Thinking About Perfection

If man as he stands in the presence of God Almighty should claim sinless perfection he would become ridiculous. The late Ben M. Bogard is a good example of this. He once said “Jesus Christ remains in us! That prevents sin. My soul sin? No! Has brother Bogard ever sinned? In my soul I do not. I am as perfect as God himself as far as my soul is concerned.” -- Hardeman-Bogard Debate, pages 309-310. Bogard, a Baptist through and through, spoke the simple consequences of a wide spread view of salvation that is best known as “Calvinism.”

Another example of this is found in a little paper called, “Times of Discovery,” edited by Rick DeHaan, and published by the internationally known, “Radio Bible Class.” Here is the statement: “First, I need to remember that through faith in Christ I have a legal position of perfection, which covers me whether I am currently pleasing God or not. In Christ, I am always a ‘perfect 10.’ By dying for me, Christ qualified me for the family of God. He looked for perfection and found it in His Son, whose life I now share by faith.”

Those who hold the Calvinistic concept of the imputed righteousness of Christ to the saved have phrased it many diverse ways. But, no matter how eloquently or otherwise it is said, it arrives at the very same theological position. This position is based on the notion that once a person is really saved by the blood of Christ there is no possible way such a person could ever be lost. The Bible teaches that believers, washed in Christ’s blood and fully persuaded that what He did on the cross is sufficient to save the entire world, can so sin as to finally be lost. This does not discredit what Jesus did in dying for the sins of the world. It recognizes the proper balance between what the Lord made possible for believers and the responsibility that puts on believers. Calvinists put too much weight on the side of Christ and His death, which they often call His “work,” and virtually nothing on the side of man’s responsibility to keep himself in the faith and in the love of God by faithfully living the Christian life.

Being as averse to works as they are, the idea of the Lord working for their perfection before God has become the basic notion held generally by Calvinists.

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