My favorite verse is Philippians 1:6—when God begins a good work in the life of a believer, He sees that work through to completion. In May, 1989, I cried out, “Lord, I am tired of living life my way! Let’s try living life Your way for a change!” Not a very eloquent prayer, mind you, but God honored that prayer. I have been a Christ follow since.
When I was born-again some twenty-six years ago, God began a good work in my life. Today, I am spiritually stronger and more mature. And this is as is should be. If I were in digression and growing spiritually anemic, then my conversion would not have been real.
Okay, so all of these years have gone by and I am a stronger Christian today than when I uttered that first prayer of surrender. But I am still a long way to from sinless perfection. So what did Jesus mean when He called us to be perfect?
Perfection can also mean completeness. I will continue stumbling and making mistakes as I journey toward Heaven, but I am complete now, that is, I am lacking nothing. I have God’s Holy Spirit residing in me. I have God’s total and complete forgiveness of all my sins—past, present, and future. I have God’s perfect word. I have God’s perfect Savior. I have all that I need to live the Christian life. I am complete.
On the other side of eternity, I will achieve sinless perfection. I do not have it now. I sin. I have a sin nature in me. And I will keep sinning while I walk in this body of flesh, but, again, my salvation is complete. I have God’s Holy Spirit residing in me, so I cannot lose my salvation. I have God’s word. I have God’s love. I have God’s forgiveness. I have Christ Jesus interceding on my behalf from His throne in Heaven. I have all that I need. I am complete. I will cross the finish line. He will not allow me to slip from His grip. I belong to Him. And the day will come when, again, I will achieve sinless perfection, but for today, though I still battle a sin nature, I am complete. And when He looks upon me, He sees me, not as I am, but as I will be. You see, His goal is to transform me into the likeness of His Son Jesus. He sees me, not as I am now, but as I will be. He sees the finished product. Whew…that takes a lot of pressure off of me. My Heavenly Father sees in me, not the mortal being struggling along my way to Heaven, but the completed man—the perfect man in a perfect, glorified body that will live forever with Him in sinless perfection.
My friends and family see me in my flawed state, but He sees something more and better in me. Say, are you a Christ follower? Have you trusted in Him as Savior? If so, you are being made into His image, too. And when He looks upon you, He sees the finished product.
Be perfect, my friend. And Merry Christmas!