Become Perfect

How the work of God within us brings about perfection

Fred R. Coulter—April 15, 2017

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Why do we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread? and What does it picture? We will see from the Scriptures that it pictures a great and marvelous part of the plan of God. Keep your eye on the goal! God always keeps His eye on the goal, because He has a plan that He is fulfilling. Here is the ultimate description of it (Matt. 5:48):

  • What is the plan of God?
  • What is the purpose of God?
  • What is the end result of God and what He's doing?
  • What is His end result for us?
  • How are we to be?

This ties in with why we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread. There's a purpose for it. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread human nature is pictured as vanity. Human nature is depicted as sinful, and the leaven is a type of sin. However:

  • we're made in the image of God
  • we have characteristics like God
  • we've been given free moral agency
  • we've been give free consciousness of self

and all of those things come from God. Let's look and see what Jesus said in one sentence what is the ultimate plan of God.

Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect."

That's quite a statement when you think about it. To become perfect! Look where we've come from with human nature: evil, deceptive, desperately wicked. No man has the way on how he needs to live in himself.

  • without the Word of God
  • without the Spirit of God
  • without the knowledge of the plan of God

we would all be helpless! Just look at the way that the world is:

  • full of sin
  • full of leaven
  • full of self
  • full of vanity

Psalm 39:5: "…Surely every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah."
God is going to take this creation of His—which became vain through the sin of Adam and Eve—and He is going to call certain ones and He is going to perfect them. Today were going to see how is God going to do that? All right first of all we come to the fact that the Father is perfect.

God defines for us how we are going to accomplish in our part of what God wants us to do, and what is His part with us. That's why it's a spiritual thing.

Psalm 19:7: "The Law of the LORD is perfect…" The Law of God is also a tool from God, to help us. We are to use the Law of God. It's perfect and if we follow it then we will be developing perfection in degree as God leads us to fulfill the statement of Matt. 5:48 to become perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Verse 7: "The Law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple…. [all of these things we need] …The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD are pure, enlightening the eyes" (vs 7-8). All of this gives us insight and understanding on how to become perfect.

Verse 9: "The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether, more to be desired than gold, yea, much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb" (vs 9-10). That's exalting the Laws of God where they ought to be. More Protestants ought to read that.

Verse 11 is where the Laws of God help us. We know that we're to have the Laws of God 'written in our hearts and inscribed in our mind' (Heb. 10:16). That is to replace the human the nature and to build the love of God. Also, the Laws of God are always acting just like the law of gravity. So, if we keep the Laws of God, if we know the Laws of God, and live by the Laws of God, then:

Verse 11: "Moreover by them… [the Law of God's judgments, statutes, precepts, etc.] …Your servant is warned…" You are warned internally because it's part of you not to do this or not to do that or what to do that is good.

"...in keeping them there is great reward" (v 11). What is that reward going to be? There's going to be eternal life plus a reward (Rev. 2 and 3). Here's another thing that is very important.

Verse 12: "Who can understand his errors?…." Just like Jeremiah said, 'Oh Lord correct me but not in Your anger for the way of man is not in him to direct his steps.' Just look at the world: all good intentions, all the good religions, everybody; there's still vanity. Can they bring peace? Can they bring love? Certainly they can't bring the perfection of God. So, personally, it helps us to understand our errors.

"...Oh, cleanse me from my secret faults" (v 12). Those things we have in our heart and mind that only we know; the only other One Who knows them is God, and He can cleanse us from them. How's that for getting rid of leaven? Getting rid of sin? Yes indeed, very good!

Verse 13: "And keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; do not let them rule over me…" Very interesting statement! What did we read last time in Rom. 6? Do not let sin rule in your mortal bodies! With the Laws of God and Spirit of God we can overcome the pulls of human nature and overcome the sin within so we do not let them rule over us.

"...then I shall be blameless… [perfect] …and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer" (vs 13-14). That's really something! That's the first step. The laws and commandments of God are perfect.

Psalm 18:30: "As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the LORD is tried…." It always stands up—doesn't it? No one can go against the Word of God, the Laws of God, the statutes of God, etc., and get away with it. Can't be done! It's a perfect law!

"…He is a shield to all those who take refuge in Him, for who is God besides the LORD? Or, who is a Rock except our God? The God who girds me with strength and makes my way perfect" (vs 30-32). That is most interesting, indeed.

