God's Tool Kit for Perfection (Ephesians 4:12-13)
Ephesians 4:12-13, “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 fulness of Christ.”
Many of you have a tool bag in your house or car. It may contain a ratchet kit, screw drivers, a hammer, wrench, or chisel. The question is, "Why?" What is its purpose? Most of us would say, "I have one to fix, repair, or maintain what is broken or to install or build something that is needed or wanted."
When we use tools to work on a project, we normally try to bring the project, the repairs, or the installation to completion. The tools in the hand of the craftsmen bring about the changes that are sought. The car runs better, the door opens smoother, the bicycle can be ridden, the tree house is a castle, and the kids can swing on the swing set. The tool kit comes in handy for a variety of problems and projects.
God has a tool kit for your perfection. This means being spiritually mature and spiritually equipped. In Ephesians 4:12, the phrase "perfecting of the saints" refers to the believer being equipped, repaired, mended, or strengthened. In Ephesians 4:13, the phrase "perfect man" refers to one who is spiritually mature or complete.
There is both unity and diversity in the body of Christ. Our diverse roles and abilities are for the purpose to enrich and bless the church. Paul shows us how the church, with all of its glorious diversity, functions in a healthy way.
Imagine the Master Carpenter’s tools holding a conference. Each tool sees issues and errors in one another rather than seeing the potential in unity. One tool complains about Brother Hammer and says, “He is so disruptive to our work. He’s got to be heard. He’s too noisy”. Bro Hammer responds and says of Brother Screwdriver, “He is so confusing. You have to turn him around and around to get anything accomplished.” Brother Screwdriver responds and says of Brother Plane, “There’s no depth to his work. It’s always on the surface."Brother Plane responds and says of Brother Ruler, “He’s constantly measuring people as if he were the only one who’s right." Brother Ruler says of Brother Sandpaper, “He ought to leave too, because he’s so rough and abrasive. He’s always rubbing people the wrong way.” Brother Sandpaper says of Brother Saw, “Every time he works, he leaves a big mess on the floor. He can’t make his mind up if he wants to go forwards or backwards”. Brother Saw says of Brother Blade, “He has a very sharp and cutting personality.” Brother Blade says of Brother Level, “He always tends to blame others for being crooked and unbalanced.” Brother Blade says of Brother Clamp, “He is always so uptight and never seems to be relaxed.” Brother Clamp says of Brother Drill, “He comes along and sticks his long penetrating nose into other people's business.”
In the midst of all this discussion, in walks the Carpenter of Nazareth. He has arrived to start His day’s work. Putting on His apron, He goes to the bench to make a pulpit from which to proclaim the Gospel. Every day He uses all of His available tools. After the day’s work is done, when the pulpit is finished, the tools observe and understand that they are all workers together. I believe this is a good description of spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. Christ has followers from every corner of the globe, each with God-given spiritual abilities to accomplish His work. Only as each member yields to the Holy Spirit can God use our diverse gifts to accomplish His work in the world. I hope and pray you’re ready to work today.
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to love others as Christ loved others. Keep me from doing anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Help me see the importance of humility of the heart, so that I will consider others before myself. Help me to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace in my home, my church, and my community. May I diligently seek after all those things that are well-pleasing in Your sight, so that I may live in unity one with others. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.