God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:21
Are you doing what God wants you to do? I have always been fascinated with the answers I get when I ask others this question, and yes, I have said stuff like this as well. Here are 3 popular answers: “Nobody’s perfect!” “Before I become old and wise, I must be young and stupid.” “I’m not as bad as some other people.”
What does it mean to be perfect? The best definition as it pertains to this topic is “without defect or blemish.” Each of us was born with blemishes and defects simply because we come from the seed of Adam who ate of the forbidden fruit (see Romans 5:12). If you have ever had kids, those blemishes and defects are really obvious. I never had to teach one of my kids to hit the other when one did something the other didn’t like. I didn’t have to teach them to say “MINE!“ I didn’t have to teach them to lie to get out of trouble. I never had to teach them to talk back to their mother. When somebody says “nobody’s perfect,” of course they are right. However, possibly the most pathetic thing in the world is a 37 year old who says they have had Christ in their heart for YEARS, yet they still yell “MINE!”
Now, right dead in the middle of history came a man named Jesus Christ. He was born of a virgin. This means He didn’t have Adam’s DNA coursing through his body. God literally created His second son, Jesus. He would be just like Adam was at first, without spot or blemish…absolutely perfect. Yes, the devil would try to get him to sin, just like he did with Adam, but Jesus would have none of it (see Matthew 4:1-11). What would Jesus choose to do with that perfection?
Read the verse at the top once more. I don’t know how God does this, but when I asked for forgiveness as a 16 year old teenager, my sins were transferred to Jesus. ALL of my sin…past, present, and future. Several years ago, I would have argued with this point because I believed that if I ever sinned again, I wouldn’t be right with God until I “asked for forgiveness.” That is until the day that I realized that when Jesus died, ALL of my sins were in the future, even the ones in my past. Either way, Jesus was made to BE sin FOR US. You want to talk about unfairness? He lives right, I don’t, and He takes the punishment for MY wrong! Why would he do that?
Read the verse at the top once more. He did this so I might become righteous…like Him! Am I perfect? No way! Can I become righteous? Absolutely! I can tell you that I am a LOT closer to perfection than I was as a 16 year old teenager. In fact, every year (well, maybe not a few of those years), I can say that I grew closer to Him and became more like Him. I was in my 30’s before I stopped saying “mine” and saying “here…you can have it.” If someone needs to be wronged, I’ll be wronged. That’s a big difference from when I used to blame everyone else and say “It’s their fault.”
Jesus was and is perfect. Therefore, if I am seeking Jesus, I am seeking perfection. The more of Christ I have in my life, the more perfect I am. Luke 9:23 says “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” Why do you say “nobody’s perfect”? Is it so you can continue to sin? That’s why I used to say it. These words gave me a license to underage drink, cuss, look at trash, and sleep with my girlfriends. Now, I want to be as perfect as possible, so how do I get there? I go after Jesus Christ. How do I go after Him? It starts with self denial…I have to deny those things that are keeping me from intimacy with Him. I know what mine are, and you know what yours are. Next, you pick up a cross that is VERY inconvenient to carry, especially in the United States of America. While carrying this cross you study and learn absolutely everything you possibly can about Jesus Christ and how He chose to live His life on this Earth. Last, you follow in His steps.
Nobody is perfect. But why do you say it? Is it so you can feel better about continuing in sin? I did, for about 6 years after I got saved. Or, is it because you realize how badly you need more and more of Jesus in your life? I hope this is my answer for the rest of my days.