Steps to Perfection

Striving for perfection is probably the most difficult thing one can do; however, that does not mean that we can’t do our best to attain perfection. Matthew 5:48 states that we are to become perfect, just as our Father in heaven is perfect.

There are many ways that people search for perfection.  For example, some may look for the perfect job; others may look for the perfect mate; many people dream about having a perfect body.  These goals are very tough to achieve.  Even though someone may be satisfied with what they have, it doesn’t mean that it is perfect.   There are many things that can be perfectly achieved, as, for example, a perfect driving record, perfect attendance in school, or a perfect score on a test.  All of this takes work – this is how we strive for perfection.

To achieve perfection, we have to prepare for it, like taking a test, for example.  In most cases, studying hard will get us there.  Now what about us spiritually?  When we are given a test, will we be prepared to pass it?  Have we studied enough?  Have we studied continually to pass this test and any other test that we are given?  Preparation is the key. We have to be prepared at all times, especially when we are being tempted by Satan, just as Christ was on many occasions.  He passed all tests, challenges and temptations, and that is why He was perfect!

We might think that perfection could have been achieved from the very beginning of the Bible when man was created.   Adam and Eve had everything they needed and lived in Paradise.  Everything was perfect, but that didn’t mean that they couldn’t be tempted to sin.  Their wrong decision is recorded in Genesis 3.  Romans 1:18-28 tells us what has happened to this world as a result.  It is very tempting to sin, but we know what the consequences are when we do sin.  James 1:17-25 tells us what we should do when we are tempted to sin.   Not only do we have to listen to what we are being told, but we have to apply it as well.  When we are being taught in a class, we take notes and we study those notes so we can pass the test.  We listen to what the teacher says and we apply the information on the test.  The same goes for all of us, spiritually speaking.  We have our ministers who preach to us and we listen and take notes so that if we are ever in a pop quiz situation, we can answer questions confidently, thereby passing the test.

We do, however, have an extra edge, a study guide.  Our Bible is our study guide.  All the answers are in the Bible.  And to help us better understand the Bible, we have God’s Holy Spirit and our teachers in the ministry.  When we apply this valuable understanding to our daily lives, we are striving for perfection.

God has to permit it however (compare Hebrews 6:1-3), just as He permits trials in our lives.  When we are baptized, we receive His Spirit, His power, to give us strength, and that strength can overcome any trial.  God can do anything and once we have responded to His calling, which He permits, we have to be strong and faithful to that calling.  We have to be excited about His calling.  Of course, there are times when we are down; there are times where we feel like quitting; there are times when we feel alone; and there are times when we are discouraged.  During all those times, we have to feel encouraged because of what God promises us.  He knows exactly what we all go through, even through the toughest times.  This is when we should fervently pray to God and study His Word, because that is also the time when we are most vulnerable to sin.

To help us better strive for that perfection that we so desperately need, there are a few traits we must continue to work on, and we must continue to remember to apply them in our lives.  We read about these traits in 1 Corinthians 13:13.

The first one is hope.  We hope for the future, for Christ’s return.  We hope that we will make it and be part of the God Family (Romans 8:18-25).  At the same time we have patience, waiting in hope to be saved.

We must also have faith (Hebrews 10:18-23).  Hope and faith go hand in hand.  And with that comes one more trait, that of love, which is the greatest of all three.  We have to love God and each other as a family.  If we don’t show love for God and our fellow man, then we have no hope or faith in our future.  And without love, we have nothing!  We must love the church and love the work; we must love God’s law and consider the tests and trials that God allows in our lives.  God expects us to pass the test.  If we apply these traits in our lives and continue to prepare ourselves with fervent prayer and diligent study to pass each test that we are given, striving for that ultimate goal, then on that day, when Christ returns, we will be changed into perfect Spirit Beings.

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