Chapter 106. The Conditions for Being Made Perfect
What Are the Conditions That Must Be Met in Order to Be Made Perfect?
In the past, we have talked about how when God is seeking to perfect someone, He primarily perfects them to enter into the reality of the truth, to know God, and finally to attain a change in their life disposition through trials and refinement. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. This is what is achieved when God perfects someone. If you want to be made perfect, you must first receive the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the most crucial part. However, if you want to receive the work of the Holy Spirit, what conditions must first be met? You must practice the truth. Only those who practice the truth can receive the work of the Holy Spirit. This is absolute. If someone does not practice the truth, does this person love the truth? What can be used to confirm love of the truth? Whether or not someone practices the truth can be used to confirm if they really love the truth. God searches the depths of man’s heart. If a person truly loves the truth, then he must practice the truth. If a person can persist in practicing the truth, then this person can certainly receive the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the fundamental qualification for being perfected. If, when you reflect on yourself, you find that there are few truths that you have practiced, tell me, where is the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in you? If you have not practiced the truth in the slightest, I am absolutely sure that you do not have the work of the Holy Spirit. Isn’t this a fact? If there is someone who does not practice the truth in the slightest, and always disturbs the church, always makes mischief, always gossips, what is this person like? This is a wicked person. This is a blind mocker. Does this kind of person have the work of the Holy Spirit in them? They certainly do not. How can blind mockers have the work of the Holy Spirit in them? If anyone does say that this kind of people has the work of the Holy Spirit in them, then he or she is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. God is holy. God is righteous. God is the truth. God searches the depths of man’s heart. God could not possibly be doing His work in such wicked people. So, if you are truly pursuing the truth, pursuing being made perfect, you must practice the truth in order to receive the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the first condition to be made perfect. …
The second condition to be made perfect is that you must stand on the side of God and show all consideration for the will of God in God’s house when you perform your duty. How can standing on God’s side and showing all consideration for the will of God be explained? What facts can be used to prove it? Only talking about it is useless. We must unite together with one heart, cooperating in service with God’s chosen people who truly believe in God and pursue the truth, and we cannot simply act alone or independently of others. That is because there are two factions in each church. This is the reality. One faction is the faction that truly believes in God and loves the truth. They are all willing to perform their duty. When there is a sermon preached or work arranged by the above, these people quickly accept it, obey it, and put it into practice. From beginning to end, they perform their duties and believe in God according to the work arrangements, sermons, and fellowship of the above. These are the people who stand on the side of God. These are the people who obey the work of God. There is another faction that does not love the truth in the slightest. They do not practice the truth. They are always engaged in corrupt practices within the church, ganging up or forming small groups to expand their influence, always wanting to lead and control God’s chosen people in the church, always wanting to have the final say. These are the group of people who are on the path of the antichrist. This group of people has wild schemes and ambitions. They are not honest in their speech. They twist the truth. They take light for darkness and darkness for light. They deliberately mislead people. They pass judgment as they please. These things are commonplace. Moreover, they are often together with those wicked, unreasonable people to blindly mock and cause trouble. They create difficult problems for the leaders and the house of God to solve. This kind of people is an evil force within the church. They are unbelievers and blind mockers. Generally, in a church, there is a part that is good and part that is bad. Isn’t this true? … In God’s house, it is the truth that rules, it is righteousness that rules, and it is God’s word that rules. Only when these three things rule does it mean that God truly rules. However, in merely speaking of God’s reign, what facts can be used to prove it? The first is the reign of truth, the second is the reign of the word of God, and the third is the reign of righteousness. These are what the true reign of God is like. In the house of God, it is the Holy Spirit, God who rules over everything. This is a fact. Then it is the reign of the word of God and the reign of the truth. The reign of the word of God and the reign of the truth are the reign of God. The reign of God is the reign of Christ, and Christ is God. So now, all of the work is about ensuring that all of the churches in the house of God attain the reign of truth, the reign of the word of God, and the reign of righteousness. That is what it truly means for the kingdom of Christ to formally appear among men. So, for everyone who is pursuing the truth within the church, besides practicing