Perfection

Jesus tells us in Matt 5:48 that we should be perfect just as our heavenly Father is perfect. That’s a tall order and from a purely human perspective I have to think, is that even possible? Can we really live a life of perfection? Can we go through life without making mistakes or committing any sin? I tend to think that if Jesus said something, it must be possible. That might seem like an over simplification of faith but I really believe every direction or command that Jesus gave is something we can do. He wouldn’t have told us to do it if it wasn’t possible. He said “heal the sick” so we go out and heal the sick. And here he says “be perfect” so our reaction should be to live that out.
So, of course our first thoughts immediately go to sin. How can we live in perfection in light of sin? Can we go through a full day without sinning? How about a week? A month? Or even longer? I have heard preachers teach messages about grace and they usually say something about how they are not perfect and that they sin all the time. They are trying to make all of us feel better about our own mistakes, and that’s a valiant effort, but maybe we need to shift our perspective to what Jesus actually said.
Romans 6 paints this amazing picture of how, as Christians, we are no longer slaves to sin. Sin no longer has any authority over us because of what Jesus did for us. Verse 10 in the message version is my favorite one in this chapter, it says that “sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word.” I love this perspective. If we see ourselves fully submitted to Jesus, then we should see ourselves as slaves to righteousness. That would mean that sin is no longer our master which makes perfection a possibility.
This goes back to something I said in my last post. We sin because we don’t believe what God said about us. If we really believed that we were free from sin, we wouldn’t ever make another mistake. The other side of the coin is that we can’t get wrapped up in a performance mindset and beat ourselves up every time we do make a mistake.
Now, here’s my theological thought for the week that may border on heresy…or not. Perhaps the reason Jesus was 100% effective in healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, restoring lives, etc. is because he walked in 100% perfection. Every miracle Jesus performed was as a man anointed by Holy Spirit. We are also anointed by Holy Spirit and have access to everything Jesus has access to. Maybe if we really believe what God said about us we would see a lot more happen through us. I haven’t thought this part fully through yet, it’s a little raw, but there may be something to it.

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