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Going On
to Perfection

by Wayne Dailey


  

Hebrews 6:1-2
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,
let us go on unto perfection;
not laying again the foundation
of repentance from dead works,
and of faith toward God,
of the doctrine of baptisms,
and of laying on of hands,
and of resurrection of the dead,
and of eternal judgment.

Leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, we are to go on unto perfection. We are to go deeper in the Lord.

First, we must understand the principles of the doctrine of Christ, applying them unto our lives, realizing that these are required of us. These principles were covered in the previous message: Principles of the Doctrine of Christ.

Now, what are we going to do after the foundation has been laid?

Are we going to get saved again and again, every time we hear a message on salvation? Are we going to get baptized in water every time there's a water baptism?

No, once is sufficient.

After we've done these things, having learned the simple, basic truths of the doctrine of Christ, we are to go on to perfection.

But, Brother Dailey, nobody can be perfect!

Did you ever say that? Nobody can be perfect!

Many have called God a liar, saying things contrary to what He has already spoken. God speaks the truth, and you call Him a liar when you contradict His Word. Why call God a liar because His Word clearly tells us that we must be perfect?

Matthew 5:48
Be ye therefore perfect,
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Many people try to say that the Sermon on the Mount is a message for the kingdom age. But it was given to us here and now. It's here and now that we need to go on to perfection.

When you get saved you receive the righteousness of Christ - but you must go on to perfect that righteousness in your life.

Now, if the Bible tells us to go on unto perfection, let's not stand on the sidelines and argue that no one can be perfect. God said it - and that's what He meant.

What does going on to perfection mean?

I always think of perfection as a goal, something to be achieved in our lifetime. No matter how perfect you become, the goal of perfection is yet greater. We are perfect when we walk in the light the Lord has given us. Anyone who is walking up-to-date in his experience is perfect in God's eyes. When more light is given him, then he is obligated to go on unto greater perfection.

Job was a perfect man
Job's example should encourage us to want to go on unto perfection.

If God is telling us to be perfect, then He means that we can come to that place of being perfect in His eyes.

Job 1:1
There was a man in the land of Uz,
whose name was Job;
and that man was perfect and upright,
and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

Job was considered a perfect man before he had his trial. Yet, we find that he was more perfect after the trial. He was perfect to start with, and more perfect later on. He was walking in the light that God gave him.

Philippians 3:10-12
That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Paul is speaking of really coming to the place of knowing Jesus - not only as Saviour, but to know the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.

I believe this goes along with perfection. We are to be like Jesus. We are to stand up to things, taking what comes. In this, we can know Jesus in a greater way because we know Him in the fellowship of His sufferings.

Paul went on to say more in this Scripture: no matter what it took, he wanted to make the resurrection of the dead and come into the fullness of eternal life.

Notice, Paul goes on to say that he hadn't already attained. He wasn't boasting. No he wasn't running around telling everybody he was perfect. He was confessing that he wanted to go on unto perfection. He knew there was yet more to seek for. Paul didn't have it all, and he knew it. He was continually seeking after more.

What he had was good, but he wanted more of it. Where he had attained unto perfection was wonderful, but he wanted to be even more like his Master. He wanted to allow what God put into his life to work perfection in him.

Philippians 3:13-14
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do:
forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark
for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

This is the thing we need to do. We need to forget those things which are behind.

Don't look at your past and say, All I've ever been is a failure. How could I ever go on unto perfection? All my life has been wrecked by sin and mishaps. How could I ever get straightened out?

You don't have to worry about what's past. Get your eyes on the goal. Reach forth unto those things which are before you. There is so much to take a hold of in Christ.

Now, if you have something haunting you from your past that you've been forgiven of - if there is a feeling of guilt over past failures, forget them. If you've asked Jesus to forgive you, then count Him faithful, and accept His forgiveness - and then, press forth toward the mark for the prize.

What is that prize? The prize of eternal life. Don't you want to have such a prize? Don't you want to stand before His presence, to be received into His heavenly home?

Well, just make up your mind to go on unto perfection. Ask God to perfect the ways of Christ in you.


The grace of God

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
not of works, lest any man should boast.

 

We are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing can be added to the experience of salvation. It is complete - a free gift from God. We are brought out of a world of sin through this grace by turning to Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith. God has done all of the work of redemption for us. All He expects us to do is believe - and even that believing faith is a gift from God.

Titus 2:11-12
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world

After you are saved, you must continue to walk in the grace of God. You must begin to separate yourself, and go on unto perfection. The grace of God will teach you how to go deeper into the things of God.

Denying ungodliness -
The grace of God teaches us to deny the ungodly things of this world. Ungodliness isn't of the Spirit. It's not of the new man. When the grace of God comes in, it teaches us to live a godly, separated life.

Listen, if you don't want to be perfected, nobody is going to force you - not even the Holy Ghost. God will let you go your own way, until you come to the end of yourself.

