Your Vision: You Shall Be Perfect
I’ve occasionally found myself behind a car with the bumper sticker that smirks, “Next time you think you’re perfect, try walking on water!” I understand the intent of the message, even if it does smack of chastisement. But I have news for these well-meaning placard-wielding, motto espousing, Christians: I just might walk on water at any time. It has nothing to do with my perfection, but the inherited perfection of He who lives in me!
Do you know anyone who is perfect? Viewed from worldly, natural perception, none of us has ever met a perfect person. We meet people all the time that think they’re perfect, but we all know better. In this world, it is impossible for a human to be perfect. There are just too many mistakes, failures, and wrong ways of thinking that easily destroy perfection.
And really, what is perfection anyway? Who gets to decide the standard by which perfection is measured? Certainly not me, not you, not the church you attend, not your pastor, and not the government..
But there is a standard of perfection and that is God. He is perfect in every way.
30 As for God, His way is perfect;
God doesn’t just exist to be perfect. He also desires that His beloved children be perfect just as He is perfect.
48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
I used to avoid reading Matthew 5:48 at all costs. I knew that I could never ever be perfect and I just didn’t understand why God would expect this of me.
So how can we fallible humans ever achieve perfection? Under our own strength and by using any worldly methods and powers, we cannot ever achieve perfection in any way. But if we can’t ever be perfect, wouldn’t that make what God says in Matthew 5:48 a lie?
Since we know that God cannot lie, He must have provided a way for us to be perfect. And He surely has:
14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
God does not expect that we will not make mistakes. But He has decided to look past our blemishes and foolishness, and instead see the perfection living inside of us. Through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, we have been made perfect. Jesus was the final offering that eliminated our imperfections. We have been washed into righteousness through our faith in Jesus. God thereafter forever sees us as He sees Christ—perfect, unblemished, holy, pure, and righteous. And the word “forever” in Hebrews 10:14 means just that—forever!
Jesus says that we can be perfect before God the Father by joining into one perfect body with Jesus. This is the very heart of what it means to be “born again.”
21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
Being made perfect has nothing to do with our own worldly efforts. None of us can make ourselves perfect nor can anyone else make us perfect. No decree, award, statement, sentiment, compliment, or niceness can make us perfect. Only our union with Jesus Christ perfects us.
To assist in helping us be perfect, God has also provided apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers as gifts to His church:
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
These ministries to the church are there for one purpose: to perfect the saints! That’s you and me – and that’s great news for those of us who may be languishing in our perception that we are vastly imperfect. But in doing this we see only a false reality imprinted onto us by satan, and he longs for you to continue believing his lies.
While I may be VERY imperfect in the eyes of the world, and in the delight of the devil, I am absolutely perfect in the Kingdom of God. And because of my Kingdom perfection, I do expect to walk on water at any time.
The world is groaning for a few faithful who will torch that bumper sticker and walk on water, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, speak wisdom and knowledge, and restore perfection. All the hope of the world is counting on you to step out of the boat, spread His light into darkness, and bring His peace to their souls.
Let hope be manifest in your life! Don’t strive to be perfect in yourself. Simply receive perfection from God through your faith in Jesus Christ. Doing so will begin to reveal to you the wonderful benefits of perfection, including the right to walk on water. Start with puddles if you must, but expect the full miracle-working Power of God to flow through you in abundance.
Now go take that faithless bumper sticker off your car!
See the entire series of posts – Your Vision . . .
Copyright © 2013, Craig Tanner.
Scripture: Unless otherwise indicated, All Scripture is from The New King James Version (NKJV). (1996). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.