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Of Y'Shua The Messiah Of The Apostolic Faith
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You've probably heard these sayings, "nobody's perfect" and "everybody makes mistakes," many times in your life, spoken by your parents, siblings, relatives, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, or by the members of the church you attend. If you were to turn on the television or radio, you might even hear one of these statements being made by some famous television or radio personality. There is even a good chance that these statements are a regular part of your own vocabulary. The fact is, almost everyone in the world today believes that it is impossible to be perfect, and that making mistakes cannot be avoided.
Now these sayings are both true, and yet at the same time they are not true. They are true, if the speaker of the saying is referring to natural perfection. Yes, there are many things that we humans do unintentionally, and no matter how hard we try, there will always be something, some error, that we do not make purposefully, such as striking out while at bat in a baseball game, or messing up a favorite shirt by accidentally spilling bleach on it. Sometimes, we misplace things, such as keys, wallets, purses, even our money. We forget what we are going to say, we stutter, we slouch, we stumble, we trip, we fall. And the natural bodies we now dwell in definitely aren't perfect. One side of our faces is never exactly the same as the other, and our right legs are never the exact same length as our left legs. Some of us have to wear glasses because of impaired vision, while others must wear hearing aids due to hearing impairment, while others are completely blind and/or deaf. And not only that, but we have allergies, we get sick, we get injured physically, and the very worst of all, we die. It would most likely be impossible to write of all the natural imperfections of mankind, but what has been written is sufficient enough to paint a fairly detailed picture for you, of how all these things do happen, and will continue to happen in our daily lives, until the very end.
But there is a form of perfection that is attainable. It is a spiritual perfection, the righteousness and holiness which the Holy Bible speaks of throughout all its pages. From Genesis to Revelations, the Bible is filled with obedient servants of Yahweh, perfect men, and the lives of these men are a witness against all other men, proving that it was then, and is even now, possible to live a perfect life, free from sin.
Let's take a look at a few of these witnesses, good and faithful servants, with whom Yahweh the Father was well pleased. There was Abel, the brother of Cain. He offered unto Yahweh a good and an acceptable sacrifice, the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof, and by his offering he obtained witness that he was righteous (Gen. 4: 4, Heb. 11:4). Then there was Enoch. The Bible says that he pleased Yahweh because he walked with Yahweh (Gen. 5:24, Heb. 11:5). After that came Noah. He also was a just man and perfect in his generations, and he too walked with Yahweh (Gen. 6:9) Also there was Job. He was perfect and upright, one that feared Yahweh and eschewed evil. Even when Yahweh allowed Satan to take away all his riches, even all the lives of his children, he still held his integrity, and sinned not with his lips (Job 1, 2:1-10).
It would be erroneous to say that these men never, in their whole entire lives, ever committed a sin, because the Bible boldly states in Romans 3: 23, that "...all have sinned, and come short of the glory of Yahweh." 1 John 1:6-10 says, "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Yahshua Messiah his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." No, Yahshua the Messiah was and is the only man that never sinned. Nevertheless, these afore-mentioned men did not take advantage of Yahweh's grace by continuing in sin, but they spent the remainder of their time faithfully, consistently, and perfectly doing those things that they knew were pleasing in Yahweh's eyesight, and in their faithfulness, they earned the title of being called perfect. Now, with all these men that the Bible specifically refers to as being perfect, it should make us all wonder why anyone claiming to be a follower of the Messiah, would ever say that they can't be perfect.
