-Chidiebere Dennis Owah
A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF CHRISTIAN PERFECTION:
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48).
One of the Bible doctrines and teachings that has generated much controversy and hullabaloo in Christendom today is that of Christian perfection. There has been so much arguments and altercations, in some cases, among Bible exegetists on this doctrine that was first taught by God Himself in Gen.17:1 and then, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in our text above.
Now, there has been a lot of interpretations placed on this biblical concept of perfection. Some interpret it to mean completeness, maturity and fullness in Christ. To others, it suggests uprightness, sincerity and moral rectitude for converted believers in Christ. Well, no matter the theological or lexical meaning and leaning anybody tags on this biblical doctrine, the non-contestable fact is that it is an experience that Christ commands his converted children to possess while living for him on earth.It is a definite demand of the Lord from his faithful followers.That is what we want to critically examine in this piece.
We are liking at this command by the Lord Jesus Christ from 3 perspectives.They are:
1. PROPER PERCEPTION OF CHRISTIAN PERFECTION: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48).
As a matter fact,some religious people are bias against this teaching of the Lord.Once they hear ot read it,they blush.You see, this is where many people miss it. They think that Christian perfection is the same as divine perfection (that is the perfection of God),of course, you know as well as I do that that is not attainable. Similarly, we have others who suppose and surmise that we are talking about mental perfection, like God possesses. No. The perfection our Lord taught about is moral perfection. That a truly born again child of God should so yield his or her heart to the Almighty God for Him to so cleanse it of all mental and moral impurities, indulgences and immoralities which the non-converted fellow, who does not have God relishes. That, exactly is Christian perfection. Nothing more, nothing less. It is a work of grace that God himself does in us that makes us to possess his full image and likeness while we live for him here on earth.
2.PERSEVERING PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN PERFECTION: Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.(Colo.4:12).
Like every other Christian experience, Christian perfection does not fall on us like a ripe fruit. We have to passionately and perseveringly pray for it.Meanwhile that is when we have consecrated our hearts and lives to him and him alone. Without consecration, forget about perfection and purity of heart and life. Entire consecration bring us nearer to God than when we are still struggling with our whimsical and capricious lifestyle.
3. PERCEPTIBLE PROOF OF CHRISTIAN PERFECTION: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2Tim.3:17).
Christian perfection or perfectness, when attained does not leave anything to doubt. The proof of it will be visibly manifest in our character and conduct. People around us will attest to the fact that there is a divine work that has been wrought in us which distinguishes us from other so-so believers around. Also, our conscience will affirm it that something extra has been added to our Christian experience.
May God help us to heed this command by the LORD-BE YE PERFECT, EVEN AS YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT.