Thursday, October 01, 2009
Being "perfect" and being "in Christ"
Interesting to me is that many see the phrase “be perfect” and believe it is not possible when Jesus states, “be perfect” (Matt 5: 48. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.) At the time Jesus spoke it I think that it was laid out as a challenge for one to “try” to do under the Law, yet was not attainable until after Jesus died and rose again. If you couple that thought with Jesus’ prayer in John 17 he states:
“20. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21. that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
Now in a sense we are not yet “Perfect”… as Paul states; Phil 3: 10. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11. and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Yet Hebrews also states: Hebrews 7:28. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
Now go back and re-read the prayer of Jesus in John 17.. He is in the Father; the Father is in Jesus. Jesus is in us as He is in the Father… we are in Jesus as Jesus is in the Father.
When we come to new birth in Christ, we are “Baptized” into Christ (now please do not take that as getting wet… as the word “baptize” has more meaning that just getting dunked)
Gal 3:26. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27. for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Here as in other places “baptized” means “placed in or immersed” (to immerse something you need to place that “something” into the water.)
Now read this passage where “baptizes” is mentioned in Romans:
Romans 6: 1. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2. By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3. Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7. because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Notice when you start thinking of baptism as “placing something into” instead of dunking, that it sort of changes the meaning?
Now, we are place into Christ Jesus… we die to sin and live in Him. We then are “placed into” Jesus just as Adam was “placed into the Garden”…
Now there is not sin in Jesus so therefore if we are in Christ, and He has not sin, we have not sin!
In fact Paul states this of us: 2 Cor 5: 21. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
This is how we are made righteous and “perfect” in God’s eye… later we will be clothed in the imperishable… and raised incorruptible, but right now as we depend on Jesus totally we are being “perfect” as our Father in Heaven is perfect… by being “in Christ Jesus”.