The apostle Paul made his life and the focal point of his earthly ministry the presentation every true believer as “perfect” in Christ.  How do we take this admonition to heart today?  How do we then release ourselves to accomplish this very flesh withering task?  

We have seen from scripture that the call to be  “perfect” is to be a highly sought after goal and consistently demanded by our forefathers of the faith.  Paul make the clear assertion of this seemly impossible task in his epistle to the Colossians, Col.1:28-29, in which, the apostle Paul asserts, “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this [end] I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.”

In my whole life I have not seen with my own eyes this kind of vigorous action to strive and labor as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ so as to present every man or woman of God – perfect in Christ!  Have you?  If this hard to find, why is it so scarce?  Why have we set the bar so low for the men of God who lead our churches?  How about for you as a christian?  Where have you and I set our goal to be “perfect” in Christ?

In order to come back to the ancient landmarks of a holy manner of life as the standard for a Bible-believing christian, we must wrap our minds around the biblical mandate of what we are called to “be” in Christ.  All of our work for Christ is wrought by grace.  Notice Paul words, “His working which works in me mightily.”

So how do we get to the place where Christ works in us mightily?  To answer this question we must go back to where we have started in our decision to take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ.

Jesus, Peter, John, Paul, along with all the succeeding ministries of our faithful church forefathers have held to a high view of a holy life.  As Peter said in his epistle, I Pet. 1:17 “Be holy as I AM holy”  

Spirit-led men of God have always called for a self-denying discipleship of Christ Jesus where all of Christ's sheep are called to take up “their cross” and follow Him through the way, their way, that He has deemed most perfectly designed to make us like Him. As we walk in pursuit of His Glorious kingdom mandate, He, the risen Christ, knows how each of us, His People, are most impacted in our struggles circumstances.  For some it is relational devastation, others financial setback and struggle, others it is the weakening of their bodies, yet others it is their often struggle with a certain besetting sin. 

Since there is no other name given unto men whereby men can be saved.  And that name is of the righteousness One, Jesus Christ, as Lord for all those who call upon His Name; will sovereignly knit our hearts into oneness with His Glorious heart.  How can we earnestly seek Jesus, and not be filled with Jesus?  

We are called into the fullness of His Knowledge. Eph 4:13, “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ...”  

His Word reveals the necessity of a complete and perfect sacrifice of our “life” to obtain eternal life.  Paul was confronted with this truth from “day one” of his call from the right hand of the Father, he saw no other way to speak about the newly discovered Christ, who was the Jesus he was persecuting.  After this drastic and powerful encounter, Paul lived and set forth a doctrine, that was bearing on all believers, to seek the L-rd in holiness of life.  

The explain in greater detail is that our holiness comes out of the love relationship with Jesus Christ and His law.  In other words if He wrote it can't be bad!  Our of reverence and awe we offer up our time, our mind and life, and our bodies in service to this great and Holy King.   

Did they all of his hearer get the point?  No, of course not.  Do we get the point?  That's why his letters were written mostly to correct the disobedient and to encourage those who were losing their edge in the war against the world, the flesh, and the devil.  

So we too must continue, in patience and love, to correct the erring and the wavering souls who think that being christian is “moment” in time.  Those who mistakingly think this is something reserved for an alter at a church building.   In supporting the new converts and the weak, we are fulfilling the work that Jesus Himself performed while He was on the earth.  By our work of encouraging the distressed and despondent, we enter our refinement and purification process, I can not perceive of any process of sanctification that doesn't include the lessons learned in bearing with the weak.  

Perfection in this life is not sinlessness.  Maturity in Christ is not sinless perfection.  No! We are to align ourselves with the perfect will of G-d by every day becoming a “living sacrifice”, as we continuously lay down on the alter of G-d's service.  Heb.2:10, “For it was fitting for Him, for whom [are] all things and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

God's alter is for all those who consider themselves sons of the kingdom.  The word of God declares, we are a “kingdom of priests.” Rev.1:6  As priests we must be consecrated according to the mandate of I Pet.2:5, “you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

If we, the redeemed of the Lord, do not understand our role as priests, then how can we offer up the proper praise and thanksgiving required of our G-d?  Ps. 100:4, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him; bless His name.” 

As priests, developing in our understanding of our function before the throne of G-d, we are now beginning to understand the nature of our G-d, His holiness, His incredible mercy.  By gaining more glimpses of His boundless love, Awesome Power, and the certainty of His dominion over all of His creation we are gaining the knowledge of the deeper things that are enabling us to be more edified in our worship times.  

Our developing perfections are bound up in our position and calling in the Lord.  When the writer to the Hebrews calls the believers living in Jerusalem to perfection (Heb. 6:1) what is the primary motivation?   In Heb.6:4-5, the writers calls the Hebrews  -- enlighted ones, tasters of the heavenly gift, partakers of the Holy Spirit, those who have tasted the good word of God, and those that have seen the powers of the age to come.

So then in our understanding of this process of perfection (not sinless perfection) we must draw a conclusion.  Is it even possible for a truly heaven-born believer to fall away from God?  If grace is the operative source of all this work in us, is it even possible for believers who have seen heaven opened, the glories of the world to come, and to have seen the impending fire of God's judgment, to walk away from Christ?  Can true believer be lukewarm?  Can a man or woman of God turn back to the world?  Do true born again believers strive for perfection? 

The questions posed here have caused much division in the body of Christ.  I don't want to inspire more division by asking these questions, I just want the questions to inspire a journey within you and me, as we all together seek the L-rd's pleasure in finding our way in Him, and in our collective hearts within the body of Christ, allow the Spirit of Christ to refine our thinking and our understanding.  

If grace inspires our holiness and our striving unto perfection in our walk before Him, could any of us actually stay “stuck” in a world of unbelief?  Could and should we linger and gaze at Sodom while she burns?  If we are truly set free from a certain death, how can we not respond favorably to the arm of salvation lifting us from a very real dark death?  We will become the lights to this very dark in this very dark time.

Just come to Jesus as you are!  Perfection on this side of heaven comes by laying on His alter of service.  Losing your life to save it!  And with much enthusiasm enter a life and walk in newness of His resurrection.  We must then lift our eyes to the hills from whence comes our help.  We must then trust exclusively in God's power, not our own.  We will have to lay aside our pride and our love of self.  We will “forsake all” and any trust in man and in the things “of” man.  We must and will look past the alluring temptations that incite us to live for the moment.  We shall humble ourselves daily by asking our Lord, “what do you want me to do for You today?”

A sacrificed life is the life a “maturing” believer.  We and they must put aside all malice and ill will.  We call men to repent out of the simple expression of our devotion to Christ!  By walking in the Spirit, we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  We keep our eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith!   Heb. 12:1-2

I leave you with the words of Jesus, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."

Many blessings,