Tuesday, March 02, 2010


'Christ says, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." How could a perfect God say, "Just sin a little bit"? This would be impossible. The standard is God's own perfection. And yet the Word of God does not leave us with a romantic notion that we must either have total perfection in this life or, if not, that we must smash everything and have nothing. I am firmly convinced that many wonderful things have been destroyed because people have had a preconceived and romantic notion in their minds as to what the perfect thing should be, would settle for nothing else, and thus have smashed what could have been.

'How glad we should be for the Apostle John when he says, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father." There is a tremendous and wonderful implication in that word, "we." John, the beloved apostle, places himself among us. On the one hand, we must stand against all standards lower than perfection. The standards are not arbitrary, but are those which the holy God who exists has given us in the Bible, and we are to take them with total seriousness. Anything less than the totality of these standards will not do. Sin is not to be minimized either in the individual or the cororate life. Antinomianism in theory or practice is always wrong and destructive.

'Yet, on the other hand, we must stand against all the romantic concepts of perfection in this life. The Bible does not promise us perfection in this life, except in the area of justification. It does not promise us in this life perfection morally, physically, psychologically or sociologically. There are to be moral victories and growth, but that is different from perfection. John could say "we". Paul could indicate his own lack of of perfection. There can be physical healing, but that does not mean that the one healed is a perfect physical specimen. The day Lazarus was raised from the dead he may have had a headache, and certainly one day he died again. People can be wonderfully helped psychologically, but that does not mean that they will then be totally integrated personalities. The Christian position is understanding that on this side of the resurrection the call is to perfection, and yet at the same time not to smash and destroy what we cannot bring again to life-- just simply because it is less than the perfections that we romantically build in our thinking. For example, how many women have I found-- and how many men-- who have stomped on a perfectly good marriage until it was dead, just because they had a romantic concept of what marriage should or could be, either physically or emotionally.'

--Francis Schaeffer, _The God Who is There_, Section 6, Chapter 1

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