  • God is the One Who is going to perfect us
  • He is the One Who is going to make our way perfect

That's the whole plan and that's the whole purpose of God. How is He going to do this? We've seen with the Spirit of the Father and Christ within us!

Let's see what it says about what God is doing. Very interesting. We look at it and we will see and understand some very important things.

Deuteronomy 32:1: "Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth." That's quite a thing! God deals on a vast scale.

Verse 2: "My teachings shall drop as the rain; my speech shall drop down as the dew, as the small rain on the tender plant, and as the showers on the grass"—an agricultural thing. We're going to see that what God is doing with us is much like an agricultural planting.

Verse 3: "Because I will proclaim the name of the LORD, and ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock; His work is perfect for all His ways are just, a God of faithfulness, and without iniquity; just and upright is He" (vs 3-4). That's how God is!

Now let's come to the New Testament and see what God does with us. We will see that all the way through this it is the work of God within us that brings about the perfection! Eph. 2 tells us how it is as we start living in sin, being deceived by Satan the devil, even in spite of the fact that we have sinned—in some cases terrible sins, but not the unpardonable sin—God forgives them as we saw last time. That's why David prayed the way he did in Psa. 51.

Ephesians 2:4: "But God…"—

  • Who calls us
  • Who deals in our lives
  • Who opened our mind to the Truth

—through Jesus Christ!

"...Who is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us." God loves us! When you get to the point of discouragement and despair, remember this: When all else fails, remember: God loves you! Always keep that in mind.

Verse 5: "Even when we were dead in our trespasses, has made us alive together with Christ. (For you have been saved by grace.)"

  • there's nothing you can do to earn it
  • there's nothing you can do to undo your past

Only God can forgive. Only God has the power to relieve the stripes and lashes of sin that's in our lives, and that's through His grace.

Verse 6: "And He has raised us up together…" This is a prophetic perfect. This is something where we will be, but knowing where we are going and to have the perfection that comes from the Father, then this saying—though it appears in the present tense perfect completed—is in progress and has not yet happened.

"…and has caused us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." We're not in the heavenly places, yet. But having the Holy Spirit within us is something that most humanity does not have. Yes, they have the spirit of man but not the Spirit of God. Notice how he frames this:

Verse 7: "So that in the ages that are coming… [in the Kingdom of God] …He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."

  • What is that going to be?
  • What is it going to be like to be a Spirit being?
  • with no sin
  • with no human nature

but to be perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect!

Since He's perfect and we're His children, we are also to be perfect! But how do we get from here to there? That's the whole story of the New Testament!

Verse 8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God."

There is no work you can do to earn it; only repentance and yielding to God. Learning to love Him and serve Him and to do His will, then God blesses us with His grace, and blesses us with the work of perfection that He's doing in us.

Verse 9: "Not of works, so that no one may boast…. [your own works] …For we are His workmanship being created…" (vs 9-10)—because this is also in the verb. So, the workmanship of perfection in us is being actively—every day, every week, every month, every year—created.

"...in Christ Jesus unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (v 10). So, we are His workmanship.

What did it say of the work of God? It's perfect! So, with the workmanship of God He uses the tools of:

  • His Spirit
  • His Word
  • His love
  • His grace
  • His mercy
  • His forgiveness
  • His kindness

to help us grow in grace and knowledge!

Let's understand something just like it is with the Holy Days (Lev. 23). As I've said in the past, they are just like a seed. You look at a seed you don't know what it is. A tiny little seed can become a giant tree like we saw with the Sequoia seed. A giant seed like one from an avocado tree, and that's a huge one. It just produces, not a great tree, but good tree. Then we have the seed from grain. As you look at a seed there's no way you can tell what it's going to produce.

Let's look at it this way: Jesus tells about the sower of the seed and how He sowed it. Jesus was the One Who's sowing it.

Matthew 13:3: "…'Behold, the sower went out to sow. And as he was sowing, some of the seed fell by the way; and the birds came and devoured them. And some fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up because the soil was not deep enough; but after the sun rose, they were scorched; and because they did not have roots, they dried up. And some of the seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. And some fell upon the good ground, and yielded fruit—some a hundredfold, and some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear." (vs 3-9).

