A Surety of Truth- 1 Corinthians 13:13, Luke 22:32

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen they brethren.

COMMENTARY

When thou art converted
Yesterday I shared an example from the life of Peter where he was commended for having a testimony of Jesus’s status as the Christ. And yet, while he had this knowledge directly from God, he would later deny the Savior three times in a moment of fear. Though he had a testimony, Jesus still stressed Peter’s need to be more fully converted.
And so it is with each of us. Even after we obtain our first witness from God we still need to become more fully converted.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face
Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known
And perhaps we don’t attain a perfect knowledge for every matter of the gospel in this life. Perhaps some testimonies must wait until we see God face-to-face on the other side of the veil.
And perhaps we only attain moments of pure knowledge, brief experiences where we know the reality of God and His love for us, but then, like holding water in our hands, the experience fades and we have to ask Him to remind us again.
Perfect knowledge is an ever-evasive goal, yet still we strive for it, because just by making the effort we better ourselves every day.

The Need for Law- Question

At the end of my last study it came up how the Atonement of Jesus Christ was performed to fulfill the laws of our fallen world, while also enabling a new law, one of grace and salvation. The scriptures say a very great deal about law, and speak to a sense of system and procedure in divinity.

But at the same time, structured religion is becoming less and less popular today. People seek ways to be “spiritual not religious,” and refute the idea of a God who has terms and conditions. I do understand the reason for this, it is a very difficult thing (perhaps impossible) to not project all the limitations and flaws of our mortal laws and governments on the divine. Because we see how our attempts at structure are so flawed, we struggle to imagine what a perfect structure could be like.

But that does not mean that the perfect structure does not exist. Rather than trying to excuse ourselves from God’s law (because we cannot conceive of it properly) we should broaden our perspectives to better glimpse it. And the more we do glimpse it properly, the less hesitation we will have in being subject to it.

With this study I would like to consider what different laws are described in the scriptures and what their purposes are. I would like to consider why we need law, and why God uses this form for leading His children. Finally I would like to examine how the implementation of divine law does not preclude a divine Father being able to have a personal (and personalized) connection with each child.

I would be curious to hear how you have been able to resolve the rigidity of divine law with the warmth of paternal love. What differences are most significant to you between the Old Testament law and that of the New Testament? What reasons do you believe are behind those differences? What do you think perfect law looks like when perfectly understood?

Divided from God- Romans 8:24-25, James 1:3-4

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

COMMENTARY

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it
We have previously noted that God would not have put this divide between us and Him unless it was for our own good. One of the good qualities that this brings about in us is patience.
Patience is a virtue that is too easily forgotten. We all know that faith is supremely important, but there cannot be any faith without patience. Faith is putting trust and confidence in a yet-unrealized good, it is anticipating a blessing that we do not yet hold. By necessity, there is a period of time between us establishing our faith and our receiving the fruits of it. But we won’t be able to get through that period unless we are willing to wait…with patience.

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing
Patience is both a means and an end. By exercising it we stop demanding that we be given things right now, and so we become content, “wanting nothing.” But then, having become a patient being, we receive all, and thus are “wanting nothing” in an entirely different sense.
We long to see our Father, it is a desire ingrained in our infinite soul. What better way to teach us patience than to remove the possibility for that very thing? We have to make our peace with living incomplete. But if we have made our peace, then we are complete. And then, being complete, we are ready to receive the Father.

That They Might Have Joy- Matthew 5:48, John 5:6

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

COMMENTARY

Be ye therefore perfect
This verse has been to known to create quite some anxiety among the faithful. Most of us find it difficult enough to just be good, let alone having to worry about being perfect. However the meaning that we associate to the word “perfect” is somewhat removed from original Greek word that Matthew chose for his gospel.

The term rendered “perfect” in most English translations is τέλειοι (teleioi), the same word used in the Septuagint for תָּמִים and meaning “brought to its end, finished; lacking nothing necessary to completeness.” … Applied to people, it refers to completeness of parts.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_5:48

Ultimately we hope to achieve perfection in the next life, but for now it would appear that it is enough to strive for completeness.

Wilt thou be made whole?
Consider how this need for completeness aligns with Jesus’s oft-repeated offer to make incomplete people whole. Something is lacking in each of us, and Jesus fills that hole, thus making us whole.
And when incomplete people are made whole they rejoice. Consider the example of Philip and the eunuch. That eunuch was frustrated by his own ignorance, and Philip taught him the gospel and baptized him, filling that lacking. Having been made that much more complete, we are told that the eunuch went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:39).
This idea is certainly in-line with my own observations. I just completed sharing about my personal experiences yesterday, and what stood out to me was that my joy came when I felt most complete. Being healed, or enlightened, or given purpose…these are all ways that God makes us whole. And we feel great joy in that.