Perfect Christians!

Through a cloudy window…

June 8th, 2019

Nobody is perfect, right?  That is what they say. For the most part that would be correct, but God doesn’t operate based on our standards, he is not restricted to our laws of physics, or limited by the time allotted for any given task.

Literally, he is beyond all that.

Before we start to get a big head, let us understand that we in ourselves can never be perfect. Despite what your heart tells you, neither Mr. nor Mrs. Right exist. We live in a world that has been corrupted by sin and as a result we were born into that corruption and have flaws and shortcomings, too many for us to account for.

God knows exactly the tally of our failings, but a miraculous transaction took place which supersedes all those flaws.

Grace

Jesus came to live among us, die upon the cross for our sins, crush them with his power so they are no longer. He suffered the punishment we had coming. Then demonstrated by his resurrection that death has no grip on him, nor those who trust in him.

And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your minds as expressed through your evil deeds, but now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, without shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard.

Colossians 1:21-23 (NET)

As a direct result of that act on our behalf, and the investment of our faith in his ability to redeem us from our sins, we are elevated to a new life in him.

When we “remain in the faith, established and firm, without shifting from the hope of the gospel”, something remarkable takes place. God who knows all those faults, failures, and sins; brings reconciliation to our account. He does the by wiping the slate clean, the effect of which results in effectively negating all the wrong we have ever done. It is gone! No longer to be counted against us.

As far as the eastern horizon is from the west, so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.

Psalms 103:12 (NET)

The Psalmist knew we had no ability to understand the infinite distance God removes our sins from us, so he used the very best illustration that could have been conceived. Since east never encounters west, our separation from our sins are infinitely distant from us.

Even if we subject this truth of scripture to the physical makeup of this corrupted world we live in, and take two people going opposite direction around the globe, one going east and one going west; their courses will overlap at some point but they will still have further travel in the direction they are going; either east or west.

I remember a cartoon I saw as a child where a caricature of a factory worker doing the same job over and over, day after day, walks by a time clock to get his time card punched repeatedly. It just keeps going and going. In the same way, east never actually meets west because there is still distance to travel, in order to reach a destination which resides in infinity.

Just as we can’t possibly conceive of eternity, infinity has no boundary, so you never reach east or west, you just continue to travel on that course.

Grace separates us from our sin, THAT FAR!

I’m searching for the right word here but can’t seem to come up with it. It’s not literally, nor is it practically; this is actual. Our sin is removed from us in such a way it is erased from existence, it never happened. Our account of wrong is perfect and free from marks against us. That perfection is present because we are made perfect in Christ Jesus!

We who were enemies of God, now stand before God in perfection. Not of our own making, but of the one who became sin for us.

God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NET)

Perfect! So much so, that our righteousness becomes equated to the righteousness of God! It doesn’t get any more perfect that that.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1 (NET)

This is why we no longer are under any condemnation whatsoever! Prior to the application of Jesus’ grace, we were as guilty as sin. That sin is gone. Therefore, there is nothing by which to convict us. As long as we are abiding in Christ Jesus, our sin has been eradicated.

The Perfect Christian

Perfection isn’t obvious to us or those around us.

One of my favorite passages was written by the Apostle Paul and is part of the love chapter…

For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NET)

If we have been cleansed by the grace of Jesus, God knows us as the perfect creatures he created.
The Apostle points out that what we see right now is not a clear image of what is. The prism we are looking through is clouded by flaws and imperfections, which distort the actual image we are trying to observe.

This is true of Christians, and those who are outside of grace. What we see, is not what is.

Yes, there is no follower of Jesus who does everything right, nor can we profess a perfect pattern of speech and judgement. I can’t, you can’t, no one can. We are an imperfect creation. Not because God made us imperfect. His plan and execution was perfect. We were made imperfect by the corruption of sin in this world.

Jesus takes that imperfect you and imperfect me and transforms us into a new creation which once again is perfect.

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NET)

Repeating what we talked about earlier…

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1 (NET)

Notice the consistency of being “in Christ”, in both of these passages. This is because though we appear, and are, imperfect in ourselves, in Christ Jesus we are “Perfect Christians!

In the Grace of Jesus!
kip…

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