God wants us to be perfect. He knows that won’t happen through our own efforts, though, so He made a way for us to be perfect. Our own efforts won’t bring perfection. The world’s path won’t either. Only God’s way provides a way for perfection to become a reality.
Consider the following people’s lives. If you read the scripture reference, you’ll actually see these individuals described as “perfect” “mature,” having “wisdom,” “blameless” “righteous” and even “without blemish.” All of these get at the idea of perfection in the eyes of God.
- Noah – Genesis 6:9
- Job – Job 1:8
- Abraham – Genesis 17:1
- King Hezekiah – 2 Kings 20:3
- The Philippians – Philippians 3:15
- The Corinthians – 1 Corinthians 2:6
- The Church – Ephesians 5:25-27
If these individuals and groups of people — with their human frailties and significant mistakes — are seen as perfect (i.e., without fault) to God, why can’t we be considered perfect too?
“People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it.” (Edith Shaeffer)
Perfection feels impossible. It’s much easier to coast through life with a “good enough” mentality. As Christians who are pursuing perfection, though, we need to remember that God tells us to strive for perfection and that he has provided a way for us to be perfect.
We are perfect through:
- God — His grace perfects, confirms, strengthens and establishes us (1 Peter 5:10).
- Christ — He has already achieved perfection for us (Hebrews 10:14).
- The Holy Spirit — He leads us through the process of progress toward perfection (Galatians 3:3).
As if that weren’t enough, through God’s Word and even with our imperfect hands, we are also equipped (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13), suffering (Hebrews 2:10), and love (1 John 4:18).
The Pressure is Off
“Grace is God acting in our lives to do what we cannot do on our own.” (Dallas Willard)
God perfected us through Christ, and nothing we do can reach the goal of perfection. That doesn’t mean we just give up and coast through life, though. Perfection comes through Christ; it’s instantaneous at salvation. At the same time, it’s a progressive work in our lives that happens when we submit to God’s will.