Blog Archive

Monday, November 2, 2009

Made Perfect

"There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience,
and that is not learning from experience."
~ Laurence J. Peter

Made Perfect

"... everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean; and it shall be purified with the water of purification. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water."
~ Numbers 31:23 (NKJV)

Although He was God's Son, yet He learned obedience from the sufferings which He endured; and so, having been made perfect, He became to all who obey Him the source and giver of eternal salvation.
~ Hebrews 5:8-9 (WNT)

This passage from Hebrews is one of endless fascination to me. Jesus—the perfection of God in human flesh—was "made perfect" (or "made complete") by learning obedience to His Father. He became something more than He already was in this experience.

Jesus didn't want to do this. We see his anguish in Gethsemane. He speaks at it several times beforehand, such as in His words of Luke 12:49-50: "I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!"

Jesus had already been baptized with water. Whatever else His baptism did, it showed that Jesus was willing to be identified with our humanity, and our sin. In His fire baptism at Calvary He again identified with our sin—but this time He overcame it with His death.

Christ's blood atones for, or "covers" our sin. But to be made perfect, we must also be baptized in water and fire. There are some things that the
water of His Word cleanses. But there are other impurities in our lives that simply must undergo fire for us to learn what we must if we shall be complete.

If we would be as pure gold, nothing less than the Refiner's touch will do.

Lord Jesus, You know well the fire. You have learned its necessity. Please give us hearts to endure the searing pain with faith. Please let us not shrink back from Your Spirit's touch. Please quicken our hearts to be cleansed by the water of Your Word and avoid the flame.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Artwork "Road to the Cross" by Brian Jekel © 2006 Dayspring


  1. What a beautiful post, Anne. Some subscribe to the Christianity of blessing only...and of course blessing does exist in abundance! But the trials will come too, including, perhaps, the refiner's fire. God, please help us endure with perservence, learning the lessons you would have for us.

  2. This makes me think of a question I want to ask on my blog soon, is faith hard or easy? I went through a very specific season of refinement and I wrestled some things out with God during this time.

    Thank you for your meaningful comment on Facebook!
    ~ Wendy
    ~ Wendy

  3. When I sign my name twice, that means I really meant what I wrote. :D
    Didn't mean to do that. I'll leave this one unsigned to balance things out.

  4. "He became something more than He already was..."

    Wow - never thought of it like that.

    Jesus make me more than I am, more like You.

  5. So true Anne. Thanks for a great post!

  6. The refiners fire. I sometimes wonder if I'm just imagining I'm in it at times and what the Lord must think of that. I'm very weary to grumble. I have no intention of wandering in the desert, so thankfulness springs from my tongue all too often. The fire may be necessary but I much prefer to stay away from the flames.

  7. I'm always reminding myself of the refining fire. It helps me understand and accept things during trials. Thanks for sharing this post!

  8. In the world of all things instant and convenient, sacrifice is a waning word. Anne, tks for the post!

  9. Gwen, the wonderful thing is that even in the trials, our God blesses.

    Wendy, I think faith is like writing. There are times when it flows naturally from the practice, and times when it requires concentrated application. (And sign as many times as you'd like. Your face can't appear here too often. :D)

    Doug, I still stand in awe, no matter how many times I contemplate that. (And I'm glad you're safely back from your many travels.)

    Amanda, thanks for the affirmation, and for stopping in. (waiting for Thursday ...)

    Russell, thank you for the blessing, and for being one.

    T. Anne, I think the water can overwhelm, too. Like drinking from a fire hydrant? If you have praise and thanks through it, you're right where you need to be.

    Ellie, I too am grateful for hope in the very midst of trials. With that hope we can endure whatever the loving Father allows.

    Bible Lover, however waning the word, we living sacrifices must remain on the altar, even as the flames lick about.

  10. I want to be so much more like Him, melt into Him.

  11. Denise, I LOVE the thought of the fire melting me into Him, melding us together. Thank you for this!


Your comments are appreciated and you can expect a reply. If Blogger doesn't accept your comment, or if you prefer
another method, I hope you'll respond via Twitter or email
(see sidebar icons or the "Contact Me" tab, above).

(Comments to older posts and will appear after approval.)