor he who watered is anything but GOD WHO MAKES IT GROW(Mature, perfect)
Indeed it was the work of God perfecting the saints which made ‘ the boy Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and found favour with both God and man( Luke 2:52.
Similarly Luke 1:80 says of John the Baptist ‘ the child John grew and became spiritually strong …. Until he was publicly revealed to Isreal.
Purpose of being perfected
Importantly the purpose of such transition from amateurish to maturity or perfection is service.
How true. So when Jesus grew or was made perfect, he served or provided works of service.Scripture is explicit on this in Acts 10:38, ‘ how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power and how he went about doing good, healing all …for God was with him.’
Similarly John the Baptiser as his name suggests provided service of baptism when he was matured and preached repentance to all.
Even the disciples of Christ finally matured. Peter after denying Christ in his infancy went ahead in boldness to preach, which preaching converted three 300 in a single day on the day of Pentecost . Please reference Acts 2.
Application to your situation
What Are you providing in your Christian maturity? Remember that Jesus cursed the tree without fruits. John adds, ‘the ax is already at the root of the tree, and any tree that does not bear good fruits will be cut into into the fire. ‘
What are the fruits that we must bear or services that we are being prepared for?
1. To also become Apostles, prophets, Evangelist , Pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:12)
2. Provide services in the various gifts of God such as praying in tongues in intercession , interpreting tongues for revelations, prophesying for comfort, edification and exhorting the saints, miracles, healing, word of wisdom and giving guidance in word of knowledge ( I Corinthians 12)
3. There is also service of love, kindness , patience, long suffering etc in accordance with the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22)
4. Service through encouraging, giving, leading, showing mercy , etc ( Romans 12:8)
There is something for everyone to do at every stage of their preparation
If you are a baby Saint , your duty of allowing yourself to be perfected or trained is very critical as without you, the church has no future.
The growing Christian
Maybe you are neither matured nor an infant. You are on the growing track.
Remember that children still provide certain essential services to the adults and Family in general that helps their learning and maturity . The disciples did so much work while with Jesus and being discipled. You must allow yourself to be useful to the adults and also find out things you can do in your present state of growth. It is all part of God perfecting you for service. It is called practicals in our circular education.
The mature Christian
If you are a mature Christian ( Apostle etc) it behoves on you to go and preach to someone as Christ did to his disciples, and perfect that person as Christ perfected his disciples to become Apostles or as Paul did with Timothy.
God created only Adam and Eve. The rest of humanity came about through Just these two individuals. Similarly Jesus discipled only 12 Apostles. The church has grown several billions of Apostles and members just through this 12 guys.
It is our duty today to continue what God started with Christ and the apostles.
We must allow ourselves to be perfected for works of service.
The church and God depends on you to keep running.
Akyena Brantuo Benjamin|ahotoronline.com|Ghana