Being God's People is not Easy, But It's Good

I'm Excited About Exodus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:36
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Word

Prayer

Intro: ABNYC

RV Chart

Especially the perfect vs. the shadows in the images

There’s this Gap

ABNYC (Rom 6-8)

Xit: Before we get to Rom 8

(Complete vs. Mature)

We often talk about “Mature”

We aspire to maturity, look up to the mature, admire, could name (Hoy)
Eg verses
1 Cor 14.20 - mature compared to childish, immature
1 Corinthians 14:20 NET
Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking. Instead, be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
Eph 4.13-14 - mature, no longer children tossed about
Ephesians 4:13–14 NET
until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God—a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ’s full stature.So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes.
Heb 5:13-14 - milk (metaphor) for the infants, solid food for the mature
Hebrews 5:13–14 NET
For everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced in the message of righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, whose perceptions are trained by practice to discern both good and evil.
Legitimate and Scriptural

However, the root word carries the idea “Complete” or “Perfect”

So perhaps our approach to the English word carries different connotations than the original language
E.g.
James 1.4 (perfect, complete, not lacking).
James 1:4 NET
And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.
Twice, plus another word for “complete”
Same root word as “mature” in the other verses
Here in James, endurance does not have its perfect effect that you will be “mature”; rather that you would be “complete.”
Between Rom 7 and 8, I’m calling for a Paradigm shift: Our goal in the Christian life should be to be “complete” more than to be “mature”
Not to be confused with those who teach we can achieve holiness in this life, but as our true goal

Mature vs. Complete

Emphasizes

Mature: The believer and his accomplishments - “look at her - she’s a mature Xn”
Complete: The work of the HS and then our habits - “look at her - she’s being completed by X”

Aligns us

Mature: With “good enough”
Or “better than”
Or “I can slack in this because I’m mature in that
“I pray faithfully, but I also make an idol out of my work”
“OK, God, here are the things I’m managing well - so, we’re good, right?”
I can call my brother a fool and still generally “mature”
Complete: With God’s purpose for us
In SermOnMnt, JC said, “You have heard _____, but I say to you _____”
Adultery / lust
Love bro / love enemy
Murder / call bro a fool
Then, “be perfect/complete, for your Father in heaven is perfect/complete”
IOW, “You have heard ‘be mature,’ but I say to you, ‘be perfect/complete’”
I can’t call my brother a fool and be complete

Evaluates us

Mature: By externals - I can easily fake mature; we tell people “just grow up!”
Complete: By root issues - I can’t easily fake complete; we ask ourselves “what is not yet fulfilled in my soul by God?”

Powered by

Mature: THISJ thinking, leading us back toward the KoM
Trying harder to be mature
Heb 9:9; 10:1 - What specifically did the Law fail to do?
Hebrews 9:9 NET
This was a symbol for the time then present, when gifts and sacrifices were offered that could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper.
Hebrews 10:1 NET
For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship.
Can someone be “mature” by following the Law? (sorta yes)
Therefore, what grace can do that the Law cannot do is make us complete
Complete: A transformation through the work of the HS by faith, leading us toward the KoG (the whole point of the imagery)

Requires us

Mature: To wear a mask - (like my bro in CA right now)
The most common way we lie to each other in the church is a lack of transparency
Fortification rather than surrender
Complete: To turn over everything in surrender, unveil all the hidden parts, open the door to every messy closet
Confession is surrender
Repentance is surrender
Inviting the HS into our worst bits in order to be made complete (AOT mere maturity) is surrender
Discipleship = Total surrender in every way

Comes from

Mature: Being better than infants (how hard? as long as I am > infants, I’m “mature” and therefore “OK”)
Complete: The overflow of God’s loving goodness poured out into us to the point that it then overflows in praise to affect others; like pouring a swimming pool into a row of small buckets

Declares

Mature: “Victory!” (shew! glad that’s over, sitting instead of “walking”)
Complete: “Obedience!” (in a joyful way, walking and frequently bowing down); not that we don’t get to enjoy victories in the Xn life, but this is a matter of paradigm

According to Jesus

Mt 5.48: JC calls to us to perfection, not maturity
Matthew 5:48 NET
So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Mt 19.21; JC to RYR, “if you want to be perfect...” (not “if you want to be mature”)
Matthew 19:21 NET
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Heb 2.10: JC was “made perfect”, not “mature”
Hebrews 2:10 NET
For it was fitting for him, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
He’s already perfect
But this refers to being complete at the Messiah, a completion that needed to happen in the incarnation in to become our Savior
God created us in his image: which is perfect, not just really, really mature
God is forming us into the image of Christ: which is an act of completion, not maturation
I’d rather be a completed Christian than a mature Christian
Being mature is still good
God doesn’t want us to be spiritual infants
But I know which label I’d prefer

