Try to remember that the Sermon on the Mount wasn’t given as a new, revised law system or way of living. It was to show religious performers they were in desperate need of a Savior. Now, how do we become like Jesus? His message reveals the futility of our human effort thus we are driven to seek salvation and transformation from a savior.
Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
What does it mean, “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father in heaven is perfect?” What is perfection? In the New Testament the major word for perfection is “teleios.” This word means complete, blameless, as when a ship is fitted out perfectly for sea. How can we be perfect when we know we’re so far from it? The scripture is clear that we are all sinners. We all come short of God’s glory.
All people fall short. No one will ever enter heaven by his own effort. You must turn away from your own efforts completely and instead receive the perfection which God provided for you. Only what God does is perfect. So, if you are to reach the perfection God requires, it must be as the result of His working in you. Most people have bought into the lie that being pretty good is going to get us into Heaven. We don’t realize God’s standard is perfection.
Just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Let’s look at the verse in reverse order. It all begins with God. The standard of righteousness is not pretty good but God in His perfection. He is perfect in holiness and justice. He can’t turn His back on our sin because He’s perfectly holy and perfectly just. God isn’t going to lower His standard down to our level; He came in human flesh and through the cross brings us up to His level through the shed blood of His Son.
Hebrews 10:14 “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”
By ourselves, we aren’t perfect in our behavior or our attitudes. However, through His death, burial and resurrection we are made complete and whole and as we allow Him to live through us it transforms our attitudes and actions.
Colossians 2:9-10 “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”
Jesus is the full expression of the Godhead. God the Son is the full expression of the Trinity. The foundation is in that Christ is complete and there is nothing lacking in Him.
You are complete in Him. Jesus is the one who made us perfect in Him. He places us in Him and gives us the wholeness and completeness we need. You who have been born-again are whole in Him.
Today accept that your spirit is already perfect? You are complete in Him. You’ll never grow in your experience while you’re trying to improve yourself through self-effort. It’s only when you come to the end of your striving and have a heart to receive that you’ll experience all He has for you.
I’ll be traveling with Randy Chollar and Nathan Heape through South Asia the next few weeks. If you need anything at all just send me a text or email. I’ve got some incredible teachers lined up to bless you. Thank you for allowing me to be your shepherd. If you’d like to help us minister to the lepers you can give through Faith Bible and designate it AED leprosy mission.
You are loved!