Famous preachers teach that God doesn’t expect or require us to be “perfect”.

God does expect and command us to be perfect in the same way that He commanded Abraham to be perfect. Man’s incorrect definition of our being “perfect” is not the same as God’s. Man’s definition is that we have never sinned and/or that we will never sin again.

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Finding God’s Definition of Perfect
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When we hear the word perfect, we tend to only think of God’s state of being perfect in that He has never sinned. When we hear that word and misunderstand what God means when He commands us to be perfect, we will feel overwhelmed at that impossibility because we have all sinned and continue to sin. While that particular application of being perfect is completely true of God and all the holy angels, the biblical definition of the word perfect simply means to be without sin, without blemish, without spot and without wrinkle. These are the phrases God uses in the Bible to teach us what He means when He is telling us to be perfect.

🗝 It’s not impossible to be perfect the way God intends us to be through the continual cleansing process that we receive through His covenant of salvation, the everlasting covenant, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our being perfect according to God means our being holy in heart, in our mind, in judgment and in our actions in the same way that God is just, righteous and holy. The ONLY way we can be perfect and holy is through faith in Jesus Christ which includes keeping God’s covenant of salvation.

God said this about Abraham, a man who sinned just like everyone has sinned and “come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Genesis 18:19
“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him,

and THEY SHALL KEEP THE WAY of the LORD,

TO DO JUSTICE AND JUDGMENT;

that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.”

While God does expect and tells us not to sin anymore after we are converted believers in Jesus Christ, God also knows that we might sin again because of the weakness of our flesh and carnal nature. God the Father has made a way for us to be perfect through faith in Jesus Christ His Son and His blood atonement, through Christ’s continuing intercession and mediation as our high priest in heaven and through our continuing in daily confession and repentance.

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Jesus Christ’s Intercession in the Heavenly Sanctuary
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1John 2:1
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye SIN NOT. And IF ANY man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”

1Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”

1John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Romans 8:33-34
“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is CHRIST that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, WHO ALSO MAKETH INTERCESSION FOR US.”

Hebrews 7:24-25
“But this Man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

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Putting Away Sin and Having a Perfect Heart
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God’s definition of being perfect is to put away and resist sin while doing our very best to obey His commandments.

Job 1:8
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”

To “eschew evil” means to put away and resist sin. Here is a beautiful example of Job doing just that. Remember what Jesus said about lusting after a woman in the heart (mind)?

Matthew 5:27-28
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

Job knew about this back under the Old Covenant. Job says that he made a commitment not to look at a woman and lust after her. But he didn’t stop there, he also knew that he must be committed to controlling his thoughts about her as well because both were sinful actions. This is an example of how Job put away and resisted sin and God called him a perfect and an upright man.

Job 31:1
“I made a covenant with mine eyes;
why then should I think upon a maid?”

Again, God’s definition of being perfect is to put away and resist sin while doing our very best to obey His commandments. This is just like Jesus instructed us to do in the Lord’s Prayer. We are to confess our recent past sins, repent, ask forgiveness and ask for a renewed spirit like King David asked for in Psalms 51 when he asked God to, “create in me a clean heart”, “renew a right spirit within me”. This is the same thing we are doing when we ask God’s Holy Spirit to come into us when we say, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”. {more on this in the chapter about the Lord’s Prayer}

This is God’s definition of being perfect; it is when we have followed and are following God’s plan of salvation by keeping His Covenant daily. It is then that we, under the New Covenant, are cleansed daily from our past sins by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is then that Jesus and God the Father dwell inside us through His Holy Spirit. We know this is true because the opposite is made clear by the apostle Paul who said Jesus Christ is in us unless we are reprobates (meaning Jesus is in us through the Holy Spirit unless we are unrepentant sinners, then He isn’t in us).

2Corinthians 13:5
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

Unrepentant Christian believers who are continuing in unrepentant sinning are not perfect because they are made UNCLEAN (unholy and are then unforgiven) through any sin that they haven’t acknowledged, confessed or put away by repenting. This is the greatest danger of believing “once saved always saved” or falsely believing that God’s laws no longer apply to us. The Bible, including the New Testament, is clear that God’s moral laws are still in effect and so is the death penalty for breaking those laws, no matter if the person is an unbeliever or a born again believer.

