‘“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one. I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me (John 17:22, 23).”’
My wife is a perfectionist, and being a keen gardener she loves tending her plants. She does what she calls ‘de-heading’ her roses. She says that if she clips off roses that have wilted, others will grow to replace them. I don’t doubt what she says is true.
Anyway, the main point I wish to make is that my wife likes ‘her’ garden to be as perfect as possible. Although she is a perfectionist I believe she accepts it can never actually be perfect. To be perfect it would have to be like the original Garden of Eden before the fall of Adam. Because of his disobedience to God, God cursed the ground (Genesis 3:17-19). From that time when God pronounced His curse the earth has never been perfect, and it will eventually be destroyed by Him (2 Peter 3:10), to be replaced with a perfectly new one (Revelation 21:1) which is not subject to the curse.
In this present age no one is perfect (Romans 3:23), apart from God and those whom He has perfected in heaven. To achieve sinless perfection for His people Jesus had to come to the earth and die on a cross at Calvary. He willingly gave Himself to die and suffer in the place of sinners (Mark 14:36). Unlike the repeated, ineffectual animal sacrifices required under the Mosaic Covenant, Jesus’ once for all sacrifice of Himself for instituting the New Covenant in His blood (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 12:24), was sufficient and effective for the total redemption of the elect.
Like for like, Man for man, He had to die and suffer the torments of hell in the place of those whose sins have been forgiven. When His Father looks upon them He sees them as He sees His Son – perfect, holy, sinless (Hebrews 8:12) and without blemish. However, they are best described as redeemed saints, who, in actual fact, will not be fully perfected until the second coming of Jesus when He will give them their new reconstituted, spiritual bodies just like His. Then they will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2), in all His glory.
Jesus is perfect. He has no blemish whatsoever. He is holy and just, forgiving those whom He loves, both old and young, rich and poor; indeed, all men and women, who have been born of the Spirit of God – irrespective of nationality and nature (Colossians 3:10, 11).
They are perfected in Him (John 17:23).
To God be the glory, great things He hath done.
To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.
Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see.
‘But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away (1 Corinthians 13:10).’