“And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” -Ephesians 4:11-13
You have heard it said before, I’m sure, the saying that says, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” However, the question I have for you is, why is it, knowing that perfection in and through Jesus Christ is the goal, do we make excuses for ourselves as to why we cannot be?
The Bible says in Genesis 17:1 that “…when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I Am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect.”
Be thou what? Perfect.
There are many “professing” Christians out there today that look for every excuse in the book to use God’s grace as an occasion for the flesh to sin, which is transgression of God’s moral Law (I John 3:4), and then think it’s okay because God’s grace will cover them. I have news for you, God’s grace is not an excuse to stay in or get away with your sin. If an individual truly loves the Lord, then he or she will not look for an excuse to disobey Him.
Jesus said in John 14:15, “If ye love Me, keep My Commandments.”
The Bible also says that “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
A true Christian will ever be seeking to be perfected. He will not look for an excuse to sin,. In fact, he will do just the opposite. He will always be seeking for the empowerment in and through Jesus Christ to overcome his sin. It’s been said that the man who longs to be free from sin, is ready for the Judgment. The Bible also says in Psalm 138:8 that “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me…” and in Matthew 5:48 it says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.”
It’s God who does the perfecting, but we have to make the choice every day to yield our members as servants of righteousness and walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh.
Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
Wouldn’t it be something if the “Christians” of today really walked their walk in truth and were actually set apart and different from the world? I say that somewhat facetiously, but it is true. I’m tired of compromising Christians who are literally no different from the world by their actions other than going to church every Sunday. They act no different, talk no different, and in many cases actually copy their worldly friends rather than having those around them see that there is something different about them that makes them stand out and set apart from the world.
Why are we seeing this? Because they are not truly born of the Spirit and wrought in the Vine. They can hang on the branch all they want, so as to appear like they are Christians, but if they are not abiding in the Vine (John 15:4), they are only lukewarm pretenders who eventually the Lord will spew out of His mouth as the Bible says in Revelation 3:16.
So, in going back to the opening Scripture of this article, why did the Lord give some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers? …For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
So, the next time someone gives you an excuse as to why they continuously sin or a reason for their constant shortcomings, remember this Scripture and correct their false view of grace. Remember, it’s the man who longs to be free from sin and who is day by day being perfected by God’s grace that is ready to meet the face of our Father.