(MATTHEW 5:48) “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
As Christians, we are commanded by the Lord to be perfect. But how can we live perfect lives? I believe that ninety percent in the whole community of born again believers have a wrong notion on how to live a holy life or a godly life.
(MATTHEW 5:20) “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
What does the Lord Jesus mean to surpass the Scribes and the Pharisees’ righteousness? When we know that Jesus himself rebuked them for their hypocrisy? Are we going to surpass their hypocritical deeds? For them being righteous or to be holy is not to mingle with sinners. They despised Jesus for attending parties held by sinners or at the home of the tax collector. If there had been Pharisees during the time of Jesus, there are also Pharisees of today in churches because of misinterpretations of what the Bible says about how to live a holy life.
To be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect needs God’s abundant grace. It takes God’s divine power for us to live a life of godliness. Most Evangelical Christians teaches us that to be holy is not to attend parties of the unbelievers, because if you do you are no longer spiritual. You are a backslider. Another thing is that, if you sing secular songs or love songs you are also no longer spiritual. A well-known pastor of a large congregation here in America says that he doesn’t want to hear Frank Sinatra and Perry Como’s songs because it ticks him off. To demand people to avoid pop culture, standard or jazz music is to be spiritual or one way of living a holy life then, he is dead wrong. There are people who don’t dance and yet are not Christians, are they holy? A lot of people who doesn’t sing secular or love songs that are not Christians, are they holy? Avoiding those things doesn’t need God’s grace.
We know that there are songs or music that attributed to the devil like some satanic hard core rockers, but you don’t need to be spiritual to differentiate a wholesome music from those deafening sounds that irritates our ears that is not even music at all. We don’t need to be spiritual to distinguish between wholesome, beautiful dancing like Latin dance or ballroom dancing that decent people appreciates from lewd indecent dance of the young people today that doesn’t even have art at all.
God did not leave us wondering what to do how to live a perfect life without giving as the heavenly standard of living. These are some of the heavenly standard of godly living that the Lord Jesus Christ sets up for us:
(MATTHEW5:21-22) “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder and whoever commit murder shall be liable to the court. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, “Raca”, shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”
Who can guarantee in your whole life as a Christian that you will not get angry? Who can guarantee in your life as a Born Again believer that you cannot say hateful word like “you fool!” in a time that you are being aggravated by someone? The Lord says; you’ll be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Not to be angry in an actual testing of life and not to say careless words in time of aggravation takes God’s miracle with His abundant grace.
(MATTHEW 5:27-28) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
Who can guarantee in your whole life as a believer that you cannot be tempted to look at a woman and doesn’t lust even a little bet in your heart? No one can guarantee! In that case all of us are adulterous and are to be thrown into hell.
(MATTHEW 5:38-39) “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ “But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil, but ‘whoever slaps you on your check, turn to him the other also.”
(MATTHEW 5:43-45) “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOU NEIGHBOR, AND HATE YOUR ENEMY.” ‘But I say to you, ‘love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in other that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven…”
Who can guarantee to always have this kind of attitude and actually apply in your life without God’s grace? I have just quoted few verses out from the Lord’s heavenly standard of holy living or to be perfect. You read the rest one by one thoroughly and if you are honest in your heart you will admit that it’s impossible for you to live a perfect life without God’s divine power.
(2ndPETER 1:3) “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
To live a life of godliness takes God’s divine power. On our own efforts we cannot do it. What the Scribes and the Pharisees did was just human effort. Human effort will lead into hypocrisy. Man will get the glory. While, if it is God who grants the divine power it is God who gets the glory and excellence.
(John 15:4-7) Jesus says, “Remain in me, and I remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vain. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (Verse 7) “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”
Jesus and His Word, which is the Bible, must not separate. To remain in Jesus means to always read His Word and keep it. Then we can ask anything from Him.
(Matthew 15:19) “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man unclean.” Sin starts from the heart. Dirty heart produces dirty mind. Evil desire comes from an evil heart.
(James 1:14) “Each one is tempted when, by his own desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
We should always ask The Lord to cleanse our heart with His blood whenever we have evil thought or evil desire in our heart.
(1st John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We should always ask forgiveness to God immediately and never give the devil a chance to accuse us before God. (Revelation 12:10) The devil is the accuser of the brethren before God day and night.
We Born Again Christians are not immune to the evil that surrounds us. We have the tendency to be angry in difficult situations. We are conducive to lustful desires, to be jealous, to be envious and to be greedy. These are only few of the fleshly desire that is built-in in our innermost being. That is why Paul wrote in Romans 7:18 and says, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh.”
The good news is that whenever we tend to have that human lust or evil feelings or thoughts in our hearts, God’s Divine Power is within our reach. It is in our disposal. We can always ask God for forgiveness because Jesus said; “ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”
To live a perfect life is to depend upon God every moment of our lives. We depend upon His grace every moment of our lives.
(MATTHEW 5:48) “THEREFORE YOU ARE TO BE PERFECT, AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT.”
Read the topic: “Are all Christians going in the rapture?”