In the prior post we considered the perfection of God and the reality that His perfection extends to each of His attributes. Perfect beauty, perfect love, perfect mercy, perfect wisdom, perfect justice, perfect power, etc. Further, God’s perfection has always existed and it will continue to exist even after the end of time. He is perfect and nothing will change that condition.
Recall, too, that which the medieval theologians said of God: they used a phrase which may be translated as “the most perfect being”, the Latin phrase “ens perfectissimus”.
Today, we want to consider God’s perfection as it compares to our own.
Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, which is composed of the Father, the Son [Jesus] and the Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus was fully divine as part of the Godhead. We also believe that Jesus was fully human, just as you and I are human, but He had no sin.
Jesus, the incarnation of God, said:
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:48 ESV.
In His human nature, He lived a perfect life because He fulfilled the law in each and every aspect of it. Therefore, He was the sinless sacrifice that atoned for the sins that we have committed. Because Jesus lived this perfect life as a man, He fulfilled His own commandment to us that we should be perfect as God, our heavenly Father, is perfect.
Paul, in his letter to the Romans, describes our condition in which our mind and heart want to follow God and do His commandments but our flesh refuses and chooses to sin instead.
“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”
Romans 7:18-19 ESV
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”
Romans 7:24-25 ESV
Paul answered his gut-wrenching scream in verse 24 with his thanks as expressed in verse 25 – Jesus Christ is the One who can rescue us from this dilemma. Clearly, because of sin we cannot even be considered a little bit good in God’s eyes, certainly not “perfect”!
In the letter to the Philippians, Paul talked more about perfection, and said:
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12-14 ESV.
Paul recognized that we are not, nor can we on our own be, perfect. Even the apostle had not attained perfection; but he pressed on toward this goal because he belonged to Jesus Christ. Our victory over sin is through Jesus Christ who did live that perfect life which we regularly fail to accomplish. Not only did Jesus live a sinless life, He died on the cross and was raised from the dead on the third day. He vanquished sin and death and He has promised to do that for us, for those who believe in His name and accept Him as their Savior.
Paul, here, was referring to Isaiah 25:8, when he told the Corinthians that perfection did not belong to us, but to the One who conquered sin and death:
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 ESV
The quintessence of perfection belongs to God, the Father Almighty because He is perfect: simply put, perfection is just one of His attributes. Indeed, it is because of His love for His people that we even get a glimpse of perfection in this fallen world. Thank Him for giving us His Son, through whom we can be counted as righteous, or as perfect, before the holy eyes of our Almighty God.
Praise Him that He loves us so much that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life among us sinners so that we could be transported to heaven and live in His perfect righteousness there!
Father, when we consider Your attributes and realize that You are perfect, in all things, we can only bow in humble reverence that You would consider us at all. When we remember that You sent Your Son as our Savior, the only response we rightfully can offer is one of repentant obedience, gratitude, and devotion.