Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

Psalm 4:4 says, “Tremble and do not sin.”  Generally, religious people today do not fear God to such an extent that they tremble when they sin.  People claim they cannot help but sin, because we are all sinners and people who say they have no sins are liars.  They use 1 John 1:8, as an excuse to continue sinning.  

Yet, at the same time, Jesus says we are to ℹ️be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48).  Jesus also commanded one person to go and sin no more lest something worse would come upon him.  

Was Jesus’ command unreasonable, or can we be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect?  Did Jesus teach this seemingly unreasonable doctrine about not sinning and being perfect to His disciples?  One thing for sure is, not many people know the answer to this Bible mystery.

The apostle Paul had the attitude that he had not obtained the state of perfection yet and therefore, he felt he wasn’t worthy to come up in a resurrection to eternal life (Phil. 3:11, 14).  What a far cry his gospel is from those today who preach, “Give your heart to the Lord and just believe; you’ll be saved.”  Some even go so far as to say you cannot lose your salvation once you have it.  They use only certain Scriptures and avoid others that will not back up their false doctrines of half truths.

Jesus Himself, who cannot lie, said you have to be considered worthy to attain to the age of the resurrection (Luke 20:35).  Doesn’t He know what He’s talking about?  Jesus told those who follow Him to beware of the teachings of the Pharisees (Matt. 16:6-12).  Those Pharisees, or hypocrites, exist today much more than they did in Jesus’ day.  Remember, there is only one true teaching and that comes from Jesus Christ alone (John 14:6).

Let’s see what God’s word, the Bible, has to say about being perfect and not sinning.  There is a word that is not used much or understood in God’s word.  It is a word that few people realize is a key that unlocks the true gospel.  That word is practice.  We’ve all heard the expression, “Practice makes perfect,” but not many people take that phrase seriously.  Yes, practice, when it is connected to ℹ️righteousness, does make one perfect, as Jesus said in Matthew 5:48.  Ironically, the key word “practicing” is used for the first time, in the New Testament, in the very next verse.  In Matthew 6:1, Jesus Christ Himself says to His true disciples; “Beware of practicing your righteousness to be noticed by men.”  These words show that true disciples of Jesus Christ practice righteousness, and it isn’t just a few hours a week.  It’s all the time.  

Why are true followers of Jesus Christ continually practicing righteousness—continually doing good?  The first reason is, they are imitating their Savior, Jesus Christ, who continually went about doing good (Acts 10:38).  Were Jesus Christ’s true disciples abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which they continually did?  The answer is, yes (Acts 9:36)!  This is how the Father in heaven is glorified and it is the Way a true disciple, or overcomer, let’s his light shine before others (Matt. 5:16).

The second reason disciples of Jesus Christ are practicing righteousness is, for overcoming.  You see, they are disciplining themselves daily for the purpose of godliness (1 Tim. 4:7).  Jesus gave His true followers instructions on righteousness and warned them that the righteousness they were practicing had to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees, or they would not be converted.  In other words, they would not enter the ℹ️kingdom of God within until their righteousness came from their hearts.  They would not receive the new nature, Jesus Christ’s nature formed in them, until their righteousness was no longer done hypocritically (Matt. 5:20; Gal. 4:19; Luke 17:21).  

All God’s Ways are righteous (Psalm 145:17).  All Jesus’ Ways were righteous.  All our ways must be made righteous before God.  How can this be?  God’s Ways are God’s Will, so then, God’s Will is righteousness.  God says we are to do His Will from the heart, and then we will have His nature formed in us (Eph. 6:6; 1 Peter 5:10).  There will be a certain amount of testing or suffering, but you can be sure it is nothing compared to the new nature and the revelation of His glory (1 Peter 4:12-13).

In effect, when you practice righteousness each day for God, you are overcoming the evil one, overcoming your evil side, your evil nature, your satanic nature.  Every time you resist the evil impulses of your snake-like nature, the snake and the evil impulses grow weaker.  The food that keeps the snake strong and healthy in your body is sin (Gen. 4:7).  Satan is put to death in your body by practicing righteousness for God and His glory (Rom. 12:21).  This allows God to crush Satan and put him under your heel or authority (Rom. 16:20).  Psalm 37:27 puts it all together when it says, “Overcome evil by doing good, so you will abide forever [live forever].” 

Many do not know that being born again is the  ℹ️overcoming process.  The one Scripture that is never mentioned by those who falsely say they are born again is 1 John 2:29.  It is saying if you know that Jesus Christ is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is truly born of Him.  True disciples practice righteousness daily for God’s glory, for God’s blessings and rewards, and for overcoming their evil natures.  They practice righteousness so they can have Christ’s nature formed in them, and enter God’s rest as mentioned in Hebrews 4:10 and Galatians 4:19.

Now, here is a point on righteousness about which many remain deceived.  First John 3:7 says, “The one who practices righteousness [for God] is [considered] righteous just as God is righteous.”  God’s word said it, we believe it, and that settles it.  You are righteous in God’s eyes when you practice righteousness to please Him each day.  

What about those who will not overcome by practicing righteousness daily for God?  They remain of the devil, according to God’s word, which cannot lie (1 John 3:10; Heb. 6:18).  Jesus overcame the world.  He was tested in all things and Satan could not find any fault in Him (John 14:30; 16:33).  We, too, are to overcome the evil pulls of the flesh and put them to death with the help of God’s Spirit (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:16).  If we don’t or won’t obey Jesus Christ, we won’t be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:2).  God gives His Spirit only to those who will obey Him (Acts 5:32).  ℹ️We must live as Jesus Christ gave us example to live, and overcome our evil natures by keeping His works.  We must endure to the end keeping them, if we are to be covered by His blood (John 14:12; Rev. 2:26; 3:21; 21:7).  The only exception for anyone is a situation similar to that of the thief who was dying on a cross.  Otherwise, there is no excuse for refusing to overcome.

The word perfect, in the Bible, means spiritually mature.  See the margin note in Philippians 3:15.  Mature followers of Jesus Christ no longer practice sin in their lives, but only practice righteousness toward God for His glory.  They do all the good that they do in the name of Jesus Christ as they have been commanded in Colossians 3:17.  They do not hold out on God in certain areas of their lives, but are wholeheartedly devoted to pleasing God.  They are perfect in attitude, perfect in gratitude.  They have developed honest and good hearts, if they didn’t have them to begin with (Luke 8:15).  They have been made complete (2 Cor. 13:9, 11).  They have rested from all their works of the flesh and have entered the kingdom of God within, which is God’s rest (Heb. 4:10; Luke 17:21).

Yes, practice does make perfect and idleness is the devil’s hand tool.  That fact has been explained, and proven in great detail, in this study.  If you want to be perfect, then you had better start to practice the faith of Jesus Christ, because there is only one faith (Eph. 4:5).  God bless you in your walk with God.

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