I have had a few questions about these posts so before I go onto the next type of relationship, I would like to answer one of these questions.
Is Perfectionism really so bad? Are we not called to seek to be perfect?
In Philippians 3, Paul exhorts us to press on to the upward call in Christ. This calling is essentially to be fully mature and a pure reflection of Christ. In Ephesians, Paul says gifts will continue to be given and people with gifts gievn to the church until… “we attain to unity of the faith and the full stature that is the man, Christ.” Well, he says something like that (Eph 4). So are we not to continue to exhort one another onto perfection or at least “the goal”?
These posts are about our static orientation toward God when we first come to him in a given instant. By static, I mean that there are aspects of our relationship with God, our Father, which by Grace through faith in Christ, are immutable.
In “Five Views of Sanctification”, the Lutheran position on sanctification is summarized as follows: “Sanctification is the process of getting used to our justification”. Now, I do not think that this is a good complete view of sanctification by any means, but it is the right place to start. This ‘getting used to our justification’ is what these posts are about. Our justification is unconditional and therefore immutable. Our access to our Father is the unchanging foundation of our life. We are filled with a sincere interest in the things of God on account of our regeneration; we are filled with love for Him for this love has been poured out in our hearts through the Gospel, and, therefore, we are forever secure in the presence of His immutable love toward us.
In the twelve and twelve, an important book in the AA program, the author says there is a circle. God is in the circle. The circle is all that is – the universe. It is the insanity, which we often allow to control us, that tells us that we are not in the circle. It is precisely the insanity of our thoughts which convinces us that we are not in the circle with God. (I know this is pretty universalist but that is not the point).
I use this to counsel Christian people all the time. I say, “You are in the boat, and God is in the boat with you”. The boat is the universe and you can neither get out of the boat nor can you get out of God’s presence. Therefore, know this truth, and enter into your right to conscious contact with God.” Our justification and total acceptance with God is immutable. It is from this immutable FOUNDATION OF GRACE AND LOVE that we begin and end our relationship with God. Christ and His righteousness is our alpha and omega.
From this place of God’s empowering presence, we begin to contemplate the preferred future of the kingdom. We will discuss this longing for perfection when we discuss the cry of the believers heart in the prayer “Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.