The Mystery of the Absence of The Mystery Of Christ and the Church

Luke records the conversion of Saul three times in the book of Acts (Acts 9, 22 and 26) and also tells Peter’s vision twice (Acts 10 and 11) and alludes to it once (Acts 15:7-11). Why are these two events repeated three times each? Any relationship?

Of course, there is, why else would I ask the question?

The relationship between both events is that something new is going on with Gentiles, expanding the Jewish mindset of the Gospel. New things are under way.

Saul was converted to focus on a ministry to Gentiles. Peter’s vision was to get him to see Gentiles as clean and open his mind to the possibilities of the Spirit among the Gentiles.

Perhaps this isn’t a big deal for us Gentiles, but this was a huge shift for Jewish thinking. But what exactly was going on here? Why is this such a big deal for Luke?

Many conclude that the point is that Gentiles can now be saved. But this is not the point; Gentiles could always be saved, ask Jonah.

The significance of what’s going on in the NT between Jews and Gentiles is that being a Jew or Gentile no longer matters! God is calling out a new people, a new spiritual people.

This new people are in Christ and become known as “The Church.” This is a big huge deal, one with amazing consequences that we rarely consider. Paul later refers to this as “the mystery.”

Not only does Luke give much attention to it, Paul speaks of it numerous times. A quick glance through Catholic, Reformed, Puritan or modern day theology shows you that we completely miss the significance. There is mention of the word “mystery” in various theologies, but the mystery of Christ, the Church, is almost entirely ignored. Wonder why that is?

Ah, another question I would not have asked if I didn’t think I had the answer!

Seven Thoughts on the Fear of God

1) Fearing God is a big deal in the Bible. It especially seems so (according to the numbers) in the Old Testament. The phrase “fear the Lord” appears 29 times in the OT and only once in the NT.

Perhaps the reason why is because Israel had a covenant related to their physical Promised Land and their obedience was directly tied to physical blessing or cursing. Therefore, even if they were saved, they could still get mightily nailed by God.

David, once again, is the perfect example. The “man after God’s own heart” lost his son because of David’s adultery. Thousands were killed because David counted the people. Fear is a big deal because God could strike.

Although the NT speaks of chastening and reaping what you sow, God’s judgments do not occur as they did in the OT on such strikingly obvious and spectacular levels. I do not think this point is debatable, but knowing Christians, it probably is.

2) The problem with God showing His wrath through spectacular judgment is that it gets old. God showed up on Mount Horeb to “make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me.”

There was smoke, lightning, thunder, earthquake, etc, and yet forty days into this fireworks show the people were worshiping a golden cow.

In order to keep the fear going, the judgments had to keep flowing. When the judgments stopped, they became self-satisfied, and thought God was just like them. Hey, we’re not dead, we must be good with God!

3) Fearing God is still an issue in the New Testament and I think we should be careful not to base the importance of doctrines based on numbers. Fearing God is a New Testament concept.

4) Instead of God taking David’s son for David’s adultery, God took His own Son. Knowing that deliverance comes from God, that forgiveness comes from Him and Him alone results in fear. He’s our only hope. We ought not take Him lightly.

God still hates sin, whether He judges it immediately or delays it. Whether Christ takes the punishment or we do, there is reason to fear. Fear, however, is not the only aspect of our relationship with God, but it must be part.

5) If fear is not present, I do not see how love and peace and comfort can be part of our relationship with God either. If we don’t know why we fear, how can we be sufficiently comforted?

6) If Christ’s death and resurrection result in no fear toward God, you are not hearing the Gospel correctly!

7) If believers do not fear God, what sort of testimony does this give to the non-believer? As Paul said, “Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” We know what God’s wrath is, as He has told us. We know what brings it. If this means anything to us, we will warn men.

The fear of God is a big concept, these are merely snippets of many thoughts. I hope some are helpful.

Crucifix Crushes Man’s Leg

“David Jimenez believed his devotion to a crucifix was responsible for his wife being cured of cancer. Well, the crucifix fell on him, crushing one of his legs.”

Jimenez asked the church if he could clean the crucifix, so the church let him. While cleaning it, it toppled and crushed his leg. he is now suing the church!

God Will Never Leave You. Act Like That Matters.

