Pastors have really big goals for their churches. As a church-planting pastor I know this all too well. Pastors want their churches to be vibrant, they want their churches to serve inside the church and outside, and they want their churches to grow. These are big, audacious goals!
The apostle Paul had even more audacious goals- not for the church as a whole, but specifically for the people of his church. You can read about his goals in Colossians 1:25-2:4. Take a look at these verses from this section.
“… so that we may present everyone perfect (mature) in Christ… so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding.” (1:28, 2:2)
Talk about ambitious goals! Paul wants to present everyone to God as mature Christians in Christ. He wants his people not just to have scraps of truth, he wants them to be rich in it. He doesn’t want them to have a partial, incomplete, half understanding of the gospel. He wants them to get it – really get it in a comprehensive way.
I’ll tell you what. It’s no pie in the sky dream that God will bring us to complete knowledge. Christian maturity is not just some big, hairy, audacious goal that’s way out there in some kind of unknowable, possible future. The truth is that by the power of the gospel, that future is arriving right before our eyes, and it might be coming to you more immediately than you think.
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mysterythat has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
2 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.