“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matt. 5:48
In the Bible ‘perfect’ means: “Maturity, lacking nothing necessary to completeness, consummate human integrity and virtue.” It does NOT mean Godlike perfection but it DOES mean a heart of perfect devotion to God, walking in full obedience.
The axiom ‘no one is perfect’ is NOT found in the pages of Scripture. Basically this excuse was invented by the notion that God requires total and absolute perfection from man, and since NO human can achieve such a thing, Christ had to show up on scene, live a perfect life without sinning, offer Himself as a provision in man’s place to satisfy God so He would no longer see ‘sinful’ man but only Christ in his place. Man has but to ‘believe’ and ‘trust’ in this provision and be avowed ‘perfect’ in Christ (even though he remains wretched to the core). This is basically the premise of ‘Christian’ belief in the world today, which is another absurdity NOT found in the Bible. The reason it sells so well among present day believers is they have all been convinced, since the time of Augustine, that everyone is born in sin, saved in sin, and can NEVER stop sinning! Therefore, if they were to actually consider what the Bible says about perfection, sin, and purity of heart as truth, they would be terrified out of their wits. Imagine what this would mean to them ….. ‘NO fornicating Christians, NO drunken Christians, NO Christians living in the lust and filthiness of the flesh!’ That would empty out the ranks of professed believers in short order.
If a ‘believer’ actually had to ‘work out’ their salvation in fear and trembling and make their calling and election sure in Christ (Phil. 2:12; 2Pet. 1:10), by putting forth a genuine effort to ADD to their faith, it would be the end of fantasy land for a LOT of people. Thus, instead of constantly telling the people they are nothing more than poor helpless sinners saved by grace, the preachers would actually have to ‘present’ EVERY man perfect in Christ! (Col.1:27-28) and bring everyone to a full knowledge of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ! (Eph. 4:13), and be examples to the flock! (1Tim. 4:12)
Contrary to the daydream, we are required to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service and not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom.12:1-2)
The common excuse of everyone sinning daily in thought, word and deed is a DEADLY fallacy among the professed. These people live in constant defeat because they have never truly repented or strived to enter the narrow gate, dug deep to lay a firm foundation in Christ or counted the cost of discipleship. (2Cor. 7:10-11; Matt. 7:14; Lk. 6:48; 13:24, 14:28) If they had, their hearts would have been made truly PURE by obedience to the truth and the purging blood of Christ! (1Pet.1:22; Heb.9:14)
They say it’s ‘prideful’ to claim a departure from iniquity (2Tim. 2:19) or deeds befitting repentance (Acts 26:18), as though a person is seeking to self-justify if they obey Christ, stop sinning and DO what is right – exactly as the Master commands us to do – GO AND SIN NO MORE!!! (John 5:14, 8:11) Do we believe the same thing? Most of you don’t even believe what Jesus said is possible!
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:8-10
Perfection in Christ is DOING what He said to do. It’s a moral up-rightness, walking in purity of heart through faith working by love (Gal. 5:6). The lust of the flesh, eye and pride of life has been put to death in repentance and the mind is renewed by partaking of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). “Divine nature” (physis) does not mean the very essence of God Himself, as automatically assumed today, but rather has to do with “moral character” as the context clearly demonstrates.
What is taught today in many churches is that they have taken man’s ability to obey God out of the equation, and by doing so, have turned their followers into self fulfilled prophecy of defeat and ruin. Your only hope is to flee the System and turn to Christ.
Thanks to Mike Desario.