The Perfect Person
Would it not be great to be perfect? Some think they are by the disposition they display. Such conduct displays pride and selfishness which leads to destruction (Proverbs 16:18). Instead of pride, humility is the key to perfection. Jesus taught us that lesson in choosing to do things God’s way rather than His (John 6:38; Hebrews 5:8,9). Through His obedience, He became perfect, and if everyone “wouldest be perfect”, Jesus said, “Come follow me” (Matthew 19:21).
The scriptures declare “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23), but the same Bible says we are to be perfect. The biblical view of perfect, as it relates to a Christian, involves completing or making better that which is imperfect. As 1 John 1:8 points out, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Then in James 1:4 it says, “And let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.”
Since “nobody’s perfect”, some say, there is no need to fight the urge to sin. Think about it. Would you not rather there be friends, family, and neighbors making an honest effort toward purity than for them to be indifferent, indecent, and immoral? Think of how much more patience, love, forbearance, and understanding would be shown by those diligently trying to live right than toward those who care less about how they live and who they hurt. The peril most fall into is consenting to sin, tolerating it, and becoming comfortable with it. Though we might admit not being absolutely perfect, it does not relieve us of our responsibility to please God. Every Christian should be diligent to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord” (2 Peter 3:18), add to his faith (2 Peter 1:5-11), acquire the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23), and believe sin is condemned by God (Galatians 5:16-21). Jesus calls us to greater responsibility, not less. We need to understand that being perfect is God’s way, not ours.
In Paul’s letter to Corinth, He hoped his message would be received by those who were “perfect” (KJV, “full-grown” ASV - 1 Corinthians 2:6). Some of the brethren were carnal minded and had not matured or become “full-grown” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). Paul encouraged them later by saying,“let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). The word “perfecting” means “to complete fully, bring to an end”. Perfecting oneself is not done half-way, partially, or imperfectly, but completely through cleansing and sanctification. Paul prayed for their “perfecting” (2 Corinthians 13:9; i.e. their path of progress toward maturity). He commands them to “be perfected” (2 Corinthians 13:11). For these brethren to be “perfect” required their penitence, the removal of sin, and allowing their lives to be totally guided by God’s holy will.
Remember, perfection is an idea that calls us upward and heavenly. Its focus is upon the one who is perfect - Jesus. It involves the whole man (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Its objective is pleasing God in all things (Colossians 3:17; Hebrews 13:21). Its motive is love (Colossians 3:14). Its end is eternal life (Philippians 3:14,15).