I believe a Christian is perfect because of his or her relationship with Jesus Christ (God’s Word). People are perfect if “Jesus Christ lives in them. This habitation gives people assurance of sharing in Jesus Christ’s glory” (Colossians 1:27-28). God judges people not from the outside but from the inside. As Scripture says, “The Lord does not see things the way people see them. People judge by the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). God sees perfection differently. He judges what is perfect by what is in each human.
Only God and Jesus Christ are perfect. So in order for a human to be perfect, he or she must have God and Jesus Christ inside. This relationship unifies humans with God and God’s perfection. Does not Scripture say Jesus prayed in this manner: “that all of us (Jesus’s disciples) may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. Let them be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so they may be brought to complete unity (perfection)” (John 17:20-23). Human perfection comes from this relationship between God, Jesus, and humans.
It may seem people are perfect when they have a relationship with some spiritual force or Jesus. Or, it appears that a person must have a perfect relationship with Jesus Christ to be perfect. The “fire” in the relationship, according to the world, indicates a perfect relationship. The world closely ties perfection to how perfect something feels. In this case, if a relationship feels imperfect, it must be imperfect.
So are we to believe that we are on the right track when we can feel that fire in our belly? Do I have to receive visions and dreams to validate my relationship with God? Must I think of new ways to serve God? Do I have to think of innovative ways to be a Christian today? If I make a mistake—or even the same mistake often—should I get discouraged about my relationship with God? What happens if I don’t know everything I want to know about God or Jesus? How can I say I’m in a perfect relationship with Jesus when it feels like I know nothing about him?
The world, with its improper balances, weighs the emotions heavily. The world judges a relationship on how it feels together. It, the world, must see visible evidence of togetherness. Worldly success usually indicates closeness with God, or what the world wrongly calls him, the universe or a greater force. The world seeks to achieve perfection in a relationship with Jesus. It seeks to pray more, forgive more, meditate more, or go to religious services more.
Perfection by doing
The world thinks if it gets in tune with its spiritual self, it can develop a better spiritual relationship. Going to church, mass, or any religious service becomes a requirement to strengthen one’s spiritual self. “If I could just go to church more or if I could just pray more,” the world says. “If I could do these things more, I would have a better spiritual relationship.” The world manufactures rules to create a religion that validates a desired connection with God. Thus, the worldly person says, “I am close to God, can’t you see. I pray 7 times a day.”
Oh, how the world wants to do so much for a perfect spiritual relationship! How much they want to do and do more! However, increased spiritual activity, though it can indicate a perfect relationship with God, it is not a requirement. Although fire in the belly can indicate a good relationship with God, it is not a requirement. Praying more is not a tell-tell sign of righteousness in God’s sight. Going to church everyday is not an infallible sign of a person’s relationship with him.
Who and what is Jesus?
What the world does not understand is this: People are not perfect because of their relationship is perfect with a spiritual force but are perfect because of their relationship with Jesus Christ who is “perfection.” “Who” and “which” are the key differences. The world focuses on the “it,” the relationship that must be perfect. However, Christianity focuses on “Him,” the person who is perfect—Jesus Christ. In Christianity, emotion (how something feels) does not determine perfection.
It is higher to think Jesus Christ is perfect, and this is the only relationship to perfection I have. Therefore, to become perfect is to become Jesus Christ vicariously. We become perfect by us enjoying the perfection of Jesus Christ and God. We cannot become perfect. Neither can we have a perfect relationship with God. Only Jesus had a perfect relationship with God. The world’s standards for perfection are too low. God’s standard of perfection is flawlessness.
The reality of perfection
So we read that “you are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. When you came to Christ, you were ‘circumcised,’ but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality” (2 Colossians 2:6-23). People’s perfection doesn’t come from physical things or things we do. Perfection comes from the spiritual surgery Jesus Christ performed on our hearts. We know that extensive surgery like heart surgery requires one to sleep.
Likewise, we rest and let Jesus do the surgery for us. We can’t perform spiritual heart surgery on ourselves. Scripture says that “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit, God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, if you want to boast, boast only about the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). Jesus is perfection. The only perfection we can say we have is Jesus.
Jesus is the way
Christians know that emotions don’t determine their perfection. “It is not about how I feel,” says the Christian. “It is how Jesus filled me with his clean and pure heart. Thank you Lord Jesus for the heart transplant you gave me!” The Christian knows that people can’t see evidence of this transplant, and sometimes evidence is not apparent to the Christian. “My heart transplant is inside,” the Christian says. “It’s not about what I do but what Jesus did.” More service to God is not a requirement for the Christian. “Although I may do more for God, Jesus did enough for me. He gave me his heart!”
One should see Jesus as perfection and the only perfection. This perfection is invisible and inside of the Christian. Since God made Jesus who is “perfection” and humans didn’t make Jesus, the only perfection humans can have is Jesus. Therefore, to become perfect is to become Jesus (Ephesians 4:12-16).