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Perfect! You’re kidding.

There are some Bible verses that we regularly ignore.  They say things we don’t want to hear or that challenge us or that sound strange to our culture.  One of these verses is Matthew 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. That must be a mistake, an error or an aberration.  We know no one is perfect, not even me.  It’s an isolated verse, we say.  So we ignore it, don’t talk about it or try to apply it.  But when, in my daily reading, I came across these verses:
II Corinthians 13:9  our prayer is for your perfection….
11 Aim for perfection…..
it started me thinking (that can be dangerous to our comfort).  Stay with me on this—don’t write this off as rantings of a nut case just yet.

I found that references to perfection in the Bible are numerous—51 (30 in the NT).  At least 10 of those NT references call us to perfection or suggest it as possible.  One Bible character is called perfect by God!  And it’s not Moses or Abraham or any of the prophets or Paul or John but the King of Tyre.  The prophet Ezekiel is told  say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “‘You were the model of perfection,… (Ezek. 28:12) And an amazing description follows of that man.  But it is past tense because he had sinned.

We are descendents of John Wesley and if you know our history you know of the uproar caused by Wesley’s use of the term “Christian perfection.”  I don’t intend to get into that (at least not here).

However, one thing is clear.  God’s ultimate goal for you is perfection.   We may be satisfied with less.  He is not.   As C.S. Lewis says, we’re in for the whole treatment.  What that means, how it comes about, when it happens should be matters of serious discussion for us as we follow Jesus.  We simply cannot ignore it.

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