When Adam and Eve had a bad lunch we (mankind) didn’t just “break a rule”, we were contaminated with bad fruit. We took something that was God’s and consumed it. God was protecting us from the poisonous aftereffects but we chose otherwise. We consumed the “knowledge of good and evil” fruit. We became aware of all that is good or bad for us. We became conditional and consumed with self-evaluation. We became selfish lawyers. We not only distorted our “perfect state” with performance paradigms we severed ourselves from our source of eternal life. We stepped off planet Grace and onto planet self. This new planet was under the rule of satan and subject to his deception. Now add all the prideful dysfunction of satan to an Adam inspired, law-based system of wisdom and it gets really messed up. This fallen way of thinking is completely based on conditionals, lists, performance and rewards. It is law thinking and law acting. God gave the Ten Commandments (and all the rest) to the Adam lawyers to prove how “fruitless” this way of thinking really was. He gave it to us to bring us to the end of ourselves…then…JESUS! He brought freedom to us all! We no longer have to live under the self-effort, performance-based, conditional-thinking… law but under His provision, His love, His Grace. We are free indeed.
Still we want to think and act just like we did in the Adam’s family. My prayer is that God will use me and these posts to help shift our thinking. If nothing else, hopefully you will ask some questions and seek God for answers. He will answer you.
This post, I feel, is the first of a series. It is based on “what is perfect” or “what does it mean to be perfect” or “what does it mean to have perfect thinking?” I don’t have an eye-catching title yet. OK, here we go on installment 1.
Note what Paul says about our thinking:
1 Cor 2:14 But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. (AMP)
I believe this is our challenge to move from Adam-law thinking into Jesus thinking. Law thinking is conditional thinking. God’s expression towards us in unconditional. God’s thoughts about us are unconditional. God’s love for us is unconditional. I know you have heard this before but can you understand it outside law thinking? I believe you already can:
1 Cor 2:16b But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. (AMP)
One concept that desperately needs to be addressed is the word or concept of “perfect.” Under law thinking, “what is perfect” is the logical result of absolute adherence to the “good list.” Remember the world thinks like the Adam’s family and the enemy has had more than 6000 years to lay a deep foundation. Check out what Webster says:
Perfect: (Webster’s) having no mistakes or flaws, completely correct or accurate, having all the qualities you want in that kind of person, situation, etc.
In the Bible however the word translated perfect is very different in the original language. Notice there aren’t any conditionals:
teleios: brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness, perfect
Here is the first mention:
Matt 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (ESV)
If you think like a lawyer you see something unattainable because you read “perfect” as performance like Webster. If you are using your mind like Christ you see something different. Check this out:
1 Cor 14:20 Brethren, do not be children [immature] in your thinking; continue to be babes in [matters of] evil, but in your minds be mature [men]. (AMP)
The word mature is the same Greek word. So there is something Paul is pointing to that Jesus suggested in Matthew. Paul mentions it again in Romans:
Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)
So there is definitely something about thinking. I believe that there is a “perfect” thinking. I believe “perfect” thinking is when we “see” like Jesus. Perfect thinking is when we see others like God sees them. Perfect thinking is when we know what God’s will is in all situations. Perfect thinking is Grace thinking. It sees provision not defect. It sees opportunity not loss. It sees bondage and brings freedom. Perfect thinking is perfected in love.
1 John 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (ESV)
Law thinking and law living is based on fear of punishment. It can’t be a part of perfect thinking and living. Jesus on a cross satisfied all the requirement for punishment. We are free from the law. We are free from punishment. We are free to love.
Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (ESV)
Even James, who religion misinterprets as a great lawyer of “works or else”, says we are actually being blessed as we operate from and act within the law of liberty…the perfect law of freedom.
James 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts,he will be blessed in his doing. (ESV)
Paul says the same thing.
2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (ESV)
I really love how The Message translates the James passage.
James 1:25 But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action. (The Message)
This concept may be very “mind stretching” for some but I believe it is the truth we have been searching for. We are free from the law. We are free from operating like lawyers. We are free from conditionals. We are free from performance and reward paradigms.
God’s love for us is pure, perfect and unconditional. God is perfect. Jesus is perfect. The Holy Spirit is perfect. We are in them and they are in us. We are one. The only thing that holds us back is our fear-derived need for law. We can trust Him. He paid for it all. He arranged it all. He is Grace towards us. We have no need for fear. We have no excuses for law. Try it out. The next time you have a conversation with someone imagine if you had no knowledge of “good and evil.” Imagine if you were like a little kid again not worrying about “right and wrong.” Now take a long look at your friend (don’t freak them out) and “SEE” them like Jesus sees them. You will be astonished. “That which is perfect” is right there inside of you. He can’t wait for you to join in His life.