So, if God is to be feared, what would life look like if we actually did fear Him? Any ideas? Are we constantly trembling, looking over our shoulder for God’s right arm of justice to smash us? Are we too petrified to go out the door for fear of the Lion of Judah in the street?

On the contrary, a life lived in fear of God is a life that appears confident, free of anxiety, and not moved by the shifting opinions of people.

We enjoy flopping out some phrases from Hebrews 13 from time to time to sooth ourselves when our phone doesn’t allow us to text and that one light is blinking in the car again and the whole world is, like, totally against us. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” We put on our Facebook status with the obligatory :)

We might even follow it up with “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” when the mechanic tried to overcharge us for getting the blinky light to go off. Don’t you even!

Ah yes, modern Christian self-help. It’s enough to make you want to vomit and yet boy howdy, that vomit looks good, might go back to it for a snack later.


Note the context of these phrases “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

Someone who truly believes the Lord is with them so they need not fear man, has a life free of covetousness and filled with contentment. Our desires for iPads and cars and fancy clothes and pretty much everything, shows that we don’t really know who God is. He’s not our treasure; we just want Him to help us get more of our treasures.

We’re sick, sick people.

The larger context of these verses is about love, love of strangers, love of imprisoned believers, love in marriage, love of those who teach you from God’s Word.

You can’t love unless you are free of selfishness and worry. You can’t be free of selfishness and worry until you know God for who He is and He sets you free from yourself and replaces you with Him. It’s a beautiful thing.

Instead we’ll be distracted by the new double thick burger commercial and not think about this again.

Main Source of Pastoral Depression

I’ve been around Christians plenty. Here’s a thing I have observed:

The “Christians” with the most problems in life also have a tendency to take sin very lightly. When they tell their tale of woe, they appear as the only innocent party involved. Yet they are always trying new things and reading a new book and going here and there to take care of their problems. Expending energy to deal with the fruit of their sin while maintaining their innocence.

It’s a mind-boggling thing and I’ve seen it a lot. Never once do they see their own sin and, if by chance they do see it for a second, never seem to correlate their sin with their results. They excel at the inability to correlate present action with future results.

If they simply got real with their sin, humbled themselves for a second so they might be taught, and then sought God for the answer to the problems their sins have produced, they’d get somewhere.

Instead they keep running around, tossed about with every wind of doctrine, ever learning but never coming to the truth. This, however, is not unique to Christianity.

“Yet thou sayest, ‘Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me.’ Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, ‘I have not sinned.’Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way?”

They maintain innocence because they aren’t getting judged, meanwhile there is whining about all the problems they have and all their proposed solutions. Guess what? All your solutions will fail until you come to God.

It’s sad. You can’t make people come to God. They have to go. One of the main sources of pastoral depression is the ability to see solutions that no one wants. Not content with life? Main reason is because you’re not listening to God.

“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

The Irresponsible Act of Making Others Take Responsibility

There is much talk about making people be responsible. I find this intriguing since one of the fundamental truths about humans is our desire to pass the buck.

After the first sin, Adam said, “The woman you gave me made me eat.” Eve said, “The serpent tricked me and I ate.” Denying responsibility is akin to a universal right.

So when people start talking about wanting others to “take responsibility,” what is really behind it?

Poor people should take responsibility and get a job.
Parents of bad kids should take responsibility and discipline their kids
Bad kids should take responsibility and suffer consequences of their actions
Banks should take responsibility for the loans they approved
McDonalds should take responsibility and cute the caloric content of their greasy food

On and on we go, telling everyone else how to be responsible. Surely these things are good, which is why we should be suspicious as to why so many are talking like this.

Seems to me, the reason we want others to take responsibility for their problems is so their problems don’t get in our way. It’s a nice way to feel righteously superior while ignoring others. If I believe poor people are poor because they don’t work, then I have a righteous reason to not help them.

Christian virtue says we are to bear our own burdens. But why? The reason we bear our own is so we can help others bear theirs.

Be suspicious next time you hear someone talking about how other people should “take responsibility.” Remember, taking responsibility for someone elses’ problems is sort of what that whole Cross thing was about.

Running Out of Gas

True Story:

A number of years ago there was a funeral in our little town with the burial taking place at a cemetery over 10 miles from town. During the processional, the hearse ran out of gas! The entire processional had to stop and pull over while someone went and got gas.

