Can we be Perfect? Really perfect?
The doctrine of perfection is taught in error by much of the modern day churches as they really have no understanding of the scripture of what Jesus taught.
We must look to the Holy Spirit to get an understanding of who Jesus is.
There are many who have done much damage to the body of Christ, especially the young converts by teaching about perfection in error and left them in grave danger of living a defeated life.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."(Proverbs 3:5)
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The error comes when we read the scripture from Matthew 5:48.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
I was taught wrong on this doctrine for so many years by teachers who did not have the correct knowledge of Jesus and what he taught.
How many times have I heard preachers and teachers quote this verse only to follow up with, But you know we can’t be perfect. This creates a conflict as preachers and teachers tell us we can’t be what Jesus commanded us to be! Who do we believe? Jesus or men!
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Confusion is a terrible thing to endure, especially in the scriptures. Remember the Psalms,
Psalm 71:1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.
Teachers and preachers tell you Jesus really didn’t mean this as a commandment.
They tell you, no one can be perfect even though Jesus commanded you to be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Most people who get this doctrine wrong look to other men and worldly books and modern dictionaries for guidance.
Who is going to understand the doctrines of the scripture?
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
The scripture is not color coded for people to read references. It doesn’t have tabs to make it easier to find things. Most doctrines in the bible are contained in its many books and have to be searched out.
Most folks just take a verse like the one in question and if they don’t understand it, they begin to make excuses for it. The scripture does not need us to make excuses for it!
We need to read it in its fullness to get an understanding of its doctrines.
We need to compare Scripture with Scripture and correlate them together.
Isaiah 28: 13 13 But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
This is where God has given us the ability to discern between the true and false preachers and teachers. People will try to read the bible but will not have an understanding causing them to teach these false doctrines and ideologies.
These are they who are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth!
These people have never been born again by the spirit of God!
2 Timothy 3:5-7
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
These people are who are the main leaders in the evangelical circle in today's large churches. People have laid down the bible and taken up all these self help books which are the devil's tools. You can’ help yourself, It takes the spirit of God to help us!
1 Corinthians 2:14
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Most people do not have an understanding of scripture as it is written because they look to modern man for their wisdom and understanding.
Modern man has since the beginning of time tried to make this world and it’s people more politically correct.
So, what is the definition of perfection in a modern dictionary?
Definition of perfect
1a : being entirely without fault or defect : flawless a perfect diamond
This is how the world looks at perfection, flawless without fault or defect! However, this is not God’s definition of perfect as it is written in our text.
If you are to achieve perfection by the definition here, you would have to be flawless without sin! The scripture is very straightforward on this matter!
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
1 John 1:8-10
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
So, looking at this, we must understand there is a clear difference in biblical perfection and the modern day definition of perfection! This is why we must read the scripture in its context. Remember the scripture in Isaiah? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Let's look at Matthew 5: 43.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
This is not an entire teaching on this verse! No where does the bible teach one to hate his enemy. Jesus is referring to the teachings of men here. The Israelites are the ones who taught to hate the enemy, not God.
Let's look at the next verses Matthew 5: 44 - 45
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.
The Lord is patient and kind and has a tender heart of mercy toward all men. The same rain that waters your crops, waters the crops of your neighbor whether he is a follower of Christ or not! The same sun that brings you light brings him light! This rain and sunlight fall upon all, even those who hate Him!
Just as you should be a reflection of your earthly father and representative of him, we should be a reflection of our heavenly father and be a representative of him!
Matthew: 46 - 47
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?
The word salute here means “To please; to gratify”. It goes much further than just throwing up your hand and saying hello.
There is much going on in our country today and our government is full of evil and deceptive people following demons! The spirit of antichrist is in full force on the earth. People are deceiving the masses and leading many astray but we are to pray for them, that God's mercy will be extended and that they might come to the knowledge of the truth!
1 Pet 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
Now the commandment that teachers and preachers stumble over and teach erroneously.
