Sorry for taking a little while to respond to this thread. I've been preaching open air in Montana and just came down to Utah to preach with Brother Evan Schiable and others.
The Lord has been moving mightily, the Spirit's been working and has anointed the preaching. Sinners are being convicted and converted and the saints are being comforted and encouraged. We have been working with a lot of the saints down here and God has really blessed the outreaches.
But I wanted to quickly respond to this thread.
We can never have absolute perfection, only moral perfection.
Moral perfection is not when you have perfect knowledge, but having a perfect intention. A perfect intention is what the bible calls a pure heart, or a perfect heart; which consists of a person loving God and loving neighbor.
We all fall short of the infinite perfection of God. In order to have infinite perfection, you need to have infinite knowledge and infinite ability. [b][u]And we will ALWAYS fall short of the infinite perfection of God. We will never be infinitely perfect in this life or the next.[/u][/b] We will never be anything but finite, God alone is infinite.
But because we have finite knowledge and finite ability, we can only have finite perfection, which simply consists in loving to the best of your knowledge and loving to the best of your ability. The man who loves to the best of his knowledge, and the man who loves to the best of his ability, if blameless and faultless. And the law demands nothing else from us but to love to the best of our knowledge and to the best of our ability, the law demands no more and no less then that.
But all Christians fall short of the glory of God's wisdom (which is infinite), every day we fall short of the glory of God's ability (which is infinite) and we even fall short of God's moral character (which is infinite).
But what we can have is a pure heart, a perfect heart, which is nothing else then a heart of love. What we can have is a finite perfection, which consists in loving instead of sinning. Sin is always avoidable and love is always possible. Sin is always forbidden and love is always commanded.
There is no sin other then violation of the law of love:
- Nothing is sin except that which breaks the law. Sin is transgression of the law.
- And nothing is law except the law of love. "Thou Shalt Love..."
- And nothing fullfills the law of love except love.
Therefore, love fullfills the law - the man who loves God and loves neighbor is not committing any sins, but is a perfect man, without fault or blame.
If being finite was a sin, and God created us finite, then God created sin.
And if anything short of infinite perfection was sin, then we must either be made infinitely perfect to go to Heaven or else God let's sin into Heaven.
But God did not created sin, [b][u]because it is not a sin for us to be finite!!![/u][/b] And we will never be infinite nor does God let sin into Heaven, because finite creatures are only obligated to produce finite perfection. God will let finite creatures into Heaven, because it is not a sin to be finite!
Compared to the infinite God, we will always fall short and be nothing more the finite man. God made us that way. We don't need to repent of being finite, that would be repenting of what God has done.
Rather, we simply must do what God requires us, finite creatures, to do. And God never requires the unreasonable or the impossible, but only commands the good - reasonable - and attainable.
Nothing at all is virtue but love. Nothing is a moral requirement but love. And nothing is sin but violation of the law of love. No man is perfect in knowledge, but we must be perfect in intention - intending the glory of God and the highest well-being of all.
Sin is selfishness, holiness is benevolence. Nothing is sin (vice) but selfish intention, and nothing is holiness (virtue) but a benevolent intention. It all revolves down to that, do you love God and love your neighbor?
[b]ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS ARE PERFECT![/b] that is, all true Christians love God and love their neighbor; love fullfills the law; loving Jesus automaticly includes keeping all His commandments, because He only commands us to love!
Moral perfection (a pure intention/benevolent heart) is not only attainable in this life, but has been attained by all those truly converted - true Christians have a new heart, a pure heart, and therefore love God and neighbor.