Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 4, 2018

“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” – “He who began a good work in you will perfect it”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 5:21-48.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court;  and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court;  and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’;  but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you;  for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you;  for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

“It was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’;  but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery;  and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven;  for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others?  Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:21-22 and 27-32 and 43-48.

———————

“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Verse 48.

If we cannot even superficially obey the Ten Commandments, then how can we obey these perfections of the Ten Commandments?!

The purpose of this Scripture is not to teach us to practice a hyper-righteousness based on the Law.  We cannot even practice a regular righteousness based on the Law.

Rather, the purpose of this Scripture is to lead us even more to Christ to seek that perfect righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith in Christ.

If Paul, a Jew, even a Pharisee, could not achieve a righteousness based on the Law, then why do we think that we can achieve a righteousness based on the Law?!

Rather, Paul sought that righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith in Christ.

“although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh.  If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:  circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews;  as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church;  as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,”  Philippians 3:4-9.

Perfection can not come from the flesh.  

“For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”  Hebrews 7:18-19.

For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.”  Hebrews 10:1.

“Are you so foolish?  Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”  Galatians 3:3.

Perfection can only come from God.

“14 For by one offering He (Christ) has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.  15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us;  for after saying,

16 “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,
AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”

He then says,

17 “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS
I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”  Hebrews 10:14-17.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.

Perfect wisdom, perfect righteousness, perfect sanctification, and perfect redemption can only come from the Perfect One, Christ Jesus.

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.


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