Go On To Perfection

Dear Brethren,

What does God expect of us when He says for us to go on to perfection?  Isn't it impossible for humans to become perfect in the flesh?  What then does God mean?  We’ve all heard the Scripture, “You will know them by their fruits."   We have heard less often that our own fruit should be perfect – but that is exactly what Jesus proclaimed.  Jesus was giving the warning parable about those who hear the word of God and then subsequently fall away from the truth.  In this parable, the seed is the word of God.  "And that seed which fell among thorns are they [those people], 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."  (Luke 8:14)  God expects us to bring fruit unto perfection, if we expect to be in the first resurrection.  What is this, fruit to perfection?

As the old saying goes, “No one is perfect.”  Some will add “except Jesus Christ. "  But a real problem occurs when some people decide not to work toward being perfect, since in the flesh - it is an unobtainable goal.  A Christian must always be striving to attain unto perfection – the mature and complete spiritual character that we find only in Jesus Christ.

In the book of James we find many spiritual guidelines for going on to perfection.  We saw the first guideline in the sermon about counting it all joy when you are being tested in a trial.  We find the second guideline in James 1:3-4.  "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."  "Patience," is not a good translation and does not give us the correct understanding of the Scripture.  A better translation of the Greek word hupomone is perseverance or endurance, because there is a sense of resolve, determination, and persistence that is missing in the word, patience.  "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh perseverance.  But let perseverance have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing."

The word, patience, has a connotation of passive waiting.  That is not the approach that we are to take when we are buffeted by sore trials.  We are to go on to perfection with an active, dogged determination and firm resolve to pick the trial apart and learn God's Will in our lives.  We are to endure and persevere!

In Hebrews 5:14,Paul is speaking of the deeper spiritual components that can be understood by mature Christians.  "Strong [spiritual understanding] food belongs to them that are of full age [Christian maturity and completeness], even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil..."  Just before this in Hebrews 5:9, Paul had been speaking of Jesus Christ. "And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him."  Then, Paul spoke of us going on to perfection.  "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God…"  (Hebrews 6:1)


Sermon:  "Go On To Perfection"