Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the meaning of the repercussions of accepting divine perfection in the spirit.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Repercussions of Accepting Divine Perfection in the Spirit
"You are therefore to be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Matthew Chapter 5, Verse 48
Brothers and sisters, this morning we explore the repercussions of accepting divine perfection in the spirit. There have been some bold and courageous souls who have accepted the faith state. Now the acceptance of this faith state occurs in an interesting and instructive way that gives additional insight into the operation of faith itself. We shall use a material analogy to help us grasp this insight and then based upon that insight will proceed to consider the consequences of accepting divine perfection of our soul in the spirit.
A strong person who has trained rigorously and who is skilled in the art of mountain climbing decides to climb a mountain that he had not climbed before. This was a great physical challenge and he enjoyed testing his muscles and felt the thrill of them overcoming the physical obstacles. He looked forward to the emotional aspects of the challenge, the danger, and the exhilaration of escaping from the pitfalls of the upward climb. He looked forward to testing his will against these physical obstacles. He looked forward to the sense of satisfaction that he would enjoy once he had completed this challenge.
As he started his climb up the mountain, things were proceeding as normal. The early part of the climb was unremarkable, and there was nothing to test his mind, body, and spirit. He enjoyed the leisurely climb. The weather was nice, and there was a nice pleasant breeze that blew over him as he climbed. But as he climbed higher and higher, the mountain terrain became increasingly difficult to negotiate, and he began to feel the three-fold challenge. He realized as he continued to climb that this was not going to be a piece of cake, that this challenge would supercede anything that he had attempted before.
But still with his training and his equipment, he continued to remain confident that he could indeed master this challenge. His body, his mind, and his spirit entered into a new phase of struggle, one that went beyond anything that he had experienced before. But still he continued to climb, escaping the pitfalls that were before him. But then the weather changed from a mild sunny pleasant breeze to a furious arctic blast of air with snow and sleet. The terrain became even more difficult to climb. There were fewer and fewer places where he could place his safety anchors. And to add insult to injury the consistency of the rock was not as hard as it should have been.
And then tragedy struck. On the next effort of his climb, he reached to place his foot on the next crevice, but he lost his footing, which he partly regained but not quite, and his hand hold gave way, and he slipped some more after trying to regain his equilibrium. And then after trying to further adjust, he mis-stepped and lost his footing altogether, and his handhold that he had placed after it had given way, gave way again, and he slipped off the face of the mountain. He felt that the safety anchors would hold, but under his weight and the poor consistency of the rock in which they were embedded, they gave way, and he felt into a free fall, not stopping until his fall was stopped suddenly by the rocks below.
Now we shall see how this analogy will help us to gain insight into the operations of faith itself. When we choose to do the Father’’s will, Jesus gives us peace, a peace not as the world gives, but a deep abiding inner peace that remains untouched by the events of the outer world. He also gives us eternal life, and he imparts perfection to us in the spirit. We become recipients of these gifts in the spirit now when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Now by the operation of faith and the Spirit of Truth, we can operate in the spirit and can experience these qualities while we yet live the life in the flesh. We can have the assurance of eternal life, and the peace that goes along with it. By the power of the Spirit of Truth we can love our neighbors as Jesus loves us. We can love with perfection in the Spirit of Truth. The Father had commanded us to be perfect even as he is perfect. This command contains within itself the power and the know-how to bring perfection about. In order to achieve this, all we have to do is to live subject to the Father’’s will. And this a life of loving unselfish service.
While we live our lives in the flesh we pursue material values and meanings, but when we live our lives in the spirit, we pursue spiritual values and meanings. And since these values have no ending, eternal life is the endless quest for infinite values and their corresponding meanings. And the proof that we are pursuing these infinite values is the continuous appearance in our minds of the divine meanings, truths, of these values.
We know that some of us may not be experiencing these divine values, having not begun the endless journey yet. They do not think it is possible to begin this eternal journey on this side of life. We should put our trust in the Father’’s faith. This spiritual faith will never fail us. Its meanings and values will remain. Indeed they must since they are eternal.
If we wish to attain truth, we can never attain it without the exercise of our faith, and that is because "our thoughts, wisdom, ethics and ideals will never rise any higher than our faith, our sublime hope. And all such true faith is predicated on profound reflection, sincere self-criticism, and uncompromising moral consciousness. Faith is the inspiration of the spiritized creative imagination.”” Faith is both actual and potential. When we exercise faith we bring those potential values into actuality where they are maintained by faith in the soul. They are brought into existence by the exercise of faith and they are maintained by the exercise of faith.
To experience the divine values and meanings of the spirit now, we must act by faith, and when we act by faith we experience the things of God. Therefore when we submit to the Father’’s will, our attitudes and decisions change. We display the attitude of one who has already achieved these faith states of actuality, and the repercussions of submitting to doing the Father’’s will is the attitude of one who has already achieved these states in actuality.
The acceptance of these divine values in the soul and their meanings in the mind oftentimes proceed in the manner of someone losing their footing climbing a mountain. The soul is resting on a comfortable plateau of achieved growth, but in response to the urge of the divine spirit to grow, it begins to reach for higher values. Initially as it reaches for these higher values, the meanings appear in the mind, but the mind may not accept them initially, expressing doubt and lack of faith of these new revelations. But soon the meanings appear again, and the mind may tentatively accept them. But lacking the assurance of faith may not retain them, and they slip out of his mind again. Soon they reappear, and the mind gets a firmer hold on them until finally the mind completely loses its old moorings, breaks completely with the old meanings, and embraces the new meanings wholeheartedly. From thence forth, it retains them. They become lodged in the faith grasp of the soul, and as long as faith is exercised, these values remain a part of the self. After the values have become a part of our souls and the meanings a permanent fixture in our minds, it is easy to see what the repercussions are of accepting divine perfection in the spirit.
When we do the Father’’s will (which is eternal), then have we merged our wills with his and become benefactor of all those values and meanings that are meaningful to us as demonstrated by Jesus when he lived his life in the flesh. We can even experience the meanings and values of perfection on this level that he so magnificently demonstrated. Such an inner spiritual perfection is reflected on the outside by the continuous outpouring of the fruits of the spirit, that torrential flood of love and mercy that floods everything downstream--made possible by our submitting our will to the Father’’s will.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the repercussions of accepting divine perfection in the spirit. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.