Perfection Is Innocence & It Is Required
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ ~ Matthew 5:48
The teaching that we must be perfect is fought hard against by Satans children. They teach that unrighteous slogan ‘Christians aren’t perfect they are just forgiven’.
These false teachers will not be our judges but rather the Word of God will be the standard of judgment on that day. What does it teach regarding perfection? What is the perfection God requires? Do we have examples of perfect people in the Bible? Is God able to keep us in a state of perfection?
1.1 Perfection Is Being Innocent Of Known Willful Sin
What Satan has done to nullify the Bibles teaching on perfection is to muddy the waters of what perfection actually is.
False teachers would like you to think that making mistakes or doing anything less than what an all-knowing and all-powerful God would do makes you imperfect and therefore you can never be perfect.
Getting this believe sunk into your heart is just a setup because the very next step in Satan’s game plan is to get you to sin willfully as you think to yourself ‘well, no one is perfect’.
John 9:41 ~ Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
- Jesus made it very clear that a person’s right standing was directly in relation to his knowledge and ability.
- If a person did not understand or know a truth and they did something contrary to that truth, Jesus said they would not be guilty of sin.
- This person could be perfect even though they looked to others as if they were doing something wrong.
John 15:22 ~ If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
- Jesus teaches this truth again in saying that if a person does not hear the truth they cannot be accountable for sin.
- There is such thing has having a cloak or an excuse for sin. It is simply being ignorant of what is required.
- This is why children and mentally challenged people are not punished in the same manner as people who have knowledge are. We realize they cannot be accountable for their actions due to lack of understanding.
Romans 5:13 ~ Sin is not imputed when there is no law.
- When there is no knowledge of a requirement then sin will not be charged to a person’s account.
- A person can be counted as perfect even if they are breaking a law if they have no knowledge of that law.
James 4:17 ~ To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
- Sin is only sinful to someone who actually knows their obligation and in light of that knowledge chooses to neglect it.
Acts 24:16 ~ And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.
- Paul here shows how he was perfect before God. It was not that he never did anything that was not what an absolutely perfect all-powerful God would do.
- Paul’s perfection simply consisted of keeping his conscience clear of offense. This means that whatever he knew to be wrong he did not do and whatever he knew to be right he did.
- This is the simplicity of true Bible Perfection and nothing more and nothing less than this is what is required of us when we are commanded to be perfect.
Psalms 19:13 ~ Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright [taman: perfect], and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
- David said that if he was simply free from all willful sins against God he would be living a perfect and innocent life!
- God is not a tyrant. He does not require anything more from us than is possible and this is all that is possible in this life.
- We must simply stay free from willfully sinning against God or man. As David we will then be counted as innocent and perfect.
2 Peter 3:5 ~ For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old…
- Lastly note that even though ignorance is an excuse, willful ignorance is not!
- Many people choose not to seek the knowledge of God and deliberately forget the truths they have been taught. This ignorance will be no excuse for them.
1.2 God Commands Us All To Live Perfect Before Him
Living innocent perfect lives is not an option but is expressly commanded and required in the Holy Scriptures.
Genesis 17:1 ~ I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
- God’s call to Abraham was to walk with him and live a perfect holy life.
Deuteronomy 18:13 ~ Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
- Not just prophets like Abraham, but all God’s children were required to be perfect before God.
Matthew 5:48 ~ Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
- In case the command was not clear enough through God’s teachings in the Old Testament, Jesus teaches this truth to us again in the New Testament saying that we must be perfect just as our Father is perfect.
- This means that just as God does all that he knows is right and refrains from all he knows is evil so also we must walk in this manner.
2 Peter 3:14 ~ Be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
- We must be very diligent to live innocent blameless lives so that we may be in that state when Jesus comes and thereby inherit eternal life.
- Peter likens perfection to having a garment that is not spotted or stained with willful sin. It is being without reasonable blame.
1.3 Job, David, Paul, Zacharias, Elisabeth, & Others Were Perfect
Perfection was not just commanded but it was lived out by many of God’s people. This fact is recorded in the Scriptures many times.
Job 1:1 ~ There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed [sur: to turn aside, depart] evil.
- Job was a man who turned away from all evil and the Bible applies the terms perfect and upright to him.
Psalms 18:21&23 ~ For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
- David said that he was a upright or perfect before God because he kept all Gods commands and kept himself from committing known sin.
- This verse is strikingly similar to 1 John 5:18 where John teaches us that all those who have been born of God do not sin because they keep themselves and Satan does not touch them.
Luke 1:5-6 ~ There was a certain priest named Zacharias… and his wife… and her name was Elisabeth. They were both righteous [dikaios: innocent, faultless, guiltless] before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
- Both Zacharias and his wife were known to be people who kept all Gods commandments and were completely innocent and blameless before him.
1 Thessalonians 2:10 ~ Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe.
- Paul says that the Disciples at Thessalonica were witnesses that He, Timothy, and Silas lived holy just lives that were without blame while they lived among them.
- This is what perfection is. Living holy lives in which nobody can bring a reasonable charge against you.
2 Corinthians 6:3-4 ~ Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God.
- Paul said that he and his fellow workers lived in such a way that they committed no offence towards anyone in anything.
- It is in this way that Paul proved that they were true ministers of God.
1.4 God Is Able To Keep Us Blameless Till Jesus Comes Back
1 Corinthians 1:7-9 ~ Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful.
- When Jesus comes back it is mandatory that he find us in a state of blameless perfection before him.
- The Bible says Jesus is able to keep us steadfast and holy in this state of perfection until his return.
Jude 1:24 ~ Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.
- When the presence of Jesus glory appears, the only ones who will be full of joy are those who are faultless or perfect when he arrives.
- God is able to keep us from falling into sin and ensure that we are found in that innocent faultless state when Jesus returns.
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 ~ And the Lord… To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
- When Jesus comes back he needs to find our hearts perfect and without blame in holiness.
- God is able to establish us and keep us firm in holy perfection until Jesus comes so that we may be accepted by him.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ~ And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
- The prayer of the true Apostles is that God would purify us completely and preserve us steadfast in a state of holiness until Christ comes.
- When Jesus comes back we need to be found in a state of blameless perfection. This is four times now we see this truth. How important it must be that when Jesus returns we are found in a state of righteous perfection!
Matthew 24:44-51 ~ Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
- Jesus sums up what we have just learned here in this parable. He says that we have to be ready for the day in which our Lord comes back!
- This readiness consists of being wise and faithful to do the will of God and be found in a state of blamelessness. It consists of not becoming sinful and evil like the fool here who believed the lie that he did not need to be perfect and ready and was therefore cut in half when the master returned. God forbid!