The two verses above are some of the most powerful verses in the Bible as it aims to give us guidance to do every good work. The man of God here can apply to all and is not just exclusive to men and for this passage, I would like to use the analogy of building furniture to explain the above verses.
I’m not sure if you have ever built furniture when it has arrived as a flat pack, ready-to-assemble condition, but the process involves an instruction manual and all the items required to build the item you have chosen to build. When you open the packaging, it is like opening the Bible, where there are many different parts. The furniture packaging may even have an image of what the finished, completed good work should look like. This completed good work would be likened to the completed man of God, equipped for every good work following scripture as we continue to use the analogy of building furniture.
Inside the box would also be a manual, which would have instructions that would show how to build the furniture using multiple steps and sequences to position each piece in the correct way, in the correct order. Inside the box would also be the individual parts to complete the piece of furniture that was being built. Relating to us, our manual and instructions are found in the Bible and we are the piece that can be built into a way that God deems as complete for His future plan and purpose. These instructions would include the following as part of being a complete follower of God, equipped for every good work:
An overview of the Bible including the authors
The gospel message
God and His plan
Jesus, which would include his birth, life, death, resurrection, his role now and in the future
The Holy Spirit
Baptism and how we ought to live our life after baptism
The source of temptation
The promises God made to Abraham
The above points can act as a general overview of most of the key points in the Bible that can be used for teaching, reproof, correction and for training in righteousness. A Bible passage that incorporates these points together as part of the ‘equipping of the man process,’ can be found in the book of Galatians.
…just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
In the above three verses we have the message that all peoples, all nations can be blessed along with Abraham if we believe God (verse 6); we too can be blessed (verse 9). It is also written that Gentiles can be justified by faith from the writings in scripture (verse 8). But what is faith?
Possibly the best definition found in the Bible can be found in Hebrews, which reads:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Faith is based on an assurance, which is a confidence of things hoped for and the conviction, which is the evidence of things not seen. Examples of faith include God’s existence, the creation of the universe and life after death at the time of the Kingdom! The chapter continues and includes many people where their faithful actions are recorded, which we can read more about in the Old Testament. Just to name a few from the list, Noah is mentioned, as he built an ark even though the world had never flooded before and the crossing of the Red Sea on dry land by the Israelites as they escaped the Egyptians in the Exodus. The examples include evidence than they were equipped to do good work for God.
As we start to put all the attributes that are required to complete the man of God, the biggest and most rewarding part is when it is complete. During the process, we will see pieces coming together like pieces in a puzzle and starting to take shape before the completion. Like when we build furniture, it is the end result, which is most important and as the man of God is being built, it is the end result that has the reward. During the building process, this can take time as teaching, reproof, correction and training are required from God as He completely equips us for every good work.