Excerpt From “God’s Gift of Perfection” Series
Chapter 26—Part 1
“The God of all grace, who called you unto His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered awhile, will Himself perfect, establish, and strengthen you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Pet. 5: 10, 11.
The keynote of the First Epistle of Peter is: through suffering to glory. The word “suffer” occurs sixteen times, the word “glory” fourteen times. In its closing words the readers are reminded of all its teaching, as Peter writes to them: “The God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory, after you have suffered a little while.” In no Epistle of the New Testament are the two aspects of Christ’s death—that He suffered for us, and that we are to suffer with Him and like Him—so clearly and closely linked together. Fellowship with Christ—likeness to Christ, manifested in suffering—is the point of view from which Peter would have us look on life as the path to glory. To be a partaker of the sufferings and the glory of Christ is the Christian’s privilege. He was perfected through suffering by God. The same God perfects us for suffering and glorifying Him in it.
“God will Himself perfect you!” In God alone is perfection. In Him is all perfection. And all perfection comes from Him. When we consider the wondrous perfection there is in the sun, in the laws it obeys, and in the blessings it dispenses, and remember that it owes all to the will of the Creator, we acknowledge that its perfection is from God. And so, through the whole of nature—to the tiniest insect that floats in the sunbeam, and the humblest little flower that basks in its light—everything owes its beauty to God alone. All His works praise Him. His work is perfect.
And have we not here in nature the open secret of Christian perfection? It is God who must perfect us! “God will Himself perfect you.” What is revealed in nature, is the pledge of what is secured to us in grace. “It suited Him, for whom are all things, and of whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering (Hebrews 2:10).” It was appropriate for God to show that He is the God who works out perfection amid the weakness and suffering of a human life. This is what constitutes the very essence of salvation, to be perfected by God; to yield oneself to the God, for whom, and of whom are all things—trusting Him to perfect us.
Previously The Perfect Tongue—Part 2