Perfection and Progress

What are your thoughts after reading these passages? Matthew 19.21; James 1.4; Matthew 5.48 Anyone feeling perfect today? Tomorrow? Near future? I have a hard time seeing that Ill ever be perfect. It can be easy to become discouraged when looking at these verses. Ill never match up. Ill never be good enough. What happens if we die and haven’t reached perfection yet? Instead of living with confidence & faith, many Christians live in constant fear and anxiety. What is the solution?

I. Jesus has already perfected us.

  1. We all recognize the problem. We have sinned. Fallen from God’s glory. Romans 3.23
    1. What is the answer? Not law.
    2. Galatians 3.21 – no law can give life.
    3. Sacrifice needed to provide the grace to be perfect.
  2. The Old Testament law/sacrifices led us to Jesus and His sacrifice.
    1. Hebrews 10.14 – what did that sacrifice accomplish? Our perfection.
    2. Hebrews 12.23 – Christians have come into the Church & have been made perfect. See also Acts 2.38-47
  3. Hebrews 10.14 …. Has perfected….are being sanctified
    1. Notice also – sanctification is passive. God does the sanctifying.

II. God is actively working to perfect us.

  1. Romans 8.28-30 – God predetermined that those who love Him will be conformed to the image of Christ.
  2. Not only do we see this principle in Romans 8, but we see it in:
    1. Romans 16.25; Ephesians 3.16-17; 1 Thessalonians 5.23; 2 Thessalonians 3.3; 1 Peter 5.10; Jude 24-25
    2. Comfort & assurance is found here. We are not on our own.

III. Our job is progress

  1. Philippians 2.12-13 – Since God is working – we should work.
  2. What work?
    1. 2 Peter 1.5-10
    2. Focus on 1.8 – If you are growing in Christ, you are fruitful and effective!
    3. See also 1.10. Our job is progress. God’s job is perfection.

Conclusion:

  1. Philippians 3.12 – Paul wasn’t finished. He hadn’t grown all he needed to.
    1. What would happen if he had died in that not perfect situation?21-23
    2. We are not perfect today, but we are in Christ.
      1. You do not have to live in fear that one mistake might keep you out of heaven!
  2. We can do our job and trust God that He is able and willing to do His.
  3. This only works for those in Christ.
  4. Why not come to Jesus today?

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