Thursday, June 23, 2016

Christian Perfection

When people look toward Christians they look for "Christian Perfection". When it's not found, then the Christian is accused of being a hypocrite. Christian Perfection is a goal of the sincere Christian, but it's not obtainable!
Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
God is perfection. Christians are not perfect, but failing to live up to God's example is not condemning, but noble if one tries in earnest!

In secular terms "trying equals failing". When the teacher writes on the child's report card "Johnny tries hard!" between the lines the teacher is saying "There is much room for improvement." Johnny is trying hard, but still fails!

That's not the same for Christians! If we "try hard' because of God's grace we get "A's". It's the one place where "trying equals passing" because God know our hearts!
Acts 15:8 "And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost..."
This is where the Pharisees failed God! They did "good" things, but it was for appearance sake only. Jesus called them vipers. He compared them to the serpent who beguiled Eve! Their "goodness" was to magnify their own secret gods... their own selves.

On the other hand Paul said this:
Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
God knew Paul's heart. Rather than denying the desires of the heart, Paul said "I am a weak!" He desired to do "good", but as hard as he tried he was still of the flesh. God knew his heart was right, albeit his behavior was sometimes wrong, knowing full well Paul's heart!

Jesus is perfect! Besides him Paul was likely the nearest to perfection that a man can be. He still sinned, but his goal was to be perfect. It troubled Paul because his actions didn't always coincide with his beliefs! That should trouble every Christian. By being troubled about ones sins is as close to Christian perfection as a man can get. Paul's heart was truly right, but his actions failed him. He wasn't a hypocrite because "Paul tries hard!" His teacher credited him with that!

Paul tried so hard,  but failed, although he died for Jesus! That is as close to Christian perfection as one can get. Would you truly die for Jesus? If your answer is "yes" then that's close to perfection even though you have done bad things! Think on it... rather than deny Jesus, would you willingly die? Many have faced that test and in the end, many more will be beheaded rather than deny Jesus! That is what perfection is all about!

So when you see a Christian fail, don't think "That hypocrite!" You don't know the person's heart! Jesus does. He knows how hard it is because he too was tempted.

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