Matthew 5:48 (KJV) – “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
There it is. Direct from the Word of God. The esteemed King James Version. The “Textus Receptus”.
You my friend, MUST be as perfect as God. That means no wiggle room for error. Get it right and get it right the first time. Anything less than perfection will not be tolerated.
I can almost HEAR the shorts getting bunched up over this! lol!
***NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION***
Relax. Let’s look at it another way.
Let’s try the Amplified Version.
“(48) You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
That’s a little better. It goes into the more proper understanding of “Perfect”.
Perfect simply means “complete”. It’s from the Greek word “teleios”.
Some won’t even like that explanation, but at this point I’ll have to ask you to take it up with Jesus.
We are expected to reach a level of completeness in God.
Stay with me to the very end here…
Jesus gives us a series of explanations in His sermon on the mount from Matthew, chapter five.
For instance, He says that we have heard it taught that we should love our neighbors and hate our enemies.
Uh…that’s been changed. Jesus revised it. We are not complete when we believe that way.
Instead, now we are to love our enemies, and actually do good for those who actually hate us and even seek to harm us.
He goes on to say that what good is there in loving those who love us and treat us well? Anyone can do that. That’s easy!
Easy, but without reward. We are incomplete in God when we believe that way. In other words…imperfect.
Ever see the bumper sticker, “I’m not perfect, just forgiven!”? It’s a lie.
If you’re forgiven you are expected to no longer live imperfectly as far as obedience to God’s plan is concerned. You are expected to be complete.
There is a level of godly integrity and morality you are expected to achieve by God, and if God expects it then that means it can be achieved and if we are refusing to reach it then we are being disobedient!
We can’t cop out with “Ho-hum, I’m not perfect, just forgiven”.
Where did we adopt this concept of one trip to the altar and then comfortably retire to your pew?
Brother and sister there is a responsibility that comes with your admission into the family of God.
God expects great things from you just as any earthly father would from his own children.
There is a “proper height” we are called to by God. Don’t worry, He gives us the tools to get there in the Holy Spirit.
It is not however, a “gimme” or automatic. (Paul says we need to renew our minds in Romans 12)
It is also neither legalistic work and toil in our own strength. It does however, take desire.
It is simply by staying close to Him in fellowship, worship, and prayer. Our completeness is in Him.
Note that it says “…as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
It’s partaking of His perfection that makes us perfect and complete in His eyes.
It’s a very misunderstood verse.
I hope I’ve made it clearer for you in my attempt at…
…Keepin’ it Real!