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To be maintained by a covenant.
with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
1 Pet. 2: 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. [See 285-6, 629.]
502. Should perpetual moral perfection le pledged in a covenant with God?
Ex. 24: 7 He took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. 8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.
Dt. 29: 10 Ye stand this day all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, 11 Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood, unto the drawer of thy water: 12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day: 13 That he may establish thee to-day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
2 Ch. 15: 12 They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 14 And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. 15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about.
-34: 31 And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. 32 And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
Neh. 10: 29 They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe
Saints called perfect-Saints, objects of divine complacency.
and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes.
Ps. 76: 11 Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God.—119: 106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.
Jer. 50: 5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.
Ezk. 20: 37 I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. [2 K. 11: 17, Is. 56: 4.] [See 118.]
503. The appellation, “"perfect," applied to saints.
Gen. 6: 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? [Job 2: 3.]
Ps. 37: 37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
Pr. 2: 21 The upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.—11: 5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
1 Cor. 2: 6 We speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought.
Ph. 3: 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
504. Do saints attain any moral perfection in which God delights?
Gen. 5: 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not: for God took him.
Jos. 14: 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day; because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.
2 K. 20: 3 I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
True love, not sinful.
Ps. 11: 7 The righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.-45: 13 The King's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.
119: 1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.-147: 11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
Pr. 8: 17 I love them that love me: and those that seek me early shall find me.-11: 20 They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.
Jn. 13: 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 16: 27 The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
Rom. 13: 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
1 Th. 2: 10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily, and justly, and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe.
1 Jn. 3: 3 Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.- 4: 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.
Rev. 19:8 To her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. [See 94, 505, 584-5, 659, 672.]
505. Can the "perfect love" of saints be blended with sin?
Ps. 119: 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
Ezk. 36: 26 I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
Mat. 6: 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and
Rom. 13: 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Gal. 5: 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against
Millennial perfection - Inconstant perfection of saints.
the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.
1 Jn. 2: 15 If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. -3: 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.-4: 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth, is not made perfect in love. [See 503.]
506. Millennial perfection.
Dt. 30: 6 The LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Jer. 31: 33 This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. — 32: 39 And I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40 And I will made an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. 50: 20 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve. [See 441.]
507. Inconstant perfection of saints in this life.
2 Ch. 6: 36 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near.
Job 9: 20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: If I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. 40: 4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.- -42: 5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee: 6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Ps. 19: 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me
from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. -38: 4 Mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. 5 My wounds stink, and are corrupt because of my foolishness. [6—8.]—119: 96 I have
seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
Pr. 20: 9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
Ec. 7: 20 There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
Is. 6: 5 Then said I, Wo is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Mat. 6: 12 Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, 26: 72 Again he denied with an oath, I do not know the. man. 73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. 74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man.
Rom. 7: 14 We know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. [Verses 16-25.]
Gal. 5: 17 The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Ph. 3: 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Jam. 3: 2 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.
1 Jn. 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [See 166, 663.]
508. Real saints subjected to occasional afflictions and chastisements.
Heb. 12: 5 Ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and Scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Rev. 3: 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. [See 2, 3, 4.]