Christian Perfection Part 2. (Continued from Part 1.)
The Lord Jesus Christ gave this command to all who hear or read it. Matthew 5:48 “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
IV. I will now show that Christian Perfection is attainable, or practicable, in this life.
1. It may be fairly inferred that Christian Perfection is attainable, from the fact that it is commanded.
Does God command us to be perfect as he is perfect, and still shall we say it is an impossibility? Are we not always to infer, when God commands a thing, that there is a natural possibility of doing that which he commands? I recollect hearing an individual say, he would preach to sinners that they ought to repent, because God commands it; but he would not preach that they could repent, because God has no where said that they can. What consummate trifling! [A trifle is something that’s totally unimportant. If your friend is freaking out over which shoes to buy and you call her dilemma a trifle, you’re saying she shouldn’t get so worked up over nothing. Trifle comes from the Middle English trufle, meaning “fraud, joke, trick.”] Suppose a man were to say he would preach to citizens, that they ought to obey the laws of the country because the government had enacted them, but he would not tell them that they could obey, because it is no where in the statute book enacted that they have the ability. It is always to be understood, when God requires any thing of men, that they possess the requisite faculties to do it. Otherwise God requires of us impossibilities, on pain of death, and sends sinners to hell for not doing what they were in no sense able to do.
2. That there is natural ability to be perfect is a simple matter of fact.
There can be no question of this. What is perfection? It is to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. That is, it requires us not to exert the powers of somebody else, but our own powers. The law itself goes no farther than to require the right use of the powers you possess. So that it is a simple matter of fact that you possess natural ability, or power, to be just as perfect as God requires.
I witness, and I see myself doing it, Christians sharing that they are not perfect while smiling. WE ARE WRONG! We should be so ashamed of ourselves to fall to out knees in shame and beg our Lord Jesus’ forgiveness.
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