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Be Ye Perfect: Advancing to God's Standard of Righteousness

Welcome to A Journey through the New Testament! In this series, we will systematically journey through every chapter in the New Testament, unveiling the marvelous insights that can be found in the scriptures.


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Matthew 5:48 

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.


Perfection, ah, what a beautiful phrase. One that is quite taboo in modern day Christendom. Many live according to the phrase “nobody is perfect” however, this was not Jesus’ belief. Rather, it is His expectation for us to live in perfection. What is this perfection? It is simply when we choose to walk according to God’s word. 


Let's journey back to verse 21, where Jesus begins to establish God's righteousness in comparison to the law and the Jewish customs of His time.  God’s righteousness is true perfection. It exposes His character and heart. When we walk in His character, we are expressing His perfection; which in this context refers to His true intent for the law that is revealed in Christ.


Consider Jesus' comparisons from verse 21 onwards, where He contrasts the commandments of the law with the perfection of God:

VERSE

STANDARD OF THE LAW

GOD'S PERFECTION

Verses 21-22 

“Do not murder,” because murder brings you before the court.

Avoid pointless anger or cursing, as it leads to the peril of hell.

Verses 23-26

Be faithful in giving your offering.

Reconcile with your brother before presenting an offering.

Verses 27-30

“Do not commit adultery”

The lust of the mind is adultery

Verses 31-32

Whosoever desires divorce should write a letter of divorcement.

Only fornication is the grounds for divorcement (under the law).

Verses 33-37

Do not make false vows.

Abstain from swearing altogether. Let your responses be a simple yes or no.

Verses 38-47

Harm those that hurt you.

Be harmless to and bless those who harm you.

God’s perfection is revealed in character. Therefore we are instructed to deal in the manner God would - which is with love. When we walk in a love for man and a love for God, following in His steps we are perfect.


  • Written by Kareem Flowers, Sunrise with Jesus




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