Is it possible to truly BE PERFECT? Or can you only continually STRIVE towards perfection? As a human, is the very BEST you can do only considered “filthy rags” to God?
Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Many say “Well, it means BECOME perfect. Obviously a process which cannot be completed in this lifetime”. Is your father in heaven only BECOMING perfect, or has He already arrived? Hmm?
Matthew 19:16-21 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 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.
Jesus didn’t seem to think this goal of “perfection” was unattainable for this man. Yet you’ve been told you can’t BE perfect. Is that so? Does God say that man CAN’T BE PERFECT? That a man, in this life, cannot be beyond reproach? NO!
Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a PERFECT and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
God said Job WAS PERFECT. PRESENT TENSE. Not “becoming” perfect but without fault or flaws here and now! But what did Satan say?
Job 1:9-11 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
In other words, Satan’s response was “Oh yeah”? He didn’t believe Job was perfect! Of course, he couldn’t point to any flaws that Job had… but he REFUSED to believe Job was perfect – beyond reproach. In fact, He doesn’t believe man CAN be perfect – JUST AS YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN TAUGHT!
A little later in the story of Job, one of Job’s friends, Eliphaz the Temanite related a vision he’d had.
Job 4:12-19 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
First of all, think about WHO would be saying this. This was obviously an angel, but which one? How many times have you heard of a righteous angel making the hair on your neck stand up? Never. How many times have you heard of a righteous angel hiding? If God sends an angel, they never hide in darkness and obscurity!
But just look at that quote – who, of all the beings in heaven or earth, would say “God didn’t even trust His angels – He accused ME of folly – and you think YOU are going to do better??”
Does Gabriel resent God? Has God accused Michael of folly? Yet God HAS accused Satan the devil of folly – because he was wrong – HE SINNED, and WAS NOT PERFECT!
Oh, Satan WAS perfect – once. And yet he failed. And he knows that he is made out of light, while you and I are made out of MUD. And his reasoning is, if HE failed, do you honestly think YOU can be perfect??
And yet God DOES expect you to be as pure as him – He DOES expect you to be like your Maker!
You CAN be like God – you CAN be beyond reproach! You can be utterly BLAMELESS before men, and God – just like Job was! When Christ told you to BE PERFECT LIKE GOD IS PERFECT, He meant what He said!
Do you still think that BEING PERFECT, that doing well, is considered as filthy rags to God?
Isaiah 64:6-7 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
Was God talking to righteous people, who served Him FROM THEIR HEART?? NOT even close! He was talking to the SAME people He was talking about in Chapter 1 – the REBELLIOUS house of Israel!
Isaiah 1:2-5 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
Isaiah 1:10-16 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
These people had drifted, no, RAN is the better word, from God’s law, and yet they retained an IMAGE of god-worshipping people. They ACTED righteous, they APPEARED righteous, they sacrificed, prayed, and did all the “righteous things” people do, but BUT THEY WEREN’T RIGHTEOUS!
Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
Yes – the so-called RIGHTEOUSNESS of these men IS filthy rags to God! But the TRUE righteousness, like Abraham, Peter, Elijah and Christ had is NOT filthy rags! The “righteousness”, the pathetic, pitiful attempt at retaining some PRETENSE of acting like God would want that you see around you today – both IN the church and OUT – IS filthy rags!
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a FORM of Godliness but DENYING THE POWER THEREOF! from such turn away!
Your access to the POWER OF GOD is FAITH! These churches have a form of Godliness! They go to church on Saturday (at least most Saturdays), they keep the holy days (more or less), they don’t eat unclean meats (when it’s convenient), they PRAY, and WORSHIP, and SING TO THE LORD, and they LOOK like people God would like – but they don’t have FAITH! They DENY the power of God! And YES – THEIR HALF-HEARTED, WISHY-WASHY so-called “righteousness” IS filthy rags! It IS unclean, and God DOES hate it!
Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
But that doesn’t mean He doesn’t want YOU to be righteous – TRULY righteous, not just APPEARING righteous to other men – But you’ve been taught the opposite! You’ve been taught that God doesn’t WANT you to be perfect – that it’s impossible, and the very best you can do is to “try”. TRY NOT! Do or do not! There is NO TRY!!
You’ve been taught this by men who, themselves, were not blameless – who, themselves had sins they WOULD NOT REMOVE – and so they COULD NOT teach you the TRUTH FROM THE WORD OF GOD!
Since they failed, they, like Satan, don’t believe YOU can do any better! AND YOU WANT TO BELIEVE THIS! You LOVE this belief because it JUSTIFIES and EXCUSES your utter lack of righteousness and FAITH! If you are only supposed to “Become perfect” then all you have to say to feel you’re doing what God wants is “Well, I’m trying to repent!”.
On the other hand, if God expected you to actually BE PERFECT – NOW – then that excuse wouldn’t justify you STUBBORNLY CONTINUING IN SIN! It wouldn’t allow you to think that you’re OK – that you’re more or less doing what God expects of you. Oh, of course… you could do better. But after all… “NOBODY’S PERFECT”!
Which of these two ways of thinking will produce righteousness? And which will produce the stubborn, self-satisfied, lackadaisical, thoroughly LAODICEAN attitude of the GOD HATING church of God today??
Which came from the word of God, and which came from the very mind of the DEVIL HIMSELF??