It seems like what Jesus is commanding is impossible for anyone to maintain, and he commands us to be “perfect”. Was this intended for people who thought they were going to save themselves as the standard that would need to be reached?
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
Romans 3:26-28 For He is the just and the justifier of them that believe in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? By the law of works? Nay, but by the law of FAITH. Therefore we conclude a man is justified by FAITH apart from the deeds of the law.
We are all flawed. We are all sinners. First John 1:8. If we say we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us.
Romans 3:23 For the wages of sin is death, BUT, the GIFT of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The GIFT of God is eternal life. Once we receive the free gift, we have eternal life.
Now that we are saved and have eternal life, we should live according to Gods word and as the Holy Spirit leads us.
When we disobey God He chastens His children. When we obey God, he blesses us and we will have rewards in heaven.
But whether we are an obedient child or disobedient child, we are still a child of God. John 1:12.
But God deals with us all on an individual bases. We have never walked in another persons shoes and we do not know what they have been through in this life.
The GIFT of God is eternal life. No one can earn it. Jesus paid the debt of sin for us so we can never be condemned again. John 3:18.
Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him who justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. We are declared righteous by God when we accept the free gift of eternal life.
But now we should grow in grace to keep from the chastening of the Lord and for rewards in heaven. First Corinthians 3:11-15. Salvation is free, rewards in heaven are earned. Eternal life is a free gift from God to us sinners. Ephesians 2:8-9. For by grace ye are saved, through Faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.
Since salvation is a free gift from God to all who believe on Him alone, we have nothing to boast in. You cannot boast in a free gift that we did nothing for.
But we can have practical righteousness. We know it is wrong to commit adultery, fornication, tell lies, gossip, steal from others, murder, and all the other sins Jesus paid for.
The problem is, when we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, the new birth, Ephesians 1:13. our old sinful nature did not die. We have a new birth, born of God, but we still have our old sinful nature that we were born with.
The new birth did not change our old sinful nature. We will have it till we die and receive our new sinless bodies at the resurrection.
First John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that BELIEVE on the name of the Son of God, that ye may KNOW YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.
Knowing we have eternal life is the most wonderful thing a person can know. We may have all kinds of trials and tribulation in this life, but eternity in heaven is forever. The GIFT of God is eternal life. Once we have the GIFT we can never be condemned again. John 3:18.