There is no such thing as a perfect church. Some laughingly quip, “If you find one don’t join it… you might ruin it.” Followers of Jesus come to understand that perfection rests not in individual believers or in any group, but in Jesus Christ himself. At the same time, Christians are supposed to pursue righteousness--perfection. How is this done?
Paul lived a life in pursuit of perfection. He had quite the resume and reputation. While Paul was on his own road, he encountered Jesus Christ, and his pursuit changed. In his letter to the Church in Philippi, Paul passionately said he put no confidence in personal achievement or ability. Paul directed all his effort to “know” Christ, to “gain” Christ, and to be “found in Him.” Paul understood perfection comes not by following rules, but by believing in Jesus. The pursuit and posture of Paul’s life continued to be perfection, but he did not chase after his own perfection. Paul chased after Jesus Christ, understanding that as he followed Jesus, Jesus would perfect him. Paul’s new pursuit took him in the footsteps of Jesus.
The perfect church is not one with perfect people, but with people being perfected as they follow Jesus. Perfection will come, but not in this life. Looking for perfection or the perfect church here on this earth is looking for the wrong stuff. Paul describes the Christian life as a pursuit, an eager expectation. It is a bit of a wait.
So, while you wait, what are you doing? Consider the posture and pursuit of Paul. Can you describe your wait here on earth as an eager expectation? He did not spend his time nitpicking his own faults or those of the church, rather he looked for Christ with his mind, heart and with his actions. He saw himself “in Christ.” The challenge for us now is to take a test. We do this as individuals and as a church. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you fail the test” (2 Cor. 13:5). Take a good look and see who is in control of your life. Every day is a good day to turn from selfishness, pride, coveting, anger, jealousy and the desire to control everything and everyone around you. It is called surrender. It is perfectly done by turning to Jesus. You may have turned to Jesus once. Great, you are forever His! Now you get to keep turning to Him (Rom. 13:14). Lean forward and pursue!