“Perfect in Christ Jesus”

You have no doubt heard someone say, and perhaps you have said it yourself, “Well, no one is perfect!”  One usually says this in his own defense after failing to live up to a prescribed standard, or after making a mistake or error.  We misspell words on occasion, make mathematical errors, and even fail to repeat details accurately, thereby proving our imperfection.  Yes, everyone makes these types of mistakes which are usually of very little consequence.  And though we try to minimize these errors, most of us have probably concluded that we will never be perfect.

Probably the most difficult demand Jesus made of His disciples was, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mat 5:48).  You have probably seen the bumper sticker, “Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.”  While that is true, we must never stand behind such sayings in order to excuse our sins.  In fact, Jesus died for us in order that we might be holy, blameless, and above reproach (Col 1:22).  Paul wrote later in that chapter that the goal of his preaching and teaching the word of God was to present every person perfect in Christ Jesus (1:28-29).  Christians are not perfect but we are being perfected.  We should be striving for Christ-likeness.  Listen to how Paul put it, “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” (Philippians 3:12).  We will never be morally perfect in this life, but we should be growing toward it.  We will never be perfectly Christ-like, but we must strive to be more and more like our Lord.  We will never be sinless, but we must sin less and less!  One day we will be perfect in Christ Jesus.  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).