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Author Topic: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?  (Read 3138 times)

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hillsbororiver

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Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« on: December 11, 2007, 05:13:44 PM »

Just a few simple questions popped into my head.....

What do you think many of the people who came into contact, heard the teachings perhaps even were compelled to search their words think of the personalities of these men? What things might have been said about them and their students? Did they initially receive the message with joy and thankfulness but when a favorite belief of theirs came under fire decide that these so called teachers weren't so great after all? Aren't all believers given access to the same Spirit of Christ in equal measure?

Do you believe that every person that met them were enthralled and impressed? Did some perceive their words to be harsh and uncompromising? How about the students of the apostles, were they all things to all people at all times? Were intemperate statements made by some of the apostles and some of their students from time to time, or do we assume that once they were converted they walked the walk of perfection?

How would we ourselves have perceived these men, would we have demanded perfection (or at least our perception or understanding of perfection) out of them as we justified our own shortcomings? Would we judge them even as we were dismayed and put off by judgments they made in regard to others?

I guess the bottom line is what if we had had face to face contact with these men chosen of God, what would our opinion of them be if we saw not the idealized version we may have of them, but the real, in the flesh people that ate, breathed, dealt with conflict, needed to bathe, had to grind out a living, etc. what would we have thought about them then, especially if others who may have been more attractive, given to sweet compliments sought us out and stoked our egos rather than stoking our spirit?

Again, just some thoughts that were rolling about the brain of late.

His Peace and Wisdom to you,

Joe
 
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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2007, 05:44:27 PM »


Hello Joe

For me the answers are according to each as to their own beam in their own eye.  :D

To elaborate,  Jesus Christ we know, is The only One who did not have a beam in His eye and neither did He have a carnal mind. Non escape carnality until resurrection.  Deliverance from carnality can be accomplished only in resurrection by The Resurrection and The Life which is Jesus Christ. So this side of life non are sinless. Missing the mark of perfection I believe is how we are trained into dependence on Christ for His tried and tested Faithfulness. The inheritance of Christ is a share in what HE Won through His Victory given to Him by God and provided for by His desire to do the Will of God. He is the true Son of God we can all hope to be.

Just a few thoughts perhaps not answers... :)

Peace to you

Arcturus :)

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eggi

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2007, 05:49:13 PM »

Good question(s) Joe,

I used to have an image of Paul, Peter and James as being legalistic and hard, cold fanatic persons. This was due to the fact that I knew Christianity and even God in this way. Now that I've learned about the true destiny of all mankind, and come to a knowledge of the truth about how God is, and why He has the rules that He has, I see it all in a different light (or, I see it in the light as opposed to darkness).

Whereas I used to hear an angry, condemning voice in my head when reading their letters, I know imagine a soft yet firm voice. A voice from men who have a great love for all, and who judge because they love, not because they hate.

If I should meet any of them in the flesh, I think I would meet three men who looked exactly like you and me (except they would wear different clothing). I think I would be astonished to see how ordinary and common people they appeared to be. Just like Jesus Christ Himself.

If I had a Q&A session with them I think many things would become clear, but then again, they can become clear even today, because it's only through God's inspiration that we can come to understand. Perhaps I would even reject their teachings, or we would end up having a discussion, just like believers do have today.

I think things haven't changed all that much in the last 2000 years. We know from Scripture that the apostles had to defend what they believed, and that many who followed them left them.

I can't wait to hear what you others have to say about this!

God bless you,
Eirik
« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 05:50:38 PM by eggi »
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Here’s how to tell if you have faith; how do you live… what do you do… what do you accomplish in life… what are your goals… What is there about you that proves that you have this faith and belief inside of you? What?

Rui

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2007, 10:15:04 PM »

Hi Joe i sure do appreciate hearing such thoghts...They are intriguing but we can easily relate to God through his word wich does say that we still have not received the spirit of redemption of this carnal body of ours and are to await it with patience, So it is obvious that Peter paul and James were not perfect but yet Justified before our Only living God in Jesus through Jesus himself by faith Just as we are ourselves...I do however assume u do have the answer to all your thoughts in Jesus...God bless u...Rui


Just a few simple questions popped into my head.....




What do you think many of the people who came into contact, heard the teachings perhaps even were compelled to search their words think of the personalities of these men? What things might have been said about them and their students? Did they initially receive the message with joy and thankfulness but when a favorite belief of theirs came under fire decide that these so called teachers weren't so great after all? Aren't all believers given access to the same Spirit of Christ in equal measure?

Do you believe that every person that met them were enthralled and impressed? Did some perceive their words to be harsh and uncompromising? How about the students of the apostles, were they all things to all people at all times? Were intemperate statements made by some of the apostles and some of their students from time to time, or do we assume that once they were converted they walked the walk of perfection?

