|A PERFECT IDEAL [message #2328]
||Tue, 20 February 2018 10:19
Registered: September 2015
A PERFECT IDEAL
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:26-27
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:15-17
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Genesis 3:4-6
Man has fallen...God's image in him is defaced.
By disobedience he is depraved in inclination and weakened in power, unable, apparently, to look forward to anything but tribulation and wrath. But God, through Christ, has wrought out a way of escape, and He says to every one, "Be ye therefore perfect." It is His purpose that man shall stand before Him upright and noble, and He will not be defeated.
He sent His Son to this world to bear the penalty of sin, and to show man how to live a sinless life.
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 1 Peter 2:21
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:29
Christ is our ideal.
He has left a perfect example for childhood.
He has left a perfect example for youth.
He has left a perfect example for manhood.
He came to this earth, and passed through the different phases of human experience.
In His life sin found no place. From the beginning to the close of His earthly life, He preserved unsullied His loyalty to God. The Word says of Him. "The Child grew, and waxed strong in Spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him." He "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."
The Saviour lived not to please Himself. We read of Him that He went about "doing good." He spent His life in loving service, comforting the sorrowful, ministering to the needy, lifting up the bowed down. He had no home in this world, only as the kindness of His friends provided Him one, yet it was heaven to be in His presence. Day by day He met trials and temptations, yet He did not fail or become discouraged. He was always patient and cheerful, and the afflicted hailed Him as a messenger of life and peace and health. His life held nothing that was not pure and noble.
God's law is the echo of His voice, saying to us, "Holier, yes, holier still." Desire the fulness of the grace of Christ; yea, long--hunger and thirst--after righteousness. The promise is, "Ye shall be filled." God has plainly stated that He expects us to be perfect, and because He requires this, He has made provision that we may be made partakers of the divine nature.
Only thus can we be partakers of the divine nature.
Only thus can we gain perfection.
The power is given by Christ.
"As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God."
God's promise is, "Ye shall be holy; for I am holy." Holiness is the reflection of God's glory. But in order to reflect this glory, we must co-operate with God. Heart and mind must be emptied of all that leads to wrong. The Word of God must be read and studied with a sincere desire to gain from it spiritual strength. This Word is the bread of heaven. Those who received it, and make it a part of their lives, grow strong in the strength of God. Our sanctification is God's object in all His dealing with us. He has chosen us from eternity, that we may be holy. Christ declares, "This is the will of God, even your sanctification." Is it your will, also, that your desires and inclinations shall be brought into conformity to the divine will?
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:14-17
He who would build up a strong, symmetrical character, he who would be a well-balanced Christian, must give all and do all for Christ; for the Redeemer will not accept divided service.
Daily he must learn the meaning of self-surrender.
He must study the Word of God, getting its meaning, and obeying its precepts.
Thus he may reach the highest standard of Christian excellence.
There is no limit to the spiritual advancement that may be made by the one who is a partaker of the divine nature.
Day by day God works with him, perfecting the character that is to stand in the day of final test.
Each day of his life he ministers to others. The light that is in him shines forth, and stills the strife of tongues. Day by day he is working out before men and angels a vast, sublime experiment, showing what the Gospel can do for fallen human beings.
Let us not spare ourselves, but carry forward in earnest the work of reform that must be done. Let us crucify self. Unholy habits will clamor fiercely for the victory, but in the name and through the power of Jesus we may conquer them.
To him who seeks daily to keep his heart with all diligence the promise is given, "Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Living the life of the Saviour, overcoming every selfish desire, fulfilling bravely and cheerfully our duty to God and to those around us,--this makes us more than conquerors. This prepares us to stand before the great white throne free from spot or wrinkle, having washed our robes of character, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
PUT ON THE NEW MAN
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:4-17
ST The Signs of the Times
March 30, 1904
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[Updated on: Tue, 20 February 2018 10:33]
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