So what’s the big idea? The goal in a Christian community is perfection!
Christian perfection can be defined as maturity of character that recognizes God’s standard for human excellence, seeks to understand that standard, and pursues that standard, while recognizing where one falls short.
Not that I have already obtained this [the full likeness of Christ and participation in his being] nor have I yet been perfected, but I hasten to grab hold of it, because Christ Jesus has grasped hold of me. Dear family, I do not consider that I have a hold on it. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are perfect think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Nevertheless, let us keep up with the position to which we have obtained [don’t backslide in your mindset or character]. Become my co-emulators [of Christ], brothers, and contemplate those who walk by the example you have in us.
The Nature of Christian Perfection
- It is defined most clearly in the life of Christ (Php 2:5-11).
- Other expressions of Christian perfection can be seen in the lives of God’s people (Scripture, history, living examples, etc.).
- It is a designation of an unattained ideal (Php 3:12).
- It is a way of speaking about those who pursue the ideal while admitting they have not obtained it (Php 3:15).
- It is the goal for citizens of God’s kingdom, not the standard for entry (Php 3:9).
What should the pursuit of Christian perfection look like? Well, it’s “the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” When you fail, acknowledge the failure and move on, ‘the righteous may fall seven times, but he gets back up…’ (Prov 24:16). Also, see Luke 5:1-11. You are more use to the Lord and other repenting rather than groveling.
We must acknowledge that this race is a team sport and see how you may help your neighbor. Hint: You help your neighbor by methods other than condemnation (Matthew 7:1-4, Philippians 3:15, etc.)
Application to School: Educational Excellence
The school has a vision of education. We offer to help you glorify God and enjoy him forever, impact lives, to dare to be wise, to serve the city by upholding truth, goodness, and beauty, and to celebrate diversity of godly practices among the Christian communities of the world.
We must model this correctly!
What would being this kind of person look like to you? What does it look like in your favorite people?
When you fail to meet the standard, confess that it is so and move forward.
Encourage your classmates to pursue Christian perfection or educational excellence without condemning or a superior attitude.