Christian Perfection – 21: Being a Perfect Christian
By: Frank L. Hoffman
Jesus said, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”(Matthew 5:48)
(Wesley’s writings are in bold)
We now come to the second question 1n the seventeenth part of A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, where John Wesley discusses the substance of four Annual Conferences. With the exception of the fourth Conference, Wesley lists only the questions and summarized answers. Because I don’t believe that this does justice to our understanding of the complexity of some of the questions and answers,
We have broken down this Chapter into several parts, the second being 21: Being a Perfect Christian.
Let’s return to Wesley’s writing and the next question posed at the Conference:
“Q. What is implied in being a perfect Christian?
“A. The loving God with all our heart, and mind, and soul (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Actually, the word “mind” does not appear in Deuteronomy 6:5, but in the expanded definition given by Jesus as in Mark 12:30.
Deuteronomy 6:5 reads:
5. “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
And Mark 12:30 reads:
30. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The Hebrew understanding of “might” was everything the person “was” and “possessed”. Often, who we are is who we perceive ourselves to be, or our mind’s thought process, dreams, and desires. The way we love, whether conditionally or unconditionally, is a factor of the way we think, or of our mind. To love God with every part of our spiritual and physical being is to love unconditionally. To unconditionally love God means that we also love the whole of creation, that very good work that God lovingly spoke into existence.
If we say we love God, but focus our mind on the ungodly things and ways of this world, and participate in some of them, then our love is not perfected in the way that Jesus explains to us; for we would be living a lie, rather than the truth that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. If we truly love as God loves, then we will focus our mind on the things of God and live as the Lord desires us to live.