Paul is speaking to the Church, all believers everywhere and at any time in Church history. He encourages that what we share about Christ always be said with love, for that is how Jesus ministered His message as He walked this earth. But Paul also wants us to see the whole Body of believers grow into the likeness of Christ which is ultimately the goal God has for them. However, we look around us and wonder how this is looking to God right now. Of course, nothing surprises Him and He is aware of the short comings of the Body today, but He will accomplish His goal, no doubt about that. But, in the meantime, how should individual Christians think about what Paul is saying here?
You may have heard the thought expressed, if there is going to be a change in the life of the Body, let that change begin with me! And that is what I want you to see. Maybe we're not seeing all that God wants for His Church being fulfilled, but we sure can take a good look at ourselves and ask, "Is God's work being fulfilled in me?" Am I "growing in every way more and more like Christ?" Rather than wondering how other Christians are doing I should be concerned as to how I am doing! God can work wonders with one person! I remember hearing that Dwight L. Moody, famous evangelist of the late 1800's and founder of the Moody Bible Institute once said, "There is no telling what God can do with one person wholly dedicated to Him and willing to give their full life for His service. By God's grace, I want to be that man!" How about you? How about me? If God can work through one man, like Moody whose ministry touched millions of people, can He not do that again today through one more person? Are you willing to say God, "by Your grace I want to be that person!"