JESUS SAID, "BE YE THEREFORE PERFECT, EVEN ASYOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT" (MATTHEW 5:48). CAN MAN BE PERFECT AS GOD IS?
Jesus will not tell us something, if we cannot attain it. When He made that statement, it means it is possible by His grace. It is possible to be perfect when God is with us. The Holy Spirit records this of Noah:
Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. (Genesis 6:8, 9)
When God declares someone is perfect there is no argument about it. When a person walks with God, he is perfect. For the Scripture says:
Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)
And the Scripture declares of Enoch:
And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years. (Genesis 5:22)
The Bible says Enoch walked with God for three hundred years.
God was so taken up with this man and his perfect life that He could not live without him. God did something that He never did before to any man.
Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)
The father of faith was told to walk the only walk that God knows. God appeared to Abraham and said:
I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. (Genesis 17:1)
When one walks with God he is perfect; not by his own strength and righteousness, but by God's grace and power. God wants everyone to walk with Him, and God does not walk in a crooked path. His path is always holy and perfect.
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:16-18)
Paul, talking about his life, said:
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after. (Philippians 3:12)
No child of God, who is walking with Jesus, will claim to be perfect; it is God who declares that of them, and not they themselves testifying. And the road to perfection never ends. Till we die we will continue walking and will never arrive at a finish point. For all eternity, in fact, we will be walking on the road of perfection!
Talking about God's holy law, the Psalmist declares:
I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. (Psalm 119:96)
David could see the end of every other perfection but the perfection of the law of God was beyond his comprehension! And wouldn't that be same of the law-Giver Himself! He is infinite in perfection, in wisdom, power, love, grace, etc. Name any virtue and God is infinite in all. In fact, He is the source of it all.
When Jesus said:
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew: 5:48)
... He did not mean that we match God's perfection, which is limitless. None can be equal to God in anything; be it--love, wisdom, strength, courage, might, glory, perfection, etc. How can that which is created be equal to its Creator? We have our limited sphere and God has His unlimited sphere. As God is perfect in His unlimited sphere, we are called to be perfect in our limited spheres! God's capacity is boundless, and man's capacity has a boundary that ever increases as we walk with God. God's capacity is the same; it does not become more or less. It has no length or breadth or height or depth!
When a baby is born, the parents are anxious and want to know whether the child is normal and perfect. Every normal child is perfect even though they still cannot talk, walk, reason out, and recognize others. (And they don't even know who they are!) But they are perfect for their age, as we adults are perfect for our age. That is what God expects from us, living perfectly to the light that we have.
How can we be perfect in our sphere? Not on our own. We need help, and help is offered. The perfect one declared:
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Paul told us the precious truth that he received from the Lord. He said God can make:
Every man perfect in Christ Jesus. (Colossians 1:28)
Abiding in Jesus all the time is perfection!