On the 12th of October I had a heated conversation with one of my colleagues at work. I ended up totally fire up at the end of the discussion. This aftermath of this conversation had me engulfed in my thoughts for a while.
“This is a lengthy article thus please forgive on this”.
THE CHRISTIAN AND PERFECTION
We talked about a lot of things concerning the Christian, his Faith and other godly virtues. One of them was the issue of perfection. Written below are my colleague’s thoughts;
- The Bible states that “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23] – this means that man is bound to sin even after salvation because he is not perfect and can ever be perfect on earth. As a matter of fact, no man has ever attained the point of perfection on this Earth. All we can do is try our best to live a righteous and hope that on the judgment day, we might qualify in God’s eyes.
- Jesus Christ is an exception. There is no way any man can and should try of attaining his life status here on earth because it is simply impossible (He’s God and we’re men). He could live the perfect life but we can’t no matter what thus I should not make Christ as a point of reference when talking about man and perfection (apparently I had used Jesus as a possibility of man to attain perfection).
His perception on the subject on board did two things to me. It left me astonished and my emotional state concerning Christianity triggered as well (I took it very personal). I felt as though he was attacking both my Faith and my GOD thus I reacted quickly by making my perspective of God and Faith clear to him because I disagreed with him on the subject of “the Christian and Perfection”. The book of JOB tells a tale of a man who was described as ‘Perfect and Upright’ [Job 1:1]. What piques my interest about him is that JOB lived in an era before Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Joseph and David thus he lived in a time before the ten commandments [Exodus 20] or any other written law with nothing like Grace or an in-filing of the Holy Spirit yet he was able to attain the status of a Perfect and Upright man. I believed the WORD of GOD (Holy Bible) to be true and the exact testimony of God concerning every event or man who is found within its pages.
Thus if the Bible described JOB as Perfect, I understand it as God informing me that Job was able to attain perfection.
When the Bible said “All men have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” in Romans 3:23, it was narrating an inevitable fact to testify that even the holiest man was under the bondage of sin some time ago in his life. However, the Bible used to the verb ‘have’ (which denotes an already committed action rather than an ongoing one). It would have been a different case altogether if the Bible had stated that “all men are bound to sin thus have fallen short the Glory of God” instead of the existing statement. The latter describes a totally hopeless case where salvation is not enough to free you from the bondage of sin. This conflict with what the Bible says about Salvation (freedom from sin) in John 8:34-36. The fact that the Bible states that all men have sinned is not a guarantee for man to continue sinning and that is the more reason why Grace was made available to grant us the power to overcome sin. The bible tells another story where Jesus was confronted with the issue of the woman who was caught in the act of fornication by the Pharisees [John 8:1-11]. What Jesus said to the woman was this – “Go and sin no more” [verse 10-11].
I believe my God would not task me with anything that is beyond my capacity and strength (clearly Impossible for me to achieve). Thus when he say do something, I believe HE knows you can do it.
The Bible also speaks of a profound statement Jesus made before ascending to Heaven in 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”. Although Jesus came as God in man-skin, he was subject to every temptation and weakness the flesh beholds yet he was able to live without sin. He also had annoying hormones that seem to conform to a different set of rules when the eyes see a woman and all that you can ever think of. To the Natural man, it is impossible to EVER attain the level of Jesus Christ but unto those who have been redeemed with the Holy Spirit living within them a seal to the new covenant, this is TOTALLY FALSE. If it was true, then what was the significance to being a Christian (someone who seeks to walk in Christ steps)? Paul states in Colossians 1:2 that “Christ in me is the Hope of Glory”. Have you ever wondered what that Glory is or could be? Jesus Christ came to open a new gate unto divinity for mankind (a gate that opens to a path which surpasses all impossibilities). That is what Faith is all about.
You can never leave Christ out of the picture if you seek to please God in every aspect of your life. He is both our standard and motivation.
Conclusion: Whenever man speaks of perfection, he is mostly looking out for the praises of other men and the level of his seen accomplishments over his failures. A close look at the Holy Bible (with the help of the Holy Spirit) reveals that Job never saw himself as perfect. His close friends saw him far from perfect and the same can even be said of Jesus Christ. Jesus clearly refused the title of a good teacher with the claim that no man is good except God [Luke 18:19]. David never saw himself as a perfect man to receive the title of a man after God’s heart (you can conduct a study on the book of psalms to confirm it yourself). There are common virtues that can be found through all these men whose lives bear great testimonies from God in the Bible and these are the spirit of brokenness and Humility. They were people that were more focused on knowing God and becoming engulfed in God than becoming perfect in the sight of God or man. I believe perfection is a process but it is attainable. Instead of letting the thought of becoming perfect in the sight of God become your drive, leave it unto God and focus on knowing HIM and becoming intimate with HIM. The moment you start seeing yourself as perfect is the very time pride sets in for you to start behaving like the proud Pharisees. Leave the testimony in God’s hand; stop feeding on the testimonies of men (except when you know you are actually wrong with God) and focus on GOD in all humility and brokenness like the JOB, King David and even Jesus Christ.
- Was Job any better than us?
- Is Holiness far away from perfection? – [1 Peter 1:15-17]
- Who is supposed to have a better testimony before God (Job or us)?
- Does the presence of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and Grace not make our generation stand a better place in reaching God’s standards than the era of our Fathers (Moses, Abraham, Job, David, etc)?