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Cleansed and Abiding

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About the author:
Being a PK (Preacher's Kid), I was raised with a familiarity and general understanding of the Bible. During my high school years I determined to read the Bible all the way through and study it in-depth in order to be able to know what it is I truly claimed to believe and whether or not I actually believed it all for myself. It was also during this time that I began regularly pillaging my Dad's library for books on everything from the Historical Jesus, to Christian Ethics, World Religions, Theology and Apologetics.

By the time I got to college, I had a hunger for Biblical and Theological studies as well as Apologetics-based Evangelism. As an art major (AFA, Reinhardt College; BFA Univ. of GA) I had very little book study requirements, so I used those years to study on my own.
After graduation I spent a year working as Campus Outreach Intern at the UGA Wesley Foundation where I did small group Bible studies, Apologetics training, and open-air preaching on campus (something I think every preacher and teacher should be required to do at least once!).

After Wesley, I headed north and began my M.Div studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA. It was during my first year at GCTS that I fell in love with the Hebrew Bible (Thank you Gordon Hugenberger, Doug Stuart, Jeff Niehaus, Gary Pratico and Walt Kaiser!).

After two great years in Boston, I transferred down to GCTS' Charlotte campus (Thank you Leighton Ford!) and began attending Good Shepherd UMC where I helped develop Fusion, the young adult ministry that a couple had started just before I arrived (Thank you Don and Cheryl!).

In 2004 a position at GS opened up and I was eventually hired as Pastor of Discipleship where I served until 2009 (Thank you Talbot!). During my 5 years on staff I oversaw Adult Discipleship, Teaching and Small Group ministries. This was an amazing time that allowed me to continue my Biblical Studies, not in an ivory-tower academic environment, but in the day-to-day life of the local church. The classes and small groups I was blessed to lead at GS were the perfect place to learn, grow and develop my gifts and calling as a teacher (Thank you, Good Shepherd family!).

I know that God is leading me toward further studies, and I am looking at various options for potential Ph.D study. In the meantime, I want to do everything I can to teach and equip everyone within the Body of Christ to wield the Sword of the Spirit with accuracy and precision!

Cleansed and Abiding

A Proposed View of Christian Perfection

Authored by JM Smith

"Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." -Jesus

Since He uttered these words, Jesus' followers have often been quite puzzled over their meaning. How can anyone be 'perfect'? Isn't sin inevitable for all humans, even those who've given their lives to Christ?

Over the centuries various theologians from various traditions have attempted to describe what it means--and what it DOESN'T mean--to "be perfect." Some Christians have claimed to have reached a state of perfection in which they no longer struggle with sin. Others have claimed that perfection is an unattainable goal so long as we are in this fleshly body. Cleansed and Abiding seeks to offer an alternative view of Christian 'perfection' than those which are commonly associated with the term.

Though this is indeed a controversial doctrine (and has been for hundreds of years!), it need not be a divisive one. Believers all agree on the reality of sin, the necessity of sanctification, and the fact that Scripture calls us to somehow be 'perfect.' How these are worked out in detail is where the differences lay.

It is for the purpose of clarifying the debate that this book is offered. Not every reader will be persuaded by the view proposed in its pages, but hopefully every reader will be persuaded that holiness is not some minor point of doctrine meant only to be pondered by theologians safely within the confines of academic debate.

Rather, it is the call of Jesus on the life of every person who claims to be His follower.

Publication Date:
1475128088 / 9781475128086
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5" x 8"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Religion / Christian Theology / General

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