This is hilarious and begs the question: will you run out of gas before you get buried?

Faith Despises Common Sense

One of the problems the Bible has is that it doesn’t make sense. Many of its teachings are counter-intuitive and, quite frankly, just weird.

What man esteems God despises. God sees the wisdom of man as being foolishness. He turns things upside down.

That being the case, common sense should be right out the window.

“Common” means it’s everywhere. “Sense” is how people think and perceive things. “Common sense” is the way pretty much everyone thinks or perceives things.

Common sense is an abomination with God.

This is hard for us to swallow seeing as how we’re all in pretty good agreement, God is the odd man out. But think on biblical truth and let me know how well our common sense feels about them

–Love your enemy
–Forgive as you’d like to be forgiven
–Take no thought for your life
–Worry not for tomorrow
–Give away your stuff to be my disciple
–Awake to righteousness and sin not

Common sense is going nuts right now! None of those are possible. Surely that’s not what God meant, he knows we can’t actually do any of that.

“The danger with us is that we want to water down the things that Jesus says and make them mean something in accordance with common sense; if it were only common sense, it was not worth while for Him to say it.”

That quote was Oswald Chambers. On a Chambers kick right now. Faith means taking a chance, going out on a limb, not doing the common sense thing but taking God at His word and trusting Him.

Do we have faith? Or do we have common sense that keeps us from faith?

The Game and Gang Member Jesus

Rap “artist” The Game has a new album coming out called “Jesus Piece” featuring a picture of Jesus Christ dressed as a gang member. The Game defends his album choice by saying this:

“I’m calling [my new album] ‘Jesus Piece’ ’cause last year in August I got baptized and so I’ve been going to church, but I still been kinda doing me out here,” Game said in an interview with radio personality Jenny Boom Boom in September. “I still love the strip club and I still smoke and drink. I’m faithful to my family, so I wanted to make an album where you could love God and be of God, but still get it poppin’ in your life.”

Ah yes, the modern Gospel fully illustrated. Nice to see someone go ahead and be honest about it anyway. He suffers no delusions about the ineffectiveness of the modern Gospel message.

Spiritual Toughness and Toilet Paper

There is an individual in my house who insists upon putting the toilet paper roll on backwards. This particular positioning of the roll is more difficult to get toilet paper from. I was recently struggling to get me some wipes when I verbalized my frustration, “Oh, come on. Just give me some stupid toilet paper” I said while smacking the toilet paper roll.

Yes, I got mad at toilet paper.

What makes this particularly odd is that right before this I was reading Oswald Chambers on spiritual toughness. Dealing with trials in a faithful way. He says,

“Rise to the occasion; do the thing. It does not matter how it hurts as long as it gives God the chance to manifest Him self in your mortal flesh. May God not find the whine in us any more, but may He find us full of spiritual pluck and athleticism, ready to face anything He brings. We have to exercise ourselves in order that the Son of God may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

Don’t ya hate how you read or hear spiritual things and you’re like, “Oh, wow, that’s so true. I need to make some changes” and then during the very next thing you face you completely deny what you were so moved by mere minutes ago?

Life is annoying that way. But alas, here we are. Rise to the occasion. You are in Christ and therefore equipped to overcome problems with toilet paper.

The Comfort of Chastening

God’s chastening is one of those subjects some are uncomfortable with. Some have concluded that since God is grace and love, He would never punish those whom He loves and has shown grace to.

This seems a fine notion, but should be immediately dismissed since it is the exact opposite of what Scripture says.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”

Love cares enough to care.

To say that you have never been chastened by the Lord is to admit a very bad thing.

But I want to show you a cooler aspect in these verses. Notice the phrase “And ye have forgotten the exhortation.” We’ve been talking about comfort lately and it’s a little known fact that the same Greek word for comfort is also the word for exhortation.

Thus, one could say, “And ye have forgotten the comfort. . . despise not thou the chastening of the Lord.” Being chastened is a comfort!

Again, notice how in our day of removing what we view as “mean stuff” from the Bible, we eliminate our grounds for being comforted. We are now an undisciplined and stressed out people. Go figure.

When you veer off the path and are heading for disaster, isn’t it comforting to know that God will do what He can to bring you back? His power will be used to correct you so you get where He wants you to go? Why would we not want chastening?

