"The Perfect and the Perfected"
Relationship between God and human beings presently involves the Perfect and the imperfect.
"His work is perfect… If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (Deuteronomy 32:4; I John 1:8).
Consideration of this obvious truth leads us to the wonder of grace, mercy, and salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. The pristinely holy God redeems unholy human beings by His Son, constituting us as "accepted in the Beloved" by imputing the righteousness of Christ to all who believe (Ephesians 1:6; I Corinthians 1:30). In this regard, we become perfect as a matter of relationship, standing, and place with God. "By one offering He hath perfected them forever who are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14). However, believers remain far from perfect in our response to our Heavenly Father and the subsequent life of faith and faithfulness to which He calls us. We walk with God in a process of growth that requires ongoing change and maturation. "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). Moreover, the presence and power of the Perfect effects this spiritual and moral undertaking that will ultimately result in our complete conformity to the image of the Lord Jesus. "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works… We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (Ephesians 2:10; I John 3:2). Only grace would devise such a process, and only grace will fulfill "the perfecting of the saints" (Ephesians 4:12).
Our role in the matter involves the confidence that looks to the perfection of "the Author and Finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). We focus on His working, choosing to affirm in the pleasant, the painful, and the mundane that "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). Such a view of the perfect God's relentless process rightly exalts Him, humbles us, and maintains the frame of heart and mind that results in more consistent response of trust, submission, and obedience, as enabled by the Holy Spirit's working in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Only thereby can the imperfect grow in the grace that began and continues the process of perfection made possible by the Person of perfection. Humbling indeed, but also vibrantly encouraging and energizing as we consider that the present bond of the Perfect and the imperfect will one day give way to the eternal union of the Perfect and the perfected.
"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."
(I John 3:2)
"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever: forsake not the works of Thine own hands."
"As for God, His way is perfect."
(II Samuel 22:31)
Weekly Memory Verse
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.
(I Peter 4:14)