Tag Archives: complete

What Has Been Written #2120

24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (John 21:24–25, NKJV)

Countless books have been written through the ages. The economy and efficiency of the sixty-six books of the Bible are especially impressive compared to books of human origin. These traits of the Bible are faith-building as they teach us to be content with what the Lord has revealed. We do not add to the word of God because the inspired Scriptures are sufficient to thoroughly equip the person of God for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We affirm the faith was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). The Scriptures do not contain everything Jesus said or did, but they are the complete message God intended us to have (v. 25). The Scriptures give trustworthy testimony and ample evidence that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,” so that by “believing you may have life in His name” (v. 24; Jno. 20:30-31). Not every appearance of Jesus after His resurrection is in the Scriptures, but enough “infallible proofs” are there to certify He lives (Acts 1:3; 1 Cor. 15:4-8). The Scriptures do not memorialize every lesson Jesus taught His apostles about the kingdom of God, but later they would preach the gospel of the kingdom as the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:24-27). Respect for God’s word includes being satisfied with what God has revealed and being humble enough to accept it as sufficient for “life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3-4).  

Complete Love #1539

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:46–48, NKJV)

The devil is delighted when Christians do not love one another. He also takes delight when Christians do not love their enemies. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). God is “perfect” in verse 48 because He does precisely that – He loves His enemies. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The word “perfect” in today’s passage (verse 48) conveys completeness, being of full age or maturity. Our love is not complete if we do not love our enemies. We love our enemies by showing them active goodwill, even though they are actively showing ill will toward us (see Matthew 5:44). Loving only those who love us is the world’s model of love. Loving your enemies is what God does toward the whole world. Citizens of the kingdom of heaven model themselves after God’s love, not the world’s incomplete, immature love.

Love Never Ends #1345

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” (1 Corinthians 13:8–10, NKJV)

The abiding superiority of love over the temporarily miraculous spiritual gifts (a discussion of which Paul had introduced in 1 Corinthians 12:1) is the “more excellent way” that was to control the use of those gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31). The partial things in this passage are the miraculous gifts given by the apostles through the laying on of their hands (Acts 8:14-17; 19:6). In this context, that “which is perfect” is the completed result of those gifts, namely, the full and final revelation of the gospel of Christ. When the miraculous gifts served their purpose of revealing, inspiring and confirming the gospel of Christ, they were “done away” with, like so much scaffolding around a building whose construction is complete. The “perfect” in this text is not Jesus, nor is His second coming in view (that is a forced and arbitrary interpretation). The Corinthian Christians needed to learn and use love as they exercised their miraculous gifts. The gifts would cease but love never ends. Love must be the compelling motive of all we do. Always. Because love never fails. It never vanishes away.

Incomplete Faith Does Not Save #909

20  But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22  Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23  And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. (James 2:20–23, NKJV)

James makes two piercing statements in today’s passage: “Do you want to know?”, and “Do you see?” The necessity of faith and works (of faith, that is, obedience) is easily demonstrated in the action of Abraham when he offered Isaac on the altar. Do you want to know that faith without works is dead (v. 20)? Some do not. They want to cling to the false teaching that faith only saves? (It does not, for James said a man is “justified by works and not be faith only,” Jas. 2:24.) Do you see that faith is complete only when it is combined with obeying the Lord’s command (v. 22)? When Abraham’s faith was made perfect (complete) by his obedience, his faith was accounted to him for righteousness (v. 23). This does not mean you earn your salvation. It means that incomplete faith will not save you. It is made whole by obeying God. We are friends of God when by faith, we obey Jesus (Jno. 15:14). Do you want to know? Do you see?