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Be Perfect, As Your Father in Heaven...

posted Mar 29, 2014, 1:34 PM by Nathanael Wheeler   [ updated Apr 11, 2018, 4:07 PM ]
I've been giving this a good amount of thought lately. It's been on my mind for the past week. Most of us are familiar with this verse in the Bible:

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect. 
- Matthew 5:48 (KJV)

But what does that really mean? Can we, as humans tainted by Adam's sin, actually be perfect? The second part of this, we generally accept - God is perfect. However, this first part provides us with some problems to overcome.

In the verses around this, Jesus is talking about being different than the world. He makes parallels between doing the good things that the world does in reciprocation. He tells us that we should be doing good things all the time, instead of reciprocating evil for evil. Then He tells us not to do things to gain recognition from men. He's definitely talking about some actionable items here.

"If a man could live the way Jesus has told us to in the chapter, he would truly be perfect." 
- David Guzik

I've already failed this "be perfect" thing. I try and I fail, then I ask forgiveness and I try again. But what if it's actually more than just trying to live a perfect life and treat other people perfectly? What if, when Jesus said this, He was actually making some statements about humanity, and about the nature of God?

God is perfect. As I said before, we generally accept this as fact. As a perfect God, He doesn't mess up, He doesn't make trash or junk - He makes us perfectly. And when we messed it all up, He provided the perfect means for us to be restored to perfection. See, if we think of ourselves as less than perfect, we are making the statement that God messed up, that He made us less than perfect, and that the sacrifice of His Son - Jesus Christ - is not enough to restore us to perfection.

What if all of the verses around this are telling us about the nature of God, and giving us amazing goals to strive for because of our gratitude for the perfect way God made us? 

"So, strike one. I didn't make it. I've come far from making it, therefore, I need help. And thank God he has provided that help that I needed through forgiveness through Jesus Christ through his shed blood for me." 
- Chuck Smith

Our perfection is found in Christ, and through the transformation of our lives by the power of His blood, we have a natural response to try to become more like the perfect God who has redeemed us. This is perfection - to be made perfect by the redemptive work of Christ.