IS PERFECTION POSSIBLE?

In Genesis 17 God said to Abraham “Walk before me, and be blameless.” If that’s not enough, Jesus said, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Are you serious? Blameless and perfect? What does this mean to me? Is God dangling the proverbial carrot in front of us, all the while knowing we can never measure up, or is there some way for us to fulfill these over-the-top demands?

I think most would agree the God of the Bible is a perfect God, right? And the Bible tells us Jesus was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). So, a blameless, perfect God telling us to be blameless and perfect seems to be valid, right? The problem then isn’t on God’s side, it’s on ours. What are we going to do then?

If you think about it, this perfect God gave us the Ten commandments and they essentially are telling us the same thing. When the commandment says, “Do not lie, or bear false witness, it means not even one! When it says, “Do not commit adultery, and Jesus said, “don’t even lust in your heart”, it means what it says. It’s the same with the rest: don’t murder, covet and so on. So for those of us who are honest with ourselves we eventually come to the conclusion that left to ourselves, we’re doomed. It may seem odd to some but that’s the conclusion God intends. Left to ourselves we have absolutely no hope of being blameless and perfect, yet the command still stands.

This is why God Himself came here in the flesh. John told us, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). You see the perfect God became the perfect man, in order to live the perfect life, die the perfect death, to perfect all who receive Him. According to Hebrews 10:14 “By one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” Did you catch that? He (God in the flesh) gave Himself as an offering for sin once and for all in order to fulfill His own demands on humanity.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans he declares “those of us who have been baptized into Christ have been baptized into His death.” He then goes a bit further saying, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). After establishing that we have died to sin he goes on to declare we have also died to the Law (Romans 7:4).

After discovering we have been crucified with Christ, died to sin and died to the Law, Paul then drops another big revelation on us. In Romans 8 he tells us the Law couldn’t do the job anyway because we simply couldn’t obey. He said, “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:3-5). Did you catch that? What we couldn’t do, “God did.” So what God has done is moved into us, by way of His Spirit, and He now lives out the blameless, perfect life He requires of us. Once we see that we have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us, we will begin to walk in the very blameless perfection He demands.

Jesus Himself said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The key here is nothing. As long as we are attempting to live the Christian life, as if independent of Christ, we are doomed to feelings of condemnation and failure, which is as it should be. The Gospel means “good news” and the good news is Christ in you, is the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27). Paul said, “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete (perfect) in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). So you see perfection is possible, but only to those who are in the perfect one who is Christ. This is why the Bible admonishes us to walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh. “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8).

Louie

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7 thoughts on “IS PERFECTION POSSIBLE?

  1. I like the way John put it in first John–I write to you to not sin..but if you do…remember we have an advocate before the Father–it always amazes me how God can still love us even when we do sin–I studied first John when I was in bible school years ago and what I learned is that in this writing he mentions sin a lot and when he does he is talking about an act of sin not a flowing river of it– I have studied the teaching of–sinless perfection and have always noticed that in the end the teachers admit that they did not reach it–my deduction on the matter is this–when we get saved it’s our spirit being that gets regenerated but afterwards our blood is still the same..it’s poisoned by the tree that Adam ate from and we won’t get rid of it till we get our new bodies..but in the meantime we will be less prone to the acts of sin.

    • Amen Kenneth. The term “sinless perfection” may imply a Christian cannot commit a sin but that’s not what I’m talking about. My thing is why do we limit God? It seems most people think we sin all the time. My question is if God can keep me from lying for instance how many other sins can He keep me from? I think we assume we’re going to sin because we have been trained to be sin-conscious. As far as I can tell the Bible teaches us to be Christ-conscious, right? That, I believe, is the key.

      Keep your eyes on Jesus!
      thanks,
      Louie

  2. I was listening to Ravi Zacherias the other day and he said (as usual) some very interesting things. The statement that first caught my attention was when Ravi talked about people who live close to sin. Going right up to the edge. How people that he’s talked to after meetings say things like, “I don’t understand why I did that… I don’t understand why I watched or read or put that into my head”. Then Ravi talked about Daniel had how he tried to stay as far away from sin as he possibly could. My point is that the ones of us that live at the edge are not living with Christ in us. We are still working at or on being a Christian. Daniel surrendered to God and lived as if God were with him. Looking at God as living and not as some idea or abstract concept…

    • If “We” are still working at being a Christian “we” haven’t quite got the revelation yet. Christ in us is what being a Christian means. I heard someone say today the Apostle Paul never called anyone “Christian” in his letters, but he did talk plenty about being “In Christ.” The good news about being “In Christ” is He lives the Christian life in us and as us.

      God designed human beings to dwell within. The fall temporarily thwarted that plan but then Christ was crucified, buried and raised back again. Now He lives within each believer therefore perfecting us. Perfect means a thing, namely us human beings, operates the way it was designed to operate. God’s designed us for His Spirit to live in and through therefore once He takes up residence within us we are “PERFECT.”

      thanks Brian it’s good to hear from you,
      Louie

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