Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily (Colossians 1:28-29 NKJV).
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These two verses have grown to be very important to me. As a young seminary student, I embraced them as my life verse for my ministry. If I ever wonder what it is that I’m supposed to be doing in my ministry, these two verses serve as my guide.
What’s the ultimate objective of proclaiming, admonishing, and teaching every man? Paul said that he and his co-laborers did all this, “that we may present every man perfect [or “complete”] in Christ Jesus.”
What exactly did Paul mean by saying that his goal was to present every man “perfect in Christ”? For one thing, Paul sought to show every man or woman who was in Christ that they are already positionally complete precisely because they’re in Christ. He wanted them to know, as a matter of certainty, that they now stand completely justified before God, completely forgiven of their sins, and made completely fit and ready
for heavenly glory—and all in Christ alone. He wanted them to get this not only into their heads; but to believe this with all their hearts.
Recently, the Tennessee Titans fired long-time coach, Jeff Fisher. Mike Munchak was promoted from the Offensive Line Coach as Fisher’s replacement. On the day that Munchak was hired, he became the coach. He will never positionally be more than he is today. When someone accepts Christ as their savior, they are positionally complete in Christ.
But another of Paul’s concerns in his ministry was to urge everyone who was in Christ to become “in practice” what they already are “in position”. He wanted them to grow increasingly in practical, experiential Christ-likeness—to go on and “live” the life of someone who is truly complete in Christ. He told them, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (2:6-7).
Remember Coach Munchak, he is the head coach “period” of the Tennessee Titans. As a Titans fan, I clearly hope that he will grow into the position that he already holds. Under his leadership, hopefully he will grow to the point the Titans are able to lift the Lombardi Trophy as World Champions.
As I reflect on my life, my journey was much like Coach Munchak. I recall my first church that I served as minister of education. Yes, I was the Minister of Education. On that first day, I sat in the Sunday School office, wondering what do I do. Thankfully, Freddie Pike, Ed Hinkson, and Manuel Weeks mentored me and invested their lives in mine so that today, I am able to mentor and invest in others. That’s our job. That’s our objective. That was Paul’s motive; to present every man “complete” or “perfect” in Christ. And this needs to be our great motive in our ministry as well.