God has a work for each to do. It is no part of His plan that souls shall be sustained in the battle of life by human sympathy and praise; but He means that they shall go without the camp, bearing the reproach, fighting the good fight of faith, and standing in His strength under every difficulty. God has opened to us all the treasures of heaven through the precious gift of His Son, who is fully able to uplift, ennoble, and fit us, through His perfection of character, for usefulness in this life and for a holy heaven. He came to our world and lived as He requires His followers to live. His was a life of self-denial and constant self-sacrifice. If we encourage selfishness and ease and the gratification of inclination, and do not put forth our best efforts to co-operate with God in the wonderful work of elevating, ennobling, and purifying us, that we may become sons and daughters of God, then we do not meet His requirements; we sustain a continual loss in this life, and we shall eventually lose the future, immortal life. God wants you to work, not with self-disparagement nor in discouragement, but with the strongest faith and hope, with cheerfulness and joy, representing Christ to the world. The religion of Jesus is joy, peace, and happiness. As we search the Scriptures, and see the infinite condescension of the Father in giving Jesus to the world that all who believe in Him may have everlasting life, every power of our being should be called into activity, to give praise and honour and glory to Him for His unspeakable love to the children of men.
"But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4.
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:48.
"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.
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." 2 Peter 3:18.
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:4-8.
Note: Faith is the first round in the Christian ladder, the first step Godward. "He that cometh to God must believe." Hebrews 11:6. But an inoperative faith is useless. "Faith without works is dead." James 2:20. To be of value faith must be coupled with works (James 2:22).
To faith we are to add virtue or good character qualities, moral excellence or uprightness, and chastity. This also means overcoming bad character qualities such as stubbornness, pride, selfishness, worldly ambition and unbelief.
To virtue knowledge, otherwise we cannot move up and onward, but become stagnant. To knowledge there is to be added temperance or self-control. Once we have knowledge of what to do, we need the self-control to be able to do what we know to be right.
Patience naturally follow temperance. It is well-nigh impossible for an intemperate person to be patient. Having gained control of oneself, and become patient, one is in a condition to manifest godliness, or God-likeness.
Having become godly, kindness toward the brethren, or brotherly kindness, follows. Charity, or love that expects nothing in return, is the crowning grace. This love for all, even our enemies.
"For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:8.
"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." 2 Peter 1:9.
"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:" 2 Peter 1:10.
"That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:27.
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16.
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalms 119:11.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." James 1:5.
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:6.
"For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." James 3:2.
"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness." Colossians 3:14.
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Commitment:- I believe we must achieve perfection of character to go to heaven and with the help of God, aim to climb the eight rungs of Peter's ladder.
© S. D. Goeldner, November, 2011. Last updated July, 2019.
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