Showing posts with label Perfection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Perfection. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Idealism and Realism

A couple of blog posts and a recent sermon have me thinking again about the idea of perfection in the Christian life.

Sinless perfectionism is a minor heresy in the Christian community — not minor in the sense that it is an unimportant error, but minor in the sense that far too many of us can see the inherent impossibility of such a pursuit to be deceived into believing Christ-like impeccability can be attained in this life. Accordingly, the doctrine’s ardent proselytizers are few.

If you go around asking “Which one of you convicts me of sin?” long enough, somebody is bound to step up.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Law and Perfection

Would you like to live under the Law of Moses? Think about that for a while. A surprising number today would not. Some may even be Christians.

I have great admiration for the Old Testament law, more and more so as the years pass and the defects in the ever-changing modern legal systems under which we live in the West become increasingly apparent. Compared to the long-term effects of any modern or historic system, God’s law always comes out ahead.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Perfect Confidence

We were talking in a previous post about the goal of perfection.

Christians sometimes expect this of themselves, and some even claim to have attained it. And we have to admit that since we serve a perfect God, it is most natural to jump to the conclusion that he expects perfection of us. And in a sense, he does: no one who is not perfect is fit for fellowship with God. But we ended on a hopeful note (I hope), since we saw that the work of making us perfect is not ours but God’s … and to him be the glory for it.

However, a question surely remains: If God’s going to do it, just how? Surely he expects some effort from me — he doesn’t want me to go on sinning like a wretch, while blithely waiting for him to sort me out in spite of myself; or worse, just presuming that because perfecting me is his work, and salvation is forever, I can live like a complete moral wreck and imagine God is obligated to take me in whatever state I end up. That can’t be the upshot.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

The Sinless Christian

I was asked to do a study on sinless perfectionism recently for the first time in my life. You might think that’s a subject we’d have handled here on the blog, given that we’ve been publishing new articles daily since December 2013 and recently passed 3,500 posts; and certainly, we’ve made reference to the concept once or twice. But no, we’ve never gone into the teaching in any depth.

Partly this is because I’ve never encountered someone who believes in it.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

As Perfect as Me

“Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

A few years ago, I remember hearing about an evangelist who claimed he’d managed to conquer sin absolutely, and eliminate it from his life. In fact, he said he hadn’t committed one in twelve years.

His wife, apparently, backed him up on that.

Now, if you’re a woman that has lived with a man for any period of time longer than fifteen minutes, you probably suspect the wife has gotten into the cooking sherry. It’s just not reality. Sinless perfection just isn’t possible on this earth. And if you meet someone who says he’s achieved it, he probably needs to take a second look — if at nothing else, at the sin of pride.

But I don’t need to tell you that. You know from your own experience. As I do, from mine.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Anonymous Asks (98)

“Are Christians supposed to be perfect?”

We all know Christians sin. This is the reality we live with. I was just making another pass through the apostle John’s first letter, where we find these familiar words: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Whatever might be the expectation of us, and whoever might be expecting it, the fact is that we fail, and fail with some regularity. The longer we walk with Christ and the better we know his word and his character, the more clearly we will see our own spiritual inadequacy. So any Christian who claims sinlessness is lying, not just to the world, but more importantly to himself.

That is what is actually happening in our lives, but what is supposed to be happening?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Perfect Confidence

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

As Perfect as Me

The most recent version of this post is available here.