I'm in heavy preparation mode. I will be speaking at the Master Builder's International Conference, held the first few days of August. If you are going to be in the East Tennessee area that week, feel free to come by the conference - there are no fees for it.
As I have been preparing, I've been finding many other little gems, unrelated to the subject which I am so heavily studying. This, in my opinion, is the beauty AND the bane of a teacher's existence.
So many gems, so little time.
Here is a honking gem for you. Oh, the whack-job ideas we tend to acquire regarding "Christian Perfection"! Please, please don't hear me as pointing a finger at "you", calling "you" a whack job. Only whack jobs are that paranoid.
I can't be pointing a finger. When I do, there really are three others pointing right back at me. I'm the whack jobbiest of the whack jobs. I'm the Queen of Whacked. I have been so deep into Christian legalism, as to have spent a short season wearing a head covering - almost twenty years ago, so do give me some credit. I was pathetically young.
We read in Hebrews 6 ~
"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection..."
Right away, the untaught or unstable squeak, "You see? You see? We are to maa-choo-ah. (mature...) To mature means...you know. We have to...do stuff. We have to do better. We have to be disciplined. Harrumph."
No, no, no. Well, to be fair, yes AND no. Please, just keep reading. For heaven's sake, just keep reading. First of all, the Greek for "perfection", ("going on to perfection") denotes a person. "A consummate-er. A completer." As denoted by just one inflection of a different syllable, in that Greek word. With that one inflection, it can go from "complete" to "a completer". I know. It makes me crazy too. But it could easily denote perfection as in something or Someone that has already finished the job.
In other words, we are to move on from discussing-to-death the principles of Christ, and move on into Christ Himself. And dear one, He is such perfection! You just gotta love Him.
Grow up past principle, and into a Person.
What is it we are to understand, as we mature into this Person of Christ? Just this: all the truths that the author of Hebrews elaborates on next, in this letter to the Hebrews.
And friend, it is alllll about Jesus.
Feel free to read the whole thing, but allow me, for the sake of time and blog space, to illustrate the importance of the "keep reading" principle, and put two verses side by side for you. Then, draw your own conclusion. The first one is the one we just read in Hebrews 6:1. The second is found in Hebrews 9 ~
"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection..." (Hebrews 6)
Now, for heaven's sake, just keep reading!
"For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." (Hebrews 9)
I keep trying to tell you that your righteousness is a gift. It does not "grow in you", you grow up into the gift. You, beloved, are more complete than you know.