Pastor Clint Magnus
Mathew 5:48, “You must therefore be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
Do you remember the song, “O Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way. I can’t wait to look in the mirror, ‘cause I get better looking each day?”
We chuckle when we hear the words to this song because they remind us of our imperfectness, and it is funny to hear it put in such a tongue-in-cheek fashion.
If you were to ask the average person on the street if they thought they were perfect or had a chance to achieve perfection in this life, you wouldn’t likely find too many who say, “Yes.”
The Apostle Paul puts it like this in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
No, most people would agree with the statement, “Nobody is perfect.”
So what does Jesus mean when He says, “You must be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect?”
On the surface there would seem to be a major contradiction.
But think about this; if Almighty God who is perfect in every way, is going to give us a standard on how to live our lives, He isn’t going to say, “Just give it the old college try and that’s good enough.”
A perfect God does not give us an imperfect standard to live by.
In fact, the major contradiction would be if He didn’t demand perfection!!
And this is the crux of the whole thing. Most people have a murky idea about what God’s criteria for eternal life in heaven is.
They have this warm and fuzzy idea that God grades us on a scale and if we manage to make the grade, then they are good to go.
It sounds nice; but unfortunately that concept is based on wishful thinking and not on the Bible. What God demands of us in His Word is perfection.
But, “No one is perfect;” so we have a bit of a dilemma. But take heart, God has provided a way.
Because we are unable to meet His standard of perfection, God in His mercy sent His Son Jesus Christ to do what we are unable to do for ourselves.
We need someone outside of ourselves to save us…and that person is God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
He lived a perfect life and then gave His life on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for your sins and mine.
And because God accepted His sacrifice on our behalf, He raised Jesus from the grave in victory over sin and death so that through simple faith in the One who was perfect for us (Jesus Christ), we will not perish but receive eternal life.
We are covered in Christ’s perfect blood and His perfectness is attributed to us. That is the gospel; not what we can achieve on our own, but what God does for us through faith in Christ.
So do you want to be perfect? In God’s eyes you can be and, in the long haul, His are the only eyes that matter.