• By John Hicks

Out of context again…Perfect or not?

I just witnessed someone do something that I see happen all too often and that is they took the liberty to superimpose their own presuppositions into God’s word and thus they completely tried to redefine what God actually said.

This recent occurrence was over the use of the word “Perfect” by Jesus in Matthew 5:48 where He said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

The Bible editor, as I prefer to accurately call them, said:

"The word perfect does not mean sinless perfection but maturity (in Christ)"

This is scriptural gymnastics and it is not good at all. In fact this practice is completely dangerous as we should know what happens to people who add to or take aware from God’s word...

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Deuteronomy 4:2

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Proverbs 30:5-6

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18-19

Why did not Jesus say instead ...”Be ye therefore mature in Christ, even as your Father which is in heaven is mature”? Jesus simply did not say that nor should we assume any other meaning into what He actually said other than His original intent!

The context as it was written and preserved by God for us is perfectly fine and accurate with "perfect".  God is perfect. He is not mature. Mature assumes a process has occurred to get the state of maturity be it aging, study, experience, etc. God has always been perfect and has never had to mature towards anything.

The Greek word's less used interpretation is ‘mature’ and the most applied is ‘perfect’. In context the word does not magically change within what Jesus was saying in Matthew 5:8. To use mature is contextually wrong flat out.  For example, Jesus absolutely did not intend to say “Be ye therefore mature in Christ, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” That would also be ridiculous to assume.

People who have the biggest problem with this are those who struggle with understanding what sinless perfection is. Sinless perfection is not saying one cannot or will never sin but rather it is the condition that if one is right with God and not living in sin then they are thus in a state of not sinning.  

It is really that simple.

Those that truly love God and fully understand Him with fear and trembling choose to not sin. This means that they are morally perfect in God's eyes. This is indeed possible because God’s word says it is and in fact He commands us to do this very thing.

To sum it up it comes down to two very different presuppositional worldview positions, Humanism and Christianity.

Humanism says you are only human and will mess up or in other words you will sin and you have no control over that.

Christianity says one can be perfect in their heart as our Father in heaven is perfect.

We can with God’s power and in His will go without sinning, that is unless you are a humanist and choose to do otherwise (sin).

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