How would we ourselves have perceived these men, would we have demanded perfection (or at least our perception or understanding of perfection) out of them as we justified our own shortcomings? Would we judge them even as we were dismayed and put off by judgments they made in regard to others?

I guess the bottom line is what if we had had face to face contact with these men chosen of God, what would our opinion of them be if we saw not the idealized version we may have of them, but the real, in the flesh people that ate, breathed, dealt with conflict, needed to bathe, had to grind out a living, etc. what would we have thought about them then, especially if others who may have been more attractive, given to sweet compliments sought us out and stoked our egos rather than stoking our spirit?

Again, just some thoughts that were rolling about the brain of late.

His Peace and Wisdom to you,

Joe
 
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Chris R

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2007, 08:18:46 AM »

Hi Joe,

I think in the beginning, there was a sense of false pride in the apostles hearts, like when John said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in your name; and we forbid him, because he does not follow with us.  And Jesus said to him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us, is for us. Luk 9:49-50 

I believe after this the apostles began to see that the kingdom was not just for them alone. Though they speak with authority, this should not be confused with arrogance.

Are they perfect? absolutely not! did they go about fornicating, and drunken, stealing chickens and such....Nope! God chose these men, hand picked them for this mission, Do we suppose God would not have provided a person of good character for others to follow?

Surely Paul did not speak to his own vanity when he said; Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ.[1Cor 11:1]

 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

Peace

Chris R

« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 08:20:09 AM by Chris R »
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M_Oliver

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2007, 09:17:10 PM »

I don't mean to beat a dead horse but I'm convinced that Romans 7 tells a WHOLE lot more than the people who are inspired to believe they are chosen care to admit.

7:14 says it all.  The following verses are Spiritual matches to me.

To answer your subject line, NO THEY WERE NOT.  And noone will ever convince me that they were.  In light of Ray's recent understanding of Genesis I think the plan of God is going to play out a WHOLE LOT longer than any of us have previously thought.  God is taking His time with His creation.  I think that means we never shed the carnality while we live in this tent.  We UNDERSTAND that we are supposed to {if chosen} but we never completely do it.

I remember quite awhile back Ray saying that as he grew in Christ certain things{sinful things}became less and less important to him.  I believe that comes with age.  Secular statistics show crime goes down with age{not saying Ray was a criminal, but you know what I mean}.  In other words we get OLDER AND WISER.  We don't shed carnality per se, DO WE?  God tells me at this moment in time that we do not escape Romans 7 while we are in this eon.

Got evidence to the contrary??

 





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sonofone

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2007, 09:21:07 PM »

Very interesting topic Joe.I have thought about this as well. I think we have to look at it in relative terms.In their day.I'm reminded of the sorcerer that wanted to buy the gift of laying on of hands.I suppose on one level they were like rock stars.Ray mentions how much we fail to see or hear about the crowds that routinely followed Jesus.Three thousand people added to their number after one message seems to follow this pattern.

Were they perfect,not according to the record of Paul.He rebuked Peter,and spoke unfavorably of Mark who decided to leave them on one journey.

Paul also insisted that he did not consider himself to have already attained or was made perfect.I think in todays time they would put most of us to shame in terms of their dedication and committment to God.
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M_Oliver

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2007, 09:23:14 PM »

Surely Paul did not speak to his own vanity when he said; Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ.[1Cor 11:1]

 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

Peace

Chris R

Good point Chris.  But you know as I know that the other part of NOW I PRAY is IF IT IS YOUR WILL.  So if it wasn't God's will you know the rest.  I'm just paying attention to the words :).

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hillsbororiver

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2007, 11:02:45 PM »

Thank you all for your replies, as always they are very much appreciated.

This was a rhetorical question or should I say rhetorical questions. Yes, I know these men were not perfect, they were certainly more spiritually mature than I, especially by the time they were writing their gospels, epistles and letters. But they had to learn, grow in wisdom (not only knowledge, there is a difference), develop patience, endure trials and tribulations and no doubt more than a few disappointments. I am sure they also suffered scorners and mockers often from family and former friends, in some circles they were treated like rock stars no doubt but that has it's pitfalls and can be a millstone around the neck as well. Expectations would be high and perhaps they did not meet the criteria some people had of what a Prophet or Apostle should look like, sound like, dress like, etc.

Actually I do not think people are all that different now than they were then, sure we live in a totally different world as far as technology goes but the basics are still pretty much the same, eat, drink, to love and be loved, provide for family, rejoice over births, mourn over deaths, etc. There certainly were less distractions in their day, but the basic and most important things of life do not come off of the assembly line or beamed through TV sets or computer monitors.

