Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
“I’m not perfect” is a common phrase that is tossed around in Christian circles after we fall in some area of life or ministry. What we should really be saying is, “I’m not sinless” because God commands us to be perfect. So exactly what does being perfect mean? Well, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that being perfect is not to be understood as sinless perfection this side of heaven. Being perfect in layman’s terms simply means to grow up. In human terms, it could be likened to growing from a toddler, to a teen, to a young man, to a full grown, mature adult.
According to Romans 8:29, God’s number one purpose in redeeming us and bringing us to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is that we might both know Him and be conformed into His image. Being perfect therefore is the lifelong process of being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. The theological word to best describe it would be sanctification, or being set apart for The Master’s use. Being perfect is not attained by adhering to a set of rules or rituals; it is a day by day life of walking with The Lord Jesus and developing an intimate relationship with Him.
The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:12-15: “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” (underline added) Paul used the word perfect twice here as was exhorting this group of saints to grow up in their walk with Jesus Christ and one another. According to Ephesians 4:11,12, God has ordained men to minister to the body in order that the church would mature in their walk with Jesus and one another. It has been said that Christian maturity is measured when our response to a fiery trial, opposition, or persecution is a Christ-like one. Thus, every single saint and every single church is dysfunctional and in need of God’s work in us and through us in order that we might grow closer to Christ and one another. Both reader and writer are far from perfect, but that should never be an excuse for failing or refusing to try.
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) That’s not good advice, that’s a command, so let’s grow together in Christ, beloved. SELAH