the truth, what else must they do? They must fight against wicked people, they must fight against evil, and they must fight against the corrupt flesh. A person with a sense of justice should thus fight against Satan. Fighting against Satan and standing on God’s side is not mere empty talk. You must stand up to fight against wicked people, fight against evil, and fight against the flesh. What does it mean to fight against evil? It means that you must stand up to fight against everything that does not accord with the truth, all evil and wicked things, Satan’s forces, and every kind of heresy and false teaching. Fighting against wicked people means fighting against those people who do not love truth in the slightest and even disturb and confuse God’s chosen people. How should we fight? We should expose their evil ways and let all of God’s chosen people know about them so that they might be able to recognize their ways. That is what it means to fight against the wicked. If you know who the wicked people are, but do not expose their evil behavior, and instead join the faction of compromise, not wanting to offend anyone, are you being loyal to God? Are you practicing the truth by joining the faction of compromise and not wanting to offend anyone? Can those who join the faction of compromise and do not want to offend anyone have the work of the Holy Spirit in them? What’s wrong with compromise and not wanting to offend anyone? What is the nature of this kind of behavior? If you do not expose Satan, are you not already being an accomplice with Satan? Isn’t this almost like an objective acknowledgment of Satan? You are objectively accepting Satan’s place in the house of God, and that Satan ought to exist in the house of God. You are covering up for Satan and have become its accomplice. There are some people who do not have the truth and just want to be the person who pleases everyone and offends no one. They think that it is this way of thinking that is smart and wise, but is it wise? If you do this, you are merely forfeiting your own life. You have placed yourself on the side of Satan as an enemy of God, provoking the loathing of God. Is that wise? That is foolish. That is not wise. If you want to receive the work of the Holy Spirit, then you must have a sense of justice. You must stand on God’s side, love what God loves, and hate what God hates. If your father or mother resists God, and you also stand on the side of God and expose them and reject them, in this way, you are upholding the principles of truth, and the Holy Spirit will do His work in you and be with you. However, if you join the faction of compromise, not wanting to offend anyone, will the Holy Spirit be with you? If you are part of the faction of compromise, not wanting to offend anyone, and the Holy Spirit is still with you, wouldn’t that mean that God likes the faction of compromise, that God supports it? Would God really do that? If you really think that God likes it that you have joined the faction of compromise and that the Holy Spirit will still do His work through it, are you really certain that you truly know God? You do not understand God. Moreover, it can even be said that you have blasphemed against God. You have taken the small-mindedness of the world and tried to apply it to the house of God. Is that wise? In the world, you can walk the path of not offending anyone, being a “nice guy,” and that is wise in the world, but in the house of God, this is not wise. What would we call this kind of behavior in the house of God? Everyone in the house of God who is small-minded or advocates the worldly philosophies of Satan is foolish, or worse, an active agent in Satan’s deceptions. What are your principles for living in God’s house? Are you small-minded? Are you an active agent in Satan’s deceptions? Do you subscribe to the worldly philosophies of Satan? You don’t want to offend anyone, do you? You try to curry favor with everyone, the leaders, the workers in the church, taking pains not to offend anyone or step on anyone’s toes. You thought that in doing so you would prosper and be happy in God’s house, isn’t that right? This is foolish. God is not pleased. What is the truth? You can obtain the pleasure of God. You can obtain God’s approval and please God. That is the truth. That is wise. As it is, your ways have provoked God’s loathing, God’s disgust, God’s hatred. This is foolish. This is Satan’s deception. … Every kind of person in the church has been made manifest, so, which side are you on? Are you standing on the side of Satan, the antichrist, and their forces, or are you standing on the side of the people in the church who pursue truth and uphold the work of God? This question decides your fate. This is no small matter. …
People who want to be made perfect need to possess the work of the Holy Spirit and live in the stream of the Holy Spirit. To possess the work of the Holy Spirit, you must practice the truth. But, how do you live in the stream of the Holy Spirit? By uniting together with those who pursue the truth and standing on their side to serve together with them. What two things should you pay attention to if you pursue the truth and pursue being made perfect? First, you must practice the truth in order to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit. Second, you will only truly experience God’s work if you live in the stream of the Holy Spirit. Now, if you can do these two things, then you can certainly be saved and made perfect. If you are unable to do these two things, then you will simply be eliminated. The first thing is that people must practice the truth in order to have the work of the Holy Spirit. Here, “practicing the truth” means that you yourself need to