Jesus tells us that we are to be perfect as He is perfect (Matt 5:48). However, being human, it is impossible to be perfect. What do you think Jesus meant by this statement?
Here is a good example of perfection. Maybe it is close to what Jesus was meaning. A piano student practices day and night on a musical piece until he can execute it without error. His piano teacher would say that he plays “perfectly.” However, if he hasn’t moved on and is still playing the same piece a year later, he is no longer perfect.
Another example. Let’s say that you have a son with whom you are gardening in the hot sun. He sees you sweating and obviously becoming overheated. He thinks to himself, “I’ll go get dad a glass of water.” He goes into the house and gets a dirty cup out of the sink and fills it with lukewarm water out of the tap without any ice. He carries it by the rim so that his grubby fingers get into the water. He joyfully brings it to you, knowing that it will help your thirst. When he gives it to you, you look inside the glass and notice that the water is not very clean. What do you do at that point? Do you chastise him for bringing you a glass of dirty water? Nope. A loving father would praise his son and gladly accept the water and drink it down. You have a perfect son. His intent was to please you.
The concept of intent is the key in both of these illustrations. You know the intent of your heart (and so does God). Let’s say you do something that you think could be very helpful but someone misunderstands your intent and believes that you are not a very good Christian.
For example, a Christian brother chastises you for going into a bar. Your intent, when you went into that bar, was to talk to your friend that is drunk in there. You went in there to take him home and prevent him from further harming himself. Now the Christian chastising you does not know your intent. However, you do and moreover, God knows. Therefore, you are sinless (perfect) in regard to your going into a bar, a place where many people would say that a Christian should not be. So, as God told Samuel of David, God looks on the heart (I Sam 16:7) God looks at our intent.
Sinlessness (perfection) is to be judged by God only. That’s why we have a hard time with this concept, we are looking through human eyes. Some Christians have been taught that “we sin every day in thought, word or deed.” Nevertheless, it is possible to go for a while without sinning. However, it is VERY RARE. If a Christian looks in the mirror and says, “I didn’t sin today!” then he just sinned. If you go without sinning, you don’t realize it. You don’t realize it because you don’t focus on sin but on God’s righteousness and God’s ability to empower you to live a victorious Christian life. We are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness (Rom 6:18). You used to offer your body to impurity and wickedness. However, now, you offer your body as a slave to righteousness which leads to holiness (Rom 6:19).
For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.ironstrikes.com/2/post/2012/03/aw-come-on-nobodys-perfect.html