says, “to make holiness perfect,” have we been called to do the impossible? On our own we certainly cannot accomplish
this lofty task or rise to this high state of consciousness and awareness. But empowered by the Holy Spirit, all things
that are logically possible, we can do. For
Jesus says, “that all things are possible with God”. Further, we know that: “[We] can do all things
through Christ who gives [us] strength” (Philippians 4:13).
examination of the 2 Corinthians 7:1, NKJV,
“...let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,
perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Though this command went out to all who could hear, not everyone who
heard and responded are able to fulfil it.
In Luke 6 we see that when Jesus prayed for the disciples and the
believers at large and mentioned the requirements of discipleship, many left
him. He turned to the twelve in the
innermost circle and asked if they would leave him too. Here then, Peter, showed inner spiritual
growth and that he knew the truth, “Lord, where will we go? You are the Holy One of God.” Clearly not all believers will arise to that
state of “perfected holiness”.
God calls us to do he enables. In Acts
1:8, Jesus says, “But you
shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall
be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end
of the earth.” Elsewhere in Scripture Jesus also commanded and promised to be
with his disciples while they carry out what he called them to do. He says, “And Jesus came and spoke to them,
saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” (Matt.
God knew us
before we were formed in the womb of our parents—after all he is the omnipotent
and eternal God. He knew that Jacob and
Esau while in the womb of their mother would fight each other. Even the Psalmist says, “You know us before
we were born.” In our hardships when
pain is excruciating we scream, “why Lord?”
But He never gives us more than we can bear. Thus we are chosen people. We are “set apart” as his priests (Rev. 1:6; Num.
The Lord told
Moses, “But the Levites were not numbered among them by their fathers’ tribe; for the Lord had spoken to Moses, saying: ‘Only
the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor take a census of them among the children
of Israel; but you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle
of the Testimony, over all its furnishings, and over all things that belong to
it; they shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they shall attend
to it and camp around the tabernacle.
And when the
tabernacle is to go forward, the Levites shall take it down; and when the
tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall set it up. The outsider who comes
near shall be put to death. The children of Israel shall pitch
their tents, everyone by his own camp, everyone by his own standard, according
to their armies; but the Levites shall camp around the
tabernacle of the Testimony, that there may be no wrath on the congregation of
the children of Israel; and the Levites shall keep charge of the tabernacle of
the Testimony.” Thus the children of Israel did; according to
all that the Lord commanded Moses, so they did.’”
that many are called and few are chosen then we can logically assume that the
capabilities of the chosen have been foreknown by God. They were born with the capacity to be holy
and in some case to perfect their holiness.
Since this perfection cannot be done by our imperfect, mortal selves,
but by His Holy spirit, then perhaps a more appropriate word is not that we
have evolved in our spiritual insights and understanding. Rather, we have awakened our consciousness. We have activated as it were, that which we
were blessed with. The more we “cleanse
flesh and spirit of filthiness,” we will move closer to our goal of “perfected
who know this state says it is indescribable.
It is ineffable (incapable of being expressed in words). How can one
describe a state of perfection when he or she is imperfect? How can we with mortal, finite, and limited
minds rise above and return to articulate or express what perfection or
holiness is? Shaking or speaking in
tongues is not it; the claim that we feel the anointing as we preach is not it;
when God’s Spirit speaks to our spirit is not it; when we are writing or
speaking or singing and feel an emotional high and inner impelling and urges is
not it; for we have said it is indescribable.
the Apostle Paul experienced the flood of lights on his way to Damascus (1 Cor.
15:8, epiphany) his holiness was not perfected. Perfected holiness must have been when Paul was
taken to the 3rd heaven (2 Cor. 12:1-4); when Peter was taken to the
third heaven; when Moses saw the Lord; or the transfiguration with Peter,
James, and John with Christ. Is it
possible for you and I to be in His Presence?
God is perfect and infallible; the Bible is God’s Word; therefore, its
claims must necessarily be infallible and without error. The Bible then calls us to “perfect
holiness,” thus the answer to the questions is an emphatic and unquestionable: “Yes.”
In Revelation 1:10, “being seized by
the Spirit and carried up to Heaven,”
John says, “I was in the Spirit of the Lord’s Day.” In Matthew Henry’s Commentary, the writer
says, “The frame that [the apostle John’s] soul was in at this time: He
was in the Spirit. He was not only in a rapture when he received the
vision, but before he received it; he was in a serious, heavenly, spiritual
frame, under the blessed gracious influences of the Spirit of God. God usually
prepares the souls of his people for uncommon manifestations of himself, by the
quickening sanctifying influences of his good Spirit.
Those who would enjoy communion
with God on the Lord’s day must endeavour to abstract their thoughts and
affections from flesh and fleshly things, and be wholly taken up with things of
a spiritual nature. The apostle gives an
account of what he heard when thus in the Spirit.” We know that John was aided in his expression
of this encounter (theophany). The bible
says, “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God
spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21)”.
 W. Mundel, in
“Estacy” in The New International
Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 1, ed. Colin Brown, (Zondervan
Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49530, A Division of HaperCollins
Publishers, 1986), 528.