…“no eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.” [1 Cor 2:9. NLT]i
No, you are not perfect, …but then, neither am I, nor is anyone else. And, I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know. Oh, we can get pretty “full of ourselves,” every now and then; but, it doesn’t last. Sooner or later you’re going to get a reminder, in one form or another, that you’re still capable of sinning and really, no better than any other sinner. You may even feel that you are unworthy of what Christ has done for you. Guess what…
No human on planet earth is worthy of what Christ has done for us, and what He stands ready to keep doing for us―or any unsaved person! God’s grace through our faith in Him, His Son and the Holy Spirit, secures (or will secure) our salvation, redemption, restoration, and promise of eternal life.
Now, let’s paraphrase 1 Cor 2:9. “…my eye has not seen, my ear has not heard, and my finite mind cannot imagine what God has prepared for me.” Notice I stopped a bit “short”. I want to stress that we are talking about what God has “prepared” for us. There is no mistake about that. And, believe it or not, it has a name. It’s called, “Perfection”. And, perfection has three stages.
First: When we became a Christian, we entered an eternal union with Christ―who is perfect. We were declared not guilty, and thus righteous (Holy) because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. This perfected union is absolute and unchangeable, and guarantees that one day we will be “completely perfect.” See above and Hebrews 10:10.
Second: We can grow and mature in our walk, as we continue to trust Christ; draw closer to Him; learn more about Him; and obey Him. Our progress is changeable because it depends on us, and… we are not perfect. (More about this in “Final notes”). Regardless, we do mature over time; and we are growing toward perfection as we “press on”.
Third: When Christ returns to take us into His eternal kingdom, we will be glorified and made completely perfect―and that includes our bodies. See Philippians 3:20-21.
Final notes: Perfection is grounded in faith in Jesus Christ! We cannot perfect ourselves. It is, simply, …not. possible. How many times have you tried to correct what you know to be a flaw in your character, …and failed. You get “down” on yourself and unhappy. STOP IT! Christianity is not about what we can do, or should do, for Christ. IT IS ABOUT WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE FOR US―AND IS DOING IN US.
When we trust God for everything, and allow Christ to work in us and through us, we will be living in true Christian freedom and joy. The work (and the joy) will continue until the day He returns or calls us home. See Philippians 3:1-15.
Again, I find myself thanking you; and praising you for your gifts of salvation, restoration, and eternal life. The cost was unthinkable, and yet, Jesus chose the cross―and us. Thus, we find ourselves with a deceptively “simple” way of becoming righteous in your eyes. And, even the worst of us can choose to believe in you, your son Jesus, and The Holy Spirit. Then through that simple act of faith―and declaring it in prayer to Jesus, by asking Him to be our eternal Savior and Lord―we are welcomed into your family; and, our future is secured.
But, Abba, while living on earth, I’ve learned that “simple” does not necessarily mean “easy”. And, somehow, we can take what should be “easy” and “simple” and make it horribly complicated. I know it’s tied up in concepts like faith, belief, religion; and exposure to a culture that is 180 degrees out of sync with our future Home in your Kingdom.
So, as your Son and the Holy Spirit continue to work, perfecting me in my time here on earth; I ask that you help me see with kingdom eyes and hear with kingdom ears. Abba, I want to make myself malleable, pliant, open and compliant to their work. Help me to subordinate my will, my planning, and my pride. I have read Jer. 29:11; and I really, really, want to cooperate, for I know you have a wonderful future in store for me.
Thank you, Abba. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
i Scripture quotations marked [NLT] are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.