Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Understanding Our Call to Holiness

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy Of: Aaron Burden

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." ~Matthew 5:48

I used to read Matthew 5:48 where Jesus calls us to be perfect (or “holy”, depending on your translation), and it wouldn’t make sense to me. After all, we are already holy in God’s eyes and made perfect in Christ at the moment of salvation. Surely Jesus wasn’t expecting us to be perfect in all our daily actions, for if that were even possible, then what would the need have been for a Savior? As for sanctification, that growth process is all about walking by the Spirit, not striving in our own strength to be perfect. So what is Jesus saying here?

It wasn’t until I actually looked up the meaning of the Greek word translated “holy” or “perfect” in this verse that it all began to make much more sense.

The Greek word “teleios” carries with it several meanings (as Greek words tend to do!), some of which are “being whole”, “wanting nothing necessary to completeness”, and “perfected”.

When Jesus calls us to be “holy” or “perfect”, He is calling us to live in light of what is already true of us - we are already perfect in His sight, already holy, already whole in Him, and already in complete possession of everything we need in order to live a life of godliness, fulfillment, and purpose in Him.

It isn’t about striving. It isn’t about a burden on your back of a standard to live up to. It isn’t about crossing all your t’s and dotting all your i’s. It isn’t about being sinless (we do, after all, still have the old flesh to still contend with!).

It is about walking in step with the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to guide and direct you, and living in light of what is already true of you, thanks to the glorious good news of the gospel. 

May that bring you some rest and peace today, friends! 

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