The word “perfect” according to Webster means:
- being entirely without fault or defect : flawless perfect diamond>
- satisfying all requirements : accurate
- corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept perfect gentleman>
- faithfully reproducing the original; specifically : letter-perfect
- legally valid
Jesus Christ was the only human being to satisfy everyone of these definitions. He was without fault, satisfied all of the righteous requirements of the law, he was the perfect man, as a son he reflected his father perfectly, and he was the only legal and valid person to redeem us from our sins. The Lord provided a perfect salvation for us to experience. In other words, when we are saved, we are perfectly saved. There is no such thing as an imperfect salvation.
The word sin in the Bible simply means missing the mark. The mark, describes the bull’s-eye at the center of the target. The mark is the righteous standard given by God for humanity to live up to. The Law, exposed our inability and inaccuracy to hit this bull’s-eye of God standard. However, when I put my faith in this perfect Jesus, he puts me in right standing with the Father. His meritorious work is what has achieved this perfect standing with God and not the result of my own feeble deeds. Then, the Lord will provide his ability for me to use in living up to the standard of God and hitting the moral bull’s-eye throughout my life, so that others can see me as an example of Christ living through me.
Every time that I obey the word of God when confronted by a situation in life, it will produce a perfect response. If I do not obey God’s word, then I will miss the bull’s-eye and then the response to the situation will not be perfect. The sermon on the mount is filled with the standard of conduct expected of a Kingdom citizen of Heaven. As you read through Matthew 5-7, you will notice the multiple situations Jesus refers to, and then the God standard response to them.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
If someone insults, persecutes, or curses me, I am now faced with a decision. I can choose to retaliate and do to them as they have done unto me. In doing so, I will miss the mark and therefore an imperfect response will be made. However, if I choose to obey God standard and pray for them, speak kindly to them, and do good deeds in return for the evil, then I have hit the bull’s-eye and given a perfect response. We have been given the ability by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation to respond in a godly way to all situations. There really is no excuses because no one forces us to choose one way or the other. Satan does not have the ability to force you to make a decision that you don’t want to make. On the other hand, God will not violate your freedom of choice.
2 Corinthians 7:1
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Perfection in the Bible also has much to do with growth and maturity. As we consistently obey the word of God in the situations that we face in life, we become practiced. You have often heard it said “practice makes perfect.” The more I practice the word, the more developed I become. What am I doing? By continually obeying God’s word, he in turn is perfecting my life. The Lord is maturing and growing me more and more in His image.
When you make a mistake or human error – right away – someone may say “I thought you were so perfect!” Human perfection without mistakes and human errors is an impossible achievement in this lifetime. As time goes on though, we should make fewer of them as we grow in knowledge and spiritual development. Even in the natural, I shouldn’t be making the same blunders I did when I was 10 years old. The sin functionality in my life should have died at the cross, and the new nature should be growing every day inside of me through purposeful application of the word in every situation I face.
What are you going to do?
Today when someone lies on you – cuts you off in traffic – treats you badly – what are you going to do in return? What will your response be? The perfect Word or the imperfect flesh in the response? It’s all up to us isn’t it?