The Path that leads to Perfection!

Did you know that God has designs to make His disciples perfect?

Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

In this post, let’s open the Scriptures to look at the many Biblical references to perfection so we can understand God’s plan to perfect us.

Let’s start by considering the perfection of Our Lord Jesus.

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” Hebrews 5: 7-9

Jesus is the Holy One, God’s Only Son, God Incarnate and He was born perfect and He remained perfect never committing a sin. In this Scripture the reference to Jesus being ‘made perfect’ refers to Jesus fulfilling His mission to become the source of our ‘eternal salvation’. The very name Jesus in Hebrew means “God saves”. Jesus was born to save us and although perfect in every way, He was not ‘perfected’ until His mission of salvation on the Cross was finished and His love was fully consummated by dying to pay the price of our sins.

Notice also that although Jesus was truly Divine, Jesus was also truly human and He struggled in the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed to God the Father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 Jesus prayed this prayer not once, but three times. He sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane anticipating His torture and death by crucifixion yet Jesus willingly accepted His destiny and surrendered His Will to the Will of God. Here we see some of the critical ingredients of perfection—a willingness to be obedient to God (irrespective of how we may feel) and a willingness to suffer to fulfill God’s will and God’s plan.

On that very night in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said to His apostles, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38

The journey to perfection will not be devoid of temptation. Without prayer and spiritual discernment we will be on the path of imperfection marked by self-indulgence, lust and vanity.

“And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:4

The ‘quest for perfection’ is a life-long journey with Jesus where we progressively learn to become more and more like Him.

St. Paul didn’t exalt himself by saying he was perfect, but rather proclaimed the source of all perfection was contained in a relationship with Jesus Christ.  St. Paul said, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.” Philippians 3:12

“For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.” Colossians 1:27-29

In this Scripture we see that our perfection is achieved when we enter into a ‘perfect relationship’ with Jesus, enabling Jesus to work through us.  In my case I chose to spend a lot of time with God in silence.   I began to study God’s Word and contemplate God’s Holy Will in my life and in a profound silence punctuated by God’s gentle voice speaking to me through the Scriptures, I discovered the great love of Jesus. I discovered how much He loved me and how much I loved Him and I discovered my true identity.

In the Scriptures Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom. We believers of Jesus are referred to as His Bride. Jesus died to save His Bride from her sins and to prepare a place for her in Paradise. The Bride of Christ is intended to be God’s holy temple, a place where Jesus can live and work, fulfilling the will of God and the plans of God. Jesus died to purify His Bride. The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ cleanses His Bride, His temple, of the defilement caused by sin. This promise of purification is fulfilled when we confess our sins and go to Jesus for forgiveness. The quest for perfection begins as we acknowledge our imperfection and our need for Our Saviour Jesus Christ to cleanse us of our sins.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Once we are purified by the Lord, we must pray that Jesus remains in our hearts and in our lives. Jesus will take His rightful place in the temple as the Bride gives Her Bridegroom the highest place of honour. The Bride of Christ must be consecrated to God or she cannot be the Bride of Christ. The Bride of Christ belongs to Jesus Christ and she must live to give Him glory. A relationship of intimacy and total trust between the Bridegroom Jesus Christ and the Bride, His Church is the foundation of a perfect life. The Bride is gradually perfected by her Lord Jesus one act of love at a time. Her heart belongs to Him and she lives to obey His Word as spoken in the Scriptures.

“If anyone says, “I know Him,” but does not keep His commandments, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone keeps His word, the love of God has been truly perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him: The one claiming to abide in Him ought also walk just as in the same way that He walked.” 1 John 2: 4-6

Jesus gave up His life so that he could perfect us.  He gave all for us and we must be able to give all to God too.  The quest for perfection is worked out day-by-day as we pray for the Holy Spirit to enable us to will what God wills and to do what God wills. This happens as we invite Jesus into our hearts and as our hearts become His throne we begin to give God the place of highest honour in our life thanking Him for His providence, His love and His willingness to live in us. “…if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:12

Just as Jesus forgave us, we are also called to forgive one another. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20

Holy Lord I thank You for loving me so much that You called me out of darkness, out of a world of vanity, and sensual self-deception to discover Your truth and the greatness of Your love. Thank you for taking my hand and helping me to understand Your holy desire to be my Saviour and my Bridegroom. I give You my life, Holy One. I trust You Jesus and I surrender to You and want to live day-by-day with You, contemplating Your Word so that I can make choices to please You. I will pray for all souls Lord, that all may come to know You and love You and turn away from sin and evil. I will stand at the foot of Your Cross Jesus with all believers who will never let the time You died for us (3pm) go by without us stopping in silence to remember Your Passion and pray for the redemption of all souls. Please send Your Holy Spirit Jesus to renew our hearts and our world so that we can be perfected by Your infinite love and grace. We need You Lord! We love You! Let Your perpetual light be within us so that we can guide people to You, source of eternal salvation. You are my Heart’s Desire Jesus!

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