Have we forgotten our comfort?

Oswald Chambers on Doctrinal Opinions

“Always keep your life measured by the standards of Jesus. Bow your neck to His yoke alone, and to no other yoke whatever; and be careful to see that you never bind a yoke on others that is not placed by Jesus Christ.

“It takes God a long time to get us out of the way of thinking that unless everyone sees as we do, they must be wrong.

“Don’t get impatient, remember how God dealt with you – with patience and with gentleness; but never water down the truth of God.

“Let it have its way and never apologize for it. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples,” not “make converts to your opinions.”

How God is Comforted

Our view of Scripture is often tainted by humanism, or at least putting us first. We read the Bible to find out how we can make our lives better or see what God has done for us, what promise we can take out of context to buck us up in our latest crises.

Most of the talk of “comfort” in the Bible has to do with our comfort level. We are comforted by God’s rod and staff, or so we say anyway, not wanting to talk too much about what God does to sheep with a rod and staff. All good things, no doubt.

We talk about how God provides for us so we can continue to revel in materialistic comfort and how this really is glorifying God. Comfort seems to be a virtue now.

But when was the last time you thought about what brings God comfort? Came across this verse, enjoy:

“Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the Lord have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.”


When was the last time you heard that one in a sermon?

God is comforted by unleashing His fury!

God is righteous. We mention this when we talk about imputed righteousness, but not too much otherwise. Again, we make God’s righteousness about us.

But God’s righteousness desires everything to be right, and do we understand that the great and terrible God hates what is wrong? He will be comforted when He judges wrong and sets all right.

We have a great God. Know what makes Him tick, and probably know what makes Him get ticked off, too.

The Comfort of Having a Terrible God

Twelve times in the Bible (and by “Bible” I mean the King James, thank you) God is described as being “terrible.” Terrible has come to mean someone is misbehaving, doing something wrong. Public schools are filled with terrible children.

But this is not the sense of the word as used in the King James era. The word meant one who struck terror in others, one who caused others to be afraid. Fear is inherent in who God is.

Fearing God is a good thing because it shows you are aware of who He is.

But this fear of God, which is not just “awe,” as is frequently said today (NAS, NIV, etc.), but actual fearful dread, has a pleasant side to it as well. Observe:

“Thou shalt not be affrighted at them [their enemies]:
for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.”

The fear of God is to be so great in us that we fear nothing else. Thus, there is great comfort in having the great and terrible God on our side!

As a child, I feared my father and yet was greatly comforted in many a situation that the man who I feared was with me. I knew that if I were afraid of him there was power there, and yet this power would also be used to protect me.

There are not many people who are free of worry and anxiety these days. Everyone is frantic and stressed. It is no coincidence that this is the case when fearing God is so little mentioned in the Church. The Church is too busy getting rid of hell and softening God’s image.

Fearing God is a stress-reducer! Know who God is.

The Fear of God and the Comfort of the Holy Spirit

The early church is described as “walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.”

Read that again. How does that make sense? How can we be fearing and comforted at the same time?

This is one of many dualities in Scripture that forces the man of God to walk by faith! Everything is good in its season, and there are some seasons where opposites are good together.

The fear of God and the comfort of the Spirit are hard for us to put together. Denominations have started to emphasize one or the other. Some Christians are so heavy into fearing God that there is never a shot at comfort. Others are so big on comfort, fear seems quaint.

Walking in both requires a well-rounded knowledge of who God is. God is a Father. My father freaked me out many times as a kid. I was in fear of him. Many times I was also greatly comforted by the fact that the one I feared was with me!

So it is with God, only more so. When we fear God properly, we need not fear anything else. “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Walk in both and avoid the heresies that arise out of ignoring one.

Oswald Chambers on the Spiritual Life

“The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next.

“If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled.

“But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy.”

Billy Graham and the Cult of Mormonism

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed language labeling Mormonism a “cult” from its website after the famed preacher met with Republican nominee Mitt Romney last week and pledged to help his presidential campaign.”

Yup, so in order to promote the Republican Party, an Evangelical group decides Mormonism is not a cult. Clear demonstration of putting politics over the Bible.

A spokesman for BGEA said, “”Our primary focus at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. . . We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign.”

