A Most Troubling Verse!

June 26, 2013
Matthew 5:48

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)       

If this one verse of scripture is true, then there is going to be an awful lot of people in trouble!  What verse?  It’s Matthew 5:48 where Jesus said, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  Charles Williams, in The New Testament in the Language of the People, translates the verse this way:  “So you, my followers, ought to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is.”  Whatever translation you choose, Jesus is saying, “Be as perfect as God!

Now who is as perfect as God?  No one!!!  And if this is God’s requirement to be accepted before Him, then – as I said before – this leaves a whole lot of people in big trouble!!!  Paul, in Romans 3:10 through 12 and 23 points out the source of this trouble:

    As it is written, “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who
    understands; there is none who seeks after God.  They have all gone out
    of the way; they are together become unprofitable; there is none who does
    good, no, not one.”…for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.

So here is the problem:  God is perfect – absolutely holy and sinless – and He only accepts those who are the same!  He cannot tolerate any sin abiding in His presence!  There are few in their right minds who would claim never to have sinned.  Our own human experience tells us, “…for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).  A teacher and author once said, “If you could carry a recorder around with you, even for one day, that would record not only what you say, but all that you do and even all that you think, you would certainly know, by playing back all that was recorded, that you disappointed God in more ways than one!  But you would not only be disappointing your Creator, you would also be a disappointment to yourself – not living up to your own expectations, let alone God’s!

But notice at the beginning of this blog that I said, “If this one verse of scripture is true, then there is going to be an awful lot of people in trouble!”  I did not say that everybody is going to be in trouble.  You see, there are some who are perfect, as perfect as Godthose who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Because when you open your heart and life to the Lord, believing that He died for you – in your place, bearing your sins – and you invite Him into your heart and life, then He does indeed come in.  And when He enters, He brings something neither you nor I can provide – the righteousness of GodWhen we have Jesus Christ, we have His righteousness, His holiness, His perfection.  And we stand before God as if we are perfect – as perfect as God!

So those who are in Jesus Christ – and He is in them as their Savior and Lord – are counted as perfect, and perfectly accepted by God!  These are the ones who are NOT in trouble!  They are safe and secure in the Savior!

So where are you?  Are you in trouble before God?  or safe and secure in the Savior?  Jesus has already done all that is necessary for you to stand before the Father, meeting His requirement of perfection.  Do not try to do it yourselfYou cannot possibly begin to pay the price!  But Jesus has already paid it in full.  Just reach out with the empty hand of faith and ask Him to come in.  After all, He gives this invitation in Revelation 3:20:

    Behold, I stand at the door [of your heart and life] and knock.  If anyone
    hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in….

Don’t continue to be troubled by Matthew 5:48 – God’s absolute standard that you must be as holy and perfect as He is!  The cost has been met, the price has been paid.  Jesus Christ died for you and lives again!

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