Matthew 5:48 states, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Does that seem like a tall order? Does God require the Christian to reach sinless perfection in his or her earthly life?
No, God knows we will not reach that state until we have our glorified bodies. 1 John 1:8 reads, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Why then does God tell us to be perfect? Sometimes I have thought, "If I can never reach perfection, why even try? Why does God ask me to be what is impossible?" I love it when I have had a question in the back of my mind and then in church God uses something our pastor says to give me just the answer I need.
Reaching perfection is not the point. Striving for perfection is what God requires of us. He knows when one strives for perfection, excellence is produced.
This was such an eye-opener and encouragement to me!
Olympian athletes are not perfect, but they have reached a very high level of excellence in their sport because they earnestly, diligently strive for perfection. 1 Corinthians 9:25 says, And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
Philippians 3:14 reads, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:13 states, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
We can be excellent Christians. God has given us the strength to do as He bids. As we yield ourselves to Him, we become more and more like Him--the Perfect One.