Journey of Truth: Part 2
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
In Part 1, we established perfection and excellence are in fact two completely different words with two completely different meanings. This week we’ll look at perfection a bit deeper. At elevateHim, we define perfection as man’s attempt to redeem himself. It stems from doing works, or an unhealthy drive for performance.
Before Christ came, died, and rose again, men had a very long list of regulations that was supposed to keep them redeemed – go read Leviticus for a harsh look into the Old Testament laws. BUT all of these laws—though they were from God—were temporary. These laws were not the final solution for man but merely a shadow of what was to come.
“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifice repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship” Hebrews 10:1 (NIV). Our works will never redeem our sins.
In fact, thinking and believing we can somehow achieve perfection is the ultimate statement of pride and biggest rejection of Christ. Believing man can achieve perfection can manifest itself in two separate ways: If you’re convinced you’re perfect, you don’t need God because you’re self-sufficient, or if you think you’ve failed by not reaching perfection you live in shame and hid from God. Both end in separation from God’s love and grace.
Believing we can do enough works to redeem ourselves is pride. Pride is the greatest separation between God and us. In fact it is a statement telling God what He did for us is not enough. God loves and accepts us despite our actions and our sins. Living a life of perfection is not only exhausting, but also an illusion. Performance leads to perfectionism; perfectionism leads to legalism. Performance, perfection or legalism means nothing to our Creator. He only asks for our hearts, but we first have to stop separating ourselves from Him and rejecting what He has done.
Jesus plus nothing (me and you) equals perfection! Our perfection comes from Christ in us – we were created in God’s image. He became the ultimate sacrifice, the innocent lamb led to the slaughter, so we could be blameless and faultless in the eyes of our Father.
Where has perfectionism separated you from God’s love and grace?