practice the truth, pray to God, and have a normal relationship with God. Apart from that, in doing your own duty, if you do not serve God together with those who pursue the truth, how can the effect of the work of the Holy Spirit be maintained? People who go it alone have times when they are weak. This is because of the corruption of the flesh, and you do not know the day when something will come, something to tempt you and create a challenge, and then you will walk contrary to the truth and betray God. Can you maintain the work of the Holy Spirit like this? You cannot. So, if you want to ensure that the Holy Spirit is always doing a work inside of you, what is it that must be maintained? You must pursue the truth and serve God together with those who also pursue the truth. That way, when you are weak, they can help you. When you fall, there will be someone to pick you up. There will be someone to support you and help you in your walk. Only in this way will you be able to ensure that the Holy Spirit is continuously doing a work in you until you are made perfect. How important is it that you join with those who also pursue the truth to serve God together with one heart and one mind? What is the extent of its importance? Well, let’s just say that if you do not do this, then it will not end well for you. That is to say, it is just like going to a large mountain to mine for precious stones. Wouldn’t you want to take some people along with you for the journey? The danger is very great when going to a large mountain. First, the road itself is dangerous. There are forks in the road, and you might not know where to go so you go in the wrong direction and you cannot find what you are looking for. Sometimes you become stranded on the road and even half a month’s journey would not bring you back. Second, isn’t it dangerous to run into wolves or wild beasts on the way if you do not have any traveling companions? There are many dangers and difficulties on the road of belief in God and attaining salvation. If you do not have any traveling companions with you that also pursue the truth and you do not have the man used by the Holy Spirit to lead you, are you sure that you will be able to make it on this journey? Are you able to make the journey like this? It will be difficult. Don’t think that the things related to believing in God are so simple. In religious circles today, there are so many intellectuals and people who have PhDs believing in God, but how many of them actually know God? How many of them bear fruit? None of them. Why is that? The Holy Spirit is not leading them on the way. The leading of the Holy Spirit is somewhat of a vague phrase. If the Holy Spirit leads directly, God does not need to use Moses anymore. So, how does the Holy Spirit lead? He leads through people. If you leave the man used by the Holy Spirit and you say, “I accept the leading of the Holy Spirit, and I do not need any man to lead me,” what’s wrong with that? Don’t you know? There are some who say, “I do not listen to the man used by the Holy Spirit. It’s enough for me to accept the work of the Holy Spirit. I will just depend on the word of God myself, and that is how I will believe in God.” This kind of talk seems to be reasonable, but is it tenable? In the area of reason alone, it is tenable, but when put into practice it becomes untenable. Let’s see if we can find those who were in the house of God, who believed in God for more than ten years, and left the church more than ten years ago. He still has knowledge, a good education and excellent caliber, but if we take a look at his life, we will see that he has not grown in the faith. Isn’t this a fact? How is it that this person has not grown? It is because they have left the stream of the Holy Spirit. It is not necessarily that you cannot leave the man used by the Holy Spirit, it is that if you depart from the guidance of the man used by the Holy Spirit, you have left the stream of the Holy Spirit. If you depart from this stream, then it is over. It’s just like a person living in the desert. Will it go well for him if he only has the sun but has no sources of water? Belief in God is not simply a matter of depending on your own mind and then attaining it. If you do not have any man to lead and shepherd you, if you are not in the stream of the work of the Holy Spirit, that is absolutely not all right. Isn’t this a fact? There are some who say, “Doesn’t the man used by the Holy Spirit just rely on the book of God’s word and read it over and over, and then gain some light and enter into the reality of the truth?” Is this really the case? One has to receive the work of the Holy Spirit. He has to have the right mentality. It isn’t just a matter of being able to read, or how many words you know, or how great your intellect is, but it is a matter of having the correct mentality. You must have a heart of reverence before God. You must have an obedient heart. You must have a heart that wants to satisfy God. God searches the depths of man’s heart. God will only lead you to receive the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit once you have such a mentality. Moreover, you must practice the truth and do your duty. You must also cooperate with other brothers and sisters in the duty. It is only in this way that you will be able to enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit for a long time and know the truth and enter into the reality of that truth. There are some people who think, “I am a man of high caliber. I am highly educated, and I can write articles, therefore I can receive light just from reading the word of God. I can write out from my experience just from one reading.” But, is this line of reasoning tenable? If