We know the bible teaches us that Jesus came into this world as a perfect sacrifice. Why? Because the law was weak in that it could not make anything perfect. (Heb. 7:19)
You can see today that our subject is perfection. Because we believe that Jesus taught perfection and we are going to pursue it and see what we can come up with. And if he taught perfection it will be in the bible, and it will prove itself. (Matt.5:48)
Reading from Hebrew 6:1, the Apostle Paul, writing to the Hebrews, said: "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go 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 judgement. And this will we do if God permit".
I want you to notice here that the Apostle Paul is exhorting the people to go on unto perfection. If there is no perfection to go unto I don't know how you could go unto it. Since the bible instructs us to go unto perfection, then we must.
So we must look into the scriptures to see what it says about perfection. I want you to notice in Hebrews 7:19 it says: "For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by the which we draw nigh unto God".
Now the Law, the bible teaches us, made nothing perfect. But the bringing in of a better hope did. Did what? Made something perfect. Referring to Hebrews 7:11, it says: "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also in the law".
The people had the Levitical priest and they had the Mosaical law but it would not bring them to perfection. So therefore they had to have a better hope. And that better hope was Jesus.
Notice the bible said that bringing in of a better hope did make something perfect. So therefore if we will follow the scriptures through we will find out what it was that was made perfect.
In as much as we have a lot of controversy in the world today, and a lot of preachers are preaching that it is impossible to perfect men, then we must study the scriptures and see what they say.
In Hebrews 10:1, it says: "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers there unto perfect. For then would they have not ceased to be offered? Because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year".
So we find that Jesus came for a purpose. Notice that every time that we read the scriptures, the first thing that we should keep in mind is that there must be a purpose. Therefore there must be a plan, and so there must be a way to to execute the plan.
So we want to learn about the purpose, the plan, and the execution. The purpose for which he came, the bible said, in Hebrews 10:11: "And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God. From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified".
Notice, the bible said you are perfect if you are sanctified. The word sanctify means to cleanse and to set aside for a holy or religious service. And the bible says that if we are sanctified we are perfected for ever.
Now we know that Jesus Christ came into the world for a purpose. And that purpose is that he might perfect for ever them that are sanctified. If the law would have made the comers thereunto perfect, then the sacrifices that they offered under the law, they would have continued to offer. (Heb.10:1-14)
But the bible said it could never make the comers thereunto perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did. Did make something perfect. Notice he said: "That by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified". (Heb.7:19 )
Notice what his purpose was and what he taught his disciples. In Matthew 5:2: "And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying". And Matthew went on to give the words Jesus was teaching.
He was teaching them that so they could teach other people. Matthew 5:48 we find that he said to them these words: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect". These are the words of Jesus.
Now the Lord would not tell anybody to do anything that they were not able to do. If he says to be perfect, then he made a plan to perfect you by.
His purpose is that they might be perfect. In Luke 6:40 the bible says: "The disciple is not above his master, but every one that is perfect shall be as his master".
Now he lets us know that it is his plan for us to be like him. And he is perfect. We know that he is perfect because the bible says he is. And if we are going to be as he is, then we must be also perfect.
The bible said, every one that is (IS, not tries to be) perfect shall be as his master. Then if we want to know how we must be, then we need to look into the scriptures and see what the scriptures have said.
The bible tells us that he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. He did no sin. He was without sin, he was without imperfection, he had no blemish, he was without sin. (1Pet. 2:22)
There was no guile, no trickery, no deceit. He had no gimmicks. He didn't try to use any gimmicks on the people. He used the word of God.
We have so many people in the land today that are using gimmicks and teaching other than what the scriptures say. They teach that it is impossible in this day and time for a man to live perfect in the sight of God. Therefore they have to have gimmicks and trickery in order to draw people and have a congregation so that they can get finance sufficient to do what they desire to do. But I want you to know that the bible said that his purpose was to perfect the saints.
Because Ephesians 5:25 it says: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, any such thing, but it should be holy and without blemish".
Notice that he said without blemish. He is talking about the church that he is coming back after. And it said that it (the church) had to be holy and without blemish. The word blemish means any mark of imperfection. They couldn't even offer a lamb as a sacrifice under the law that had any blemish in it. It had to be perfect, without a blemish. And here he says that the church is going to be without blemish, or any mark of imperfection. (Ex.12:5 )
Then if the purpose of the Lord was to perfect his saints then he has a plan. In 2Tim. 4:1, the apostle Paul is writing to Timothy: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead, at his appearing and his kingdom, Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry".
Notice that Paul is exhorting Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. We have told you before that there is a plan, there is a purpose, and that plan will be executed. We see now that the purpose that the Lord came for is the perfecting of the saints.
Now we get the plan for perfecting them. In Ephesians 4:11: "And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. 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 fullness of Christ ... 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".
