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Present Tense Perfection

by Norman P. Grubb

Now the interesting thing about it is—who can live like this? I think I told you in a previous meeting that you can pick it out of John four times over where he says, “Our life is to match His, our own life is to match His.” I told you that He is the eternal life who walks it—doesn’t just talk but lives like this. We say that One is now in us and we in Him. If so He lives that life out in us and we’re walking like that. So four times over he says, in the 2nd chapter, “we’re to walk as He walked;” in the 3rd chapter, “we’re to purify ourselves as He is pure.” It also says, “we’re to be righteous as He is righteous;” and the 4th chapter says, concerning perfect love, “as He is, so are we.” My, that’s why I say it hits the ceiling. What standards equal to it can you get? How can fallen—but praise God not remaining there—redeemed, sanctified, humanity live like that?

The answer is chapter 1. The way it can be lived is there. First of all, it is present tense. Now I have mentioned this in a previous talk about perfection because that’s the key to perfection. If any foolish person imagines that you can say, “Oh I’ve had something done in me and I’m going to live a perfect life henceforth,” you are in for a few bumps I can tell you. There is no future-present or future-perfect; there is only a present. But when you live in the present it is a different thing. All God requires of me is responsibility for this moment.

Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954
Topic: “Daily Walk in the Spirit”