Having begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh?
I really hope that i NEVER feel that i am perfected by the flesh. We are saved by our faith, and we receive the Spirit by faith. Why would we ever think that we are perfected by doing good works? Perfection comes through Christ, we cannot be perfect until we pass from this earth, where our sanctification will be complete. Is it wrong to do good works? Is it wrong want to be perfect? No and No. The problem lies in the pursuit of perfection and "right" living as opposed to living or Christ and letting HIM be our perfection. We are to live out lives for Christ and resting in the knowledge that HE is our completeness, HE is our perfection. If we do this, we can eliminate the legalism that prevails in the church today. Christ doesn't call us to be something that we are incapable of. We are incapable of true perfection, but we are capable of living a life that represents Christ and advances the truth.
This does not mean that we sin freely, we are still called to be set apart. Living Holy is a part of our serving of Christ, but the motivation is not reward, the motivation is Christ himself. Living for Christ includes doing good works. Doing good works doesn' always include living for Christ. In fact if the good works that you do outside of Christ are being done because you are "supposed" to do it, then you might as well not do it at all. If you do not serve out of Christ, then you are serving out of yourself. This leads to self-righteousness and wrong motives for service. The ONLY motive for service is Christ. Christ calls us to serve others, we do it because we love Christ, we love others through Christ. Christ calls us to love and serve others....It all starts at the cross, not out of ourselves. There can be no room for boasting. "Hey come look how good i look!" is not the right response. We serve because Christ served, any other form of service is not righteous service.
Legalism and Cheap grace....i pray that i escape from one, but not run to the other. run to Christ instead.