(We are Called to be Complete)

The distance between “Already But Not Yet” and “Complete” is your Calling

Chart -
Gap
RS - The distance between “Already But Not Yet” and “Complete” is your Calling
We sometimes wonder / worry about our calling: my “assignment”
But one thing I know for sure is that your calling is to be complete
Your assignment is to be made complete
Eph 1:4
Ephesians 1:4 NET
For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love.
We are called to be complete

Called out of/into

Darkness / wonderful light
KoM / KoG
Old identity / new identity
ABNY / Complete
Php 1.6 -
Philippians 1:6 NET
For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
What does this say about God’s plans for us? Perfection!
How does this plan inform Paul to pray for other believers? For perfection, not just maturity.

Sanctification = being made complete

The word refers to making righteous, setting apart, making holy.
vs. more “mature”
We are temples of the HS: The OT temple was to be made of the finest, most perfect materials, not the most antique.
CSL: discipleship (?) is about becoming fully human, but now we’re imperfect and we need God.
God created us in order to make us as fully human as possible.
Prayer, justice, love, forgiveness are fully human (and Jesus was these fully).
Therefore, becoming fully human is a righteous pursuit.
cek: Therefore, the Christian walk is about becoming fully human (complete) more than becoming “good” or “mature.”
Being a complete human > being a mature human

Discipleship = working toward each other’s completion

vs. “maturity”
Col 1:24-29 - Paul’s goal of discipleship
Colossians 1:24–29 NET
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body—for the sake of his body, the church—what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship from God—given to me for you—in order to complete the word of God, that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints. God wanted to make known to them the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ. Toward this goal I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully works in me.
Someone who is spiritually healthy is one who is being transformed, not someone who has passed a certain level - a spiritual infant can be healthier than a “mature” Christian if he’s the one being transformed
Discipleship says "I’m gonna love you complete” - not just love you completely, but love you toward your completeness in Christ
If we settle for maturity rather than completion, we rob God of his pleasure of transforming us into the image of Christ

Glorification = completion

The Bible talks about our eventual glorification, under the umbrella of Christ’s glorification
What a wonderful promise!
Rom 8:29-30 - Our glory, crown (what does God give crowns and jewels for?)
Romans 8:29–30 NET
because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.
Which then glorifies God

This is the Gospel

Not only for the lost, but also for the found
God loves us no matter how complete we presently are; but his work in you as a follower of Christ is to make you perfectly perfect, not just relatively mature.
Jesus can make you complete if you put your faith in him

Music (Pete)

Community

Jeremy: Facilitators:
Paul
Jacory
Roy?
Pat
Vibin
Howard
Time to break into discussion groups with facilitators
30 mins (include prayer)
Questions in online bulletin, but facilitators will have them
Reconvene back here
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Questions

How do you respond to the distinction between “mature” and “complete”?
Which term have you typically held to more? Why?
What are the reasons to adopt more of a “completion” perspective? (Not that we should lose the idea of “maturity.”)
What are the dangers? How do we mitigate those dangers? Should these dangers affect how we read these passages?
Read Php 3:12-21 (context: chap 3). Feel free to spend the rest of your time on this passage. The passages after this are just in case you need them or for you to consider with your family or small group later.
In vv. 12-16:
How does Paul use the word or idea of “perfect” (sometimes translated “mature”)? Look for all occurrences and then discuss how they fit together.
What things does Paul do toward the goal of his perfection?
How do you react to these verses? (Perhaps the group can speak into the various reactions.)
In vv. 17-21:
In what ways does Paul expect this perfecting to occur?
How does our perfecting relate to Jesus subjecting all things to himself? (21) Paul puts these ideas together for a reason, so how are they connected?
How do you react to these verses? (Perhaps the group can speak into the various reactions.)
What is the Lord putting on your heart for this next week?
Read Eph 4:7-16, focusing on vv. 11-13. Yes, this passage compares the “mature” to the “infants” in v. 14, but also keep in mind the comparison made to the “measure of Christ’s full stature” in v. 13. That seems to be something greater than maturity.
How does translating this as “ a complete person” rather than “a mature person” affect the point of the passage?
Can we legitimately hold both ideas together in this passage?
What is the goal of “church” in this passage?
What should Grace Fellowship learn through our current situation that would help us focus better on this goal? (Or you can think broader than our current situation.)
Gal 3:1-7 - The phrase in vs. 3 is literally “are you now trying to be made complete...” With that in mind, what is the point of this passage? According to Paul, how are we to be made complete?
Heb 12:1-2 - What do we learn about how our perfecting will occur? What is our part?
Heb 11:39-40 - What is the ultimate destiny of Old Testament saints? How will this occur?

Wrap

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Discussion Group Gems

Gospel

Rom 8 “walk”

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