If people are not teaching what they are supposed to, then they are deceiving. Paul is exhorting Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. We don't find in scripture other than this what an evangelist is to do. Now we know that the work of an evangelist is the perfecting of the saints.
If we are not doing what we are supposed to be doing as evangelists, and pastors, and teachers, and we are not preaching perfection, then we are deceiving the people. The bible said that it is his plan to perfect them.
So if we claim to be evangelists, and pastors, and teachers, and we do not preach perfection, we are deceiving the people, because the purpose that we are put here for is to teach perfection. According to the word of God and not according to the wisdom of men.
And if we stay with the word of God and not preach according to the wisdom of men, we can take 1Cor. 1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block,and unto the Greeks foolishness, But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God".
So we understand here that by the foolishness of preaching, it pleased God to save them that believed. Romans 10:14 says: "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things?".
Notice that the bible teaches us that there are preachers that are sent. And when a preacher is sent he speaks the words of him that sent him.
If we do not speak the words of him that sent us, then we deceive the people. The scripture is very plain on being sent. I believe that there are a lot of people that were not sent, but went. They are deceiving the people because they are preaching that it is impossible to do that which Jesus said to do. We need to search the scripture, for the bible said: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they that testify of me." (John 5: 39)
If I am called of Jesus or sent of Jesus to preach the good news or the gospel, (the gospel means good news), and if Jesus said that if I went in the church I had to be without blemish, without imperfection and now preachers tell me that I cannot be perfect, that is not very good news, or gospel. Because if it is impossible for me to be perfect and he is coming back after a perfect church, then that means that we are all lost and have no hope.
The bible said that the law made nothing perfect but the bringing in of a better hope did. So if I have hope in Christ, how can I have hope in him other than what he said? And he said: "Be ye therefore perfect,even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect". (Heb.7:19) (Mat.5:48)
So if I'm measuring myself am I measuring myself by the world? Am I measuring myself by what some preacher that went (not sent) says? Then let's check the scriptures and see what it teaches us.
Paul said in Ephesians 4:11: "till we all come to the measure, the stature of the fullness of Christ". He is saying this: if you are going to measure yourself by any thing, measure yourself by Christ till you come to the fullness of the stature of Christ.
If we are going to be as he was and as Luke 6:40 says: "The disciple is not above his master, but every one that is perfect shall be as his master", then we must be perfect. Right?
Let's see how our master was. Peter said before that he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. (1 Pet.2:22)
Hebrews 6:1 reads: "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, of faith toward God".
Repentance will not make you perfect. He said, "let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance". If repentance could perfect you there would be no need to go further. But he said, Let us go on unto perfection.
If we are going to use Jesus as our yard stick so to speak or some thing to measure ourselves by we are going to have to see what he was and what it takes to make us perfect. Because he said "Every one that is perfect shall be as his master".(Luke 6:40)
He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.(1Pet.2:22) Acts 10:38 tells how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.
The word perfect means being complete. I'm not a partial Christian. I'm either a complete Christian or I'm not a Christian at all.
The bible says that we are to measure up to the stature of the fullness of Christ. And if Christ was full of the Holy Ghost then we must be full of the Holy Ghost. And power comes with the Holy Ghost. (Eph. 4:13)
If the word perfect means complete, and repentance won't make me perfect or won't make me complete, and I have to be as my master, and he was full of the Holy Ghost, then if I am not full of the Holy Ghost, then I cannot be perfected.
Reading from St. John 16:7, with Jesus own words: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is expedient (necessary..WR) for you, that I go away. For if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart, I will send him (the Comforter..WR) unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me, Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more, Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (John 16:7-11)
If we are going to be righteous or we are going to be perfect we must abide in him. Because he is perfect. John 15:7 says if we abide in him and his words abide in us we can ask whatsoever we will and it shall be done.
The 1John 3:6 says: "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not. Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him. And he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
If you are born of God you do not commit sin. That brings us back to perfection. If we are perfect we will be as he is. And he is without sin. The bible said that he that sinneth is of the devil. If we are born of God we do not commit sin. (1John 3:8-9)
Then how am I born of God? I am born by the Spirit of God. And if I am born by the Spirit of God, I will not commit sin and if I do not commit sin then I become as he is and he is perfect.
That is where it comes back to the master. He said the servant is not above his master. He will not commit sin because if he is born of God he cannot sin for his seed remaineth in him. He that sinneth is of the devil. (1John 3:9)
If we believe that we can sin and be alright with God then we are being deceived. And how can we keep from being deceived? The bible said when the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth. (John 16-13)
We cannot be perfect without the Spirit of God in our lives to lead us into the truth. Because if we don't know the truth we will be deceived. But if we have the Spirit of God, or the Holy ghost, the bible teaches us that the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of God, the Comforter are all the same. Also the promise of the Father.(John 15:26) (John14:26) (Acts 2:33) (1Cor.3:16) (Rom.8:9).
