Summary: Are you a Baby in Christ or a Child Growing in the Grace of God? We can experience real joy through our spiritual growth.
Are you a babe in Christ or a Child Growing in the Grace of God?
Straight into the question: Are you perfect?
In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says “you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Did Jesus really say that?
Did Jesus really mean what he said?
Over the years there have been different reactions to this verse.
Some have glorified it, some have denied it,
some have tried to explain it or rationalise it away, others have just ignored it as being too difficult or costly to their chosen way of life.
Let’s look at the verse in context: Matthew 5:43-48
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
We are a work in progress, we are being perfected, we are being changed and transformed by the Stream of Love, Mercy and Grace that flows from Father God.
Right now, when Our Heavenly Father looks as us He sees us through the covering of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.
When the Father looks at us His Children He sees perfection!
But, that does not excuse us from living how ever we want to.
It does not excuse us from allowing the Holy Spirit to bring change and transformation to our daily lives.
Perfection may seem like an impossible possibility.
As Christian’s we are called to try to do something that we can never fully accomplish in our own strength.
What does it mean to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect?
It means more than just cleaning up external, visibile, evidence of sin in our lives.
It means more than just saying and doing “the right things” when there are other Christians around you.
It’s about going on with God, growing-up in Grace, doing and saying and living in a way that demonstrates our love of our Lord and Savior.
Striving for perfection in attitude, in service, in love, in Holiness, in Christ-like-ness.
A desire to be perfect as our Father is perfect.
The Greek word translated as “perfect” in Matthew 5:48 is teleios.
The root meaning of teleios is to realize the purpose for which something is planned.
In the Greek language, an animal without spots that was suited for sacrifice was called teleos.
A student who had mastered a subject was called teleos.
It is recorded that Oliver Cromwell once said, “He who stops being better stops being good.”
We should be determined to be better in our daily lives. Our salvation should make us uncomfortable when we sin.
Once we have been saved, we should hunger for perfection.