There is a saying that I’m sure you’ve heard; “Christians are not perfect just forgiven.” Trying to live up to the demands of the law is an impossible standard. It actually doesn’t even matter what law you or I might attempt to live up to, we all inevitably fail. There’s always something that causes us to violate or break our own standards or to compromise some position for a greater good. Our oxen always seem to fall into a pit on the Sabbath day! 06 because of faithThus, keeping the law perfectly is impossible. It’s discouraging, demeaning, and demoralizing. It’s a standard that cannot be constantly achieved by anyone. The Israelites couldn’t do it. I think it was Spurgeon who wrote, “Too heavy is the burden to live by law, it demands bricks but gives not straw.” It makes us constant failures, even to our own standards.

“Oh, wretched man that I am,” Paul says in Romans Chapter 7. As a Christian I have standards that I find I can’t live by no matter how hard I try. The harder I try, the harder I fall. This old sinful nature of mine, this body of mine, keeps dragging me down. But Paul goes on in that passage to say “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He has set me free from my failure under the law and has wrapped me in His own perfection, His own righteousness. I have a vicarious “perfection” even now in my body of failure, but there’s more to the story than that. I have a hope! One day I will actually be “perfect” just like Jesus. Charles Noble said, “You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-term failures.” It is my only hope of righteousness as Paul puts it in Galatians 5:5. He says, “For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” The thing that keeps the Christian going in spite of his daily failures is the hope of “righteousness.” One day we will be perfect.

It’s so good to know that I’m forgiven now even though I’ll never attain to perfection in this life. This reality changes the way I relate to others and the way I see myself. I don’t have to be perfect, and neither does anyone else to enjoy a happy, healthy relationship with them. God holds us close in spite of our sin. It was while we were still sinners that God expressed His love for us on Calvary. People saved by “Grace” through faith alone struggle daily but wait expectantly for the culmination of their perfection in Christ; they do not pretend to have it now!