"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Friday, August 26, 2016

Connection Between Receiving Christ and Perfection

If you can't believe perfection, how else are you going to believe Christ's other teachings? Lots of church people and preachers trash perfection because they like to keep their status as "saved sinners." They keep holding on to that and plan to die with it.

They often even shout their slogans: "Nobody is perfect, and you cannot be perfect. There's no perfect church!"

They don't realize how they're beginning to sound like detractors than promoters of God's Kingdom on earth and God's plan for his "glorious" church.

But ironically, these same people flaunt around their high standards. They like to show people how they post nothing on Facebook except bible verses. They like people to know that they are strict and want nothing but "the best" for God. For instance, you may see them practicing their songs or special numbers for long hours, repeating their rehearsals again and again, spending late nights and practicing up to early morning until they "perfect" everything.

Yet they insist that nobody is perfect and no one can be perfect.

I even know pastors who are strict with church management. For instance, they scold people who are late for church, bible studies or meetings. They emphasize what they call "Christian time" which, according to them, should never be late for anything.

They want their Sunday worship programs to be the best and make sure that every part is delivered to a tee. And yet they all hate the idea of perfection.

Some can't even imagine ministry without a doctorate degree or the so-called "ordination." You can have these things and yet remain rotten.

I'm an ordained pastor and people tell me I should attach the title "Reverend" to my name, but I never do. These are all meaningless in the spiritual realms.

I strongly believe in perfection in Christ but I don't have high standards or make a big deal of being always on time. I urge people to be always on time, especially for Word sessions, and I show appreciation for people who come on time. I always put my best efforts to be on time. But I never scold people for being late.

I don't fuss over Sunday worship programs, or any church program or activity for that matter, making sure they're spotless and executed with precision. I don't care about them, in fact. You can be a "failure" with them (or in ministry) and still be found perfect in Christ.

Anyway, who's going to define or judge what failure is?

Perfection is not the absence of failure but emerging a better person after a bout with it.

I believe in perfection but I never impose it on others. On the other hand, those who hate perfection impose it on others.

This e-book can help you more about perfection.

A huge part of perfection in Christ is maturity---or your ability to understand people broad-mindedly and be gracious to them the way God is. Perfection in Christ has nothing to do with being strict or having high standards or being on time. It's not even being without error or idiosyncrasies or foibles. They say perfect people don't get angry. Well, Jesus did. The world says being "perfect" means people don't find anything wrong with you---and that's how many churches also take it.

God defines perfection in a completely different way. If you're really in Christ, he sees Christ, not you. And Christ is perfect to God.

Perfection in Christ has nothing to do with what people think or require. In fact, they crucified Christ precisely because he didn't pass their high standards. Many were disappointed that he was just the lowly son of a carpenter. The religious leaders thought he was gravely in error.

You know what perfection is?

Real perfection is being in Christ---being genuinely in Christ. You are inside Christ and well protected by his Person. It's not you anymore who live but Him.

In fact, perfection begins when you receive Christ as Savior and fully surrender your life to him. And then it increases in glory from there. It says, "Anyone in Christ  is a new creation---the old has past and the new has come." If that isn't perfection I don't know what is.

A new creation is here and the old is past---if you're genuinely like that, that is nothing short of perfect. You start with that if you are in Christ. And you're no longer a "saved sinner" (you can't stay a saved sinner all your life). You're a saved saint.

Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. [Matthew 5.48]

You probably can't believe perfection in Christ because you don't have a clear idea of what being a "new creation" is like. You cannot stay imperfect and say you're a new creation in Christ. "Oh, I still am the old sinner that I was, but I'm a new creation in Christ." Or, "I still have a lot of imperfections, but I'm a new creation in Christ."

Worse, you declare that "I'm a new sinner in Christ!"

Let's put it this way. The man born blind. After Christ healed him, he couldn't say, "Well, I can see now though my eyes are just a bit cross-eyed. But I'm really healed." You can't remain broken even just a little bit after Christ has fixed you up.

The blind man did see people walking like trees initially, but Jesus didn't leave it at that. The second healing touch made the man's sight brand new. Perfect. It was just a matter of seconds. The first few seconds, he saw people like trees. Then immediately, Jesus changed all that and the guy was able to see perfectly. It didn't take 24 hours. No one Jesus touched in the Gospel was "partly" healed. Miracles always came out perfect.

You can't remain imperfect after Christ has made you a new creation in him.

"But why can't I really be perfect?" you may ask.

It's because you don't believe. Years and years of declaring "nobody is perfect" and "I'm not perfect" will give you that result. Life or death is in the power of the tongue. If you genuinely believe, you'd live it. And his grace will make you live it naturally.

According to your faith it will be done to you. [Matthew 9.29] 

You won't get yourself to believe you are already perfect in Christ if deep inside you laugh at the idea (or, if you still live in sin and enjoy it). Lots of other Christians also can't believe it. That's because you've been assuming the world's perception of what perfection is. You don't think as God thinks but as the world thinks.

You think you always have to be correct in everything you do or do a lot of good deeds to be perfect. Just like what the rich, young ruler also thought. But Jesus told him that no one was good except God.

And probably you're also like the disciples who asked the Lord, "Then who can be saved?"

"With man this is impossible. But with God everything is possible," said Jesus [Matthew 19.25-26]

You see the word "everything"? Jesus here referred not just to salvation but "everything," including godliness, holiness and perfection in him. Everything is possible.

Peter testified: "Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires," [2 Peter 1.4].

You can't say that the "divine nature" is imperfect. God "has given" us (it's already been given) a way to take part in his very own divine nature, which doubtless is perfect.


Earlier, Peter had said: "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."

Don't belittle these graces God has given us by saying nobody is perfect and there's no perfect church. Only the devil is happy when you declare these things.  Anything God gives us is powerful to transform anyone, anything.

But with perfection comes meekness. The more perfect you become the more you "think others better than yourself." In fact, the more you understand Christ's teaching about us being "unworthy servants."

Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. [Philippians 2.3]
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' [Luke 17.10]

The more you become considerate, understanding, kind and patient. You don't impose standards on others, especially not your high standards. You see how useless strictness and "perfect"Sunday worship programs are. So the more you keep things simple. You don't have to have a perfect worship program or choir or worship team on Sundays.

And you understand why you can't become a difficult person to deal with. Being perfect in Christ means you provide a lot of consideration for others. And I mean a lot. 

You just have to be genuinely in Christ. And that's perfect.

Perfectionists and strict people are often moody, dissatisfied, demanding and so self-centered. They love to scold people. They alone are right and worthy of emulation. They're the greatest. But you'd see how frustrated and lonely they really are. Genuine peace is the last thing they have.

True perfection is simple---be genuinely in Christ.

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