What are we to hear? We are to hear the Word of God! We are to hear what Jesus is telling us! We will see that that is we need to become the good ground. When the seed falls in the good ground how does it sprout up? Well, the root goes down and it begins to grow! You can tell it's not completed. So, always remember that as you're growing in grace and knowledge toward perfection, you are not yet perfect.

Just like when they harvest grain they don't harvest when is half grown because there's no grain there. They wait until it becomes fully mature or ripe. Let's see how Jesus explained this. He showed how the world can't receive it because they won't hear, they won't listen, because their hearts are busy with their own things.

Verse 16: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear." Then He explains what it is. Some people receive the Word but it has no affect on them at all, doesn't understand it. Then Satan comes along and takes it out of their heart. There are some who hear and it immediately they're joyful and that's the ones that are in the rocks, and they fall away because of persecution. The one who is sown among the thorns he hears the Word of God, but the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word and it becomes unfruitful.

God wants us to become fruitful! He wants us to have the flowing of His Spirit in us so that we grow. Just like the seed for the grain—barley, wheat or rye—it needs the water so it can grow. It also needs the nourishment from the soil. From that comes the nutrients we need contained with in the full head of grain. The grain is another generation of seeds.
For us, God wants us to be fully mature so that when the harvest comes at the resurrection we will be perfect. Now let's look and see that in addition to love and faith we also have to have works. Those works are the works of God! Now think on this:

  • IF you keep the commandments of God
  • IF you do the works of God
  • IF you love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being
  • IF you love your neighbor as yourself
  • IF you love the brethren as Christ has loved us
  • IF you even love your enemies

that is your part using God's Spirit!

Because God's Spirit is the energy or the fuel, if you would want to say it that way, or compared to a plant, the nutrients with the water—because as we saw with the washing of the water by the Word—that develops in us the character we need to become perfect through love and faith.

James 2:15: "Now then, if there be a brother or sister who is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; be warmed and be filled,' and does not give to them the things necessary for the body, what good is it?" (vs 15-16). What good was that saying: go in peace be warm and filled?

Verse 17: "In the same way also, faith…"—the substance, the spiritual substance, from God's Spirit that gives us the strength and power to believe and to understand! That if we love God and obey Him, we are being perfected!Maybe you've never looked at it that way. But that is true! We're going to see, even by the trials we go through, something astonishing concerning Jesus Christ and perfection.

"…faith, if it does not have works, is dead, by itself. But someone is going to say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' My answer is… [listen carefully to this because this is exactly the way that it is in the Greek] ...You prove your faith to me through your works, and I will prove my faith to you through my works" (vs 17-18).

  • What kind of faith do you have?
  • The kind of faith that acts upon the belief in Truth and obedience to God?

OR

  • The faith that comes from God, which then generates the good works?

So the truth is, how anyone believes in his or her heart, those are the works they will do. If you don't have belief in God you're going to have the works that reflect the lack of belief in God, automatically, even though you don't believe in God. You believe in self, you believe in whatever it is you believe in, but you don't believe in God, and your works are the works of someone who doesn't believe in God. If you believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ, your works are going to be reflected by the working of Their Spirit within us: love, obedience and service!

Verse 20: "But are you willing to understand, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"—and produces nothing, if you have a seed that's defective or a seed that doesn't have the germ in it. The germ is that which makes the seed work and produce, much like the Holy Spirit. If you don't have the faith of God, that faith without works is dead.

Now let's take it another step further. What if you say, 'I believe in God, but I don't have to keep the commandments because I'm a good person. I know what's right and wrong, so therefore, that's how I live.' It is the Law of God that defines for us how we use our faith and belief!

Notice the example in v 21 about Abraham. There's a comparison between Gen.15 and Gen. 22. In Gen.15, Abraham believed and 'it was counted to him for righteousness' because he believed. There was nothing he was to do except slaughter the animals for the sacrifice. But that was not a part of the covenant. That was preparing the covenant for God to walk between the parts of the animals and verify the covenant and seal it on His part. There were no works for Him to do.

