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The Perfect Man

CHAPTER 17

There is no perfection outside of Jesus, and in Him there is nothing else.

Thought: Jesus is the truth.

Word: John 14:6: "...I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Conclusion: Anything other than what Jesus is, is a lie.

When we come to discuss the perfect man, we enter an area where there is a great deal of confusion. Before we attempt discussion of the perfect man, let us see what things are perfect. Are there any things which we may say are perfect? We shall define perfect as being in complete harmony with the universe, in perfect conformity to the divine mind. To say that God is perfect may seem obvious, but let us see what the Bible says of Him: "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him." 2 Sam. 22:31. "Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matt. 5:48.

We also read in Psalm 19:7: "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." God, His ways, and His laws are then perfect. If God inhabits the entire universe, and His ways and laws are the ways and laws of the universe, then it follows that the universe, in God, is perfect.

Is it possible to say that there can be a perfect man? In Job 1:8 God said to Satan: "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?" God called Job perfect, however, Job had quite a different proclamation about himself. "If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life." Job 9:20,21. There is an old saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Apparently, though, perfection is only in the eye of God. Only the universe can judge us perfect, it is not something we can do. As a result, the perfect man will neither know that he is perfect, nor will he ever say that he is. When animals are shown, they are judged according to the standard of perfection for that specific breed. Without the standard, they would have no way of being judged as to perfection. God is the standard of perfection in the universe. Since no one can possibly understand Him, nor fully know Him, we are not in a position to measure perfection in a man. Is it then possible for a man to be perfect although he doesn't know he is? In the text we just cited from Matthew, Christ commanded people to be perfect. In 1 Kings 8:61 comes the command, "Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes and to keep his commandments as at this day." This being so, it is possible for a man to be perfect. It is possible for a man to be perfect while not realizing it himself. The perfect man will trust God and the universal truth which He is. Job's senses told him that he was perverse, yet the Lord called him perfect. There are times when we will have to disregard our senses in accepting what God has said. It is essential that the perfect man have complete trust in the divine mind, despite what his senses tell him. We must "know" that we are trusting God and working in harmony with the universe. Our senses may tell us the opposite many times and we will have to proceed on our faith alone.

The truth of the universe, as expressed in its laws, will be the guide for the perfect man. Christ said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The knowledge of law does not restrict one; it makes him free to operate without incurring the consequences of breaking the law. When you know the law of gravity, you are free not to break your leg or neck because you walked off a ten-story building. In being willing to follow law perfectly, the perfect man has perfect freedom. The perfect man will also obey the laws of men, as far as they do not go against universal law and the known will of God. "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." Romans 13:1.

It is proper to say that the perfect man is in harmony with all universal law; we should be more specific though. The perfect man can only be defined as to his knowledge. In the sense that levels of knowledge are different for different people, perfection relates to one's knowledge. A young child may be perfect, operating in his limited knowledge. As a man or woman grows older, they may continue to be perfect within their limits of knowledge. We are perfect in relationship to our knowledge. As we learn of the operation of the universe, learn more of its laws and the principles of the divine mind, we gain knowledge and become responsible for acting on that new knowledge. The perfect man will keep the laws of the universe and be in harmony with it to the limits of his knowledge. Since the universe is designed to provide all that we need or want, the more knowledge we have of its function and the more we harmonize with it, the more we will have that which we need and want. It is correct for the perfect man to operate within all his knowledge. This means that he will do everything to the best that his level of knowledge will allow. This is true in physical as well as mental pursuits. Christ in the carpenter shop is a good example. He worked there until almost thirty years of age. It is safe to say that the furniture He was producing at age twenty-five was far superior to what He produced at ten. Both were perfect; one represented a greater level of knowledge than the other. If the woodwork He had done at age twenty-five had been no better than it had been at ten, He would have fallen short of perfection. When a man wants to learn photography, he starts with a meager knowledge. His first few pictures may be poor, blurred and of uninteresting subjects. As the man reads, perhaps taking a course in photography, his level of knowledge increases. As this happens, his pictures get better. If he is in perfect harmony with the universe, his pictures will always be as good as his knowledge and ability can possibly make them.

Everyone has knowledge. The levels vary, but there is no such thing as a blank slate, a "tabula rossa" as it were. "That [Christ] was the true Light which lights every man who comes into the world." John 1:9. Each person has the knowledge available to him he or she needs to live in harmony with the universe. Living such will produce further knowledge. It is necessary to act on the knowledge one has in order to obtain more. It is possible to be a perfect man with the smallest amount of knowledge, and with the largest.

