Christian PerfectionChristian Perfection
A Christian Living Book Series from Guide to Kingdom Living

True Christian living requires us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth.

Christian Perfection
Chapter 19R – The Connection Between Peace, Joy, and Perfection

A commentary on John Wesley's A Plain Account of Christian Perfection
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)

As we continue with the Nineteenth Part of John Wesley’s A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, we are going to look at the connection or relationship between peace, joy, and Christian perfection. One of the attendees at the Conference asked John Wesley:

"Question. But may we not continue in peace and joy till we are perfected in love?

"Answer. Certainly we may; for the kingdom of God is not divided against itself; therefore, let not believers be discouraged from 'rejoicing in the Lord always.' [Philippians 4:4] And yet we may be sensibly pained at the sinful nature that still remains in us. It is good for us to have a piercing sense of this, and a vehement desire to be delivered from it. But this should only incite us the more zealously to fly every moment to our strong Helper, the more earnestly to 'press forward to the mark, the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus.' [Philippians 3:14] And when the sense of our sin most abounds the sense of his love should much more abound.

The question correctly acknowledges that Christian perfection is becoming perfected in God’s love, and as Wesley responded, it is this abounding love that brings about an inner sense of peace and joy, even in the face of much evil.

We also need to remember that this type of spiritual peace and joy has nothing to do with pleasure. Even sinful people can derive pleasure from evil situations, but they cannot have true spiritual peace and joy, because it’s a condition of perfect love, a love these people don’t possess. It comes from heaven.

On the other hand, sensitive Godly people can be extremely saddened by the evil, pain, suffering, and death that is all around them. Yet, at the same time, they can have the inner peace and joy of knowing that one day evil will end and everything will once again be restored to the condition God created things to be, a truly peaceable kingdom.

However, knowing about this evil and doing nothing to help end or prevent it, is in my opinion, also a sin. We need to remember what Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:10:

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

As we see in Revelation 21:4 this is a state of being where there is no more pain or suffering or mourning or death.

If we believe this, and pray for this to happen, and then do our part to help make it happen here on earth, we will do everything in our power to end as much suffering and death from our lifestyle. Thus, knowing that we are making a positive difference to end the suffering of this world as far as our live is concerned brings us a degree of peace and joy. Furthermore, if we expand this peacemaking effort beyond ourselves, our peace and joy will increase even more.

Go on to: Chapter 19S – Our Attitude Toward Those Who Think They are Perfect
Return to: Christian Perfection Table of Contents
Return to: Christian Living Table of Contents

Peaceable Kingdom
The prophet Isaiah reached out in the Spirit of God and saw the perfection of God reestablished in the Peaceable Kingdom, and he wrote (Isaiah 11:6-9 NASV):

And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the kid,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze;
Their young will lie down together;
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.