However, when you come to Gen. 22, which is the other half of the covenant—because it takes two people to make a covenant binding and the sacrifice of two people, or the showing of his sacrifice through, say, an animal—God told Abraham, 'Take your son your only son, your beloved son Isaac, and go offer him for a burnt offering on one of the mountains of Moriah that I will show you.' What did Abraham do? He did what God said! He did all the work preparing the wood getting the animals walking clear over to the mountains of Moriah. He had Isaac with him and he took the coals in the pan put the wood on Isaac's back and they walked up to the place where they were going to sacrifice him as a burnt offering.

Those were the works of Abraham in faith because God said so. So profound was that faith, that after Abraham had put Isaac on the altar and had tied him up ready to take the knife and slit his throat, an angel of the Lord called out from heaven and said, 'Abraham! Abraham!' And Abraham said, 'Here I am.' And the Lord said, 'Do not lay a hand on the lad, for now I know that you fear Me.' Abraham had to have faith to believe God and do what God said! It says in Heb. 11 that the reason Abraham did this was because he 'knew that God would raise him [Isaac] from the dead.' So, Abraham had the faith.

James 2:21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar? Do you not see that faith was working together with his works…" (vs 21-22).

Faith and works go together! In order to become perfect you must have both working together. Just like you must have the soil and the seed and the water for the plant to grow. So likewise:

  • we need the faith
  • we need the obedience
  • we need the Spirit of God
  • we need the works

Those are the works of God, which He is working in us! Those become part of the workmanship of God for His perfect work in us. That's something! That's the way that God works!

Let's look at the things concerning our calling. Let's see that we are part of such a wonderful and magnificent plan of God that goes back before the foundation of the world. The Father is the One Who is dealing with us and Christ is dealing with us, as well (John 6 & 8). Again as we go through some of these things some of these things will be present tense perfect, that is already completed which then is a prophetic perfect. Meaning since God has said so it is as good as done, because God will always be there, and if we are faithful and yield to God it will come to pass! But just like the grain that's growing:

  • we have to grow
  • we have to develop
  • we have to come to the point of full maturity of the grain

That is the perfection within us in this life, and the final thing of perfection comes at the resurrection. So, the harvesting of the grain is just like the resurrection. This is absolutely fantastic:

Ephesians 1:1: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." The brethren at Ephesus were faithful. So, the faithful in Christ Jesus is to all the saints everywhere down through time, from the time that he wrote this until the return of Jesus Christ. Now that's a magnificent thing to think about!

Verse 2: "Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ"—to you directly, to you personally, to each one of us in a very special way.

Sidebar: You have your own individual DNA, and it's stamped on every cell of your body, that you are you! It's also verification that God made you separate and individual from anybody else, even if you have a so-called identical twin; there is just a fraction of difference between the two.

With the Spirit of God, I wonder what the spiritual DNA is that God is putting into our heart and mind. Think about that! He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ. We know that is through Christ. So, look at what He's going to do here when we are perfected.

Verse 4: "According as He has personally chosen us for Himself before the foundation of the world in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love." Another word for blameless is perfect before Him in love.

Let's see how 1-John 2 ties in. Remember: We are not yet perfect, but we are being perfected as we live, grow, change, overcome, repent and yield to God.

1-John 2:5: "On the other hand, if anyone is keeping His Word…"

Verse 3: "And by this standard we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments."

Verse 5: "...if anyone is keeping His Word, truly in this one the love of God is being perfected…."

  • we are His workmanship
  • we are the result of the sonship of God
  • we are the children of God

Think of that! "...By this means we know that we are in Him" (v 5).

Tie v 6 in with Matt. 5:48 where we began, and add to it the Holy Spirit, the workmanship of God, we're dwelling in God and He's dwelling in us—the Father and the Son both.

Verse 6: "Anyone who claims to dwell in Him is obligating himself also to walk even as He Himself walked." That's something! So, when it says "…we are the objects…" (Eph. 1:6)…

Ephesians 1:5: "...according to the good pleasure of His own will." Now, think of this:

  • God is perfect
  • God is love
  • we are His children
  • we are the heart and core and the center of the work of God, what He's doing on the earth wherever the true Christians are
    • He's preparing now to send Jesus Christ back to this earth to bring the Kingdom of God
    • He's preparing now for the resurrection of the saints

Think of how much preparation needs to be done to take over the whole world and rule the whole world.

