Unto man has God “put in subjection the world to come.” Man. That’s us, brethren. In the world to come, the next age, the time in the history of this earth after Christ’s return to rule it for a thousand years—God has ordained that some of us human beings will be rulers with Christ in the government that He will establish (Heb. 2: 5).
To rule and reign with Christ in His kingdom/government—that is the high calling. Brethren, are we ready? Have we grown spiritually that we would be strong and pure enough to take on that mantle of responsibility for the King, to be His administrators, His regents, His arms and hands, His heart and mind in the myriad matters of ruling the King’s earth?
To help us fulfill this “high calling” of God, Christ came “that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (2: 9). And Christ will be made complete and perfect by His act of “bringing many sons unto glory” (v. 10). And this glory is us being glorified, which in turn brings final glory to the King and Master. Christ will be fully glorified when He fulfills His final destiny, which is bringing His chosen ones to full spiritual maturity.
He did say, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone. But if it die, it brings forth much fruit” (John 12: 24). We are the “much fruit” that He refers to on the road to His glorification (v. 23).
And because we, Christ’s followers, have come out of the matrix of “flesh and blood, He also Himself took part of the same.” Why? So that He could pave the way for our immortality, made possible by the destruction of the devil. Christ destroys the devil when He destroys sin in our life and gives us a new life by faith (Heb. 2: 14). That’s the foundation to build the temple of God on. Since we are His temple,that is where we start.
And Christ brings us to that full mature spiritual growth by sharing His Spirit with His body of believers. He shares His Spirit with His teachers, and they then impart the necessary knowledge to Christ’s brethren, for “He is not ashamed to call [us] brethren (2: 11).
Why God Gave Us the Five Fold Ministry Offices
In fact, Christ set in His spiritual body of believers five offices: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. And Christ established these offices “for the perfecting of the saints [the brethren, us], for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4: 11-12).
Let’s savor this a moment. God has chosen out from among all the Christians in the world a few to be in these offices. Why? What is their purpose? First, they are necessary “for the perfecting” of the members of Christ’s church, which is His body of believers. The Greek word (G2675) translated “perfecting” here means “to be fit, prepared, to be mended and repaired, and ethically, to be complete and perfect, and to make one what he ought to be” (http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=G2675&t=KJV).
The true offices of God will help us by the Spirit within them to become prepared, ready and fit to assume the duties in Christ’s kingdom—royal duties to be assigned to us of our Father. For this is really the “work of the ministry” that Paul refers to here. The “ministry” of Christ is the administration of His government that will fill the whole earth, according to the prophet Daniel in 2: 44 and 7: 18: “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” That’s a long time to be in the presence of the King of kings (that’s us with the little “k”). And we “shall take the kingdom and possess it forever.” We. Us. Ruling with Christ the King.
That’s the gospel, my brothers and sisters. That’s the good news that man needs. Getting rid of the corruption caused by the sinful hearts of the leaders of this present world system and replacing it with righteous rulers who contain the Spirit of Christ in their bosoms. That’s the gospel; that’s the good news. It is the “gospel of kingdom” (Matt. 4: 23; Mark 1: 14-15). But how the gospel has been watered down at best by preaching only a tiny portion of His plan! How it has been poisoned by the preaching of false concepts like the prosperity doctrine! Well did the prophets cry, “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, Saith the LORD.” And, “My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray.” But then He promises finally, “I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer 23: 1; 50: 6; Ezk 34: 2; Jer 3: 15).
How Long Will They Teach Us?
These Spirit-led apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in our day will continue to teach “till we all come in the unity of the faith” (Eph. 4: 13). They through the Spirit will teach His pure concepts until we Christians are on the same page, until we have His vision. They will teach by His Spirit until the body has the true “knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man” (4: 11).
They will continue to teach the truth until we are fully grown, walking in the Spirit like Peter, James, John, and Paul did after the Resurrection. “Perfect” here means a completed spiritual life cycle growth. They will teach until we all have the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (v. 11).
But don’t just take my word for it. We must prove all things through study and prayer to see if the things expounded here take root and grow in our hearts—to see if this vision of a royal heritage quickens like a seed in warm rich soil which loses its lonely first state and dies, only to be reborn as a green lively plant nourished by the living waters, alive now to reproduce itself, as the Creator has reproduced Himself in us. Kenneth Wayne Hancock