This is why I refrain from participating in politics. It puts secondary things of first importance.

Here are some of the views of Mormonism and you can decide if Billy Graham perhaps might want to retire:

–Claim to have the priesthood of Aaron and Melchizadek—given to Smith and Crowdery by John the Baptist in 1829
–Mormonism denies the unity of the One God and ascribes to several gods. These gods have spirit children who take on bodies, we can then become gods as well. God is a resurrected man who once lived on this earth, thus God is not omnipresent.
Gods are polygamous to create their spirit children.
Jesus and Lucifer are brothers.
No virgin birth, God the resurrected Father had sex with Mary to produce Jesus. This was the same “man/god” that had sex with Eve, “one of his wives.”
–Indians, blacks and those with dark skin were cursed by God. New revelation in 1978 changed this belief.
Christ’s blood does not atone for all sin, need to shed your own for full atonement (Young).
–When Christ returns the Jews will be gathered to Palestine and the Mormons to Missouri.  The Ten Lost Tribes will be restored—they now live in a warm country beyond the North Pole.
Believe in three separate heavens. Heathens go in the lowest heaven, Christians and not so good mormons go in second heaven and good Mormons go to the top heaven. Top heaven has three parts too—top tier is for those who have achieved godhood, which you can work towards while there.

RG3 is “The Black Jesus”

Fred Davis, wide receiver for the Washington Redskins on his quarterback, Robert Griffin III:

“You really can’t say much more. I mean, like I said, he’s Black Jesus right now. He saved us today. He’s a great player. He makes plays. And he did what he had to do on that third down.”

Jesus, did in fact, come here to do “what he had to do,” but perhaps what He had to do was a bit bigger than what RG3 had to do, even on third down. RG3 may have beaten the Vikings; Jesus can save the Vikings.

Self-Righteousness and Not Doing Good Works

Talk of good works makes people nervous; bringing up perfection causes heart attacks.

I think these fears exist for good reason:
A) Jesus did not like the Pharisees, had harsher words for them than for  prostitutes and tax collectors.
B) Pharisees prided themselves on their good works.
C) Thus, speaking of good works makes you a Pharisee and Jesus didn’t like them.

But this is goofy. It’s like avoiding mentioning the Holy Spirit to not be labeled a Charismatic weirdo or not talking about communion for fear of being a Catholic Mass fan. It’s just not necessary.

The Pharisees were obsessed with good works and the Pharisees were wrong. They were not, however, wrong about doing good works, they were wrong when it came to why to do good works.

Pharisaic good works are done for the praise of man. They were external acts done to look externally better than others. This fostered a self-righteousness that evidenced itself in judgmentalism and religious superiority. They also devised doctrines that said their good works made them superior in God’s eyes too.

This is why they get the wrath of Jesus Christ.

God’s law is a standard of righteousness. Righteous standards can be used one of two ways: 1) to hate and judge or 2) to love and edify. The Pharisees came down firmly on 1). Jesus Christ and the Bible came down firmly on 2).

Health obsessed eaters follow strict diets. They feel good about their strict diet and this develops into judging others who eat candy bars and white bread. This is the wrong use of a standard.

If your diet has helped you, mention it to those who want help, do not use your diet as the standard of people’s morality. Don’t use your diet to hate and divide; use it to love and edify. Also don’t act like diet doesn’t matter to avoid being a dieting Pharisee!

When the law is used to uphold righteousness so that others may see the love of God on display, then the law has served its purpose. Love fulfills the law. When we do righteous deeds out of love, we are showing God’s love.

Good works are good, which is why they are called GOOD works. When done properly, they are done to bring glory to our Father in heaven, to show love and to edify others.

A fear of good works often goes hand in hand with a lack of concern for the spiritual state of others. Our resistance to good works may just be a fear of what others will say, a concern for reputation, and a lack of concern for the spiritual health of others. If we are concerned with evangelism we will understand that what we do speaks louder than our words.

As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” Their refusal to do righteousness and press on in sin has directly led to others not having the knowledge of God. Your own selfishness in wanting to do sin causes others to be ruined spiritually.

I am too good to be bothered with doing things that might help other people. Jesus loves me, I’m good. Who cares about anything else? Yes, fearing good works may in fact be another manifestation of self-righteousness.