God commanding Abraham to be perfect:
Genesis 17:1
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”

Jesus commanding us to be perfect:
Matthew 5:48
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

Jesus Christ in the New Testament is encouraging us to be perfect and holy like Him and our Heavenly Father:

Luke 6:40
“The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.”

Here in John chapter 17, Jesus is speaking to God the Father and describing in detail the process of our being made one with Him and God the Father through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit and our being made perfect (sinless/clean). We are at one with God and made perfect through the free gift of His Holy Spirit which washes our sins away when we confess, repent and ask for His forgiveness through our faith in the blood of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, the blood of the everlasting covenant.

John 17:21-23
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And THE GLORY which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may BE ONE, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

When we obey God from our heart by coming to Him in confession, repentance and asking for the forgiveness of our past sins, then God forgives our past sins and gives us His Holy Spirit.

1John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Act 5:32
“And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.”

John 6:63
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

Jesus is called the “last Adam” who was also made a quickening spirit.
1Corinthians 15:45
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”

It is by His Holy Spirit that God “quickens” us, which is Old English for “makes us alive”. Someone might say, “What do you mean? I’m already alive.” But what we need to know is that we are spiritually dead in our sins until we get rid of those past sins through God’s plan of salvation which includes a continuing process through the heavenly sanctuary and Jesus Christ ministering as our high priest. It is when we are forgiven and made clean and therefore perfect that we are given the promise of eternal life. We are made one with Jesus and God the Father by their Holy Spirit dwelling inside us. As soon as we sin again, that perfect oneness (John 17:21-23) is lost again until we obey the commandments to confess, repent and ask forgiveness.

••••••••••••••••••

1John 3:24
“And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.”

••••••••••••••••••••

Act 5:32
“And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.”

1John 4:12
“No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.”

This is the New Covenant process that takes place in the heavenly sanctuary through our daily prayers and by our faith which includes our obedience (Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4 & James chapter 2).

1John 1:5-10
This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

But if we walk in the light,
as He is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ
his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to CLEANSE us from all UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

Q: How often do we need forgiveness?
A: Every time we sin.

The Lord’s Prayer is a daily prayer. We are asking for both our “daily bread” and asking for forgiveness of our sins. We are not asking for forgiveness of those sins we’ve already been forgiven of, but only for the daily sins that come up since that last request of forgiveness.

Notice that the scripture says that if we say we have don’t have any sin, then we are deceiving ourselves. Christians who believe they are no longer bound by God’s laws, to obey them, are deceived and therefore dead in those unrepentant sins they are continuing to commit. They do not ask for forgiveness of past sins because they don’t know or believe they are sinning. They are calling God a liar in that they must deny they have sinned if there is no law applying to them. Scripture defines sin as being the actual transgression (breaking) of God’s laws.

1John 3:4
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

Notice also that the scripture goes on to say that when we are forgiven then we are cleansed. Cleansed from what? Cleansed from all unrighteousness (sin).

1John 5:17
“All unrighteousness is sin”

So that means when we do sin, we have done unrighteously and we have become defiled, dirty and unclean. This means we have become UNFORGIVEN and in need of Jesus Christ’s interceding and mediation between us and God the Father so we can receive forgiveness again and be made clean by Him, made perfect and without sin on our heavenly record. That doesn’t mean we have never sinned or that we will never sin again; it simply means we have obeyed God’s command to take care of sin every time through confession, repentance and asking forgiveness just like He told us to do and then resist sin.

Deuteronomy 18:13
“Thou shalt be PERFECT with the LORD thy God.”

Does our holy and righteous God ever tell us to do something we can’t do? No, He never has.

Abraham, the children of Israel and King David all lived under the Old Testament. All of these people sinned.

