Excerpt From God’s Gift of Perfection
Chapter 31–Part 2
We have come to the close of our meditations on what Scripture teaches about the perfection attainable in this life. We began with the perfect heart, the heart wholly set upon God, as the mark of the man whom God counts a perfect man. We saw the perfect man walking in a perfect way, “walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6). We found with the New Testament the standard at once infinitely raised. Perfect as the Father, the child’s standard; perfected as the Master, the disciple’s model; perfect in all the will of God, the Christian’s aim and hope. And then to meet this high demand, the Word came to us: perfect in Christ, perfected by Christ, God Himself perfecting us in every good thing. And now John, the beloved disciple, has summed up all the teaching of the Word with his perfect love. Keeping Christ’s word, loving the brethren, abiding in God, filled with the Spirit, being even as Christ is, we can live perfected in love. With a heart that does not condemn us, we have boldness before God, because we keep His commandments, and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. With God’s love perfected in us, we have boldness in the day of judgment.
Beloved fellow-Christian! To have the love of God perfected in us, to be perfected in love, perfect love, these all are a divine possibility, a divine reality – the ripened fruit of the perfect life. We now know the tree on which this fruit grows. Its root is a heart perfect with God, walking before Him and being perfect. Let us be perfect in our surrender to Him in obedience and trust. Let deep dependence on Him, let faith in Him, let patient waiting, having our expectation from Him alone, be spirit of our daily life. It is God Himself who must give it. Let us count on Him for nothing less than to be perfected in love and to have God abiding in us. This is what He longs to do for us.
The tree that grows on this root is a life in union with Christ, aiming at perfect conformity to Him. Perfect in Christ, perfected by Christ, perfected by God like Christ and though Christ. When these words – pregnant with the will and love of God and the mystery of redemption – become the daily life of the soul, the perfect heart rules the life, and the believer learns to stand perfect in all the will of God. The tree brings forth fruit abundantly.
Let us go on to perfection. Obedience and brotherly love, fellowship with God and likeness to Christ, and the unhindered flow and rule of the Holy Spirit, lead the soul into a life of perfect love. The love of God celebrates it’s triumph. The days of heaven are begun on earth. The soul is perfected in love.
“Finally, brethren, farewell! Be perfect” (2 Corinthians 13:11).
Be perfect with God. Let nothing less be your aim. God will show Himself perfect with you, will perfectly reveal Himself, will perfectly posses you. Believe this. God will Himself perfect you day by day; with each new morning you may claim it. Live in surrender to His work, and accept it. And fear not, nor be discouraged. God Himself will grant you the knowledge of what it is: God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.
Previously Casting Out Fear–Part 1