10 Conclusions About Christian Perfection

In conclusion, here is what I believe about Christian perfection:

1) If you’re not saved, perfection is out of the question. Perfection is not how people get saved, nor is it a requirement to be earthly perfect to enter heaven. If righteousness came by the law then there was no reason for Christ to die.

2) Perfection is never grown into by looking at yourself, but rather as we look to Christ and are conformed to His image, perfection is worked out and rooted in all that Christ has done for us.

3) I believe God, through Christ, His Word, His Body, and His Gospel, has provided all a man needs to be perfect or else 2 Timothy 3:17 and other verses make no sense.

4) I have no idea how a man could actually be perfect. Just because he can be, does not mean he will be.

5) Paul said he was not perfect and the one time he thought he was blameless was before he was saved.

6) Perfection is our goal, the finish line of salvation and what the believer is progressing toward. We should not be afraid to speak of it, but rather rejoice in all that Christ has for us!

7) God may define “perfection” differently than we do. In other words, what we think is evidence of perfection may be heresy with God (Pharisees) and what we think is not consistent with perfection may in fact be perfect with God. He sees the heart remember. I’m not convinced that the Biblical “perfect” means “sinless” anyway!

8) Job is the most fascinating character in the Bible when it comes to perfection who you never hear about in this context. “And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” I cannot wait to talk to Job!

9) The Church is also stated as something God has given us to perfect us.

10) The goal of preaching is to perfect the hearers, which is why preaching is the most challenging, rewarding, and depressing thing in the world.

Oswald Chamber on the Life of the Minister

“Allow nothing to keep you from looking with strong determination into the face of God regarding yourself and your doctrine. And every time you preach make sure you look God in the face about the message first, then the glory will remain through all of it.

“A Christian servant is one who perpetually looks into the face of God and then goes forth to talk to others. The ministry of Christ is characterized by an abiding glory of which the servant is totally unaware— “. . . Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him” (Exodus 34:29).

“We are never called on to display our doubts openly or to express the hidden joys and delights of our life with God. The secret of the servant’s life is that he stays in tune with God all the time.”

Christian Perfection? Really?

I believe, based on verses like 2 Timothy 3:16, that perfection is possible for the believer, since it says the man of God can be perfect, I kind of have to go with that.

However, I have no idea how that would be done! I know lots of other verses in the Bible too, like the flesh lusts against the Spirit so you cannot do those things you would like to. Romans 7 emphasizes this point as well. I know that we are not supposed to sin, but if we do, we have an Advocate with the Father. Plus many other verses.

The bottom line is this: Perfection is our goal. Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. We are to desire to be conformed to the image of Christ, the One who is Perfect.

Perfection in this life is tough since we are in an imperfect world, surrounded by a sinful system that we partake in daily without even realizing we are sinning. This is the perfection John Wesley attempted to explain, we can be perfect from willful sin, but not from unknown sin, etc. (If I”m understanding him rightly anyway!).

I am not perfect and am constantly reminded of this fact. I have met some who think they are perfect, yet I’ve spent enough time around them to doubt this highly.

The second you are aware of your perfection is the second pride would enter. It is my contention that if a person did achieve perfection, he would be the last to know it and would certainly not be going around bragging about his perfection.

The tendency today, however, is not to pretend to be perfect, but to act as if perfection isn’t even a remote concern, to, in fact, revel in sin and pretend Jesus is cool with this. The Bible speaks of perfection way to often for us to ignore it or chalk it up to heresy or loophole your way out of it.

Our salvation is based on faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, the blood He shed for the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection He went through to raise us up to new life. Perfection does not save; perfection is the goal of being in Christ. Christ is first and without Him we are lost. With Him we become like Him. That’s our goal.

Oswald Chambers on Being Alone With God

“A servant of God must stand so very much alone that he never realizes he is alone. In the early stages of the Christian life, disappointments will come— people who used to be lights will flicker out, and those who used to stand with us will turn away.

“We have to get so used to it that we will not even realize we are standing alone. Paul said, “. . . no one stood with me, but all forsook me . . . . But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me . . .” (2 Timothy 4:16-17). We must build our faith not on fading lights but on the Light that never fails.

“When “important” individuals go away we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go, so that only one thing is left for us to do— to look into the face of God for ourselves.”

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