Understanding the Concept of Perfection
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Unto what type of man? A perfect man. Who is the perfect man? Jesus Christ. Does anyone disbelieve that Jesus was perfect? We will use Ephesians as the standard. In Revelation it speaks of measuring the people with a rod and the people have to come up to a standard. The definition of perfection is the standard of Christ.
How to Get To Perfection
Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
The righteous of God is by what? The faith of Jesus. We have the standard of Jesus Christ and we have the method to start this perfection by the faith of Jesus Christ. They are very important words, they have so much meaning to them. For us to understand the righteousness of God which was Jesus Christ, it is by the faith of Jesus Christ. This leads us to understanding what faith is. One of the big problems with understanding perfection is a misunderstanding of faith. Many people believe faith is something you have to imagine in your mind and that it will become so. If you believe and think it, it just is. What does the Bible tell us? What is faith?
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
What does the word substance mean? The dictionary definition is the actual matter of the thing. Faith is a literal tangible thing. For us to know what that tangible substance is you need to know what the hope is. We find what is our hope in 1 John as the perfect righteousness of God is talked about in this text.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Do you feel like a child of God? The king of the universe? It does not yet appear what we shall be but we know that we shall be like him. Is that the standard? We shall be like him? Is that perfection? And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure. We are coming to his standard. We hope to be like that but right now it doesn’t seem that way. Right now it seems far from it. God is our hope. Is that correct? Faith is the substance of things hoped for. What is our hope? Christ is our hope, the substance of Christ, the actual matter of the thing.
Psalms 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, [and] curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them.
Conception happens with husband and wife and a child is conceived. Is that embryo the actual matter of the child? That embryo is the child but is it perfect? No. the Bible says its imperfect but it’s the substance. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If we have a seed of a plant, if the seed is wheat, is that the substance of the wheat plant? All the genetic materials are there. The DNA is in that embryo inside the endosperm of that seed. Is it evidence that wheat exists? If you found a seed, would you believe that there was an avocado there? Can you see an avocado tree? It is the evidence of the things not seen. If you were in a criminal act and your DNA was found, have they evidence you were there? Did they see you? Faith is the substance of Jesus Christ the evidence of things not seen. Faith is the DNA of Jesus Christ. When sin happened Satan injected his seed into man. Faith is living data. All the data of what that seed is meant to do is written in that seed. Jesus said, if you have faith as a mustard seed, faith is equated with seed.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
The seed is the Word of God. In the beginning was the Word and it was God. It was perfect. In him was what? Life. In a seed is life waiting to get affected.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
In him was life and he became flesh. He reduced himself into an embryo inside Mary into human flesh. Then what happened? A baby, a little innocent pure child.
Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Jesus came as a baby and he started developing and in the days of his flesh he offered up prayers to God to help him and he was made perfect. Did Jesus have to be made perfect? Isn’t a baby perfect when it’s born? Yes it is. What is perfection? The full stature of Christ. When a grain starts growing out of the ground, is it perfect? Yes but can you harvest it? It’s not perfect for harvesting.
The Benchmark of Perfection
Ephesians 4 is the benchmark of perfection that we would come to the full stature of Christ. Jesus Christ was a child and in him was all the fullness of the Godhead. He is made perfect. Then what happens? He became the author of eternal salvation. What is an author? A writer? What is DNA? Data. What we do in our life is write data for our children to inherit when we give birth to them. Jesus was a baby, the Word became flesh and he went through a process of his life and he was writing out perfection for a human. He came to a point where he finished the book.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
He was the author and finisher of the DNA of a perfect human being. That is what he wrote. If we believe he wasn’t perfect in character then we have a big problem but if we consent that the scripture is true and he was the spotless Lamb of God, then the data he wrote was spotless.
When Jesus was on the cross at the end of his life he had born our sins in his body but not in his character. He condemned sin in the flesh. He wrote how a human being through the divine nature can condemn sin in the flesh. As he was doing that, the data was being put into his seed. Any person that plants and wants to make a good breed, they know when they develop something good in the plant that they take that seed and work with it. Jesus condemned sin in the flesh. He said it is finished, the DNA has been written and now I can die. There was no more to write, it was perfect, perfection on how to overcome sin. We have been born by what sort of seed? The flesh. The tendencies of my parents are passed onto me and I don’t have to try too hard to become like my father as it just happens.
1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
We weren’t redeemed with corruptible things. Are you saved because of your father’s good works? If your father was a devout Christian man who served God whole heartedly, does that make you an heir of the kingdom? What makes you an heir? Flesh and blood can’t inherit it. It says we have been born again but not of corruptible seed or data with the failures of sin in it but the data that is perfect even in overcoming. Jesus received data in his line from his flesh. We must be born again. This is what he said to Nicodemus. Unless you are born of the spirit, you cannot see or enter the kingdom. How was Jesus Christ born? Of the flesh and spirit. Are we born of the flesh? When we are born again, do we become spiritual ghosts? We stay in the flesh. What element do we need to be born again? When Jesus was conceived, the Holy Spirit put what in Mary? That holy thing. That holy substance he put in Mary and it produced Jesus Christ. We need a holy substance in our mind which is what faith is. Faith is the holy substance of Jesus Christ. Perfection can only come when you have heard the Word of God. How does faith come?