I was thinking about that when they were preparing for Donald Trump to take over being President. How many things had to be done? Look at how many things have to be done by God, finished and completed in our flesh so that when the resurrection takes place we'll be changed from flesh to Spirit and then He's got to tell us what were going to do. That's amazing to think of it!

"...in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love; having predestinated us for sonship to Himself through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son" (vs 4-6).

Now listen, brethren, I want you to understand this very clearly: Though we have problems and difficulties we have to go through, all of those will work out for the good in the long run as we know. But think of what it's going to be to be perfect! And how that now we need to do the things that God wants us to do to develop that perfection within us!

  • God is working with us
  • God is working in us
    • we are working with God
    • we have our work
    • we have the things we need to do

So that that perfection will come. And it will because were the workmanship of God the Father through Jesus Christ.

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Let's see that God has chosen to work through human beings. To work through those men that He has selected throughout the Bible. Now remember that when God created Adam and Eve He formed Adam out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living being. From one of Adam's ribs He made Eve. So, we are the handiwork of God. Just like it says, 'we are His workmanship' (Eph. 2).

Whatever we are as human beings that's by the hand of God through the process of procreation and the genes and chromosomes to create billions and billions of human beings, each one separate and unique to the glory of God.

Since man with Adam and Eve chose Satan the devil instead of God—because God has given free moral agency to every man and woman, every human being—we have been under the aegis of Satan the devil as human beings unless God calls us and removes us out of that spiritually by giving us understanding through His Word.

Now think on this: We are reading here the writings of the Apostle Paul, one man specially chosen of God. We also read from the Prophets and from Moses and everything else. So, in a sense with these writings we all enter into that spiritual realm of the work of God.

Ephesians 4:11: "And He gave some asapostles… [the apostles are still ministering to us today through their word] ...and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers."

Now notice the purpose; v 12: "For the perfecting of the saints..." The saints are the ones who are live people, not dead canonized by a so-called pope. But living human beings, and they're called saints because they have the Holy Spirit, and saint means Holy. The saints called by God, selected by God.

Stop and really grasp this if you can: How important are you to God? So important that Christ died for you, and God the Father has given you His Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ! Isn't that something? That's worth more than the whole world itself! Think of that. Keep that in mind when you have a trial or something.

Verse 12: "For the perfecting of the saints…" That's why Paul told the elders at Ephesus to Feed the flock of God which is among you that Christ has purchased with His own blood.' How important is it that we:

  • teach the Word of God?
  • live by the Word of God?
  • live in the grace of God?
  • teach the love of God?
  • teach the hope of God?
  • teach the faith of God?

That's the whole purpose for the entire ministry down through time all the way to the end!

Verse 12: "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ; until we all come into the unity of the faith… [grow into it; grow in grace and knowledge] ...and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man… [or woman] …unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (vs 12-13).

Now that rounds out the statement: 'You shall become perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.'How? "Until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

That means we need to grow up in Christ, we need to be mature and no longer tossed to and fro by the doctrine of men.

Verse 14: "So that we no longer be children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men in cunning craftiness…" That's still going on today, and it's going to go on right until the return of Christ.

"..with a view to the systematizing of the error" (v 14). That verse has been fulfilled. They have systematized it! But we're not to do that. Here's what we are to do; here is how we grow up:

Verse 15: "But holding the Truth in love, may in all things grow up into Him Who is the Head, even Christ." That's something! That's why we are to:

  • put out the leaven
  • put out the sin
  • put out the vanity
  • overcome sin
  • overcome self
  • overcome Satan
  • overcome society

That's a lot of opposition, but it's all possible through Christ. And remember that there is only one first resurrection. We are called the Church of the Firstborn (Heb. 12).

  • Are we special to God?
  • Are you special to God?
  • Yes, you are!
  • Do you need to put the sin out?
  • Do you need to put the human nature out? Do you need to let the workmanship of God, the hands of God and His workmanship in you—through His Spirit, His Word and His Truth—form in you the image of Christ?

That's what Paul said, 'that Christ be formed in us' (Gal. 4). And we are to let 'the mind of Christ be in us' (Phil. 2:5). Look at the goal where we are going.

  • this is why we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread
  • this is why we study the Word of God
  • this is why we continue to endure regardless of what the circumstances are

Verse 16: "From Whom all the body, fitly framed and compacted together by that which every joint supplies, according to its inner working… [of the Spirit of God to develop us in His workmanship] …in the measure of each individual part, is making the increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

There we go that's it! That's the whole meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Then He says we are not to be like the Gentiles.

