Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 (KJV))
Today’s big question: what is our moral calling?
Most parents want to see their children achieve great things. Some parents ask too much and some parents ask too little. It’s a fine line—how do we expect great things from our children without placing undue pressure on them? Sometimes this can result in parents exasperating their children (Ephesians 6:4).
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave an expectation for His disciples regarding an absolute standard for morality. We are commanded to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. That is not a low standard. In fact, there is no higher standard—or one more difficult to attain—than perfection.
No human being on the face of this earth can meet this standard. Yet, in Christ, this standard is already achieved both now and in the future. It is achieved now because when the Father looks on a Christian, He looks through the perfection of Christ. In another sense, it will be achieved later because one day we will be made perfect for all eternity.
Does this mean that we don’t have to worry about morality? The Apostle Paul answers this question by saying, “Certainly not!” (Romans 6:2). Our obligation in response to the saving work of Christ is obedience out of gratitude. True Christians desire to work out their salvation to glorify God. Our desire for good works and living a life to reflect Christ’s saving grace is an evidence of His work in our life. It is impossible to be a Christian and have no desire for the perfect character of our Creator, whom we are called to reflect.
In this world the calling to be perfect will be a constant struggle as we battle with our sinful nature. However, we can rest in the grace of our perfect substitute as we fight the battle to repent of sin and be holy. God has promised that in the new heavens and new earth, we will no longer have this battle, and moral perfection will be realized. For the Christian, the perfect standard is not an exasperating stress but a hopeful expectation of that for which we now strive in the strength of our perfect Savior.
Today’s big idea: the highest calling is perfection, and it will be achieved for every Christian.
What to pray: thank Jesus that He has set the standard and paved the way for us to meet it.