Romans 12: 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The bible hints that there is a perfection that exists, and it is pointed to be our goal, and yet is it really obtainable? I have been a Christian from 30+ years now and I would like to think I am a better Christian than I was in those early years when I was a firebrand full of fervency, but not much wisdom. But i will be the first to tell you that I am far from perfect. I have been back to square one so many times in my life that I have squatting rights. So what is this perfection and can we attain it?
James tells us that perfection is made in us as our faith is tried. This speaks of maturity in Christ
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Here perfection is a completeness.
Matthew 5 tells us that perfection is found in love for others..
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor[g] and hate your enemy.’44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[h] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren[i] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors[j] do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
If we could love as purely as God does, then we would be perfect. But that too seems like an unobtainable goal. I know that such a perfect love for everyone is very difficult for me.
In Matthew 19 we find that we may become perfect by giving up what we hold most dear
Matthew 19: 16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good[e] Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good?[f] No one is good but One,that is, God.[g] But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and yourmother,’[h] and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”[i]
20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.[j]What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
And here we learn two lessons, the first being that the less there is of us, the more there is of God and the more perfect that we become. Second you will note that the rich man wanted to know what HE COULD DO to earn eternal life. And this is where our hope lies.
We of ourselves cannot become perfect, we cannot hope to attain to a perfection as long as we live in this body of sin and death. We will deal with imperfection in every breath. But the less there is of us in the equation and the more there is of Him, the closer to perfect we can become.
So if we are called to be perfect and yet perfection cannot be attained, then how do we in fact obtain the unobtainable? Through the Grace Of God
2 Corinthians 12: 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Where we are weak, He makes us strong. We cannot earn perfection, we cannot obtain it, and be can not be it. But we do know perfection and His name is Jesus. And where we fail, he fills the gaps, he covers the sin. he takes us the rest of the way.
Do not make the mistake in thinking that since Jesus fills the gap we can lie back and forget about trying to obtain this perfection. We must do what we can, as much as we can if we intend to be mature, producing Christians
As Paul exhorts us in Philippians 3
Philippians 3: 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Not that I have already attained or am perfect but I press on that I may lay a hold of that which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Perfection. The perfection we seek is in the hands of Jesus, and He is keeping a hold of it until such time as we can attain it.
And when is that time?
Revelation 22: 1 And he showed me a pure[a] river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
Until that day we hold on to the hope, in Jesus Christ that we will see that day and that time when perfection is ours.
Colossians 1: 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which[d] is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
Until the day when we all meet in perfection, Press on my brothers and sisters, Press On