Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
In our previous sessions, we dealt with the program that God has set for us in His Wonderful Word concerning the PATH we are to take from our initial faith unto our end goal, perfection (as the Bible represents it).
The main passage we used for this pathway or building process is found in 2 Peter 1:1-12.
Using the illustration of a circle, imagine Jesus Christ as a huge round perfect circle encompassing the universe. You, individually may not be as big as he is but in your own allotment you can be a small circle. It just has to be round and perfect.
It all begins with God’s grace (verse 2). Without God’s grace, it is hopeless to want to attain perfection. It is through God’s grace that His power, available in us through His indwelling Holy Spirit, can transform us to gradually conform unto the image of His Son who has attained this perfection.
We touched on our foundation or starting point of faith. Without Faith it is impossible to please God and to become a Christian in the first place. Faith is our starting point. We learnt concerning God’s Word and Will, that we are not only to hear but to obey (do) because obedience shows that you have truly heard.
Virtue is built upon the foundation of faith.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue… (verse 5)
This virtue (aretē) is rightly translated excellence. We have to strive to be excellent in everything we do. Not just in ‘religious’ activities but in our workplaces, homes, schools etc. We have to do our very best so that our Father would be glorified by others around us(Matthew 5:16).
We touched on being faithful towards the Word, promises of God and towards service too. We are to be faithful towards service in the house of God and also in our various places where responsibilities are given us.
God will only increase the things He gives us if we are faithful with the small ones we already have(Luke 16:10). Even if you are unskilled, above all be trustworthy and faithful and soon you’ll be trusted with greater things.
Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?
Proverbs 20:6 NKJV
Looking again at our passage in 2 Peter 1:5 we read: [add] to virtue(excellence) knowledge.
The next building block after excellence is knowledge. Without knowledge, you wouldn’t even have known about perfection and grace. Increasing measure and quality of the knowledge of God’s Will and Word makes you become an effective and successful Christian. One of our major enemies is ignorance.
Ignorance has kept us from preparing and receiving all the things God has in store for us.
Knowledge of God’s Word is referred to as light (Psalm 119: 105, 130) which means lack of the the knowledge of the Word in any area (Ignorance) can also then be referred to as darkness (Ecclesiastes 2:13-14).
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32 NKJV
The Truth shall NEVER make you free. It is the TRUTH YOU KNOW that shall make you free.
The apostles battled and addressed the issue of ignorance especially regarding the church. Here is one example:
In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, we are advised not be ignorant concerning the resurrection of the dead.
What is the ultimate goal for believers?
Many Christians think that heaven is the goal- but it is not. Heaven is a blessed, wonderful stage but never the final destination. Scripture never said so. The goal is Resurrection. The Salvation and redemption of our sin-death- made-mortal bodies unto it’s glorious form (Romans 8:23, Philippians 3:21).
Paul said, “If, by any means, I may attain [“not heaven…” but] to the resurrection from the dead.”
He even referred to this resurrection later in his address as the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ(verse 14). This was the mark he was pressing towards to attain. Again, this is the area in which many Christians are lacking in understanding. The Devil attacks us where we are ignorant of. Ignorance is referred to as darkness; no wonder why he is referred to as the ruler over darkness. We are even instructed not to be ignorant of his devices and schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11)
In the beginning verses of the passage of 2 Peter 1, Peter speaks of a life of multiplication. He points out to us that God’s power has already been given us all that we will ever need for life and godliness (verse 3).
God has already provided the supply through which we can benefit of to attain perfection. The provision is in His promises. If We avail ourselves of these promises, believing and obeying them, we progressively become partakers of the divine nature. This same divine nature of being the perfect man as we were instructed to be (Ephesians 4:13).
Grace is available. Supply for all you will ever need is available. Press on unto perfection and make Daddy proud.