you look for this kind of person, will you be able to find them? You could try to take a couple of college graduates or even some graduate students and make them read a part of God’s word and see if they can receive light. Ask them to write out work arrangements for the church or even a sermon and see if they can do it. You could also try to find a newspaper reporter who believes in God and can write articles. Take this person and have them try to write also. Will they be able to do it? You can go and write the world’s articles, but can you write articles about life experience? Can you write sermons and fellowship? You do not even understand the terminology. You cannot speak the language of experience. How could you possibly write an article about it? What would some people say after reading the work arrangements and sermons from the above? “I understand at once. I can also write this. Aren’t these just a few sheets of paper?” Aren’t these words arrogant? They are very arrogant. There is no reason to it at all. They say it is just a few sheets of paper. They are truly arrogant. Then you can write out a sermon and I’ll share it with everyone. You can see if others will read it. Nobody will read it. Moreover, if I found some people who really understand the truth and let you fellowship with them, would you be able to? If I took some of the leaders and workers and let you water them and solve their problems, would you be able to? Would you be able to convince anyone? If I took these leaders and workers together and had you sit down in front of them, you would be diffident. You would sweat before you start talking. Do you think it’s so simple to gain the truth? Do you think you can gain the truth by relying on your own intelligence and education to read the word of God? The ignorant talk of such people is just too much. This is not a problem of being highly educated or not, and it is also not a matter of having believed in God for a long time or not. If you have believed in God for eighty years and you do not have the work of the Holy Spirit in you, that is also no use. It is all about the work of the Holy Spirit. The most important thing is the work of the Holy Spirit, being made perfect by the Holy Spirit. This is essential. Therefore, if you want to attain the truth, and you do not seek to receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and if you do not strive to live in the stream of the Holy Spirit, will you be able to reach the desired end? Living in the stream of the Holy Spirit is so important. What are the conditions for living in the stream of the Holy Spirit? You must do your duty in the church to serve God with others. That does not mean doing your duty outside the church like a lone wolf. You must often fellowship about the truth with other people who also pursue the truth and accept the pruning, support, and loving care of other believers. It is only in this way that you will be able to grow up in life.
How Can We Live Out the Likeness of a Real Man and Practice Living in Harmony With One Another?
As we live our lives in the church, how are we to strive to build up together with other brothers and sisters? You must first have knowledge of yourself. You must look inside yourself and reflect. After you first know yourself, the second step is to accept the pruning of others. You need to have some self-awareness. Never speak of doctrines or seek to rule over them or try to teach people from a position of authority. It is only in this way that you will be able to live in harmony with others. If you want to achieve peace with brothers and sisters, then you must possess normal humanity. There are many people who cannot get past this barrier. Isn’t this true? So, if you want to get along well with those who sincerely believe in God and pursue the truth, then you must depart from some corrupt dispositions, especially arrogance and aversion to obedience. If you do not sand off these edges, then there’s no way that you will be able to get along with other people. Instead, it is as if you had horns on your head and thorns on your body. How then will you be able to live in harmony with other people? So, if you want to build up together with all of God’s chosen people and get along harmoniously with them, won’t there be a lot of suffering involved? Wouldn’t you need to experience a lot of pruning? Wouldn’t this require you to treat yourself in the correct manner and put aside yourself? You need to have some self-awareness. You need to have sense and reason about you. You must possess all of these things. This is not a simple thing. So, is it easy for two people to get along together in harmony, to get along together harmoniously with most people, without generating any hostility in the course of a couple of years of normal life together? Is it easy for hostility and conflict not to arise in an interpersonal relationship? No, it is not. Moreover, when it does arise, what should be done about it? It needs to be resolved. You must seek the truth. You must accept the truth. If there is no truth, then there will be no solution to the conflict. Isn’t this true? So how many of the edges of your personality have been sanded off? How many have your corrupt dispositions been dealt with? How many of them have you removed? There are some people who are embarrassed right from the moment they are together with other brothers and sisters. They cannot even sit across from some people in a meeting. They say, “I just can’t even look at them. Just one look and I feel uncomfortable, like there is anger whelming up inside of me.” What kind of disposition is that? They are unwilling to be in contact with other people and just live alone. They go on believing in God