“In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being. And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3, 14 TLV)
We are all familiar with those verses, but have you ever thought about the depth of their meaning? First, we had the very Word of God in human form lived out on this planet in perfect obedience. Then, Jesus, the sinless Son of God, died in our place so we could be reunited with our Father.
Jesus came to show us the Father. Jesus came to go and send the Holy Spirit so that we may be empowered to witness and walk in His ways. As Christians, we should endeavor by the grace of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit to live like Jesus. Jesus is our ultimate example, and while I won’t obtain perfection on this side of heaven, we still have the instruction of Paul to imitate Christ and follow him and imitate him as he follows Christ. While Paul is a great example, he is still not our model for righteous living Jesus is; we don’t need to be concerned with a perfect performance but cultivating a heart and a life that wants to be like Jesus.
Jesus said in Luke 6:40, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” We can be like Jesus if we are perfectly trained, and we become perfectly trained by spending time in the Word and conforming our lives to what we read.
Don’t see this as a burden, a work of the flesh, or earning your salvation. The same grace that saved us empowers us to walk with the Lord. We may read that verse and think it is impossible and make excuses as to why that can’t happen, but it’s not about if we will attain that, but are we trying? Are we persevering in faith? Are we putting down our flesh and letting our spirit man have the ascendency in our lives?
The question this verse presents is not about ultimate perfection but how we will be trained. Some versions say perfectly trained, others say fully or completely; it’s not about how much of the Holy Spirit we have but how much of us does the Holy Spirit have?
To be fully trained means to complete thoroughly, repair, adjust, create, mend, prepare, and restore1. Does that put your mind at ease a little bit? Does it reveal the process of training and perfection? This is a lifelong process, not a one-and-done. Living like Jesus is daily; it’s a moment-by-moment way of life. God is not looking for us to be perfect; He’s looking for us to be with Him.
Rabbi Greg Hershberg said it’s about connection, not perfection. The other day I found those exact words in a journal from several years ago; a friend said it while she was preaching. We need to get the mind of the Lord concerning being like Jesus. God is not our taskmaster, He is our Father, and He wants to spend time with us, and he wants His kids to walk in His ways.
It’s time to break off the lie and the bondage the enemy brings with the term perfect and perfection and enter into the grace of walking with Jesus, enter into the grace of the Holy Spirit, empowering you to walk in obedience to the Word of God. We have freedom in Christ, freedom from sin, and freedom to righteousness. Enjoy your freedom, enjoy your walk with God and believe that you are able in the Spirit to walk rightly before God; this is not a burden; it’s a blessing!
- Luke 6:40, fully trained (G#2675), Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible