5. How Must You Believe in God in Order to Be Saved and Made Perfect?
Relevant Words of God:
In summary, taking Peter’s path in one’s faith means to walk the path of pursuing the truth, which is also the path of truly getting to know oneself and changing one’s disposition. Only by walking the path of Peter will one be on the path of being perfected by God. One must be clear on how, exactly, to walk Peter’s path, as well as how to put it into practice. First, one must put aside one’s own intentions, improper pursuits, and even family and all things of one’s own flesh. One must be wholeheartedly devoted; that is, one must completely devote oneself to the word of God, focus on eating and drinking of God’s words, concentrate on the search for the truth and the search for God’s intentions in His words, and try to grasp God’s will in everything. This is the most fundamental and vital method of practice. This was what Peter did after seeing Jesus, and it is only by practicing in this way that one can achieve the best results. Wholehearted devotion to the words of God primarily involves seeking the truth, seeking God’s intentions within His words, focusing on grasping the will of God, and understanding and obtaining more truth from God’s words. When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines, much less was he focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he concentrated on comprehending the truth and grasping God’s will, as well as achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness. Peter also attempted to understand the various corrupt states of man from God’s words, as well as man’s corrupt nature and actual shortcoming, thus meeting all aspects of God’s requirements of man in order to satisfy Him. Peter had so many correct practices that abided by the words of God; this was most in line with God’s will, and it was the best way a person could cooperate while experiencing God’s work. When experiencing the hundreds of trials from God, Peter examined himself strictly against every word of God’s judgment of man, every word of God’s revelation of man, and every word of His demands of man, and strived to fathom the meaning of those words. He tried in earnest to ponder and memorize every word that Jesus said to him, and achieved very good results. Through this manner of practicing, he was able to achieve an understanding of himself from God’s words, and he not only came to understand the various corrupt states of man, but also came to understand man’s essence, nature, and various shortcomings. This is what it means to truly understand oneself. From God’s words, Peter not only achieved a true understanding of himself, but from the things expressed in God’s words—God’s righteous disposition, what He has and is, God’s will for His work, His demands of mankind—from these words he came to know God completely. He came to know God’s disposition, and His essence; he came to know and understand what God has and is, as well as God’s loveliness and God’s demands for man. Although God did not speak back then as much as He does today, results in these aspects were nevertheless achieved in Peter. This was a rare and precious thing. Peter went through hundreds of trials, but did not suffer in vain. He not only came to understand himself from the words and the work of God, but he also came to know God. In addition, he particularly focused on God’s requirements of mankind within His words. In whichever aspects man should satisfy God to be in line with God’s will, Peter was able to put forth great effort in these aspects and achieve full clarity; this was extremely beneficial with regard to his own entry. No matter what God spoke of, as long as those words could become his life and they belonged to the truth, Peter was able to carve them into his heart to ponder and appreciate them frequently. After hearing the words of Jesus, he was able to take them to heart, which shows that he was especially focused on God’s words, and he truly achieved results in the end. That is, he was able to freely put the words of God into practice, accurately practice the truth and be in line with God’s will, act entirely in accordance with God’s intention, and give up his own personal opinions and imaginations. In this way, Peter entered into the reality of God’s words. Peter’s service came in line with God’s will primarily because he had done this.
Excerpted from “How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
To seek being perfected by God, one must first understand what it means to be perfected by Him, what conditions one must possess to be perfected, and then seek the path of practice once one has a grasp of such matters. One must possess a certain caliber in order to be perfected by God. Many of you do not possess the necessary caliber, which requires you to pay a certain price and your subjective effort. The less your caliber, the more subjective effort you must put in. The greater your understanding of God’s words and the more you put them into practice, the faster you can enter onto the path of being made perfect by God. Through praying, you can be made perfect amid prayers; through eating and drinking the words of God, grasping the substance of God’s words, and living out the reality of God’s words, you can be made perfect. Through experiencing God’s words on a daily basis, you come to know what is lacking in you, and, moreover, come to know your Achilles’ heel and weaknesses, and you offer prayer to God, through which you will gradually be made perfect. The paths to being made perfect: praying, eating and drinking the words of God, grasping the essence of God’s words, entering into the experience of God’s words, coming to know what is lacking in you, obeying the work of God, being mindful of God’s burden and forsaking the flesh through your love for God, and having frequent fellowship with brothers and sisters, which enriches your experiences. Whether it be communal life or your personal life, and whether it be large assemblies or small ones, all can allow you to acquire experiences and receive training so that your heart can be quiet before God and return to God. All of this is the process of being made perfect. Experiencing the words of God that has been spoken of means being able to actually taste the words of God and allowing them to be lived out in you so that you have greater faith and love toward God. Through this way, you will gradually shed the corrupt satanic disposition, you will gradually divest yourself of improper motivations, and live out the likeness of a normal person. The greater the love for God within you—which is to say, the more of you that has been made perfect by God—the less you are corrupted by Satan. Through your practical experiences, you will gradually enter onto the path of being made perfect. Thus, if you wish to be made perfect, being mindful of the will of God and experiencing the words of God are especially important.
Excerpted from “Be Mindful of God’s Will in Order to Attain Perfection” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you believe in God’s rule, then you have to believe that the things that happen every day, be they good or bad, are not random occurrences. It is not that someone is intentionally hard on you or targeting you; it is actually all arranged by God. What does God orchestrate these things for? It is not to reveal your shortcomings or to expose you; exposing you is not the end goal. The end goal is to perfect you and save you. How does God do that? Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, of your nature and essence, your shortcomings, and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and understanding them in your heart can you pursue the truth and gradually cast off your corrupt disposition. This is God providing you with an opportunity. You have to know how to seize this opportunity, and don’t butt heads with God. Particularly when faced with the people, events, and things that God arranges around you, don’t always think that things aren’t as you wish them to be, always wanting to escape, always blaming and misunderstanding God. That is not undergoing God’s work, and that will make it very difficult for you to enter into the reality of the truth. Whatever the thing is that you cannot fully understand, when you have difficulties, you must learn to submit. You should first come before God and pray more. That way, before you know it there will be a shift in your internal state and you’ll be able to seek the truth to resolve your problem—you’ll be able to experience the work of God. During this period, the reality of the truth is being wrought within you, and this is how you will progress and how a change in the state of your life will occur. Once you have undergone this change and have this kind of reality of the truth, then you will possess stature, and with stature comes life. If someone always lives based on a corrupt satanic disposition, then no matter how much enthusiasm or energy they have, they still cannot be considered to possess stature, or life. God works in every single person, and no matter what His method is, what kind of people, things and matters He makes use of to do service, or what kind of tone His words have, He only has one end goal: saving you. Before saving you, He needs to transform you, so how could you not suffer a bit? You’re going to have to suffer. This suffering can involve many things. Sometimes God raises up the people, matters, and things around you so that you can come to know yourself, or else you might be directly dealt with, pruned, and exposed. Just like someone on an operating table–you have to undergo some pain for a good outcome. If every time you are pruned and dealt with, and every time He raises up people, matters, and things, it stirs up your feelings and gives you a boost, then this is correct, and you will have stature and will enter into the reality of the truth.
Excerpted from “To Attain the Truth, You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You” in Records of Christ’s Talks
In his belief in God, Peter sought to satisfy God in everything, and sought to obey all that came from God. Without the slightest complaint, he was able to accept chastisement and judgment, as well as refinement, tribulation and lack in his life, none of which could alter his love of God. Is this not the ultimate love of God? Is this not the fulfillment of the duty of a creature of God? Whether in chastisement, judgment, or tribulation, you are always capable of achieving obedience unto death, and this is what should be achieved by a creature of God, this is the purity of the love of God. If man can achieve this much, then he is a qualified creature of God, and there is nothing which better satisfies the desire of the Creator.
Excerpted from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If people wish to become living beings and to bear testimony to God, and to be approved of by God, then they must accept God’s salvation; they must gladly submit to His judgment and chastisement and must gladly accept the pruning of God and being dealt with by Him. Only then will they be able to put all of the truths required by God into practice, and only then will they gain God’s salvation and truly become living beings.
Excerpted from “Are You Someone Who Has Come to Life?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who are without the slightest obedience to God, who merely acknowledge His name, and have some sense of God’s kindness and loveliness, yet do not keep pace with the steps of the Holy Spirit, and do not obey the present work and words of the Holy Spirit—such people live amid the grace of God, and will not be gained or made perfect by Him. God makes people perfect through their obedience, through their eating, drinking, and enjoying of God’s words, and through the suffering and refinement in their lives. Only through faith such as this can people’s dispositions change, and only then can they possess the true knowledge of God. Not being satisfied with living amid God’s grace, actively yearning and searching for the truth, and seeking to be gained by God—this is what it means to consciously obey God and this is precisely the kind of faith that He wants.
Excerpted from “In Your Faith in God You Should Obey God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh