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Summary: We cannot ever rest in our struggle to become more like Christ.

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Phil. 3:12-16 - 12Not that I have already attained, or am

already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that

for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13Brethren,

I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing

I do, forgetting those things which are behind and

reaching forward to those things which are ahead,14I

press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of

God in Christ Jesus. 15Therefore let us, as many as are

mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think

otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.16Nevertheless,

to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by

the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

Matt. 5:48 - 48“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as

your Father in heaven is perfect.

What does all of this mean........can we become perfect?....

Is God asking what appears to be impossible, here?.......If

we are not perfect, are we Christians?

A. A lot of confusion has been generated by men who

cannot or will not study this concept out.

1. One thing is sure....either we can become

perfect....no....we MUST BECOME

PERFECT or we cannot become perfect and

these passages must be referring to something

that may not be evident at first glance.

Most of the confusion comes about from an imperfect

understanding of the word that we have, translated into

English as, “perfect”.

A. As confusing as the Greek language may be to

some......there are times when we MUST get an

accurate and complete meaning from the Greek

word or words that are being translated.

1. This is one of those times.

a. If we do not have a proper understanding

and simply operate with the English

word, “perfect”.......we will generate all

kinds of false doctrine.

The Greek word that is used in each of these passages is the

word teleios (Telios). It is translated from several

different forms....teleioths, teleiow,teleiws......

A. Depending on the form used, this word can be

rendered as follows: (In the base form - Telios)-

Complete {in job performed, in growth, in

character}, completeness, of full age.

B. Teleistas - completeness, perfection

C. Teleiao - To complete, accomplish, consummate,

consecrate, finish, fulfill, (make) perfect.

D. Teleios - Completely, without wavering, to the

end.

In all of this, are we struck with the idea of infallibility?...

A. A much better word to be used in place of the

English word, “perfect”....would be the English

word, “mature”....which some translations use.

1. Can a Christian become mature in Christ.....

of full age......complete in character....

consecrated.....without wavering?

a. I propose, then, that in many of the

passages in which we encounter the

word, “perfect”.....we simply need to

insert the word, “mature”.

The idea of completeness does also come forth from some

of these passages.

A. In these passages we are seen to be striving or

working towards this end.....this goal.

Heb. 6:1 - 1Therefore, leaving the discussion of the

elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection,

not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead

works and of faith toward God.

1. Has God asked us to strive for something that

we cannot accomplish?

a. Never.......a goal must be obtainable.

1.) So how can we become complete,

totally pure, without spot or

blemish, without mistakes or sins?

I. God wants us to “strive” or work TOWARDS THAT

GOAL!

A. The final judgment will be based, in part, on how

much we strove to do right.

Rev. 20:13 - 13The sea gave up the dead who were in it,

and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in

them. And they were judged, each on according to his

works.

1. Nobody should get the idea, from the

Scriptures, that there is absolutely NOTHING

TO DO..........THAT JESUS HAS DONE IT

ALL!

a. Jesus, Himself left us some instructions

which would involve labor....toil....work..

striving.

Matt. 25:23 - 23“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good

and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few

things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into

the joy of your Lord.’ “

John 14:15 - 15“If you love Me, keep My

commandments.

1.) After reading these verses and

many more like them, we are struck

with the conviction that there is

something for us to do.

B. We realize that God wants us to labor in the

Kingdom of God....winning others to Christ and

helping to snatch souls from the fiery pit.

1. This work takes prayer and action.

a. We cannot simply stand by and let the

lost world be cast into hell.

Matt. 28:19-20 - 19“Go therefore and make disciples of

all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father

and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20“teaching them to

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