independently of other people. What is the problem with this kind of people? They lack normal humanity. They are strange, eccentric, solitary people. So, what is your disposition now? Are you able to get along well with most people? If you like being a loner, an isolated person, then there is something wrong with your disposition. So, what do you need if you are going to live among many people? Some people say that you must have wisdom. However, how long can you only depend on wisdom? You yourself have not changed. If you only rely on wisdom, after a while, your corrupt disposition will rise up and shake off whatever wisdom you might have, and that will not work. So, you need to pursue the truth. You need to deal with your own corrupt disposition and then use wisdom to treat some people correctly. That way you will resolve many of the difficulties that you may have in living among many people. There were many conflicts that would have arisen naturally but were resolved by your early action. You use truth to resolve them. You use a true change in your own disposition to resolve them. For example, if you are walking down the road and you have to pass through a door, and the door is five feet high and you are seven feet tall, what are you going to have to do to get through that low door? You would probably say that you would have to bow your head. So, can you bow your own head? Is it easy for you to bow your own head? What is the greatest difficulty at this moment? You need to bow your head. So, this is an issue whether you can bow your head or not. To say that you are able to bow your head is just a doctrine, but whether or not you can actually bow your head is a practical issue. If you cannot bow your head, will you be able to get through this door? What are the consequences of saying, “I will get through this door, but I am not going to bow my head”? You will hit a wall. Now can you bow your head? Yes, you can. Again, for example, say there is a leader, and he is not as good as you, but he speaks the truth. Would you be able to obey it? There is another person, and they are not as good as you, but they have a good idea. Would you be able to accept it? People say that they would be able to accept it and that it is a doctrine, but when it comes to actually putting the idea into practice, what is this principle called in action? This is the principle of obedience. Being able to put obedience into practice is an amazing thing. You must first know yourself and see what is wrong with yourself. You cannot complain about the height of the door that you need to step through. For example, are your father or mother as tall as you? Are they as good looking as you? Most are not. Then why would you call them father and mother? That is because you have acknowledged this fact. It does not matter how tall they are, and it also doesn’t matter how good looking they are, but one thing does matter: “They are my father and mother. It does not matter how ugly or short they may be; I still need to call them father and mother.” What kind of principle is this? It is a principle of respecting the facts. If you want to live among people and get along with brothers and sisters in harmony and build each other up, you need to respect this fact: “I am no better than other people. Perhaps I am more highly educated than other people. Perhaps I am better looking than other people. Perhaps there are some areas where I am particularly gifted. Perhaps I am particularly good at speaking. Or maybe I can even dance or sing or handle other affairs well. However, that does not necessarily mean that I have the truth, that I have a good humanity. These are all facts, and I have to respect the facts.” If you can respect the facts, then you have self-awareness. There are some people who become arrogant just because they are well-educated and so look down on others. Don’t you think this is a little bit ridiculous? What is the worth of being highly educated? You only have a bit more learning or knowledge than others and yet you become insufferably arrogant. People’s minds are like stinking puddles, oozing out knowledge, and what kind of thing is that? Is that something worth being proud and arrogant about? Is that an advantage in any way? This is not an advantage. Only the truth is an advantage. Those who attain the truth are the only ones who have an advantage. Mere knowledge is not an advantage. This is because God does not commend it and He does not recognize it. Mere knowledge is not the truth; it is not life. God likes it when the truth is deeply rooted in your heart. That is the reality of the truth. It comes from God, and it is what God gives to people so that they may have life. What is knowledge? It is nothing. It is something harmful. It is something that makes people arrogant. It is a vain thing. It is something that can only corrupt people. So, we must use the word of God to determine if something is valuable or not. Mere knowledge is worthless. Is the possession of knowledge worth being arrogant? Is it worth looking down on others because of it? No, it is foolishness. Can you use knowledge to save yourself? Not only can you not save yourself, on the contrary, you have trapped yourself. Everyone who has knowledge looks down on and spurns the truth. They are all arrogant and do not accept the truth. Isn’t this true? You must see things according to this fact. Doesn’t knowledge simply ruin a person and trap them? Therefore, you must understand this matter clearly. If you can understand it, then you will not be arrogant as far as to forfeit your own ability to reason. I have encountered some people who have knowledge. The more time I had in contact with them, the more I lost hope for them. Of