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(PURSUIT OF PERFECTION)
SCRIPTURE MAT 5:48 DECEMBER, 2017
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
SUBJECT THE PERSUIT OF PERFECTION!!
The message for this month is one that should be of interest to everyone that calls themselves a Christian.
Have you ever heard, or responded to the admonishing by someone, to change their/your evil ways, by saying, 'nobody's perfect?!'
The implication is, since no one is perfect[or able to be without sin], then, there is no sense in trying to be something that is not possible.
However, those of us that know Christ, know one major thing about Him and that is, He never asks, or in this case, commands us to do or be something that He knows is impossible for us to do.
Therefore, with that being the case, then the whole idea of 'nobody's perfect', is nothing more than man's feeble attempt to justify his continuing in his sinful ways.
Now let me say this.
The perfection that Christ is talking about here, is perfection in the mind and eyes of God, and not man.
Left up to man, depending on the circumstances, no one will ever be perfect, in their eyes, no matter how long they have lived, what could be called a model life. If they are 80 years old, and at the age of 12, they stole something,
or even said a bad word, then that would be enough for some people, being admonished by them to 'get right with God',
to remind them of their past, and tell them to 'butt out!!!'
We often see this type of mentality in all aspects of our lives, especially in politics.
How many times have you seen a politician, mostly Democrats, when running against a Republican, that may have the lead, bring up something that the person did over 20 or more years ago, as reason for people not to vote for them???
What they are saying is, you did something all those years ago, and no matter how good you have been since then, you are still guilty in our eyes.
Let me get a little more personal.
Recently, say in the past week, someone did something to you that was not criminal, but made you very angry at them, and you as a result, refuse to let it go, even though they apologized to you, and you accepted it. Yet, if the time comes up, for you to possibly support this person in some endeavor of theirs, you refuse to do so, because of what they did to you.
Blacks, because of past atrocities over 50 years ago, tend to hold all whites, regardless of how much they try to appease them, as still being under suspicion of being 'racist.'
All of these things show the major flaw that man has, that makes him subscribe to the notion that, if they can't forget the wrongdoing of others in their lives, then, God, who is so much greater than us, and is all knowing, has to remember all of our past indiscretions, and with this being the case, then every one of us is still guilty in His eyes, and there is no way we can be 'perfect!!'
But, the problem is, GOD IS NOT LIKE US.
We want to make Him to be as fallible as us, rather than us, seeking to be more like Him, which is what being a Christian is all about.
I don't know of too many people that would tell you that God is a liar, at least not directly. However, their actions, what they say and do, say exactly that!!
I know today, there are those that claim to be 'saved'
, that consistently try to put 'guilt trips'
on other saints that, 'in love' try to tell them, they need to straighten their lives out, so that they can be what God wants them to be, and that is perfect, so He can bless them abundantly.
Their response shows both ignorance of God, and their spiritual immaturity. They enjoy what they are doing, and don't want to let go of it, so they respond about the other person's past, whether they know it, or not.
I willingly tell people about my past, even though, as far a God is concerned, it never happened.
How can I say this, you ask??
How about what God says??!!
Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SIN NO MORE.
God is saying, if a person repents of their wickedness, and asks His forgiveness, He will do it. But, not only that, He says He will not hold it against them, because He will cast it out of His memory.
If you couple that along with this, 1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
Remember earlier I said that as a Christian, our goal is to be more like Him/Christ??
And what are the main attributes of God/Christ??
He is perfect!! And, He is Righteous!!
Therefore, He has no sin in Him, and He sticks to His Word, and does not change.
Now, what does this mean to us??
It means that, as the title verse says, we are to be just like Christ, 'perfect!!'
What does being perfect in the sight of God mean??
It means to be without sin, or righteous.
And how do you obtain that condition?? By way of true repentance.
What do I mean by that??
I mean you are sincerely sorry, and you have made up in your mind that you are going to do whatever it takes, to keep away from that which you are repenting of.
It makes no difference if you occasionally 'stumble' or 'backslide' as they call it, God looks at your heart, which will tell Him how serious you are to straighten up.
How many times will He accept your repentance?? As long as you are serious about it.!!!
The key, once again is, what is in your heart.
People that go around claiming that no one is perfect, are showing God, that they have no intention of abandoning what they take pleasure in.
They even try to use biblical scripture to back that up.
Their favorite is, 1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
They say, 'See!! How can you say you are without sin [perfect], when it says right here, if you claim that, you are making God out to be a liar!!!'
Interestingly enough, they totally ignore the verse between these two, which you read earlier, which clarifies what appears to be a contradiction.
Both verses use a word, which most people overlook, or don't understand its relevance.
That word is 'have!!'
That word is used to describe something that is in your possession.
Examples: I have a car!! I have a house!! I have a million dollars. I have a wife. I have children. I have a cold. I have cancer.
Another example, as Christians should know is 'I have a sinful body!!
The Christian needs to know that even though you are saved, that applies to your spirit, and soul, not your body!!!
After Adam who was created, no man, aside from Christ, has ever been born with a body that was not corrupt. This means there is a constant battle between the flesh, and the spirit of a saved person.
As the bible puts it, Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Jas 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, EVEN OF YOUR LUSTS THAT WAR IN YOUR MEMBERS?
Jas 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world[unsaved] is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
In each of the verses, where you see the word 'members', it is referring to your flesh, or human nature.
Until you physically die, you will live in, possess, or have a physical house that will seek to satisfy itself, rather than submit to the Spirit living within it, if the person is saved.
So, in that case, those verses 1Jn 1:8,10,
are correct but not the way the ungodly try to make it appear.
The apostle Paul wrote, concerning his pursuit of 'perfection.' Phi 3:14 I PRESS toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Phi 3:15 LET US THEREFORE, AS MANY AS BE PERFECT, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Did you notice that word PRESS, in verse 14??? It means that you have to exert some type of force, to move 'toward', a specific position that has been placed before you. You can't get there sitting on your rear end, or resting on you laurels. You can't be going backwards!!
You definitely can't get there if you don't even try.
The goal, the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, is 'perfection' and 'righteousness.'
This is one thing the devil, using your flesh, doesn't want you, or anyone else to accomplish. And why is this??? It is because, the closer you get to being more like Christ[perfect and righteous], the less power the devil will have over you, and the more of God's power can be made manifest in your life to the point that you will become a threat to him[the devil].
Can you imagine yourself having power to, as Jesus said, Mat 10:8 HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEVILS: freely ye have received, freely give.
The reason the vast majority of people see no reason in changing their ways, is, they see nothing positive to change for. And the blame for that can be put at the feet of preachers, that, can't see it themselves. And the reason they can't see it is because, they are not being led by the Holy Spirit, and as such, they are blind as the proverbial bat!! And, as Christ says, Mat 15:14, Luke 6:39, Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Think about this!!
What if a person saw people that lived their lives in accordance with New Testament scripture, always being on top in everything, financially, in perfect health, being able to demonstrate the power of God, as Jesus said they could, John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, THE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO; AND GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL HE DO; because I go unto my Father,
Do you think that would be an incentive for them to start pressing towards perfection??!!! I know I would.
Personal experience is why I continue to defy what is carnal mindedness [thinking like the ungodly].
In order for you to experience it, you have to separate yourself from those that are unwilling to pursue that goal, that God has set before us, and strike out on your own. Otherwise, they will hold you down.
You can either sink, or swim, be the tail not the head, be beneath not above, be a borrower, not a lender, be imperfect, not perfect.
Be a victim instead of a victor. The list goes on!!!
Which one do you want to be?? It's all up to you!!!