What I was thinking was how many people who where at first enthralled with and thankful for the Good News they preached and taught but as soon as they were given an answer or two they did not agree with or were challenged by one of these men in regard to their own beliefs they turned their back and walked away, physically and mentally, content to be with others who pat them on the back and offer not Godly Wisdom and/or admonishment but vain praise from men. Would many of us have adhered to, studied, and lived the Words they preached or would they have been a flavor of the day, a fad to eventually be tossed aside by most who had heard them?

His Peace and Wisdom to you,

Joe
 

     
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Chris R

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2007, 08:37:18 AM »

Would many of us have adhered to, studied, and lived the Words they preached or would they have been a flavor of the day, a fad to eventually be tossed aside by most who had heard them?

His Peace and Wisdom to you,

Joe       

Hi Joe,

M_Oliver said it the best, It would be Gods will whether or not Some perceived this message, or walked away from it. Even so, many are called, few are chosen. We just never know what the "morrow" will bring.

Peace

Chris R

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hillsbororiver

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2007, 09:32:54 AM »

Hi Chris,

I agree that He chooses whom He will and we have no part in that but (always a "but")  ;) how about what is in the hearts of the called who hear His Words and even though they do see what is being said they reject it out of hand because of tradition, an unwillingness to take the narrow road (a lonely walk), a sense of self righteousness, stiffnecked and stubborn because they find the messenger to be not quite to their personal liking (for whatever reason). Preferring companionship and praise to sound doctrine, comfortable in a familiar place where they can speak and hear smooth things which tend to puff up the carnal man.

Certainly their eyes have not been opened, yet within their hearts they embrace this ignorance, they revel in their self perceived superiority and castigate even mocking those who carry forth His Word.

Like Ray has written about in the "Free Will" series, yes we are prone to sin, the flesh is weak predisposed to selfishness and satisfying our carnal nature, feeding the beast so to speak, but when we submit to sin it is not a robotic reaction we do so most willingly and often with great enthusiasm.

This chapter of Proverbs began this train of thought;


 Proverbs 7

 1My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

 2Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

 3Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

 4Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

 5That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

 6For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

 7And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

 8Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

 9In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

 10And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

 11(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

 12Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)

 13So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

 14I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

 15Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

 16I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

 17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

 18Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

 19For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

 20He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

 21With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

 22He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

 23Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

 24Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

 25Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

 26For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

 27Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

 His Peace and Wisdom to you,

 Joe


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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2007, 03:17:40 PM »

Chris R your post triggers me to recall the Scriptures where in we are exhorted to judge ourselves to discern if WE not so much THEY are obedient children or unbelieving disobedient children of wrath. Not God's wrath but flesh wrath disposed to unrepentant, bitterness against God and vengeance. That is the rejection part that I think you are talking about Joe?

For me, the whole of Babylon is "hearing" but not receiving His Words of Knowledge Wisdom and Love. They "hear" but do not learn, they "see" but do not perceive, they "teach" but do not lead to the Truth, they "lead" but do not know what they are leading towards  (Inverted commas to show sarcasm not to represent that Babylon actually hears sees or teaches!) for they follow the angel of light and the glare of the world has blinded them. Why? Because they have idols of their hearts and have not the love of God in them. Paul on the other hand was a passionate follower of an ideal that Jesus Christ straightened out and then Saul became Paul, still passionate unto even his own death!

Though we can not know if we are Elect until after we die election is faithfulness to follow Christ's example to death if so chosen. No one can produce the behaviour of the Scriptures without the Spirit of Christ. Paul definitely got the Spirit of Christ and when he elected to go to Rome he knew that this journey would be to his execution. From there he had the confidence to write that he had run his race and had been faithful. Could he have written such a statement earlier? I do not think so. 

I enjoyed what you posted about Paul admonishing the Gentiles to copy and imitate him Craig.  While we can not know for sure of our "election" we can know we are called and the journey is to discern if we are obedient, repentant and being faithful to follow. That is a daily mission! How often I fail, see my weakness and liability to whom I may turn to Christ who understands, forgives and ushers me to God to ask the Father for the strength I need to overcome. What a blessing and privilege to draw strength in such times of being shown fallibility!

For me, the teachings of Paul and his life of council, disclosure of the Spirit and knowledge of Christ were faithful signs of Christs life being lived in Paul. His death was as I see it, the final evidence of a life lived in Christs marvelous Spirit.

Peace to you

Arcturus :)
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M_Oliver

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Re: Were Paul, Peter and James Perfect?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2007, 09:45:12 PM »

This is a great thread for new members in my opinion. I hope they all stumble { ;) } on it.

Mark
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