course, some are good, and they also have their own strengths, but the more contact I had with them, the more I felt that this knowledge was of no use and did not help them to understand the truth and enter into the reality of the truth. Finally, once a person has knowledge, it is something that is very hard to deal with. There are many regulations and the many evil things that are inside the person that resist the truth. So, it slows down their ability to enter into the truth. In order to live in harmony with God’s elect, it is necessary to know yourself. You must know that you are just as bad as everyone else. You must first solve the problem of your own arrogance. You must solve the problem of your corrupt disposition, especially the views that you hold that are unreasonable or the teachings of Satan. Moreover, you must be the kind of person who treats others correctly, not looking down on anyone, even if they have faults or flaws. Every person has their own strengths. No one is good for nothing. People have shortcomings, but at the same time, they also have things that they are good at. Nobody is perfect. Once you have understood this, then you will be able to treat others correctly. In this way, you will not become arrogant and unreasonable. Wouldn’t you say that first solving the problem of our own arrogance and then facing the issue of getting along with others is a much easier solution? Arrogance in a person is like having two long, wide horns. It is not easy to walk through a crowd with these horns. When you try to walk down an aisle, whether you lower your head or raise your head, you are not getting through. You will always be hitting this and scraping that. You will always be locked in constant strife with other people. Have you found that in trying to get along with other people you have any long horns or thorny places on your body? How can these problems be resolved? Is it all right to not seek the truth? Is it all right to not know yourself? If you do not resolve the corruption within yourself, that simply will not do. So, in your life with the church, if you want to get along harmoniously with God’s chosen people, you need to resolve the many issues related to your own corruption. Once the issues related to your own corruption are resolved, then you will be able to get along harmoniously with any of God’s chosen people. Once the issues that you have related to normal humanity have been resolved, then you will have regained your humanity. How can the issues related to regaining your normal humanity be resolved? If you leave the church, can they be resolved? When God’s chosen people live their lives together, it inevitably produces friction which reveals our corruptions. It reveals our Satanic disposition. It reveals innumerable areas where we are not acting in accord with the truth. Then we are able to come to a knowledge of these things through reflection and receive pruning. Then, before we know it, there have been some changes. Then, it becomes easier to get along with other people. Being able to get along with any kind of person, even if you had to share the same bed, with full assurance that it would not produce any friction or cause you to be locked in constant strife, isn’t that what it means to have normal humanity? This is the standard for normal humanity. If you do not know “what my normal humanity is like, how much normal humanity I can live out, and how much normal humanity I have,” then just try to get along with people and you will know. Just see how many difficulties it can still produce. If you do not live in the church and do your duty, then you will never truly know yourself. You will never resolve the problem of your own corruption. You will never be able to live out normal humanity, which is the likeness of a real man. Isn’t this true? If you only live within your family circle, will your corrupt disposition be able to be resolved? As you act like a spoiled child and throw tantrums with your parents and your husband and act like an imposing mother toward your children, that satanic, corrupt disposition of yours grows day by day. If you were in the church, toward whom would you act in this way? There wouldn’t be anyone in the church with whom you could act this way. At home, you cry and make a lot of noise. Whom would you be able to do this to in the church? As soon as you start to cry or make noise, everyone would see you as just a small child. They would look down on you. Therefore, you must endure. You must hold back. And, slowly, you are ground, and sanded, and shaped into normal humanity. Isn’t life in the church good? Living in the church slowly changes you. It allows you to take on normal humanity. Do not flee from it. You should not think that there are some people you don’t like, or there are others who are always prejudiced against you, and therefore you do not want to get along with them or even participate in meetings or live with the church. This is wrong. You are merely being deceived by your own intellect. The more self-willed you are, the more of an unfavorable situation you will find yourself in. You will not mature. Do not be self-willed. Living in the stream of the Holy Spirit means living with the church, regularly being able to do your own duty, pursuing the truth, pursuing a change in your disposition. Finally, when you are able to get along harmoniously with all of your brothers and sisters and serve God together in harmony with everyone, you will be living out your humanity in an acceptable way. When you thus live out your humanity, doesn’t this mean that you have become a new person? Isn’t this what is meant by living out the word of God? It is in this way that you live out the likeness of a real man.