Perfection is a gift and a responsibility


Song of Solomon 4:7     You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

In today’s reading, Solomon summarizes his impression of his bride by declaring that there is no flaw in her. Is love  blind?  Perhaps when we look through the eyes of love, we gain such a perspective.   If we look at this passage from a spiritual view, we see Christ as the groom and we, the Church, as His bride.  The Bible says that for us, perfection is both a gift and responsibility.

We’ve seen this many times already in our readings this year.  Here again we see “already, not yet.”  When it comes to our “legal” standing before God, there is a sense in which Christians are already perfect. We who know Jesus as Savior have been reconciled to God through the death of Christ. God sees us through the lens of Jesus’ perfections. We have His righteousness credited to our account. (Theologians call this “imputation.”)  As a result, we will be presented to Jesus, our Groom, “without blemish and free from accusation” (Col. 1:21). In Hebrews we read, “By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Heb. 10:14).

However, practically speaking, there is still room for improvement. We certainly are not perfect.  Not yet.  The apostle Paul’s goal in ministry was to present believers to Christ as “a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish” (Eph. 5:27). Similarly, we are commanded to “aim for perfection” in the way that we live (2 Cor. 13:11).

How do we “aim for perfection”? One of the most important is the discipline of studying God’s Word.  Paul wrote that one of his chief aims in preaching God’s Word was to “present everyone perfect in Christ” (Col. 1:28). The one who studies the Bible will be “thoroughly equipped” (kjv: “perfect”) for every good work (2 Tim. 3:17).

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