Monday, July 24, 2017

PerfectionA group stood on a 1,600 year foundation of biblical history.  They could quote the prophets coming and going, backward, and sideways.  The Messianic view they held was holding steady at number one!  They stood upon the shoulders of priests, scribes, and knowledgeable scholars.   Their parents, grandparents, and all the way back to Abraham were their legacy.  There was no way they could be wrong.  That is, until they tried debating an individual that was “full of faith and power” (Acts 6:8).

What happens when you believe you have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, but you can’t “resist the wisdom and the Spirit” of your opponent (Acts 6:10)?   The simple solution?  You destroy his credibility!  “Then they secretly induced men to say, ‘We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.’” (Acts 6:11 NKJV)!  You add more charges, “For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us.”  (Acts 6:14 NKJV).  You prove your view is the majority one and his isn’t!  Once you’ve convinced others that the charges are true, you’re in the winner’s circle.  Your pseudo-truth triumphs!

Not many make a conscious decision to be like the synagogue mentioned in Acts 6:9.  Yet, even though we believe we have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, no one has perfect knowledge.  There is that possibility of being wrong on something.  The first congregation lack the proper understanding of Jesus’ commission for a decade or more and refused to share the good news with Gentiles (Mark 16:15).  Paul didn’t think Barnabas’ decision was “good,” so they parted company after a “sharp” exchange (Acts 15:39).  Peter had to be rebuked by Paul (Galatians 2:11-14).  Whether we admit it or not, we’re no different.

Sometimes people believe they are following the truth, but upon examination, it originated from man rather than God.  The problem is, that discovery is not made by some who continue to believe their position is valid.  Peter was convinced that it was against the Law of God to eat unclean meat (Acts 109-16)!  Evangelistic members of the New Testament church zealously taught Gentile Christians that they needed to be circumcised to be saved (Acts 15:1,5).  Members of the church of God in Corinth thought is was okay to denominate (1 Corinthians 1:10-13).  Some members in that congregation did not believe in the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12).  The church in Jerusalem had a sect within it called Pharisees (Acts 15:5).  Imagine that!  Also, that congregation was filled with members, like Paul, who continued to be zealous for the Law of Moses.  They continued in the worship and practices of that zeal (Acts 21:24). Yet, God’s grace was abundant.  These citations illustrate the fact that even inspired individuals could make mistakes, be in error, and yet continue to be covered by the blood of Jesus.  Although perfection wasn’t possible, faithfulness was!

When one comes before Jesus at the judgment, he will not possess bargaining power!  One’s demands will evaporate.  Argumentation will be futile.  Reasons will be exposed as useless excuses.  One’s boasting of self perfection will be regretted.  Nothing will count except the blood of Jesus.  If our faith has not led us to be cleansed by it, we will remain in our sins!    Unless our obedience was based upon what Jesus did for us, it will be bankrupt.  So, how perfect must your perfection be, to be perfect enough to save you???  Reality warns us that our pseudo perfection doesn’t save.  Jesus does!  He is the Salvation of Yahweh!  So, where is your trust (faith)?  Is it in your ability to save yourself by your perfection, or is it in the perfection of Jesus?