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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Is Living A Life Of Perfection Possible?

by Arthelo Palma

Is Living A Life Of Perfection Possible
I consider this a perfect work of art, because here I was able to exercise my great passion for putting a soul in any image I take. Your great love for what you are doing is the key to perfection.

We heard Jesus commanded God's people to be perfect. "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Our first premise here is 'God is perfect' and Jesus knows that those who genuinely believe in Him are capable to obtain perfection too. 

Is Jesus here trying to command something that goes beyond the nature or the actual capability of man? Let us go back to this point later.

Meanwhile, aside from becoming perfect, we also heard Him telling his followers to love one another. In fact, if you might have noticed, the verses before Matthew 5:48 talk about love.

Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?" (Matthew 5:43-47). After this, in verse 48 Jesus commanded us to be perfect, as the Father in heaven is perfect. As I have said, this is our first premise.

But what is the connection of Jesus' conclusion of commanding us to be perfect with his idea about love that He illustrated at the extreme as a righteous act even for our enemy?  Here where our second premise comes in.

God is love. "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" (1 John 4:8).

Therefore, in the presence of love that comes from God, there is perfection because God is Perfect and He is Love.

But what is love? According to the Scripture, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a).

For those who receive Jesus and accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior, they certainly know that when they become impatient, they start to go beyond the context of love. Impatience will always lead to the lack of understanding for others or circumstances around us. But Jesus showed His understanding for all of us as a sign of His great love to the people when He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know that they are doing" (Luke 23:34). Our envy breeds hate and this allows love for others to go out of our way. Our boast and pride are manifestations of a spirit that goes out of the way of humility. Humility is one of the ultimate characteristics of God as Love. Our anger will most likely allow us to easily judge and condemn people, and to become rude and self-seeking, which are another manifestations of the inability to exercise God's genuine love.

Consider therefore if everyone lives with love that comes from God. I am sure greediness that forces everyone to go for self-interest will be non-existent. No one will commit sin because they will recognize that their body is the temple of God (based on 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Then if they love God, which is His general command, they will learn to say no to sins that may be committed through our thoughts, words and deeds. Everyone who loves God will exercise to live a highly disciplined life because their interest is to live for the glory of God, so they want to engage their time, talent, and treasure in whatever righteous act that will please God. There is no crime, war, famine, corruption when everyone has that love that comes from God. The world therefore would be in perfect unity. No trouble. There is genuine joy. Perfection is everywhere. Even here on earth, we can start to experience what is it like in heaven if only everyone lives with God's love. However, for as long as many people will not believe in Jesus Christ and the kind of love that He wants to show and teach us, what we see around today will remain part of the daily struggle of the humanity.

See. There is therefore perfection when one has to live the love that comes from God. Jesus therefore knows that those who believe in Him will exercise this kind of love too, so He told them to be perfect. Thus, only those who believe in Him will be saved, for they are only the ones to be justified perfect in the eyes of God, because their genuine faith would mean putting everything into action, and that is to live in God's love, everyday and in eternity.The Scripture further encourages us to love. "Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).

Sins are manifestations of imperfections, because God as LOVE cannot commit sin for He is PERFECT.  

Today, if you hear the voice of God, harden not your heart (based on Hebrews 3:15). 

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R E L A T E D   A R T I C L E S   T O   R  E A D

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