13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Verse 13 states the ultimate goal of ministry, which is measuring up to the stature of the fullness of Christ in the present time and within history.
13 till we all come to [attain to]
The word “till” indicates how long the ministry of gifted men is to continue as it comes to realization—that is, until we, the church, come to three goals: (1) to the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, (2) to a maturity in person, and (3) to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. There is no particular time intimated here; rather, this is a statement of the final goal.
“Till” has the connotation of towards or unto a given point. This is a marker of degree or measurement where there is an arrival point (Ro 15:19). This arrival point marks both a place and time. “Till” then is the place where the church reaches the goal of an edification construct toward which gifted men do their work. It is the extent of or position where the church attains the station of maturity.
“Come to” is to arrive at or attain to. The arrival point is maturity in the “stature of the fullness of Christ.” The arrival here is not when the church arrives in glory but a point in time where the church arrives at the point of maturity. Indeed, there will be the final and ultimate point where the church is perfectly mature in eternity.
The church should work toward its intended goal of arriving “at the unity of the faith.” Note the word “at” or “to.” The following clause is also “to the whole measure.”
“All” are to arrive at the unity of faith—everyone in the church. The word “all” indicates corporate responsibility. No member is exempt from the goal of unity in faith.
God’s goal for the church is to reach the point of edification construct.
Spiritual growth comes first through understanding of Scripture, next through the perception of its principles, then the digestion of those principles, and finally the constant application of those principles to experience.
Gods accelerates our growth when He puts our understanding and application of Scripture under duress. Further tests of our maturity will come after we reach maturity. At that point the believer will arrive at still greater understanding of how God concurs with the events of our life by His sovereign providence.
Paul did not consider himself to have “attained” the level where he did not need to grow any further (Php 3:12-14). Even when individual believers or an entire church itself comes to the point of an edification construct, they have not reached an absolute maturity. That does not happen until they go to be with the Lord.