In the last blog, I discussed the secret to perfection, and a question came up: Does discovering the secret to perfection mean that I’ll never sin again? And the answer is, no. Consider the following verse:
1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate (defense attorney) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Now think about it: If a person could live a life of sinless perfection then there would be no need for the second part of the above verse! This gives rise to yet another question:
How can God pronounce a person “perfect” when very obviously they are not?
The first thing we need to remember when broaching a question like this is that God said:
Isa 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God’s thoughts are much higher than ours, as are his ways. This is because he is a higher being living in a higher plane. He does not see things as we do, nor is he confined to time and space as we are, but as the Creator of time and space, he lives outside of that realm. And indeed he tells us:
Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Eternity is not confined by the time and space we dwell in, but is above and beyond it. We need to remember that when trying to understand the things God communicates to us. These are not just thoughts to make us feel good – they are REALITIES! That being said, here’s the secret to perfection:
God can say we are perfect (complete; whole – as in “holy”) because, dwelling in eternity, God sees the end from the beginning. He sees what we will be as an end product based on HIS promises and works, not how we are now based on our own works.
Dwell on that for a moment, because it is truly profound AND it will revolutionize how you see things and how you live!
The secret to perfection lies in understanding that, once I put my faith and trust (faith and trust being the operative words) in Jesus, who was God in human form (not just a good man, teacher, or prophet), God placed his Spirit inside me as an earnest payment (promise) that HE…not ME…would complete this work of salvation in leading me to perfection.
My role, and your role, is to discover God’s promises and to BELIEVE & RECEIVE them. One who truly believes, will FOLLOW or live according to that belief.
If you don’t believe you are perfect, as God says, then you will live short of that perfection; but if you believe that you are complete – perfect – then you will begin to live accordingly. That is why the sign at the beginning of this post says “Perfection – enjoy the journey”. God counts us as perfect because he has ALREADY covered all of our imperfections and sees us as we will be, not as we are. (God is outside of time and space, so he can see everything from beginning to end). A true believer in Jesus isn’t in denial about his sins and shortcomings, he or she just realizes that they don’t need to be focused on because they’ve already been covered!
My favorite illustration about this concept is that of a major league baseball player or pro football player. They are gifted athletes,but not free of mistakes. But listen to their interviews after games when they’ve made those mistakes. They always tell us how, once the mistake is made, they don’t DWELL on it, they shake it off, reset, and move on! As a matter of fact, they will tell you in many cases, that is the very difference between a pro athlete who is able to make a career out of his sport and one who fails to do so. One believes he can and should be there; one doubts and can never get his mind off his mistakes.
Now, contrast that with the too often promoted religious church concept of “searching your heart for sin” before partaking of the Lord’s supper or getting involved in some ministry. Why in the world would a believer go searching for all his own sins and shortcomings when at the same time saying they believe, “Jesus paid it all”? No! We are NOT to search our hearts for sin; we are to search ourselves to see if we are IN THE FAITH – truly trusting in Jesus! The Lord’s supper, we are told, is about remembering JESUS’ sacrifice for us – remembering that HE indeed “paid it all” for us – and if we truly BELIEVE & RECEIVE that revelation, the effects of a life in transformation should follow.
All of this helps us understand how we can be BOTH pronounced perfect by God now, yet at the same time see it as a journey or process to a future completion: it is because God sees it as already finished while we are still in the midst of the journey. I hope this makes sense to you.
One last thing to consider:
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
In the above verse, WHO is going to PERFORM the good work started in me when I trusted in Jesus’ offer of salvation from sin and death? God is! Then what role does that give us? It gives us the role of BELIEVING, RECEIVING, and FOLLOWING? But what if we mess up? Remember 1 John 2:1 – it’s been covered. We can get up, dust ourselves off, put it behind us, and keep moving forward!
THAT is the secret to perfection ladies and gentlemen, and it stands in stark contrast to a lot of the performance driven “Christianity” that exists out there. The main difference being that the former sets you free, while the latter brings you into bondage. Thanks be to Jesus’ for setting us free and keeping us free and promising our good future:
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Have a GREAT day understanding that you are FREE from sin – wallow in it no longer!