Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 5:48

"Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." -Matthew 5:48

Who is this command to?

Spoken to the multitudes listening to the Sermon on the Mount. The disciples are in the front row listening to these words of Jesus.

What does this command require?

Before we jump to any conclusions here, it is important to know what the word 'perfect' means in the Greek. teleios is the Greek word translated here and it means: 'complete, wanting nothing, mature, perfect.' This is vital to the meaning of this command. The Believer's Bible Commentary brings some clarity here: "It does not mean sinless or flawless. The previous verses explain that to be perfect means to love those who hate us, to pray for those who persecute us, and to show kindness to both friend and foe. Perfection here is that spiritual maturity which enables a Christian to imitate God in dispensing blessing to everybody without partiality."

What truths do we learn through this command?

We learn that we can act in such a way that imitates our Father in heaven. For the believer, it is possible to do good works that glorify God. And for the believer, it is possible to show love to those who don't deserve it. It is possible to pray for our persecutors and it is possible to bless those who curse us. Perhaps the greatest truth gleaned from this command is that with God's help we can do what is otherwise impossible. It is important to remember that each believer is God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Loving others is a result of God working in and through a believer to make them complete in Christ Jesus.

"and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." -Colossians 2:10

What are the consequences for disobedience to this command?

incompleteness, immaturity, sinful behavior,

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