“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
“Nobody’s perfect! Even though we are Christians, we can never be without fault. We were born in sin and shaped iniquity (Psalm 51:5). No matter how hard we try we will make mistakes, we will fall short of God’s expectations. We will have weak moments. We will commit sins both unknowingly and willingly (sins of commission), and of course there will always be some things that we should be doing, that we aren’t (sins of omission). James 4:17 even explains that it’s a sin when we know to do good but don’t. Yet, God tells in His word that He expects us to be perfect. Matthew 5:48, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Colossians 1:28, “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
If we are born in sin, if our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak, then how can we ever be perfect before Jesus returns? Why even try?
Let me tell you that YES, you can be perfect, but we have to understand what God means when He tells us to be perfect. The Greek word used here is teleios, which according to Strong’s Concordance implies mature, complete, consummated by going through the necessary stages to reach a goal. If a child is completes the 4th grade, and has mastered the expectations for the 4th grade, then that child is considered perfect for his or her particular level of learning, but not yet perfect by 5th grade standards.
Perfect in the bible simply means mature.
If you are a new convert in Christ, God doesn’t expect you to be as mature as a more seasoned Christian. God expects us to always be growing faith, wisdom, knowledge, virtue and grace. If you have been walking with Christ for years, you shouldn’t have the same struggles that you did in the beginning. That’s why people who have been married for years drift apart. If a couple married in their early twenties…neither of them are the same people when they reach their thirties, forties, fifties and so on. People grow and mature at different levels. That’s why God told us to avoid being unevenly yoked, to promote growing and maturing together, because growing apart isn’t an excuse for divorce.
God encourages us to grow and mature…
1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
We as Christians need to strive for spiritual maturity (perfection). The book of Hebrews Chapter 5:12-14 teaches that some should be teachers, but instead need to be taught the first principles of God. That some should have matured to solid food, but instead, still require milk. Hebrews 6:1-3 goes on to say that God expects us to move beyond the elementary teachings in Christ to maturity. Please read these powerful scriptures in context for yourself. When we are growing…WE ARE NEVER WHO WE WERE, AND SHOULD NEVER BE WHO WE WILL BE. Are you satisfied with your level of spiritual maturity? Are you still struggling with the same issues from years ago? Are you making disciples or still a babe in Christ? We all have some growing up to do. Remember, it’s a life long process for all of us. Just make sure your are always in your correct spiritual ‘grade’.
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