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Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. [KJV]
HOW can we possibly be perfect?
- (1) In character. In this life on Earth we cannot be flawless, but we can certainly strive and yearn to be as much like Christ as possible.
- (2) In holiness. We must separate ourselves from the world’s sinful values. We must be devoted to God’s desires (His will) rather than our own, and communicate His love and mercy to the world.
- (3) In maturity. We cannot achieve a Christ-like character and holy living all at once. We must grow toward spiritual maturity. A baby grows into a child, then a teenager, and on to an adult. A baby does not stay an infant forever. It grows physically. This is what God expects from us in our spiritual growth. We must show different behavior, depending on our stage of spiritual development.
- (4) In love. We must try to love others as completely as God loves us. Godly love consists of care, concern and compassion.
We can be perfect if our behavior (actions and words) fits our maturity level . . . perfect, but with room to grow. Our old nature will still be inclined to sin, but we must not allow that to hinder us from really trying to be more like our Lord. Christ calls all His disciples to excel, and to mature in every area, becoming more like Him with each passing day. Those who really desire and strive to be perfect will one day be perfect, even as Christ is perfect.
1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. [KJV]
The Christian life is a daily process of becoming more and more like Christ (Rom. 8:29). This process of perfection will NOT be complete until we see Christ Face to face (1 Cor. 13:12; Phil. 3:21). But, knowing that perfection is our ultimate destiny, we should be motivated to purify ourselves. To purify means to keep morally straight, free from the corruption of sin. God purifies us, but there is also action we must take to remain morally fit (1 Tim. 5:22; James 4:8).
1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: [KJV] We were cleansed (purified) from our sins when we accepted the Truth of the Gospel.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. [KJV]
Should ALL believers sell everything they own? NO! We are responsible to care for our own needs and the needs of our families. We should NOT be a burden on others, or expect the government to support us. What Jesus means here is, we should be WILLING to give up anything we have IF God were to ask us to do so. With an attitude like this, nothing can come between God and us, and we will NOT use any God-given wealth selfishly. If you are comforted by the fact that Jesus did NOT tell all His followers to sell all their possessions . . . maybe you are too attached to what you have.
Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. [KJV]
We are to obey the Lord in every respect because He is God. We need no other reason. The benefits of obedience are worth it, considering just who God is, the only One with the power and ability to meet your every need.
2 Chron. 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart. [KJV]
Many people do what is good, but NOT with a perfect heart. If we believe in God’s all-sufficiency to help us in our troubles and our duties, and that He will make up any loss and damage we endure in His service, this will make His yoke very easy, and His burden very light (Mat.11:28-30). When we are called to part with any thing for God and His service, it should satisfy us, that God is well able to give us much more than this. Those who only PROFESS to be Christians, who do not have true faith, will always object to self-denying obedience. They do not have a perfect heart no matter how much good and right things they might do.
Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. [KJV]
Job was prosperous, and yet godly. Though it is hard and extremely rare, it is not impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. By the grace of God, the temptations of worldly wealth can be overcome. Job’s piety and prosperity is shown before the agony of his great afflictions, showing us that neither will keep us safe from troubles. Our entire dependence should be on God’s mercy, just as it was with Job.
Isn’t it wonderful that neither men nor devils will be our judges? All our judgment comes from the Lord, who is never wrong. Self-love and self-preservation are powerful in the hearts of men. The hearts of many professing Christians are FAR from perfect. God plainly sees the hearts of all people. He sees your heart, and He sees mine. We cannot hide anything from His all-seeing eyes!
Being perfect in God’s eyes is what we all must consider. Are we living a life that is pleasing to Him? Are we growing spiritually day by day? Or are we staying spiritual babies? I teach God’s Word in nursing homes. I see so many people 70, 80, 90+ years of age who are still spiritual babies. This should not be so. We are to grow in the Lord as we go on to perfection (Eph.3:17-19; 4:15; 1 Thes.3:12; Heb.6:1; 1 Pet.2:2; 2 Pet.1:5-6; 3:18).
Passages mentioned above.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (KJV)
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (KJV)
1 Cor. 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (KJV)
Phil. 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (KJV)
1 Tim. 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure. (KJV)
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (KJV)
Eph.3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (KJV)
Eph.4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (KJV)
1 Thes. 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: (KJV)
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (KJV)
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (KJV)
2 Peter 1:5-6 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (KJV)
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (KJV)
Difficult or Confusing Bible Verses
1 Cor.3:13-15, What Motivates Us?
1 Cor.chapter 5, Should the Church Judge?
1 John 3:9, God's Child Cannot Sin . . . ???
1 John 5:4-5, Overcoming By Faith
1 John 5:16 . . . A Sin Unto Death???
1 John 5:18-20, Those Born of God Sinneth Not
1 Thes.5:23, Man's Trinity
2 Cor.2:14-17, Savour of Death, Savour of Life?
2 Thes.2:10-12, Those Left Behind
Col.3:12-17, How Believers Are To Live
Daniel 7:13-14, Christ in His Glory
Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel's 70 Weeks
Ecclesiastes 9:5-10, NO Soul Sleep
Genesis 3:15, Seed of the Woman
Genesis 6:1-2, Sons of God
Hebrews 6:4-9, Can a TRUE Christian Fall from Grace?
Hebrews 10:26, Do NOT Reject Christ!
Isaiah 53:4-5, By His Stripes We Are Healed!
John 6:47-58, Eating the Flesh and Blood of Jesus
John 15:1-6, Unfruitful Branches Burned?
Mark 3:28-29, The Unpardonable Sin?
Matthew Chapter 13, Mystery Parables of Jesus
Matthew 16:19, Keys to Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 5:48, Being Perfect?
Matthew 7:21-23, Not Every One Goes to Heaven
Matthew 7:6, Cast Not Your Pearls before Swine!
* * * * Matthew 22:36-40, Believers' TWO Commandments * * * *
Matthew 23:13-30, Woes of Hypocrites