Verse 22: "That concerning your former conduct…" That is in the world as you live, or your human nature that you're still fighting, which all of us are still battling.

"…you put off the old man…" (v 22).

  • you put that out
  • you put it off
  • you get rid of it
  • you ask God to change:
    • your heart
    • your mind
    • your character

and develop the thoughts and mind and the way that God wants us to be!

"...you put off the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts; and that you be renewed…" (vs 22-23). That's why we have Feast of Unleavened Bread every year; to renew!

  • we renew the New Covenant with Passover
  • we renew our understanding of the Word of God with the Feast of Unleavened Bread
  • we renew our dedication and zeal:
    • to put out sin
    • to put out vanity
    • to put out the leaven
    • to put in the unleavened bread of Christ, the Word of God

That is so we can live by Jesus Christ (John 6). See how it all ties together. Amazing! Amazing!

Verse 23: "And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which according to God is created…" (vs 23-24).

That means being "…created in righteousness and Holiness of Truth…. [that's what we are to do] ...Therefore, let each one put away lies… [getting rid of that leaven] …and speak the truth with his neighbor because we are members of one another. When you become angry…" (vs 24-26).

It's not a sin to get angry, but don't let the sun go down on your wrath!

"…do not sin! Do not let the sun go down on your anger; neither give place to the devil" (vs 26-27)—because he is still there.

As Paul writes in Eph. 6, we're not warring against flesh and blood of people in the world. We are warring against 'wicked spirits in high places; against principalities and powers.' We will soon become the focal point of the wrath of the whole world under Satan the devil! That's why we need to be strengthened through this Feast of Unleavened Bread through God's Spirit. Being created in righteousness and Holiness of Truth.

Verse 28: "Let the one who stole, steal no more; rather, let him labor with his hands, working at what is good, so that he may impart something to the one who has need." All of these things amount to:

  • put out this behavior, put in the behavior of God
  • put out those thoughts, put in the thoughts of the Word of God
  • put out the hatred and all of the things of human nature, put in the love of God
  • get rid of the weakness of the flesh, put in the strength of faith

We have our part! Because God has chosen to use human beings, we have our part in developing the character of God the Father and Jesus Christ through the power of God's Holy Spirit.

Verse 29: "Do not let any corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but that which is good and needful for edification that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not vex the Holy Spirit of God by which you have been sealed for the day of redemption" (vs 29-30).

Now how do you vex the Holy Spirit of God? We already covered the sin of David and Bathsheba. Don't you think that vexed the Holy Spirit of God while David was doing this and all the months and all the time in between? Don't you think that did? You know it did!

Col. 3[transcriber's correction] is something that has to be read during every Feast of Unleavened Bread. Because this details how we put out the leaven and bring in the unleavenedness. Put out the leaven of carnality and sin and bring in the unleavenedess of:

  • God's laws
  • God's Truth
  • God's love
  • God's faith
  • God's hope

all of those things together.

Colossians 3:1: "Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ… [that is out of the watery grave of baptism] ...seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth" (vs 1-2).

Everything on the earth is going to pass away. This society is going to pass away, everything is going to be changed. There is going to be a new heaven and a new earth in which there is no sin. We need to develop the character and the perfection so that we can be in New Jerusalem.

Verse 3: "For you have died… [in the watery grave of baptism] ...and your life has been hid together with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory" (vs 3-4).

Notice how Paul starts out telling him how to get rid of sin, but he appoints them to the ultimate goal.

Verse 5: "Therefore, put to death your members, which are on earth… [here are all the sins of the mind and of the flesh] ...sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, among whom you also once walked, when you were living in these things" (vs 5-7)—we're not to live that way anymore.

Verse 8: "But now, you should also put off all these things… [just like you put leaven out of your home, all of the leaven] ...wrath, indignation, malice, blasphemy, and foul language from your mouth."

That true? Yes indeed! Don't we all of a sudden, because were human, blurt something out? Then you say to yourself: Why did I say that? Well, that's because your human nature took control for a while. He says to put it out. How do you put these things out?