But if you really want to go deeper with God, the grace of God will teach you how. The grace of God won't make up excuses for you to continue in sin. No, the grace of God brings power to be delivered from sin. It gives you power to conquer sin, to get it out of your life.

You've got to get in the place where you say, Lord, I want to go deeper. I want to get away from the shoreline, and launch out into the deep. I want to be in that place where I can enjoy the depths of living and walking in the Spirit.

This is something for now - not for when you get to heaven. No, you must live godly now if you want to make it into heaven.

I hope the desire to go on to perfection is burning in your heart today. I hope you're desiring to be as close to God as you possibly can get.


The carnal nature

Many are in a carnal state. It's so evident in their lives. Wherever there is trouble among God's people, you'll find those who are yet carnal. The more you grow in the Spirit, the less you'll walk after the flesh. Going on to perfection will bring you to the place where you'll walk more and more, day by day after the Spirit of God.

I Corinthians 3:1
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

Paul couldn't deal with the Corinthian Church as with a spiritual church. He had to deal with them as with babes in Christ, because of their carnal ways.

When you're carnal you just can't receive spiritual things. They don't register with you - or if they do, they go against the grain.

I Corinthians 3:2
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:
for hitherto ye were not able to bear it,
neither yet now are ye able.

Babes in Christ must have the simple truths of the Word in order to grow. They can't feed on complicated things. They can't feed on hard things. All they can bear is the milk. But there comes a day when they have to grow out of that state. They have to go on to claim the fullness of their sonship as they grow up.

I Corinthians 3:3
For ye are yet carnal:
for whereas there is among you envying,
and strife, and divisions,
are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

You can see, from the Word of God, how much you need to grow spiritually in order to get away from such things as envy and strife and divisions.

I Corinthians 3:4
For while one saith,
I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos;
are ye not carnal?

There was a division among the Corinthian believers. It made a big difference to them who ministered salvation, and who baptized. And this same division occurs today - with believers boasting about their denomination, boasting about their church.

The tongue -

James 3:5
Even so the tongue is a little member,
and boasteth great things.
Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

Learn to perfect your tongue. Control it to where you speak what you really should speak - and to where you refuse to speak those things which displease God.

James 3:2
For in many things we offend all.
If any man offend not in word,
the same is a perfect man,
and able also to bridle the whole body.

Of all the members in our body, the tongue is the hardest member to control. We have more problems with our tongue than with any of our other members - because if we learn to control our tongue, we'll be able to bridle the whole body. This is an area where we need a lot of perfection.

Keep your ears clean -
Did you know, the ear can become a garbage can? Someone brings his gossip to you, and fills your ears with that old garbage. Then, it's hard for you to keep your mouth shut, and not spread it further.

You ought to control what enters your ear. If someone calls, and says, Did you hear? you should speak up. Tell him you don't want to hear any gossip - you're just not interested.


The Gifts of God help to bring forth perfection

Ephesians 4:8
Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

There are many who have taken preaching merely as a profession, a career. God hasn't called them. They have called themselves into the ministry. But a self-appointed calling never works. It must be of God in order to be truly effective.

II Peter 2:3
And through covetousness shall they
with feigned words make merchandise of you:
whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not,
and their damnation slumbereth not.

Now, you have to have some common sense. You have to realize when something is a hurtful way. Those who make a business out of the ministry, trying to sell the blessing of God, aren't out to help you. They're not interested in you - they're interested in what you have!

Ephesians 4:11
And He gave
some, apostles;
and some, prophets;
and some, evangelists;
and some, pastors and teachers

Five gifts that perfect -
God has a purpose for these five anointed ministries. They all work together for the purpose of taking you on in your experience, and bringing you unto perfection.

Ephesians 4:12
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

Yes, these ministries are for the perfecting of the saints. So don't call God a liar, and say that He doesn't expect us to be perfect - when His word declares it so plainly. Open your ears when God is ministering His Word through one of these five ministries. Let the message sink down into your heart and take a hold of your life.

Ephesians 4:13
Till we all come in 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 fulness of Christ

There is a growing up in the faith, a going on unto perfection, a going deeper and deeper. Let's sink our teeth into this truth.

Many are unteachable. They have an attitude that says, I have the Holy Ghost. I don't need anyone else to teach me. Don't you try to tell me!

What they are doing is shorting a circuit.

The Holy Ghost is our teacher. And because He is our teacher, He will use those whom God has called to teach. He will take their anointed message, and drive it home.

Instead of shutting your ears to the message of God, you ought to be crying out: If you can tell me anything about the Lord that's going to help me, go ahead. And tell me quickly! I want to know those things that will take me deeper. I want to grow up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:14
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive

This is speaking of those whose doctrine is fleshy and carnal. They don't preach anything to edify and build up the spiritual man in the ways of God - but preach a crafty message to deceive. What good is there in having a permissive belief, making life easy to the point of doing whatever you want - sinful or not - and in the end losing out with God.

Hebrews 6:1
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,
let us go on unto perfection

Matthew 5:48
Be ye therefore perfect,
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.


  
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