You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:48 RSV

No one can say that Christ did not set a high standard for man to follow!

To be perfect as God is perfect, what a challenge this is!

At the outset, every candid student of the Holy Scriptures should admit and understand that there is not the slightest possibility of his ever graduating from this school, “Magna cum Laude”!

Nobody, but nobody is ever going to be perfect; and yet, it is the genius of the Christian religion that perfection is required of its adherents.

A contradiction?

No, Only A Paradox.

The goal or ideal is necessary that man may continually know that he is unworthy of salvation, that he can never in a million years merit it, and that any real perfection he might eventually attain must be the free gift of Christ.

Illustration: In a measure of music, in ordinary 4/4 or quadruple time, a single half-note fills the measure half-full; a dot after that note brings it to 3/4 full, another dot 7/8 full, another to 15/16 full, another to 31/32 full, and so on and on.

If one added a million dots, the measure would never be full, for each dot would add only half the value of the preceding dot. In a manner of speaking, this is the way it is with perfection.

One may fill the measure half-full by obeying the gospel and by giving up all forms of vicious conduct.

But there will always be some improvement to make.

A Christian can keep on and on improving until the end of a long life without ever attaining absolute perfection.

An apostle is our authority for saying that no man is above sin, actually.

John said,

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:8‭-‬9 RSV

It is a false view that construes this as meaning that God would not be just and righteous if he did not forgive us wicked sinners!

God does not prove his righteousness by forgiving sinners, who in any just frame of reference must be accounted as worthy of eternal death.

No, that is not what John meant.

He is faithful in that he will not go back on the promise he made in Christ Jesus.

He is faithful to forgive us because he has promised to do so, and just because his Son died for our sins.

In the forgiveness of Christians of their sins and his continual cleansing them from such sins, God displays loyalty to the sacred covenant he himself established.

Furthermore, the theoretical grounds, the rational basis, upon which it is just for God to forgive sins is established in the Person and sacrifice of the Son of God.

God may justly forgive us, because Christ paid the penalty that was due.

The justice of God in allowing our participation in the benefits of that sacrifice is vindicated and proved by the manner of incorporating those to be forgiven into the spiritual body of Christ, and then justifying them, not in their own sinful identities, but as Christ and in Christ.

Nevertheless, how boldly Christ flung down the challenge of “being perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

PERFECTION, Sir, that’s what is required. Even if one were found so foolish as to believe he had attained it, his blindness to any sin would constitute the biggest sin of all.

This verse, as much as any other in the Bible, should throw us upon our knees and bids us to trust in Christ alone for eternal life.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31‭-‬32 RSV

It's Your Turn. Write Something. Say Something.