One of the most discussed verses in the Bible is the message of Jesus to us that we should be perfect like our heavenly father. That verse alone spikes many debates about whether we can obtain perfection to the point of Christ. This is because Christ was the only perfect human ever on earth. So, can we be perfect like Jesus?
No one can obtain perfection and be like Jesus on their own, but we can be perfected in Jesus Christ. Being perfect in Jesus Christ means that we have accepted him as the savior in our life, read his word, and live our lives in accordance with the knowledge of good and evil that we understand. Therefore, though perfection is impossible in human nature, Christ Jesus can perfect us.
So, what is the meaning of perfection in the Bible? What makes Jesus perfect? Is it possible for Christians to be perfect? How is being perfect different from being perfected? Does God command perfection from Christians? Keep reading to get more information and answers to these questions and more.
What is the meaning of perfection in the Bible?
The Bible defines perfection as a state of being absolutely whole. It involves being free from any shortcomings or faults. Furthermore, the scripture expresses perfection in different forms; perfection of Christ, humans, and God. To be absolutely perfect is a quality that only God possesses. The Bible is clear in the gospel of Mathew 5:48 that God is perfect in nature. “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect.”
The book of Deuteronomy depicts God as always perfect and just, and all his ways are always right. God is perfect in all ways, and his will that we are required to adhere to is perfect (Romans 12:2). God is perfect because he does not have a stain of sin in his presence, nor is he wrong in any way. He knows it all and is just in all that he does.
What makes Jesus perfect?
The Bible says that Jesus became perfect through his suffering while on earth. Hebrews 2:10 says, “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.” While on earth, Christ was the only perfect human being who existed and has ever existed.
He suffered and was tortured but never disobeyed God or his will. Even in the wilderness, after a fast of 40 days, he overcame Satan’s temptations of going against God. Through all these sufferings, he maintained his perfection without sinning, and also, through it; he was made perfect.
Is it possible for Christians to be perfect?
The question of whether we can become perfect as the Bible commands us to is the most common question among Christians. However, the answer to this question is not as hard as it is portrayed to be. The same scripture clearly shows that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That indicates that the nature of the flesh is sin.
However, we can be perfect in our conscience through Jesus Christ. When Jesus left, he was keen enough to send the Holy Spirit, our helper, to guide us through making the right choice in God. Therefore, if you have accepted Jesus Christ, you can be perfect in understanding what is right and wrong. Therefore, it is possible for a Christian to be perfect, but not wholesome perfection like the nature of God.
When it comes to perfection in Christians, it means that one has put their life in order based on understanding good and evil depending on the knowledge they have. He follows the rightful way to the latter, depending on their knowledge. However, speaking, we cannot be completely perfect.
How is being perfect different from being perfected?
Being perfect depends on yourself to be whole and without any fault while being perfected is being made righteous by accepting Christ in our lives. 2nd Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
However, we cannot be perfect on our own, as the flesh is too weak and prone to temptations and sinning. If we are seeking perfection, then we have to seek Jesus Christ, as he will perfect us. Most of the time, self-perfectionism always arises when one wants to win the approval of others. That is being proud, and God condemns pride.
However, being perfected is giving Christ absolute authority over your life and allowing him to lead you in everything you do. He can free us from any type of slavery and grant us the spiritual perfection that we seek. It is important to note that being perfected is a process that does not stop when you accept Christ as your personal savior. You must regularly seek him, spend time reading his word and knowing him, and allow him to reign in you.
Why did Jesus say, “Be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect”?
Though the Bible does not state why Jesus urged us to be perfect as God, who is in heaven, some passages in the scripture can help us get the answers. However, even when in pursuit of why Christ urged us to be perfect, what is clear is that he was not talking about human perfectionism. It is almost impossible to be perfect in the human body, as our flesh is susceptible to sin. Jesus called out the Pharisees, who pretended to be perfect and practiced self-righteousness.
What Christ meant by we should be perfect like God is that we should be whole in Him. Through Christ, we can be able to achieve spiritual perfection. And though sometimes we will fall short of the glory of God consciously, when we are in God, he will wash us clean.
Does God demand perfection from Christians?
God demands Christians to seek perfection. The book of Mathew 5:48 requires us to be perfect like our father in heaven. God also says in James 1:4, “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” However, possessing perfection is impossible for humans if they still glorify the flesh. To seek perfection, you must kill the flesh and allow the Spirit of God to reign in you. He will guide you in the right ways always, as he did to Jesus Christ.
However, as much as we are required to seek perfection, it is not an easy journey, and that is why we need to be conscious and steadfast in everything we do. Philippians 3:12 says, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.” We can only be made perfect through Jesus Christ. So, to observe the command that we need to seek perfection, we have to be in Jesus Christ.
How can we be perfect before God?
The only way to be perfect before God is by killing the flesh and allowing the Spirit to reign in us. Killing the flesh is not literal, but it does not allow the flesh to have power over us. Our flesh is weak and will lead us to fall if we allow it to thrive. The only way to be perfect is by letting the Holy Spirit reign in us and guide us.
The question becomes, how can we let the Spirit lead us? We can let the Spirit lead us by listening to him. The only way we can hear his voice is by silencing any other voice in us. By spending time reading the Bible, praying, letting go of control, and surrendering to the Spirit for guidance.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.