It happened soon afterwards, that he went to a city called Nain. Many of his disciples, along with a great multitude, went with him. Now when he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, one who was dead was carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. Many people of the city were with her. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, â€œDonâ€™t cry.â€ He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, â€œYoung man, I tell you, arise!â€ He who was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.
Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, â€œA great prophet has arisen among us!â€ and, â€œGod has visited his people!â€ This report went out concerning him in the whole of Judea, and in all the surrounding region.Â Â Â Â Â Â Luke 7:11-17 (WEB)
I learned a lot at church yesterday. I pray that everyone reading this can say the same thing.
It began in SS with a discussion about John Wesleyâ€™s doctrine of â€œChristian perfectionâ€.
About him we have many words to say, and hard to interpret, seeing you have become dull of hearing. For although by this time you should be teachers, you again need to have someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God. You have come to need milk, and not solid food. For everyone who lives on milk is not experienced in the word of righteousness, for he is a baby. But solid food is for those who are full grown, who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.
Therefore leaving the teaching of the first principles of Christ, let us press on to perfectionâ€”not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith toward God, of the teaching of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. This will we do, if God permits. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Hebrews 5:11 â€“ 6:3 (WEB)
These are the verses that are most often quoted as the basis for Wesleyâ€™s thoughts on Christian perfection. Wesley believed that thru Godâ€™s grace it was possible for a person to achieve Christian perfection in this life. He meant that my motivations would be pure although this would not mean I was infallible in my actions.
It was a great discussion among a group of Believers. The point that I was left to ponder was this:
Philippians 4:8 and other Scripture give me Godâ€™s words that confirm His Spiritâ€™s discernment that direct me toward good and away from evil. Though I personally do not believe that â€˜perfectionâ€™ is possible for me to achieve here in this life, I do believe that Jesus has gone before me to give me the standard to which I continue to aim.
Then my pastor and the rest of the worship team lead me and reminded me that our LORD is about resurrection. In the storms of my life, when the outcome may mean â€˜a deathâ€™, wait for it… God is in the resurrection. He did not stop at the grave. Life was His plan. Compassion and love His heart.
My pastor said that in the Church year this is â€˜ordinaryâ€™ time. It comes after Lent, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost. But he ended our worship exhorting us to remember that with our extraordinary LORD nothing is ever ordinary!