Occasionally society will judge a man as being great, although rarely perfect. It is willing, however, to judge a man imperfect at the slightest sign of what it perceives to be a character flaw. The Jewish and Roman society of the first century so judged Christ, and murdered Him. Since no two men have the same knowledge, or experience, no one is in a position to condemn another. The judgment of society towards you is irrelevant.

A man may be perfect, keeping universal law perfectly and in harmony with the divine mind. The perfect man will have peace, integrity and joy. He will be one with the purposes of the universe. He will be free. He will be righteous.

The great perfect man is Jesus. Jesus is the truth about how perfection is done. His life is about what is true and His life is the power for doing it. Those who enter into His life, enter into His perfection also. They "follow Him." They have Jesus "in their hearts." They live as He lived being dwellers in the divine mind.

Again, man complicates things. We build societies that place their value on "things." One of these things is the system of degrees. This system is designed to give the individual person and the world the illusion that they are "better." Whatever a man is after getting his degree, it could not be described as "better." The only thing a man might have had is a simple piece of paper with some printing on it. That's it; that is all that he has. It may well be that during his course of study he has learned nothing about life, thinking his degree was his "perfection" in life. A man who is caught up in the value of degrees may be found with them in an obvious place for all to see and admire. This man has been tricked. The universe gives no credit for degrees. Sorry, folks, life doesn't work that way.

The question may arise, "Should we not study and learn, should we not expand our minds and find ways of serving man better, should we not try to excel and make this world a better place?" Yes, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with degrees. Think it through. I may have a broken pipe in my house and water is running everywhere. I need a plumber. Now, what I need is a man who knows how to stop the leak, I don't need a degree. Degrees don't stop water. When the engine stops in my car, I need a mechanic who can fix the problem. If a man comes to me at the time and says, "I have a degree," I say, "Can you fix a car?" He says, "No." Just what good do you think that degree will do me and what value do you think I will put on it? You may now say, "Yes, but you have to have a degree to teach school." That may be so, but it is not the degree that teaches school, it is a teacher who knows the subject. If we have an English teacher who has ten degrees, but cannot teach English, so what?

Jesus gave the truth about life. He found ways to serve and improve the condition of man. That is always appropriate. Seeking honor and title in life will contribute nothing whatever to any man. If you have fifteen degrees and cannot be a man's servant, your degrees are worse than worthless. Jesus said, "I receive not honor from men." Perfection is not a seeker of honor. He said again, "How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?" John 5:41,44. It may be that we have great ceremonies parading around in colored robes with funny little hats on. Our walls may be papered with degrees and honors extolling our virtues and greatness, but if our value and perfection is not dwelling in the Divine, if our service is to show our greatness rather than the uplifting of human woe, our greatness is a show and a shame and we would have been better off never being born.

Jesus is our greatness and His life in us will make us great, whether we wash dishes for a living or design space ships. Our greatness will be perceived by us as His greatness, for we will never see anything great in ourselves. Any "I have achieved" is a sin and a lie for us to stumble over and cause others to stumble over. The honor of men will not be worth a stick in the judgment of this world or in the world to come. Jesus is the perfect man and if we would be perfect men or women (which we cannot see), we will live and have our being in the person of His greatness. He is "the way, the truth, and the life."

The Perfect Man - Bible Study

1. Humanity is never asked to do an impossibility.

Matt. 5:48: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

2. When born of God and abiding in Him, your experience is one of going toward God instead of away from Him.

1 John 3:9: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his [Christ's] seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."

3. If he chooses, a believer can experience being kept from falling.

Jude 24: "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."

4. To love God is the greatest experience; we are told what that is.

1 John 5:3: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and his commandments aren't grievous [hard]."

5. Who are they that are called "saints?"

Rev. 14:12. "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

Self-Knowledge Resumé

  1. Do I feel perfect?
  2. If I am supposed to be perfect, how is that accomplished?
  3. Have I ever thought that I am only human, so I have allowed certain human traits to rule?
  4. How do I describe perfection?
  5. Do I ever have wrong thoughts?
  6. Do I ever have wrong sexual thoughts?
  7. Do I ever practice any wrong behavior?
  8. Am I ever attracted to morally wrong enticements?
  9. When I get away from the church or church members, do I ever do any secret indulging?
  10. Do I ever feel guilty?
  11. If so, what are those things I feel guilty about? (List them).
  12. When I am asked to go somewhere with someone and I do not want to go, am I a liar and make excuses as to why I can't go, or do I tell the truth and say, "I don't want to go?"

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