Tuesday, 4 May 2021
Title: Grow Up
By: Pastor Isaac Yim
Text: Matthew 5:48
“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matt 5:48 The Message)
”You, therefore, must be perfect (growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity), as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt 5:48 Amplified Bible, Classical edition)
Jesus took His disciples aside and taught them what it takes to be a genuine follower of Jesus Christ. Matthew chapters 5 to 7 collectively cover His teachings known as the Sermon on the Mount.
“Therefore, you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matt 5:48 NKJV). Jesus concludes this part of the discourse by commanding His disciples to be “perfect.” The original word for perfect, is from the Greek word “teleios” used to denote completeness or full maturity. It is the goal of every follower of Jesus to grow to be complete, whole, mature and lacking in nothing. We are to discover and finish – complete – the calling of God which He has prepared for us to do.
Scofield’s Reference Notes on Matthew 5 states that “…the word perfect here implies full development, growth into maturity of godliness, not sinless perfection (Eph. 4:12,13) …” (Scofield)
The only way that we can be perfect – this side of heaven – is to be conformed into the image and likeness of Christ; by Christ giving His righteousness to us. When Christ began this good work in us, He will bring it to completion in the day of Jesus Christ as promised in Philippians 1:6. It is therefore our privilege and responsibility, to work toward maturity or “perfection”.
Paul’s goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all that Christ had in mind for him. He sought to love and obey Christ by yielding his total self to Jesus. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Phil 3:13-14 NLT)
We need to come to Jesus, our perfect model to imitate for our daily living. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to enable us to be perfect in the following 4 areas:
- Imitate Jesus in His character – we will not be flawless but we will aspire to be like Christ as much as possible.
- Imitate Jesus in holiness – we will not follow the values of the world but we will seek to do His will and carry out His love and mercy to the world.
- Seek to grow into maturity in Christ – it takes time to grow into Christlike character and holy living. We must ask God for grace and mercy to grow into maturity and wholeness. May we progress from a spiritual baby into a spiritual daddy and mummy for others.
- Imitate the love of Jesus – we will seek to love others as Jesus loves us.
All of us have a tendency to sin but that shouldn’t prevent us from pursuing perfection. Let us strive to excel in every area to becoming like Jesus.
“Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3 NLT)
Prayer for Today
Dear Heavenly Father, I long to be more like You and to finish the work You have called me to do. I pray that I will reflect Christ in all that I say and do each day. Help me to encourage and influence others to walk worthy of our calling. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
“所以你们要完全，像你们的天父完全一样。” (马太福音5:48《和合本》)。耶稣以命令祂的门徒要 “完全” 来结束这一部分的论述。“完全” 这个词源自希腊语 “teleios”，用以表示完整或完全成熟。成长为完整、整全、成熟和一无所缺是每一个跟从耶稣的人的目标。我们要发现并完成 – 完整 – 上帝的呼召，这是祂为我们所预备去做的。
斯科菲尔德（Scofield）在关于马太福音第5章的参考笔记写道：“……这里的 ‘完全’ 一词意味着完全的发展、成长为虔诚的成熟，而不是无罪的完美（以弗所书4:12,13）……” (斯科菲尔德)
我们能够完全的唯一方法 – 在这一生 – 就是效法基督的形像和样式，藉着基督将祂的公义赐给我们。当基督开始在我们心里动善工的时候，祂会如腓立比书1:6中所应许的那般，必成全这工，直到耶稣基督的日子。因此，努力走向成熟或 “完全” 是我们的特权和责任。
保罗的目标是认识基督、像基督，并成为基督心意中的人。他把自己全然献给耶稣，以求爱基督且顺服基督。“弟兄们，我不是以为自己已经得着了，我只有一件事，就是忘记背后，努力面前的，向着标竿直跑，要得神在基督耶稣里从上面召我来得的奖赏。” (腓立比书3:13-14 《和合本》)
1.效法耶稣的品格 – 我们不会完美无瑕，但我们会渴望尽可能地像基督。
2.效法耶稣的圣洁 – 我们不会跟随世界的价值观，但我们会寻求遵行祂的旨意，实践祂对世人的爱和怜悯。
3.寻求在基督里长大成熟 – 成长为基督样式的品格和圣洁的生活需要时间。我们必须祈求上帝的恩典和怜悯，使我们成长为成熟和完整的人。愿我们从属灵婴儿成长为他人的属灵父母。
4.效法耶稣的爱 – 我们要像耶稣爱我们一样去爱别人。