"And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ"
by Katie Stewart
Perfection is not an end in itself.
Genesis 1:1, " In the beginning God", points us to the One Who is our means to an end. Ephesus lost their first love, which was due to Him Who is first. It was their reasonable service, and they didn't do it. When that happens, all else is lost - and rightly so.
Since He is the Word, faith comes by Him. And since we are supposed to live by faith, we are supposed to live by every word that proceeds from His mouth. This is why doctrine is important. It's His mind and mouth, causing our life to be lived wholly through, and by Him. He is Our Means. And since He is, He is also Our End. He is truly Our Author And Finisher, Our Alpha And Omega. He is Our Portion.
This verse points us to Our Means.
Do what ? Bring what to pass ?
The common doctrine of the day emphasizes that the trip to eternal glory is the important thing the LORD will do. Yet, while this trip is an everlasting blessing to the one who makes it, the trip is not the means to an end. The importance of the above verse, is not that we get the "freebies" of an everlasting Heaven. It is the honor due His Name, for all eternity, that He worked this holiness in us.
The work of faith, on our part, is to believe Him for it. Man ought to obey GOD, just because He is due that. GOD commands obedience from His people, and man is able to obey. But man, of himself, never has, and never will. All have sinned, and come short. It is only our Saviour, Who became man, Who has destroyed the works of the devil.
1 Thessalonians 5:23, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Love is the Foundation. "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ" (2 Thessalonians 3:5).
Since the Savior did this wonderful thing for us, in destroying the works of the devil, why don't we live like it !?
Pure doctrine purifies. The LORD is our daily deliverance from sin. The works that we do should not deny what we say with our mouth. Remember, faith without works is dead. What is true for one, is true for all. GOD is no respecter of persons.
Those who love much, are forgiven much. And to whom much is given, much is required.
The sinner that agrees with GOD about her sin, recognizes the full shame of her deeds against this Holy GOD, Who loves her much. She, in turn, turns from sin, and loves much the One Who Loves Much. She has been given much, and much is required from her, from then on.
If she offers GOD "a little repentance", while knowing full well what He has done for her, then she...
The LORD is just as strict and firm as His Word makes Him sound -- because He is His Word. And when He says "ye that work iniquity", He is talking to the one who is presently working iniquity -- whosoever that may be. When He says, in Hebrews 12:14, "holiness, without which no man shall see the LORD", He means nothing less than exactly that. By their fruits ye shall know them.
The first two commandments, and all the law and the prophets, are founded on love. When a man does not obey GOD, it is because he does not love GOD. This is the plain, and very simple truth of it.
You cannot know you are a Christian, if you abide in sin. You can say you know, but you deceive yourself, because the Spirit is only given to those who obey Him.
Read this carefully, with an honest heart, desiring to know the very character and person of Jesus Himself.
Yes, a Christian can backslide, but while he is stubbornly in his sin, he cannot know he is, or ever was, a Christian. This does not mean he has lost his salvation. It simply means he cannot know, in his heart or soul, that he ever had salvation. Assurance is only given, by the Spirit, to the righteous one who walks in the Spirit.
When you "quench" the Spirit, you "extinguish" Him. That's the meaning of the Greek word for "quench". When something is "extinguished", it no longer exists. And when you "extinguish" the Holy Spirit, His Spirit can no longer bear testimony with your spirit that you are a child of GOD. The Holy Spirit is "given to them that obey Him".
And as for love, please read this:
Without love, knowledge puffeth up, and we are just sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. Perfection brings us into closer, and closer, intimacy with our perfectly jealous GOD.
The doctrine of Christian perfection compliments GOD for His wisdom in knowing how to grow His people, and keep them holy, even as He is holy. This doctrine of GOD reveals His character, His likes and dislikes, His hates and His loves. Perfection is what He is. Perfection is what His people must be. He commands us, in Matthew 5:48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect." If we are His, then we will
be like Him.
Philippians 2:12, 13, "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our LORD Jesus Christ unto Eternal Life."
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