Friday September 30, 2022
“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Every one who is familiar with the Bible knows that this passage does not teach that believers here on earth are free from sin. We all know that it is written: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
None of us becomes a Christian until we have learned to know the perfect requirements of God’s law in Christ Jesus. It is the attempt to fulfill these requirements which crushes our hard hearts and transforms us into sinners who hunger for the grace of God.
Moreover, sinners who have been created anew by God love God; therefore we love also this requirement, that of perfection. This brings us to the very essence of sanctification. In sanctification God exercises imperfect but regenerate human beings in the art of living perfectly.
This is what imparts to sanctification the great tension that is always associated with it. This is also what makes sanctification a matter of faith. Faith in this connection consists in our holding fast without compromise the requirements of Christ: I, the imperfect one, must do that which is perfect.
But here, too, is the great danger in connection with sanctification.
When we see from day to day that it is not possible for imperfect human beings such as we are to do that which is perfect, we are tempted to follow the dictates of our own mind, which say that the perfect is impossible to those who are imperfect. Whereupon we lower the requirements to that which we think an ordinary person can attempt with success.
Faith, on the other hand, believes in the requirements of God, even though they are unattainable. And does not give up the requirement of perfection, even though it is aware of its own imperfect fulfillment of God’s perfect law from day to day.