"And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot."
In hebrew, the word "perfect" has a different meaning than the way we tend to understand it in English. A very general interpretation would be to see all of the parts that make up the whole. The parts do not all have to be functioning properly, it is only required to see them. So if that is true, then what does it mean to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him?
In my understanding we are talking about the refining process that happens when one comes unto Christ. As we draw nearer to Him, we are able to see ourselves more clearly. All of our faults and flaws seem to grow larger as we try to leave them behind in our quest for perfection.
It is as Lehi when he had his dream of the Tree of Life. He saw a man in white who bade him come and follow. It is only after Lehi begins to follow the man in white that he discovers himself surrounded by the mists of darkness. We know from Nephi's vision that the darkness was there all along. But Lehi did not see it until he began to follow the man in white.
So it is with us. When we commit ourselves and our lives to following the Savior with full purpose of heart, suddenly all the darkness which exists within us becomes very obvious. We see these mists of darkness and often become discouraged form the path because everything seemed fine before we began the path.
The Tree of Life (remember an earlier post about it being our body and also the Love of God, which is represented in the flesh by the Savior) is our goal. We come unto Christ and we are perfected in Him...not by Him, but in Him. It is by becoming one with Him that we learn this way of life which perfects us. We are perfected in Him when we see all without excuse and without blame and without justification, but with humility, feeling repentant, and a willingness to see clearly what needs to be seen.
Perfection is about being able to see all of me and still love all of me and allow space for Him to lead me along my perfecting path.
The other thing I want to mention really quickly from those verses is "...deny not His power..."
He is able. His power is all-encompassing. There is nothing about me of which He is not already aware and is not already able to take on. He knows it all. So when I share it with Him (Isaiah 29 part 2), He is finally able to help me through it. If I do not let Him play the role of Savior in my life, the only thing I am doing is denying His power. He is able and is mighty to save. He delights to save. So let Him save you. Completely. Wholly. Unashamedly.
When we see things clearly, without excuse or blame or justification or judgement or putting up walls and pride, then He is able to work miracles in our hearts. That as we become one with Him, we take upon us His yoke. We carry His burden. We are filled with His truth. And thus we become perfected in Him.
There is so much more doctrine in these two verses. I'd love to hear your thoughts and what you are finding in them. The truths in these couple of verses are so powerful and really are the steps of salvation if we understand these words fully, with our hearts.
Next time, we will talk about His burden and taking His yoke upon us.