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God lovingly commands His people to be perfect, to live a perfectly holy and sinless life -"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). This is the divine standard, the target for which they are to aim. Sanctification's ultimate goal is to make believers Christ-like.

While the saved shall attain this goal in their future, eternal life in heaven, they will not reach it here on earth. Their new, God-given, spiritual nature is perfect -"We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not" (I John 5: 18a). But until their death, their old, fallen, sinful nature also remains alive. This hinders, pollutes, and at times overpowers the new principle within them, causing even their best works to be stained with sin. Therefore, the Apostle John writes, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). No biblical saint ever led a perfectly sinless life (think of Noah, Abraham, Job, David, Peter, etc.). For this reason, confession of sin, prayer for forgiveness, and careful watchfulness remain continual necessities in the Christian's life of sanctification.

While sanctification may drop to a very low ebb in the life of God's children, and God's Word may use very strong language to warn them against sin and to exhort them to overcome evil; nevertheless, no saved child of God will utterly fall from grace. While believers must remain on their guard against sin and Satan, and devotedly run to obtain the prize of their high calling, yet God will certainly give them upholding grace. All of God's people will persevere in grace.


    "Why are you always so worried about sin, always being so careful not to sin, Grandpa?" Terry asked his grandfather.

    His grandfather paused and then answered, "Terry, when we work with gasoline in the toolshed, can we be too careful? The sinful nature in my heart is like a gasoline tank. All it takes is one spark and there will be a disastrous explosion!"

    How does the believer's knowledge of his sinful nature and the power and consequences of sin promote carefulness in his daily walk?

Describe how Christians are to grow increasingly Christlike as:
- Prophets
- Priests
- Kings



 

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

- Ephesians 4:13

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

- Philippians 3:12-14

Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

- Philippians 1:6

 

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