“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:48 NASB
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE PERFECT?
In our previous session, we ascertained that to be perfect means to treat or deal with everyone right and in love (agape); be it a friend, neighbor or an enemy. For this is how Our Heavenly Father is Perfect. He allows the rain to fall on both the good and evil. The same goes for the sun. He loves the entire world so much both His friends and those who oppose him.
We are to be perfect as He is in our own sphere of life. There’s one thing I learnt concerning perfection as related to the Our Father in Heaven.
View perfection as a Circle. No matter how small a circle is in size, it is can still be a perfect circle- Round and complete.
Take Our Heavenly Father as the largest of circles that encompasses the entire universe of creation. We don’t have to be that big to be perfect. We don’t have that greatness or power to match up with him in encompassing the universe BUT each of us in our own particular allotted place can be a small, perfect circle.
The next aspects that are related to being perfect is that of maturity and completeness. These qualities also have to be combined in order to achieve perfection.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ
The preceding verses (v.11-12) reveals that the five fold ministry gifts are given by the Lord Jesus to perfect the saints. Here, perfection is rendered as complete; for the saints are meant to be measure up to the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Perfection, as indicated here, speaks of you and I filling up to the brim of the fullness of Christ.
Imagine two bottles with water. One indicating Christ and the other you. Christ being the water in the bottle is filled to the brim. Christ is complete. You however, are half-full. You are incomplete. Perfection as intended for you by the Lord, is for you to measure up to Christ by being filled to the brim hence COMPLETE or completely full. Like I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to be big to be perfect. Your bottle as compared to Christ can be a much smaller one BUT it has to be completely full on order to achieve perfection in your own smaller allotment.
Also , Perfection is translated from its original Greek form as teleios. Teleios simply means “to be Complete.”
Using the same passage of Scripture from the Epistle to the Ephesians, the passage concerning perfection also refers to the aspect of maturity.
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive..”
We are expected to be perfected in Christ that we should henceforth not be like children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.
Perfection here refers to maturity. We are perfected to be matured and firm in Christ and not spiritual children who don’t know their left from right and are hence deceived easily because of their ignorance of the Scripture and their close weightlessness in the Faith.
I was taught to picture maturity in this form as related to perfection:
Picture a little green apple on a tree branch. It is small, round, green and hard. In one sense, it is perfect because there is nothing wrong with the apple. It’s not being devoured and soiled from the inside by worms.
However, in another sense it is NOT perfect because it has not come to Maturity. It is unripe.
Once it attains maturity, it can be of use to many for consumption. Saints that have not attained perfection are like unripe fruits that cannot bless others fully with the nutrients of Christ without causing an upset tummy, ill health and even to the extremes of barfing up or puking what was meant to be digested as a blessing.
Endeavor to strive, not looking behind at your past but rather moving forward to attain perfection in completeness and in maturity in your own sphere of life in order to be a great blessing to others just as your Lord Jesus is and as your Heavenly Father is to all.
In our next session, we will further look into the means of being perfect; obeying this wonderful command of being just as our Lord Jesus and our Father in Heaven.