Faith in Jesus makes the Sinner Perfect
from The Mastery 
Dr. E. Stanley Jones 

1 Pet. 1:22-23. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.

We come to our last day in the consideration of the mighty positives of the Acts.  For the individual it means life is going to be affirmed until it awakes in His likeness.  It takes man as he is - sinful, disrupted - and undertakes to make him as he ought to be - like Christ.  It starts out not with the disciples discovering and declaring their infinite and essential perfection but with their humbly receiving the "promise of the Father" - the Holy Spirit.  

It doesn't say to the Jewish leaders guilty of Jesus' murder: "Realize your infinite and essential perfection, and all your shortcomings and guilts will drop away."  They did say: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).  That was realistic, anchored to the facts; but it opened infinite possibilities by Grace giving them the Spirit to make them into Jesus' image.

They didn't say to the lame man at the Beautiful Gate: "Realize your infinite and inherent perfection."  But they did say: "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."  And Peter added: "Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety (and we may add perfection) we had made him walk?...  The faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all." (3:12, 16).  The eyes of the disciples and of the people were on Jesus as the source of the miracle.  They weren't seven-day wonders dispensing miracles because of their divinity or their perfection - they pointed to Jesus.

And Paul didn't say: "By my realization of my essential and inherent perfection I am what I am"; instead He said humbly and gratefully: "By the grace of God I am what I am" (I Cor. 15:10).  That pointed to grace, not to himself.

So the positive affirms life mightily even unto perfection, but it is realistic.  And it affirms the cosmic process as having a goal and end - the Kingdom of God on earth.  That breaks the paralysis of thought about the individual and opens infinite possibilities for society - the Kingdom of God.

O Father God, it takes away my breath to know that I am under the process of redemption and that redemption is redeeming me into His image.  What a redemption!  Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY:  I am good only as I surrender to Grace and let it operate fully within me.

john_bevere.jpg"The most successful churches and ministries I have seen today are reaching out to raise up the youth. Bob and Rose Weiner are having a direct impact on the next generation and youth all over the world are being trained to be leaders and world changers for Christ. Through their ministry, you will be charged and encouraged to reach out to the ‘sons and daughters’ spoken of by the Prophet Joel."

--John Bevere - Author / Speaker - Messenger International

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