This is the conclusion of an article begun in the last issue. It is an adaptation Tom Kiser made of John Wesley’s description of Christian perfection.
By this fruit you will recognize him: he loves God and consequently he obeys God’s commandments. He obeys not just some, or most of them, but all, from the least to the greatest. He is not content to keep the whole law, and yet stumble in just one point; but keeps in all points his conscience clear before God and man. Whatever God has forbidden, he avoids; whatever God has instructed, he does; whether it is little or great, hard or easy, satisfying or stressful to the flesh. He runs in the path of God’s commands, for He has set his heart free. It is his glory, his daily joyous prize, to do the will of God on earth, as it is done in heaven.
All the commandments of God he keeps and that with all his might. His obedience is in proportion to his love, the source from which it flows. Therefore, loving God with all his heart, he serves Him with all his strength. He continually offers his soul and body a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Entirely and without reserve he devotes himself and all he has to God’s glory. All the talents he has received he constantly uses according to his Master’s will; every power and ability of his soul, every part of his body. In the past he offered them to sin as the instruments of wickedness. Now as one who has been brought from death to life, he offers the parts of his body to God as instruments of righteousness.
Whatever he does, it is all for the glory of God. In all his various activities, he not only intends this, but actually attains it. His business and recreation, as well as his prayers, all serve this great goal. Whether he sits at home or walks along the road, whether he lies down or gets up, he is promoting, in all he speaks or does, his life’s purpose is to bring glory to God. Whether he is dressing, working, or eating and drinking, it all tends to advance the glory of God. His one invariable rule is this, Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The customs of the world do not hinder him in any degree for he runs with perseverance the race marked out for him. He knows that vice does not lose its nature when it becomes fashionable. He also remembers that each of us will give an account of himself to God. He cannot, therefore, follow the crowd in doing wrong. He cannot live in luxury every day or gratify the desires of the sinful nature. He cannot store up for himself treasures on earth any more than he can scoop fire into his lap. He cannot dress with gold or pearls or expensive clothes. He cannot join in or condone any entertainment that has evil tendencies. He cannot slander [speak against] his neighbor, any more than he can lie either for God or man. He cannot utter an unkind word about anyone, for love keeps watch over the door of his lips. He cannot speak careless words; no unwholesome talk ever comes out of his mouth. He avoids all that is not helpful for building others up, not of benefit to those who listen. But whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, this he thinks, speaks, and acts, making the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
Finally as he has opportunity he does good unto all people. He works in every possible way for the good of neighbors, strangers, friends and enemies. He not only cares for their bodies, by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting those that are sick or in prison, but above all labors to do good to their souls with the strength God provides. He attempts to wake up those who sleep in spiritual death and bring them to the reconciling blood of Christ, so that being justified though faith, they may have peace with God. Those who have peace with God he labors to spur on toward love and good works. He will very gladly spend from them everything he has and expend himself as well, even to the point of being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of their faith, so that they may all attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
These are the marks of a mature Christian; of one inwardly and outwardly conformed to the will of God, as revealed in the Holy Bible. His soul is renewed in the image of its Creator, to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Having the mind of Christ, he walks as Jesus did. Reader, may God himself, the God of peace, purify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.
From: Kiser, Tom. “The Character of Pure Christianity.” The Arminian: A Publication of the Fundamental Wesleyan Society, vol. 15, no. 2, 1997. http://wesley.nnu.edu/arminianism/the-arminian-magazine/issue-2-fall-1997-volume-15/. Web.