Imperfect Perfection In Christ
Have you feared that you would not be good enough for God? Do you fear failing Him and missing the mark in a way that will disqualify you? This is an important transition that many Christians face. We come out of a performance-based culture. This is predictable in our jobs and careers since we get paid for production. However, the Kingdom is not performance based. It is faith based in the perfection of Christ. What does that mean for us? It should bring us both joy and freedom. Joy in the acceptance of God as His children and freedom to explore faith and not worry about failure.
Romans 8:14 The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:15 And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!” The Passion Translation
This is a very powerful passage that, if I may, just spend a moment with you. There are two tensions that make this communicate the most wonderful truth. It establishes both our connection and our freedom.
Holy Spirit speaks here on our adoption in Christ while setting us free from a performance-based relationship. We have not received a spirit of bondage that leads us to fear. Fear of never being good enough. That is important. First it is important that we understand it is not about how good we are but it is about the perfection of Jesus. This is a matter of faith. Knowing that Jesus has provided everything for us and we are received by grace through faith. Second, this produces freedom. Freedom to act as a son or daughter and not trying to earn sonship. This allows us to explore the leadings of the Spirit. We do this in the confines of scriptural understanding. Many mistake freedom to do whatever we want. This is dangerous. Sin is still sin, and it loves to make us slaves. If you want to stay free, then don’t submit to sin. Submit your yourself to God.
Rom. 6:13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
This leads us to the application of freedom. Many fear that if they attempt to pray for the sick or prophesy and do not get it right that somehow the Father is going to be disappointed. This is again comes from the performance based mindset. The Father rejoices over us when we attempt by faith to do what he has commanded. He knows as little children that we are in process. We sometimes forget that Jesus had 30 years to prepare for ministry. The kingdom is not a place where we always get it right. Like a child we are learning how to lean on the Spirit. It would seem automatic, but it is not. It takes time to develop. The Father applauds every step of faith like new parents watching their child take his or her first steps. He is filming it upon the canvas of scribes and celebrating our growing obedience. We should as well. Even the disciples had to learn, and they had Jesus teaching them.
This leads us to something I want you to embrace. Scripture tells us that we are perfected in Christ.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
Perfection does not mean flawless. You will learn along the way that you still need some polishing and shaving off of the rough edges. You are perfect, complete in Him. The great news is that you have been fully accepted as a son or daughter. This does not mean that everything we do is accepted. This also removes fear. Fear involves torment and punishment. Love involves discipline and compassion. You have been called and blessed to receive the latter not the former.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Hebrews 12:7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
So be full of joy and know that you are imperfectly perfected in Christ. You are in process. So loved by the Father that he has fully adopted you. Giving you the full use of the family name and full access to Him as the most favored. I say again, rejoice.