TSP DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOBODY IS PERFECT?
7th January 2020
Dr. Phil Ransom-Bello
KEY SCRIPTURE/MEMORY VERSE: Matthew 5:48(AMP)
You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Think about it, how many times do you get hit with this phrase- “Nobody is perfect”, the moment you question a believer’s inability to express a nature or character that scripture urges them to?
Too often? Not regularly? Once in a blue moon?
I read a text image the other day that said;
“Oh how interesting it is to pursue wholeness over perfection”.
I stopped for a second and immediately, Matthew 5 verse 48 popped in my Spirit.
I needed to see if the author’s point was lost in interpretation for me so I asked a friend this question- “Aren’t we called to pursue perfection in scriptures just as our Father is?”
My friend said that the message was hinting more at perfectionism and not perfection (where perfection is an inside-out expression and perfectionism is rooted in fear and generated from the compulsion to try to attain to be accepted by God.)
Upon hearing this, I became worried about how this would be interpreted by the believers who read it and how it may influence them against “being perfect”.
A number of days after, and this niggling thought wouldn’t leave me so I started to consider the subject of perfection in the context of the identity we now have as believers and voila! it was actually one of the subjects discussed in the Mind of Christ series.
So I dug deep in study and learnt something interesting.
You see, in the translation of our text today, the ” Perfect ” here, is actually a Greek word, teleios that is used to refer more to maturity or wholeness or to being complete.
Wow! Look at that!
Wait up, doesn’t scripture say we are complete in Christ already? (Colossians 2:10).
In essence, Jesus was saying to us in Matthew, you should be who you are!
The man who is now in Christ and has His identity is now His mirror image! Hallelujah!
So the exhortation to be perfect isn’t to be something that’s not in your nature.
Isn’t it interesting that 1 John 4:17, in speaking about completeness and by extension, perfection, says that, Love is perfected and made complete in us because just as He is, so are we?
Right here, right now.
Now, backpedal a few steps because it’s important to study scripture in context. What was Jesus actually saying in Matthew 5 before He sent us on the wild goose chase of perfection we have now interpreted it as?
He was talking about the law and what He had come to do for us. See verse 17 where He said He came to complete and fulfil the law so we would never try to attain acceptance and perfection before God on the basis of certain moral or religious standards.
Oh, how amazing it is to know that we have come to a greater covenant with better promises!
Hebrews 10:14 says by Christ’s sacrifice/offering, we have been perfected FOREVER those of us who are being sanctified, i.e growing into spiritual maturity or completion.
See again verse 14 of Matthew 5, in the Amplified version, it actually says we are the light of Christ to the world and how our light must shine. So, it was never about our performance!
It was from there He went on to juxtapose commands in the law that were designed to show us how we could never please God on our own and then show us how the law was at best, a passing covenant. Read on down to verses 44-47 and you would see what He said about loving people and treating people.
Notice again the reference to Love and then flashback to our study yesterday where we talked about our skin colour, our multi-purpose garment that is the most excellent method of expressing the Person and Spirit of Christ.
It was this flow of thought that led to His command in verse 48.
In essence, it is because of this light of Christ that is on your inside that you can and will be perfect, growing into spiritual maturity i.e the fullness of who you are now, both in mind and character, actively integrating the values and nature of Christ into your everyday life, JUST AS YOUR FATHER IS.
No one expects the child of a goat to behave like that of a cat.
Pastor Daniel Addo while teaching on the Mind of Christ series said,
“The popular narrative that no one can be perfect holds some sense of truth only when we compare ourselves to God’s law where no one could keep it. It becomes a crutch that limits the power of the Spirit in us and makes us settle for character traits and habits that are not supposed to be normal for us. You have the mind of Christ. Don’t let the devil define you with a character trait and say you have an anger problem.”
Although we face the temptation to follow the systems and patterns of the world we are in and function from the old OS, we must always fall back on our identity in Christ knowing that there’s a new OS for us that comes with the ability to express this new nature. (Philippians 2:13 TLB version).
In an article on desiringGod.org, Jon Bloom summarized it so succinctly;
“God is not looking for perfect, externally performed behaviour or perfect, internally performed motivation from us, God is looking for love…”
According to him, “The Bible nowhere encourages us toward perfectionism. Instead, it promises us perfection — imputed perfection now (2 Corinthians 5:21)and future perfection in the age to come (Revelation 21:3–4) — as a free gift of God’s grace, so that we will be free from perfectionism.
And so, in his words, “Perfectionism is a weight we must lay aside in the race of faith (Hebrews 12:1). God doesn’t want us to focus on performing perfectly; he wants us to focus on living out a childlike, dependent faith through authentic acts of love (Galatians 5:6).”
Dear believer, perfection is possible because you are perfect solely on the premise of what Christ has done.
Is perfection really applicable to me?
-I am a new man in Christ.
-I am His mirror image. Just as He is, so am I.
-I am complete in Christ. Therefore, I am PERFECT.
-I have been perfected forever by His sacrifice.
-His love is perfected in me so I let His light shine through me.
-I am coming into the stature of the measure of the fulness of Christ.
-I am no longer under the law but under grace. Therefore, I run on a new OS.
-I carry the very essence of Christ. I put on my multi-purpose love garment today.
-My life is transformed and conformed by the word and Holy Spirit to the very Person of Christ.
-Testimonies abound for me today because the Gospel works!
HEARING BY THE WORD
Listen to The Mind of Christ >> Dr. Phil by The StandPoint Church on #SoundCloud