And if we have the Spirit of truth he will lead us and guide us and teach us. What will he lead us to? He will lead us to perfection. He will lead us up to the stature of the fullness of Christ. That we might be as he is. (John16:13) (John14:26)
If we are going to be as he is then we must have the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of truth or the Holy Ghost, the Comforter to lead us in the truth. That is the only way that we can be as he is.
Now we look into the gospel of Luke 11:10: "For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and he that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
And when we get the Holy Spirit it will guide us into all truth. And the truth is that he that sinneth is of the devil, he that is born of God doth not sin. Then if we do not sin and we do not have any trickery, we don't have any gimmicks, then we become as the Lord. Because we are lead of his Spirit. (John 16:13) (1 John 3:8-9 )
You ask: how do I get the Spirit? The scripture just said (Luke 11:13) that if you ask he would give you the Holy Spirit. And then when you receive the Holy Spirit he will lead you and guide you into all righteousness. He will not lead you to sin. He will not lead you to unrighteousness. He will not lead you to imperfection. But he will lead you to righteousness and perfection. (Luke11:13) (John 16:13) (2Cor.5:21)
The scripture teaches us that Abraham was the father of faith. "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God, walk before me, and be thou perfect".
( Heb. 11:8-9,17) (Gen. 17:1)
The covenant that God made with Abraham depended upon Abraham walking before God and being perfect. Now I want you to know that the bible said and we have already been talking about it, that his promise or his covenant with us is, that he is coming back after a church and that church should be without spot, and without wrinkle, and without blemish. Without any mark of imperfection. (Eph.5:27)
So then the covenant that the Lord has made with us is the same that he made with Abraham. It depends upon our perfection. Then if we do not believe in perfection, then the covenant is null and void. Because no sin is going to enter in to heaven. (John 16:9)
I am trying to get men and women to see what 'thus saith the word of God'. The only covenant that was made to sinners, disbelievers,and workers of iniquity is damnation and hell fire, we don't have any covenant of eternal life outside of perfection. (Mat.13:41-42) (Rev.21:8)
You ask: Then what does it take to make me perfect? It takes everything that the Lord has supplied for us. Being complete or being perfect in Christ. Repentance cannot and will not make me perfect. I must go on unto perfection. (Heb.6:1)
I must go on and receive what the Lord has for me. And he said: "I will go away and I will not leave you comfortless but I will pray the Father and he will send you another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth which shall lead you and guide you into all truth". And it will not lead you into a lie. (John 14:16, 18) (John 15:26) (John16:13)
"When the Spirit of truth is come he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin because they believed not on me." (John 16:8). It is a sin not to believe on him. If we do not believe on him we sin. John 7:38: "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given)".
If repentance cannot make me perfect and I have to go on unto perfection and if I believe on the Lord as the scripture hath said, out of my belly shall flow rivers of living water. That says you have to have the Holy Ghost in order to be saved. (Heb.6:1) (John 7:38-39)
Let us see what Jesus said in the scripture. If it is true then his word will bare it out. Mark 16:15: "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Notice here that he included being baptized to be saved. And he is not talking about water baptism. For the next verse said, "And these signs shall follow them that believe, In my name shall they cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues".
Being baptized in water will not make you speak in new tongues. But being baptized in the Holy Ghost will make you speak with new tongues. And it will cause you to cast out devils.
In John 14:12 Jesus said: "Verily, verily i say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto my Father". (John14:12)
What kind of works did he do? He cast out devils, he laid hands on the sick and they recovered. How did he do this? Lets go back to Acts 10:38 to see how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power. (Luke 7:21-22) (Acts10:38)
Then how can I do the works that he did if I do not have the Holy Ghost and power? If it took the Holy ghost and power for Jesus to do it, then how can I do it, if I don't have the Holy Ghost and power?
"He that believeth on me the works that I do shall he do, and greater works because I go to my Father". Why would he have to go to his Father so I could do it? Because "I go away and I will pray the Father, and he will send you the Holy Ghost with power. And that is what it takes to do the work of the Lord. (John 14:12) (Luke24:49)
Some people came to Jesus and said: "We would do the works of the Father". And he said, "This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he hath sent". If we believe on him, out of our belly will flow rivers of living water. If we believe not on him we are condemned. (John 6:28-29) (John 7: 38-39)
And in conclusion I would like to reiterate what we said when we first began: Purpose, Plan, and Execution. I want to remind you that his purpose is the perfection of men. His plan is to have pastors, teachers, and evangelists to preach perfection and to execute this we must be full of the Holy Ghost and power.
Compiled from the teachings of Rev.Wes Ratcliff