Bible Ballistics: Perfection or Perseverance???? Vol. 4 #16
Some of us wrestle with “perfectionism’ and whether or not that is what God is asking of us. As you can see from the definitions below—there is a difference between striving for perfection and perseverance. Perfection is trying to be ‘without fault’ and we all must admit we can’t accomplish that. But God calls us to perseverance—to press on by, with, for and to His glory. Let’s see what we can learn about this from scripture. I would like to simply highlight and briefly comment on the scriptures that God has laid on my heart today. There are a few lengthy passages but let God lead you through His truth today as we seek to know Him through HIS Word!! What are you seeking?
Perfection: “the state of being free from all flaws or defects”
Perseverance: “steadfast in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”
1 John 1:1-10, “ That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that
God is light,
and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness,
and do not the truth:
**7 But if we walk in the light,
as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ
cleanseth us from all sin.**
8 If we say that we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.
**9 If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.**
**10 If we say that we have not sinned,
we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.”**
How did this all come about? Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God, for our SIN—for MY SIN. And His sacrifice enabled the imparting of the indwelling Holy Spirit—the NEW COVENANT!!
Hebrews 8:10, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord
;** I will put my laws into their mind,
and write them in their hearts:
and I will be to them a God,
and they shall be to me a people:**”
Hebrews 10:16, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord,
I will put my laws into their hearts,
and in their minds will I write them;”
Both of these passages refer back to Jeremiah & Ezekiel, where God made the promise of the ‘New Covenant’, which was the promise not only of the Redeemer, but also of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who would enable us to ‘walk in the Spirit…..not the flesh’
Jeremiah 31:31-24, 33:15, 32:37-40, and Ezekiel 11:19-20
In Acts 1:4-5, Jesus told His disciples to… “Wait for the ‘promise’ “,
“And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
The New Covenant equates to the indwelling Holy Spirit—He enables us to know God’s Word, His will and His way—every day in all circumstances.
This promise fulfilled by Christ’s work, and the Spirit coming at Pentecost, results in our being able to walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16,18, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
:18, “ But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”
Galatians 5:24-25, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Because we have received the Holy Spirit of God/Christ, we are partakers of the New Covenant and He enables us to forsake the flesh and overcome by the Spirit. But we also have a part in victorious living. Paul helps us understand what we are to do, and also to avoid.
2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.“ Feast on the good and avoid the ‘profane’. I don’t need it–neither do you–God said so!!!!
Neither does God leave us guessing about what we are to study and why.
2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.“ (Perfect here meaning mature not flawless)
to be instructed,
to grow to maturity—
so that we can yield to God
and His good works
seen through us.
The Psalmist also reveals to us how faithful our God is to meet our needs and grow us into the “image of His Son”. (See Romans 8:28-29)
Psalm 19:9-14, “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
**14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.**”
Psalm 37:23-24, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.”
The decision is yours. Will you depend on God and persevere in HIS power by the cross? Or will you strive to appear to be ‘perfect’ to others—flawless, but lost.
Ephesians 2:13, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
John 3:16-18, “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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”