Can humans reach perfection?


By BibleAsk Team

Humans and Perfection

In response to the question: can Humans reach perfection? Jesus says, “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The Word perfect in Greek is “teleios,” which literally means, “one who has reached the goal.” In Greek literature teleioi is used of full-grown or mature adult human beings. Paul speaks of “them that are perfect” (1 Corinthians 2:6) and of “as many as be perfect” (Philippians 3:15). At the same time he sees that there are new heights to gain and that he himself has not reached the ultimate goal of perfection.

In Matthew 5:48, Jesus does not here deal with absolute sinlessness at conversion for “Sanctification” is an ongoing process in the believer’s growth. But at each stage, as the Christian yields fully to God in obedience to all what the Lord reveals to him, he will be found perfect in God’s sight. The Bible says that Job was perfect (Job 1:1). This word does not necessarily mean absolute sinlessness. But it means, rather, completeness, integrity, sincerity. The man who is “perfect” in the sight of God is the one who has reached the degree of development that Heaven expects of him at any given time.

The Jews were working hard to become righteous by their own efforts, to earn salvation by works. But in their legalism they paid so much attention to the small details of the letter of the law that they lost sight completely of its spirit of love (Matthew 23:23). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tried to turn their focus from the husks to the wheat. They had made the law an end in itself, something to be kept for its own sake, and had forgotten that its purpose was to lift their eyes to the high ideals of legitimate love toward God and self-sacrificing love toward one’s fellow men (Matthew 22:34–40). The religious leaders preached that righteousness can be achieved in having an excess of good deeds over evil deeds in their records in heaven.

What the Lord wants from us is ‘perfect’ love. If we love Him so much that we would rather die than deliberately disobey Him like Daniel (Daniel 6), that kind of trust and love is Christian perfection.  Abraham loved the Lord over any other human relationship and this was shown when the Lord asked him to offer his son Issac and he obeyed (Genesis 22:12). This strong connection to the Lord or walking in the Spirit, like Enoch walked with God (Genesis 5:22), is Christian perfection.

How can this be done? With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). God supplies the believers with all the grace needed to have perfect love at every stage in their Christian walk.  Paul declared, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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