(Names of Jesus series)
Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Many people who love to read books typically have a favorite author. Someone who’s style of writing, perspective in life, or dominate subject is of particular interest can influence the lean toward a particular author or series of publications.
For the past 20 years I’ve enjoyed the devotional by Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest”, but there have been many authors who have written books which have drawn me into the same view of life and resonated within me. A.W. Tozer is one who has been at the top of my list, his perspective towards the church and how he viewed the grace of of God made his message timeless.
There are many great authors in this world, but none of them can hold a candle to the author and originator of our faith–Jesus Christ.
Every great work speaks of its creator.
Perfection is an ideal that seems impossible to find. Many have tried to reach some aspect of a perfect condition such as a perfect look, perfect career, perfect painting, or any other ideal that is held as valuable.
On their own, the imperfect cannot attain perfection.
We cannot draw clean water from contaminated water unless we have some way of purifying it first, nor can we attain perfection on our own.
The world is like a cesspool of sin. Every aspect of Creation has been made futile by the fall of man. No one could rise above the filth of our wretched condition and present themselves as pure and holy before the Lord, the stains would be a constant reminder of the past. No matter how hard you tried to meditate, or change your thinking, the inevitable reality of our position before a Just and Holy God remains the same.
Jesus came to purify a people for His own possession.
The good news for those who are lowly and without merit is the value Christ sees in you. We all stand as lawbreakers before the Judge of the Earth. Sure, some people have broken far more laws against God, that does not prevent you from coming. Do we who think we stand more justified claim the myriad of sins committed in life is somehow going to find more favor with God over someone else who has committed many more sins? The preposterous nature of self-justification meets reality when we hold ourselves up to God’s Holy Perfection.
The bad news for those who refuse to accept their lowly position will be the harsh reality of their conviction on the day of judgement.
So how do we relate to the words of Jesus?
Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
When Jesus makes this command, is He only dangling an apple before the eyes of those who are starving? If so, it would be a cruel gesture that reflected hatred towards a people who are destitute. To the contrary, Jesus stands at the opened gate of freedom and says, “come forth, my beloved and dine with me”. His call to partake at His table is given to the lost, the hungry, the destitute, the hopeless, and the imperfect. The Shepherd calls His sheep into HIs sheepfold, there lies safety and hope.
For those who accept His call, He exchanges the stained and filthy clothes for a robe of white; the wedding supper of the Lamb is only for those who have been properly prepared.
Revelation 3:5 “The one overcoming thus will be clothed in white garments. And I will never blot out his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
There is a paradox within the house of the Lord….
God’s people are made perfect by His grace, but they are being sanctified as they walk in this perfection.
Why do perfect people need to be sanctified?
When a sinner humbles themself and repents of sin, God is faithful and just to forgive them of their sin and cleanse them of all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
The perfection of Christ Jesus is first bestowed upon the humble and contrite servant, not that the servant who lives perfectly but rather the one who’s position before God is perfected in righteousness. The stain of sin has been washed away and now made acceptable before the judge.
The sanctifying work of the Spirit of God transforms the believers life into the image of Christ out of the filth of this world. The way a believer is prepared to edify Christ is through the working of the Spirit on a daily basis. The Lord makes His people holy.
2 Timothy 2:21 “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”
For sanctification to start, perfection must first be established.
The way of the Lord is without error. God’s nature is revealed in the path of His leading. In other words, if you want to truly know the Lord, you must walk in Him.
How do we know His perfect will?
Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
When you forsake the ways of this world and allow God to transform your mind into His image, you will be able to discern what is good, acceptable, and perfect.
How do we allow our minds to be transformed?
Colossians 3:2-4 “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
We must make a conscious decision as to what we are going to think upon in the morning, focus our attention on during the day, and dwell on in the evening. If every part of our life is conforming to God’s image, we are aligning our lives with His Word.
Everything in Christ is perfect and is made perfect…
- Every perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17)
- Every trial leads us on in perfection.(Hebrews 2:10)
- By the Fear of God we are lead in perfection (2 Cor. 7:1)
- All God’s ways are perfect. (2 Samuel 22:31)
- God’s laws are perfect. (James 1:25)
- God’s original creation was perfect. (Gen. 1:25)
One day, God will restore the perfection that He intended for His creation, the curse of sin will be gone, and all that will remain will be holy unto Him.
If you want to experience perfection now, seek Jesus with all your heart, mind, and strength….He will transform your life, He will be your protector, and He will mold you into His image.
The joy God’s people experience today is but a dim reflection of what is to come when we will dwell with Him throughout eternity.