If We Are “Perfect”, Why Don’t I See Perfect People?
The gospel has made significant inroads into religious Christian communities all over the world as of late. However, one common complaint heard from the religious is “Where are these perfect people?” In their mind, the answer to this rhetorical question is “no where.” There are no perfect people, or if they are “perfect”, it is only a positional perfection given to us legally—but we are still wretched sinners loaded down with sin.
The mystery of the cross, however, is that we have already been made perfect by his blood. This is not just a positional perfection, but a literal, tangible perfection.
If we have been born again, we are the “new person.” The old person is gone, dead on that cross that Christ bore some 2000 years ago. This new person grows into maturity like any child we might see in our own physical homes. Anyone who has seen a child grow, sees that it takes time for them to understand, figure things out, and develop into an adult.
In terms of our Christian life, our birth is the perfect justification accomplished by Christ. Once born, it is inevitable that we grow, learn, and eventually not crap ourselves. But these acts do not make the child less a child, nor make them unborn. We do not say, “The old man craps himself. This baby is crapping itself. This “baby”, if it really is one, needs to stop—otherwise, I think it is still that old man—it has not been reborn.” Of *COURSE* not. We know that a baby does what it does, but will eventually grow past its adolescent phase. By the nature of what a baby is, it grows. And some times this growth may not seem very impressive. But nevertheless, we grow into who Jesus is by what he has done.
Just as a child does not cause themselves to grow, neither do we. The parents help guide, mold, and shape the child as it grows. How much more our heavenly father loves to be involved in our new life, encouraging us toward maturity.
The reason we don’t see physically “perfect” people is that many have not matured. The presence of sin does not indicate that the immature are devilish heathens headed to the pit of hell. The presence of sin indicates that an individual is still believing a lie about who they are—that they are still that old person before the cross.
Part of preaching the Gospel is not just declaring that all have been made clean and perfect according to what Christ accomplished on the cross. Indeed, this is central! However, Christ did not just leave us as new-born babes left to fend for ourselves. He is our Father raising us into his image as his children who will inevitably look and act like their Father.
You are perfect. You are holy. We are his children. And our Father has so much more for you and I than just freedom from sin. He has made us his full-fledged children and is raising us into perfect image bearers of his likeness. We are being transformed into his likeness from glory to glory.
“When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
— Galatians 4:6
We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.
— 2 Corinthians 3:18
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