Romans 3:23
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

They all fell short of the glory of God. What does this “glory of God” mean? It means that God Himself has never sinned. This is generally mankind’s definition of our being perfect.

If that is our definition of being perfect, then when we read God’s command that we are to be perfect; we will become overwhelmed and confused that God would ask us to do something that’s impossible. How could we trust anyone who would demand we do the impossible? Everyone since Adam has sinned, so how can any of them have been able to be perfect like God commanded them to be? Satan has used this confusion to lead the great majority of Christendom into a state of death. The sanctuary system and plan of salvation leads us to a state of grace.

Mark 10:27
“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”

God’s definition of “a Perfect Heart” :

2Kings 20:3
“I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee IN TRUTH and with a perfect heart, and HAVE DONE that which is good in Thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.”

{note – Hezekiah lived under the Old Testament.}

1Chronicles 12:38
“All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with A PERFECT HEART to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.”

1Chronicles 28:9
“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with A WILLING MIND: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou SEEK Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever.”

1Chronicals 29:9
“Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.”

1Chronicles 29:19
“And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, TO KEEP thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and TO DO all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.”

2Chronicles 19:9
“And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do IN THE FEAR of the LORD, FAITHFULLY, and with a perfect heart.”

Psalms 101:2
“I will BEHAVE myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.”

Isaiah 38:3
“And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have DONE that which is good in Thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.”

Do you need God’s help today? When we meet the conditions of God’s Everlasting Covenant, we have His help. God can’t lie, His word is true and will stand forever.

2Chroncles 16:9
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.”

Isaiah 40:8
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

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Just doing commandments alone doesn’t make anyone perfect. Our hearts must be right with God and we must love the way God thinks. The way to do that is to study the Bible and hear His commandments, His promises and how He deals with everyone.

We must also believe in Jesus Christ as the sinless Son of God who is our Savior, our substitute for our death penalty, our mediator and our redeemer. We must keep His covenant of salvation.

Here’s an example that proves we must do more than just obey God’s laws in order to have a perfect heart.

2Chronicles 25:2
“And he did that which was RIGHT IN THE SIGHT of the LORD, BUT NOT with a perfect heart.”

This is talking about a king that obeyed outwardly but his heart was not joined in loving agreement with God and all His ways and it finally manifested itself. This king began in obedience but later disobeyed (2 Chronicles 25:3-4 versus 2Chronicles 25:14-16)

God’s laws are a reflection of His perfect character; a reflection of the heart of our beautiful God. We need to understand and agree with His right reasonings and judgements contained within His laws. But without faith in the blood of Jesus Christ that was applied in the heavenly sanctuary, none of these things are possible.

Mark 10:27
“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”

“With men”, as Jesus said, it is impossible for us to become God’s definition of perfect because we could never overcome sin on our own without God. But with God, He has made being perfect possible when our sins are forgiven and we have His Holy Spirit in us that works in us to do all His good pleasure, His will, His commandments.

It is God that works in us, but only when we give up our own carnal will and cooperate with His perfect will. If we refuse to cooperate; which we have the full ability to do, that’s called rebellion, disobedience and sin. He won’t force us to do His will against our own will; we must agree with Him. We must do our part of the agreement He made with us which is called “The Everlasting Covenant”.

Hebrews 13:20-21
“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 wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Philippians 2:13
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

God’s definition of being perfect is our heavenly record being sinless; not because we have never sinned or won’t ever sin again, but because of the blood of the Everlasting Covenant (Jesus’ blood Hebrews 13:20) we are made clean and sinless to serve Him with sincere adoration and agreement with His will, character, mind, and His heart. Only past sins can be forgiven and that covenant process, under both the Old Covenant and New Covenant, requires faithful belief in Jesus Christ our Messiah, which includes keeping God’s covenant through confession, repentance, asking forgiveness, believing we are forgiven and then continuing in obedience and resisting sin. That is God’s definition of being perfect with a perfect heart. The Old Testament folks did it and so can we.

Romans 1:18
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness”

1John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1John 1:3-10
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

Psalms 51:9-12
“Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.”

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