Matthew 5: 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
So, now that we have read these verses in Matthew 5: 43 - 48 what can we determine that perfection is?
First and foremost, perfection is not being flawless.
We could say that perfection is:
Loving your enemies even as your Father loves them.
Be at peace with others.
Be longsuffering even as your Father is longsuffering.
Be gentle as your Father is gentle.
Be slow to anger or temperate as your Father is slow to anger or temperate.
This leads us to:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Listen to this, “This is the law and the prophets”.
I am sure we have all been in a position of sinfulness in our lives. No doubt many of us have needed forgiveness from others we have sinned against in our lifetime. Would we want God to forgive us? Then we should also forgive others for His name sake.
When Jesus was tempted by the lawyer and asked, what is the great commandment?
Matthew 22: 37 - 40
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Listen again. “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”!
To be perfect before God is to be charitable in our dealings with others. To show the attributes of our Father toward all men. Even when we are being attacked, we are to show the charitableness of forgiveness and mercy toward our enemies.
This does not mean we are sinless by any stretch of the imagination. It means we treat others as our Father would have us treat them. We have been equipped with the fruit of God’s Spirit and we can now live in perfection showing the attributes of our Father to others when in times past we could not.
You and I do not literally produce the fruit. We are the branches and the fruit hangs on the branches. All the fruit is produced by the Spirit of God, the root of the tree! The fruit is displayed on the branches through the life of the tree, the root, which is Jesus!
The branches are the displayer, not the producer.
All these things come from our Father and through us, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance. Against such, there is no law. Because on all these things, hang all the law and the prophets!
1 Kings 15:3-5 (David's son Abijam)
3 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father.
4 Nevertheless for David's sake did the Lord his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem:
5 Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
David had Uriah killed so he could have his wife, Bathsheba, this broke all of the commandments of God. David wept bitterly in repentance of this evil he had done, and accepted the punishment God gave him for his sins, and yet, God still said he was perfect, despite his sins and errors.
37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
Psalms 139: 20 - 22 makes reference to perfect hatred!
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
But if we look further into the scripture we can see David's heart in this matter:
Psalms 101: 2-3
2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
We do not hate the person but the works of evil!
We don’t hate a gay or lesbian, idolater, or any other sinful person, we hate their woors, their deeds of evil. Their fruit is evil and this is what we hate with a perfect hatred!
To spew hate toward people is to misunderstand scripture. To think one is perfect in the sense of being flawlessness is to misunderstand the scripture.
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
There are those who will teach that perfection comes by complete obedience to the law. Perfection cannot be obtained by the Levitical priesthood under the law!
11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Obedience to the Law of ordinances does not bring perfection.
We are only made perfect by the Spirit of God. This is imputed to us through the cleaning blood of Jesus our Lord! Only by the Spirit of God are we given a charitable heart toward others that we may grow and are made perfect in His sight!
To make excuses and deny the doctrine of perfection is foolishness in ones heart! God’s word commands us to be perfect. This tells us, there is a way. We just have to find it!
The scripture is written in the manner it is, in order to cause the foolish to stumble in it and the righteous to be blessed in it!
13 But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
Let's remember, when God’s word tells us to be or act in some manner, we can do this. We may not understand it or knw how to achieve it but it is possible through His word. We must be patient in prayer and in searching the scripture.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
PER'FECT, adjective [Latin perfectus, perficio, to complete; per and facio, to do or make through, to carry to the end.]
1. Finished; complete; consummate; not defective; having all that is requisite to its nature and kind; as a perfect statue; a perfect likeness; a perfect work; a perfect system.
As full, as perfect in a hair as heart.
2. Fully informed; completely skilled; as men perfect in the use of arms; perfect in discipline.
3. Complete in moral excellencies.
Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect Matthew 5:48.
So, let press toward the mark of the high calling of God in perfection by having a charitable like our Father!