Romans 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
What goes in? The Word of God. Right now we are reading the Word of God. Right now faith is entering our ear drums. That faith is to be received. The faith was the seed and it was broadcasted over the way side and what happened? Some people hear the Word of God and Satan snatches it out through unbelief. The Word of God that has penetrated your eardrum, Satan says thank you very much and takes it out. When a seed germinates the endosperm gives the seed nutrients for some time. So it is with what many a Christian experiences, they see Jesus Christ and say, I’m a wonderful Christian and later they say what a lousy experience. This seed is perfect and when received into the honest heart, it will bring forth.
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Faith is who? The substance of Jesus Christ. In your flesh is the seed from your parents which is why you are human. In you is the Word of God and when you open up to it in comes an incorruptible seed. The Bible says whosoever is born of God cannot commit sin. Why not? Because his seed remains in him. The seed cannot sin because it was the perfect DNA. His seed is perfect, it cannot sin. If you take an avocado seed do you expect to get a mango out of it? Why? It’s a mango seed. It doesn’t have the DNA seed for mango. It is impossible to get sin out of the seed of Jesus Christ. He cannot sin, it can’t happen. This the law of genetics. The seed of the flesh is enmity itself against God. You can’t change it. It’s not an adjective that was at enmity, it is enmity. It can’t do anything but sin just like you can’t get the mango out of the avocado seed. You can’t get righteousness out of your flesh. You can’t do it. God can’t even do it. The flesh has to die. It is not subject to the law of God and neither indeed can be. Being born of incorruptible seed is the only way to heaven. For us to try to create something good is impossible. We need the seed to create good. The spiritual seed will outgrow the fleshy seed. It is not magic, it is outgrowing.
How Can We Become Perfect?
People stress and say I have to do this and that but they forget the principle of the seed. If I planted a seed and give it the conditions to grow, do I stress out if it won’t grow? It is the law that it will grow, the law of faith. The Jews boasted they were Gods children as they were Abraham’s seed as they trusted in the seed of the flesh of Abraham which was no good. Did it make them Gods children?
Romans 3:27 Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
If we understand the laws of Christianity it takes away all stress of what we will be. I know it will happen. God made seed bearing fruit and said to Adam I want you to keep it. Is it stressful to be a gardener? Just to keep a garden? Is it stressful? Adam was asked to keep a garden. What commandment has the word keep in it? Is the Sabbath meant to be stressful? We can hold it and keep it our bosom and be a maintainer and protect it, the word keep is what we are to do. We aren’t to create the plant or perfection. It’s not for us to do. It is finished. He says here is the seed, what are you going to do with it? A seed has increase in it. When God gives you the seed, the Word of God, what are you going to do? Are you going to disbelieve what it says or keep it? Keep it in our hearts. If we can maintain it, it will do the job for us, we don’t have to worry.
The Last Day People of God
Every gardener has to be patient.
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
The saints are keeping it but they need patience.
Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
If you start hearing the Word of God who else will come? The devil.
Luke 8:13 They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
There are Christians who are always good Christians when things are good but not when things are bad. It’s too hard to resist the weed growing on the flesh. Resist the devil. In resisting the devil, our work is mere resistance. If you do that, you are pulling the weed out and it will let the plant grow. I don’t have to do any work, it will grow. I just have to pull the weeds out and it will do it.
Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of [this] life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.
How would you like to plant plants and they don’t bring forth fruit? Jesus came to the fig tree and cursed it. It looked nice but it didn’t produce. Except you become as a little child you will not inherit the kingdom. You need the simplicity of a thus saith the Lord. If a child does not have the mentality of not trusting the teacher it would never learn to read. The good heart says if it’s a thus saith the Lord and God says it, that is it, I do it.
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.
Keep it. Like Adam had to keep the garden, keep it with patience. These people hang on faith like little children and say yes dad. If you have the seed of Jesus Christ in you, when you grow up, ou will be like him. That is the law of faith, the law of genetics. That growing up is nothing less than perfect of Jesus Christ, the righteousness of God. The minute the seed comes in we are justified. We are in a pit and we sit disheveled and sinful and at the bottom of the pit.
2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The Word comes in and we are partakers of the divine nature, the substance. We receive that seed and we are to keep it. The moment we have that, are we righteous?
2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience Godliness; 7 And to Godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
I’m to be diligent and keep the faith and add to it. You are to add knowledge, temperance and patience. Are these fruits? What is next?
Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Love as God loves. You are justified and right along the top of this is justification. All along you are you are justified. To keep that faith add to all that. That is sanctification. As you are travelling along, you are traveling up. Justification is one mile stone in the path. Each step up is taking a step towards perfection in love.
Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
One day he will present you faultless. What does that depend on? Your diligence.
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.
We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling and while we are doing that, where does the energy come from? It comes from the seed that God planted. He works in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. There is a lot of theorizing going on but a simple thus saith the Lord describes the picture perfectly. The thing we are to lay our dependence upon is the pure Word. This principle of pressing on toward the mark.
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Don’t’ step back, live by that and keep pressing toward the mark. This is a co-partnership. One way we can reach it is by following the example of Jesus. What is the exercise to follow so that we no longer sin? We are to have a perfection that is not sinning anymore. In him was no sin and we are to reach that.
1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
That is how Jesus conquered sin, by suffering with me. When the flesh wants to have its own way, it has to be crucified. I die daily. That is how sin can be wiped out. If you feed the seed of the flesh, it will outgrow the rest, but if you feed only the spiritual seed it will kill the other. All along the way we are called upon to suffer with Christ.
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
How long did he suffer on earth? Till he died. We are saved by his life.