  • you repent
  • you ask God for the help
  • you ask Him for the strength
  • you ask Him to help cleanse your mind with the washing of the water by the Word

All of these things are here in the mind; that's where conversion takes place!

Verse 9: "Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man together with his deeds, and have put on the new man, who is being renewed… [perfected, being built, being formed] ...in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him" (vs 9-10)—and created you.

Notice that this applies to all human beings everywhere, v 11: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian nor Scythian, slave nor free; but Christ is all things, and in all."

See how important that is. When God looks down at us with our heart and mind

  • He loves us
  • He cares for us
  • He's given us His Spirit
  • He's dwelling in us
  • Christ is dwelling in us

We are to use that strength and power and the Word of God to overcome! As we overcome with the Spirit of God, He is doing the workmanship with in us to create in us a clean heart, to create in us the love that we need.

Verse 12: "Put on then, as the elect of God, Holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another…" (vs 12-13).

We're all human and all make mistakes, we're in the process of growing and overcoming, and we are being perfected not having yet achieved it, but the process is ongoing!

"...even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive. And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection" (vs 13-14).

We'll talk about that in just a bit. Love is the ultimate; love is the perfection, and we have faith and hope to get there. But we've got to do the walking.

Verse 15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…" Comes from God. That's the government of God within you. Not some minister to tell you do this, do that, do the other thing. And by the way, 'don't you dare do a thing without counseling with me, because I'm the one to make the final judgment of what you do in your life.' That's a hierarchy that God hates and despises. He wants you to make your own decisions:

  • with His Spirit
  • with His Word
  • with His Truth

He wants you to make the choices in your life. He wants me to do the same thing, too, and every other person in the Church.

Verse 15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were called into one body, and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…" (vs 15-16).

You've heard of the two words prayer and study. PS: pray and study, PS pray and study. That's where you get wisdom combined with God's Spirit.

"...teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And in everything—whatever you do in word or in deed—do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (vs 16-17).

Let's see about the love of God. The love of God is that inner power that gets rid of the sin, which then is the inner power, which gets rid of the leaven and brings in the unleavenedness of Christ through the power of God's Spirit. You see how all of it works together as a unified whole.

1-John 4:6: "We are of God…" He's comparing those who are of God with those who are of the world and Satan the devil.

Verse 5: "They are of the world; because of this, they speak of the world… [the world does] ...and the world listens to them…. [that's why we don't listen to the world because we listen to God] …We are of God; the one who knows God listens to us…  [because we're teaching God] ...the one who is not of God does not listen to us. By this means we know the Spirit of the Truth and the spirit of the deception" (vs 5-6)—and this deception is growing all the time in the world.

Verse 7: "Beloved, we should love one another because love is from God; and everyone who loves has been begotten by God, and knows God."

That's interesting! Not born again, not born of God, but begotten because the birth does not come until the resurrection. Then you are born again and become a spirit being, the end result of the process of putting in God's way and putting out man's way, and becoming the workmanship of God to be perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect!

Verse 9: "In this way the love of God was manifested toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the love… [Isn't that where we started? John 3:16! Amazing!] ...not that we loved God…" (vs 9-10).  

'Oh, I'm so good I love God. Oh, hallelujah! God knows me because I'm so good. I love God.' NO!

"...not that we loved God; rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are duty-bound to love one another" (vs 10-11). Isn't that what it was with foot-washing? We are duty-bound to wash one another's feet!

Verse 12: "No one has seen God at any time. Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us, and His own love is perfected in us…. [we are being perfected] …By this standard we know that we are dwelling in Him, and He is dwelling in us: because of His own Spirit, which He has given to us. And we have seen for ourselves and bear witness that the Father sent the Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God" (vs 12-15).

But you have to add other Scriptures to it. Just take all the Scriptures in the small Epistle of First John and add to that verse, because it's not just a simple confession.

Verse 16: "And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him. By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world" (vs 16-17).

Now you see the result of becoming unleavened. Getting the sin out and putting in the character of God:

  • the love
  • the hope
  • the truth
  • the faith
  • the obedience

and everything that goes with it.

Verse 18: "There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment. And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God…. [it's all a process] …We love Him because He loved us first. If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love God Whom he has not seen? And this is the commandment that we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother" (vs 18-21).

