Be Perfect


Well-Known Member

Today, not far from the town of Capernaum, you can look from the north shore of the Sea of Galilee to a grass-covered hollow, midway up the side of a hill, that has a high probability of being the very site that Jesus gave His “Sermon on the Mount”[1] which we call the “Beatitudes.” This much-studied sermon has caused honest people to conclude that none of the things God commands here can be accomplished by any amount of human effort. Not only did Jesus affirm the obligations of the law of Moses in the visible, external realm, but He also amplified its requirements by applying them to the hidden, internal thoughts and intents of the heart.

The law of Moses said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” but Jesus said, if you even look at and lust after someone other than your spouse, you have already committed adultery in your heart. The Old Testament taught that justice was “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But Jesus said that when you get smacked undeservedly on the left cheek, offer your right cheek to be smacked too. Honorable custom among the Jews was to “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But Jesus really shook up the religious right by saying it was required rather to, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be the children of your Father in heaven.” Finally, to punctuate the point to anyone who thought they could meet those requirements He said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” If that is what God requires, which He does, I can’t meet any of those requirements by my own effort. Not by wanting to, not by trying hard, not by any good intentions. And no one else can either, including you. So, what is the point?

The Bible repeats itself in numerous places and in various ways this truth, “a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.”[2] There is only one way to satisfy God’s requirements, and that is by faith. Having faith that Jesus satisfied all the requirements of the law as a substitute for each of us, and then continuing as a substitute, He suffered the punishment that we earned for breaking the law, by His death, burial, and triumphal resurrection over death. God’s only requirement for mankind is to believe that Jesus did it all, and all is finished. What matters is, that when a person comes to the end of themselves before God and relinquishes mastery of their life to the Lord Jesus, they will then have met every qualification that God requires for eternal life. If that is what you have done, God will have made you a “new creature,” having been “born again” by Him, and you will have eternal life. At that point, and from then on, God sees you as having met every requirement of the law by faith, now perfect, in Him.[3]

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9​

[1] Matthew 5:1 - 7:29
[2] Galatians 2:16
[3] Romans 3:20-28; 4:6; 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9; James 2:23