Why does it seem that Jesus teaches that you have to be perfect to be saved (Matthew 5:48)?


Matthew 5:48

ESV - 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Clarify Share Report Asked March 01 2021 My picture Jack Gutknecht

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

Mini Anand Mishra

In each of us, two nations at war, good and evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, and one of them must conquer the other

But, in our hands lies the power to choose - what we want most to be, we are.

March 08 2021 Report

Aj wolf Summer Zorger

My Youth Pastor said nearly the same exact thing Anand Mishra. My Pastor said that we have demons and angels on our shoulders, a devil on one, and an angel on the other, and when you do something wrong the devil says "ooh yes keep on doing that", and the angel says " oh you know what to do, do the right thing." And like Anand Mishra said, we are in a war, with ourselves and we have the power to choose who we want to win, Satin or God.

March 11 2021 Report

Data Danny Hickman

Being perfect is not about being good enough for heaven. We can't be good enough for God or heaven.

God is perfect. What does that mean? WHAT is perfect?

Perfect ~ Without defect, flaws, or shortcomings. Accurate, correct or exact in every detail. Thorough, complete.

I don't think those meanings apply in the context of who people are, or can be. Regardless of how holy you might think yourself to be, you will never be without fault, flaws or defect in your being. So what does this "be ye perfect" instruction pertain to?

Me: How did your date go?

My daughter: He was a "perfect" gentleman.

She means that the guy conformed to her description or definition of an ideal type of guy. Was he without flaw or defect? Surely not. In this context "perfect" is downsized; it's reduced in scope to only refer to what type of date he was.

When we're told to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, we're to reflect His perfection to show that we're His newborn children. "Perfect" in this sense, is neatly trimmed to pertain only to our conduct as children of God. We're to be on our "best behavior." Can our best behavior be text book perfection? Absolutely not! It doesn't have to be. In this context "best behavior" assumes a stance of perfection.

Can we as people know what "perfection" is? No. It's like trying to "stop watch" FOREVER. How do you know when you get to it? (Dan 7:18)

We understand "figure of speech" everywhere, except when it's in the bible. Then we go literal...

June 12 2021 Report

Open uri20170217 17637 vv64vu Pamela Davis

In the above verse, “perfect” is translated in the Greek language to mean “complete”, and has nothing to do with the salvation of a person. As God is “complete”, we are encouraged to be the same as He is in all that we do.

January 21 2023 Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht

"So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

This remark echoes the more common OT statements like Lev 19:2 or Deut 18:13: “you must be holy as I am holy.”

It is our aim or goal, something to always strive for even though we will never be able to attain it in this life. In the afterlife, yes, but not now because we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags [to God]. He is absolutely 100% holy. "Thou art of too pure eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity" (a prayer to God found in Habakkuk 1:13).

January 21 2023 Report

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