Topic: You Can Be Perfect
(Open Heaven 21 October 2018)
Memorise: “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,”- Hebrews 6:1
Read: Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 11-13, Luke 9:7-27
OPEN HEAVEN 21 OCTOBER 2018 SUNDAY MESSAGE:
Many Christians believe that it is humanly impossible to be perfect because of the limitations of our flesh but Jesus said that we should be perfect, just as our Father in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). For Jesus to have said this, it means that perfection is attainable. However, the only way to attain the level of perfection that God requires of us is to follow the example which He has set, and that example is the Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus was on the earth, He lived a life of perfection. Hebrews 4:15 testifies to this, saying:
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Just as Jesus was able to live a spotless life while He was on earth, it is also possible for us to be able to live a life of absolute purity and holiness, which is pleasing unto God.
In Luke 9:23, our Lord told us how to follow His example to live a holy life, saying:
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“…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
In other words, you must first deny yourself if you will follow His lead. Denying yourself means letting go of old nature. To live holy, you may have to change your friends, some places you go to, the websites you visit and your old habits. You will also need to deny your body some of the pleasures it used to enjoy. No matter how much the flesh craves alcohol, hard drugs, illicit sex, stealing, lying and the like, you must not let it have its way. To successfully live as the new creature you are, your old man must die first. When you slap a dead man, he does not get up to retaliate because there is no more life in him. In the same way, you must deny yourself to the point where your former cravings become completely dead.
Secondly, you must carry your cross daily. Many Christians make the mistake of planning to live a holy life without consciously taking it a day at a time. The reason you don’t have bad breath is because you brush your teeth daily. Your body remains clean because you take your bath daily. Similarly, the way to keep your spirit clean is to carry your cross daily. When you wake up every morning, turn to God and tell Him to help you live holy throughout that day; then say to yourself with determination, “Throughout today, I must not commit any sin.” When you make this a habit, you will discover after some time that you have been successfully living a holy life.
OPEN HEAVEN 21 OCTOBER 2018 SUNDAY KEY POINT:
Rather than concluding that it is impossible to live holy, why don’t you take steps towards it with God’s guidance?
OPEN HEAVEN 21 OCTOBER 2018 SUNDAY HYMN 15: NEARER MY GOD TO THEE
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness comes over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
There let me see the sight, an open Heaven;
All that Thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!
Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer to Thee!