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Summary: We have been born again but we are not perfect. We know we must strive for perfection but in what areas? This lesson also shows what aids are available in our striving for perfection.

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Pressing On Unto Perfection

Conforming To Christ’s Image

Introduction

1. Consider what it means to be ‘in Christ’:

a. Those baptized into Christ have put on Christ:

"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:27)

b. Those in Christ have no condemnation to fear:

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:1)

c. Those in Christ have received every spiritual blessing:

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:1-3)

2. We were guilty but have now been justified:

a. Justified in His name:

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

b. Justified by His blood and saved from wrath:

"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:9)

3. Having been immersed, forgiven, and justified in His name, are we now perfect?

I. Witnesses Of Imperfection

A. One step forward, two steps back!

1. The brethren at Corinth were acting like mere men:

"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 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. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men" (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

2. The brethren in Galatia were in danger of falling from grace:

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:1-4)

B. Down and out:

1. Demas was a fellow laborer with Paul (Philemon 1:24) but his love of the world was his undoing:

"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia." (2 Timothy 4:10)

2. Peter mentioned certain brethren who had been overcome by the corruption that is in the world:

"For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning" (2 Peter 2:18-20)


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