Saturday, July 11, 2015

Not Progress, but Perfection in Christ

Many people love to recite the mantra:

"We claim progress, not perfection"

The Bible wants us to rest in something else, and something so much better:

"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10: 14)

How are we perfected? By our efforts? Not at all. - By the grace of God!

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2: 4-9)

In the same passage above, we learn about the rich and wonderful heritage which we have also received in Christ Jesus.

We are taken from dead in our trespasses, to alive and seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Forget progress, the notion that we have to work from  one place to another, that it is a slow ascent of struggle and self-effort to get from good to better.

No. Not only is there no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8: 1), but every sin has been condemned in our flesh, and we are granted a new spirit and a new standing:

"14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (Romans 8: 14-15)

Today, we are not trying to make ourselves better, for God our Father gave us the best, Jesus, that in Him we may His best:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3: 16)

When Jesus rose from the dead, He announced to Mary:

"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (john 20: 17)

John would write in his first epistle:

"1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, 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. 3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1 John 3: 1-3)

and finally

"17Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

Why settle for progress in our efforts, which can produce nothing? Today, let us rejoice that Jesus has perfected us forever in His blood, by His Work on the Cross, and made us one with Him!

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