Perfecting The Mystery
Seeley Kinne

The true nature of Christian perfection is first, a fullness of self-denial.

"For if you live after the flesh, you will die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you will live." Romans 8:13

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16

This is not the flesh putting down the flesh by austerities, fastings, and man-made denials. It is through the Spirit, taking up the cross that the Lord puts upon us, and then joyfully walking that path - enduring that which is our divinely appointed lot. Perfect self-denial in the Spirit, ends in perfect victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil.

In the higher workings of the "Christ life," natural law may be transcended. Paul gloried in suffering the buffetings of a messenger of Satan. Peter is said to have asked to be crucified with his head down. At the divine command, Abraham was willing to offer his own son on the altar. He was lifted into a higher realm, through his obedience, and became the "father of faith " and a friend of God.

"See you how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" James 2:22

There is a means provided in the gifts and plan of God for purging out the old leaven, for cleansing away the weakness and faults of our nature (soul), and perfecting holiness.

"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." II Corinthians 7:1

This is accomplished by the Glory of God, brightly shining upon us, and discovering where we need help and deliverance. Whenever the Glory of God shines forth, there is a discovery of the weaknesses and blemishes of nature, which we see in contrast to His presence and glory. There accompanies this Spirit of revelation, a transforming, healing "glory power " that heals the broken defected part, making crooked things straight, rough places smooth, and high or low places level.

"But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." II Corinthians 3:18

This is accompanied with, or carried forward by the work of cleansing by the Word, whether it be the application of the written Word by the Spirit, or the uttering of the spoken Word by a vessel in wisdom, that is sharper than a two-edged sword, and pierces to the blemishes of the innermost being.

This is clearly described in the Scriptures.

"Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, 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 5:25b-27

"By the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Titus 3:5b

"Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:22b

"Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor." Matthew 3:12

It is largely for the lack of "the gift of wisdom" operating among us in the Church, that we are yet so imperfect and faulty. No one, who has ever experienced the application of the "Word" to his life, by the Glory working of the Spirit and the cauterizing power of the spoken Word of Wisdom, can ever doubt the great lack we are suffering while these important gifts are inoperative among us.

In entering into this spiritual battle, which is in a realm "above" natural sights, all of our human efforts and fleshly defenses will fail. We can only fight by obeying the Word.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand." Ephesians 6:10-11a

The intensity of this conflict exceeds all natural conceptions. We add a few passages testifying to the necessity of earnest seeking in our cooperation with the Lord in divine activity. The half-hearted and indifferent will certainly be defeated. The multitude of strong Scriptures emphasizing this necessity of alertness and watchfulness are but partially represented in the following:

"AWAKE you that sleep." Ephesians 5:14
"SEE then that you walk circumspectly." Ephesians 5:15
"Be ZEALOUS therefore, and repent ." Revelation 3:19

"FERVENT in spirit." Romans 12:11
"LOOKING diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God." Hebrews 12:15
"PRESS toward the mark for the prize." Philippians 3:14
" RUN with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1
"STRIVE to enter in at the strait gate." Luke 13:24
"FIGHT the good fight of faith." I Timothy 6:12
"WATCH you therefore, and pray always ." Luke 21:36

The Lord calls for perfection of love toward Him. He desires to reveal His love in perfection within us. This is the fullness of the indwelling of Christ, for love is the fullness of God. If we then are inundated with the Love of God in Christ, we may be brought into the perfect state of divine control. Christ has then become our very life.

"Out of Zion, the perfection of Beauty, God has shined." Psalm 50:2

"Now to Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Jude 24-25