Now let's see the things that we need to overcome and the things that we need to put in place of it. Just like putting out the leaven and putting in the unleavened.

1-Cor. 13 is also called the love chapter. This is a personal gauge, so each one of us can look at our own behavior compared to what perfect love is compared to what the love of God is and what we need to do to overcome to get rid of sin, vanity, lust and greed.

1-Corinthians 13:1—Paul writes: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal…. [you've heard those before] …If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing" (vs 1-2).

See how important love is? Think of that! Just think how important you would be if you knew all mysteries and all knowledge. You can't do that only God can. Which is saying that if you thought this way you would think you were God.

Verse 3: "And if I give away all my goods, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but do not have love, I have gained nothing…. [here is how love responds and reacts]: …Love is patient… [put your name there with love] …and is kind; love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up. Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil" (vs 3-5).

That's a hard one to come by: Thinks no evil! That's what we have to overcome today. And I think especially today with all of the inadvertent things coming in, flooding into our mind through our eyes or through our ears, through the things that we see and hear.

Verse 6: "Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth. Love bears all things… [all trials all difficulties] …believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there be prophecies, they shall cease… [prophecies of men; not one of God's prophecies will cease or fail] …whether there be languages, they shall cease… [we're going to learn Godly languages] ...whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away" (vs 6-8).

All the knowledge we have today is going to look like all during all during this life we were really in kindergarten!

Verse 9: "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is Perfect has come… [that's at the resurrection] ...then that which is in part shall be set aside. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child; but when I became a man, I set aside the things of a child" (vs 9-11).

Now this is what were doing. This is how we are. We can see so much, we can know so much, we can grow so much, and even more beyond what we may think we can do.

Verse 12: "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then… [at the resurrection] …we shall see face-to-face; now I know in part, but then I shall know exactly as I have been known. And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love" (vs 12-13)—and that's what God wants us to have.

We will see how this perfection is going to come about, which will be from God the Father.

1-Peter 5:6: "Be humbled, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you…. [understand that; remember that] …Be sober! Be vigilant! For your adversary the devil is prowling about as a roaring lion, seeking anyone he may devour. Whom resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are being fulfilled among your brethren who are in the world" (vs 6-9).

Here's a promise. You tie this together with what Paul wrote that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. All things will work out for good even the trials and difficulties. It says there of Jesus:

Hebrews 5:8[transcriber's correction] "…He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected…" (vs 8-9)—became obedient unto death. Think that!

Even through the experience of becoming a human being and caring 'the law of sin and death' within Him and never sinning. Going through everything that He went through, Christ was perfected even more though He was the only begotten Son of God, Who was God before He became the only begotten Son of God. Now think on that!

  • this is the God Who has called us
  • this is the God Who is perfecting us

Now notice this promise right here.

1-Peter 5:10: "Now, may the God of all grace, Who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus… [What is that going to be like? eternal glory?] …after you have suffered a little while…"—because:

  • you're overcoming human nature
  • you're overcoming the world
  • you're overcoming Satan
  • you're overcoming sin
  • you're overcoming the self

"...after you have suffered a little while, Himself... [God Himself, the Father Who loves you. Christ Who is our High Priest.] …Himself perfect you… [make you perfect] ...establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the power into the ages of eternity. Amen" (vs 10-11).

You shall become perfect even as your Father, Who is in heaven, is perfect!

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 5:48
  • Psalm 39:5
  • Psalm 19:7-14
  • Psalm 18:30-32
  • Deuteronomy 32:1-4
  • Ephesians 2:4-10
  • Matthew 13:3-9, 16
  • James 2:15-22
  • Ephesians 1:1-4
  • 1 John 2:5, 3, 5-6
  • Ephesians 1:5, 4-6
  • Ephesians 4:11-16, 22-30
  • Colossians 3:1-17
  • 1 John 4:6-21
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
  • 1 Peter 5:6-9
  • Hebrews 5:8-9
  • 1 Peter 5:10-11

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Hebrews 10:16
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • Romans 6
  • Psalm 51
  • Leviticus 23
  • Genesis 15; 22
  • Hebrews 11
  • John 6; 8
  • Hebrews 12
  • Galatians 4
  • Philippians 2:5
  • John 6
  • Ephesians 6
  • John 3:16

FRC: po/bo
Transcribed: 3/13/17

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