Editorial: “Going on to Perfection”
A. T. Jones
PERFECTION is the only goal of any believer in Jesus.
It is the only thing set before anybody by Jesus; for he said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matt. 5:48.
Therefore, the divine exhortation to every believer in Jesus is, “Let us go on to perfection.” And the only response to this that is given for Christians, and the only response any Christian can give, is, “This will we do if God permits” (Heb. 6:1, 3).
But nobody can attain to perfection without the gifts of the Holy Spirit; for these are given “for the perfecting [equipping] of the saints,” and “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:11–13).
And nobody can have the gifts of the Holy Spirit, who has not first received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, without the gift of the Holy Spirit, no believer in Jesus can reach the only goal that is set before him by the Lord.
Therefore, every believer in Jesus must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, it is the all-important question for every minister to ask every believer, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (Acts 19:2).
“Ask, and it will be given to you.” “Receive the Holy Spirit.” “Be filled with the Spirit.” “Earnestly desire the best gifts.” And “go on to perfection.”
The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 1, 1898
Editorial: “Those Who Keep the Commandments of God”
A. T. Jones
SO entirely is it true that the sole purpose of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to bring to perfection the believers in Jesus, that when this shall be accomplished, these gifts will “cease” and “be done away.”
Love is the bond of perfection. And as it is true that though a person were to have all the gifts, and yet had not love, it would profit him nothing, this of itself shows that perfection in the believers is the object of the gifts.
This is also shown in the fact that “love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” Prophecies, tongues, knowledge, and the other gifts are all given to bring us to love; but when they have brought us to love, they “fail,” “cease,” and “vanish away.”
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” Even by the gift of knowledge, we know only in part until we attain to that which is perfect. But when that which is perfect is come, we shall then know fully; we shall know even as we are known. Therefore the gift of knowledge, like all the other gifts, is given only as a means of bringing us to perfection,—to bring us to love, the bond of perfection.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” Therefore the object of all the gifts of the Spirit is to bring the believers to the keeping of the commandments of God. And this shows that the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon men, the greatest thing that can be done for them, by the Lord, is to bring them to the keeping of the commandments of God.
This is the third angel’s message; for “here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).
“Ask, and it will be given to you.” “Receive the Holy Spirit.” “Be filled with the Spirit.” “Desire spiritual gifts.” “Earnestly desire the best gifts.”
The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 8, 1898