Referring to Yahshua Messiah, it is written in Hebrews 4:15, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." When the angel of Yahweh spoke in Matthew 1:21, he told Joseph that Yahshua would "...save his people from their sins." And Yahshua himself said in Matthew 10:25, that "It is enough for the disciple to be as his master, and the servant as his lord." When Yahshua spoke to his followers in Matthew 16:24, he told them, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." You see, dear reader, Yahshua was talking about sinning. When he said "deny yourself" he was talking about not doing those sinful things that Yahweh does not want us to do. When he said "take up your cross" he was referring to the suffering that a righteous man experiences in his flesh, when he is no longer fulfilling the flesh's sinful lusts, but is doing that which is right in God's sight, instead of that which is wrong. When he spoke of "saving your life" he was speaking of continuing in the sins that we humans love to commit, and when he said "lose your life" he meant the opposite, not continuing in the sins that we as individuals love to commit. "To gain the whole world" would be to always get what we want, and to always get it right when we want it, in other words, to sin in any way that you want. But remember the next thing he said, he is coming back to reward all men according to their works. This means that if you sin, then you will not be rewarded the gift of eternal life, but rather you will be rewarded for your wickedness, and will most surely be cast into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
We all need to understand, that according to Romans 8:3, Yahshua condemned sin in the flesh, therefore it is absolutely impossible to sin and not be condemned. Romans 6:1 declares, and asks this question, "...shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Yahweh forbids it. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not (Don't you know this (he was speaking to the church, people that knew the truth)), that so many of us as were baptized into Yahshua Messiah were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Messiah was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." And this "newness of life," that Paul spoke of, is a life without sinning. He said it plainly, "How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Verse 12 says, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body," and when we sin, sin is reigning in our mortal bodies; instead of Yahshua spirit being in us, the devil reigns in us. It goes on to say, "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield ye yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace." Now, don't get confused about the law. When Yahshua came into the world, he fulfilled all that was written in the Law and the Prophets, and he ushered in a new Law, the Law of the Messiah. His law was not exactly the same as the Old Testament law. If it were, then the Jews would not have had such a problem with him. You remember the things that he said in Matthew 5. He told the Jews, "You have heard that it was said,...but I say unto you..." If the Messiah's wisdom was not greater than the wisdom given to Moses, who first received the law, then he would never have made that statement "...but I say unto you..." You see, when Yahshua came, he brought "the perfect thing", the doctrine that all men need to hear, in order to truly be perfect. Yahshua said in John 15:22, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin." (read also John 15:24) And now that Yahshua's wisdom is reigning in the earth, seeing that, according to Matthew 5:17, he fulfilled the Old Testament law, we all must be subject to his teaching, that is, if we want to be saved. The cloke for our sins has truly been taken away from us, and the truth is, no one ever has to commit sin!!!
To sin is a choice that we ourselves make. If mankind couldn't help themselves, couldn't stop themselves from sinning, then Yahshua would have never told anyone to "sin no more" (John 5:14, John 8:11), because he would surely have known that we can't help ourselves, that it's not our fault. Another saying that you've most likely heard at some point in your life is the famous excuse, "the devil made me do it." This is a complete and total lie, straight from the mouth of Satan, but it is still one of the main reasons why people believe that they cannot be perfect. People need to realize, and know the scriptures, how that Satan can't do anything without the Lord Yahweh's approval. Remember Job 1 & 2, where Satan had to wait for God to allow him to touch and afflict Job. Is Satan equal with Yahweh? Of course not. It was Yahweh that created Satan, so Satan must be subject, because Yahweh is almighty and all powerful. And we need to know this also, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but Yahweh is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1Corinthians 10:13) And to "be able to bear it," is to not sin. So then, if we seek for that way of escape, we will surely find it. After all, Yahshua did say, "...seek, and ye shall find..."
Perfection is not an option. It is not a "play thing". We all need to understand, that salvation and perfection go hand in hand. That's why the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:27, that Yahshua is coming back for "...a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Notice, that one of the criteria for going to heaven with Yahshua, is that we must be "holy," and to be holy is to be perfect. The Bible says in 1Peter 1:15, 16, "...as he (Yahweh) which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, (Yahweh said) Be ye holy, for I am holy." And Yahshua himself even said in Matthew 5:48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Once again, ask yourselves this question, Would Yahshua command us to do something that is impossible to do? And for all of you that love to say, "no man has ever been perfect, but the Lord", ask yourselves this question, Was the Lord Yahshua perfect, when he told us to be perfect in Matthew 5:48? Of course he was.
So, to the answer the question, Is perfection attainable?, the answer is, Yes. Not natural perfection, but spiritual perfection is undoubtedly attainable. In fact, it is even promised. If God commands it, then it is guaranteed that we can achieve it. If we hunger and thirst after righteousness, as it written in Matthew 5:6, then we will surely be filled. It is written in Heb 13:20, 21 "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Yahshua, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Yahshua Messiah; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. You see, it is promised by Yahweh, that if we keep all his commands, he will make us perfect. The sad truth is, most people who say that mankind cannot be perfect, have never even tried to be. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, Yahweh knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of the Messiah, depart from iniquity." (2Timothy 2:19) May Yahweh bless you and keep you, in the name Yahshua Messiah, AMEN.
Perfection: Is It Attainable?