We are continuing with our sermon series on the “Attributes of God.” I apologise to online parishioners and readers for being so absent but other responsibilities kept me away from sermon writing, I am definitely behind where I wanted us to be in our journey through this but what can you do? I pray that everyone is doing well and wherever you are in this world you are blessed and you feel the love of God in you, around you, and on you-because God loves you.
This sermon we are looking at the impeccability of God; Impeccability meaning, perfect, without flaw or error. I believe that this attribute best defines what God is, for no being can claim to be God without being perfect. No being would want to worship a God who was reactive, made errors, and sinned. One of the main tenets of Christianity is that Christ was fully man and sinless but He was tempted and as such we can have victory over sin because of Christ we can say we will be perfect. The Bible says “be perfect as Christ is perfect.” The last sermon I wrote was on the impassibility of God, and as I have said before God’s attributes cannot be divided. You cannot have one and not have the other. I don’t know about you but not only do I find it comforting that God and thus Christ is perfect but that there is no possibility of sin and because of that impeccability. We are going to be looking at God’s perfection in 3 ways, first the proof that God must be impeccable because He could be nothing but, secondly that Christ is impeccable because He is the incarnate God, and third what does that mean for us as Christians, devout followers of Christ.
People often think God makes mistakes. I was driving home one day and on a billboard of an Anglican church it said “many people want to serve God but only as advisors.” The reason people have trouble giving up control to the Lord is because they cannot trust because they are afraid He will make a mistake! Psalm 18:30 says that God is perfect! He does not make a mistake. In ancient societies the gods of old could be swayed and often made choices that human beings were disgusted with. Often times these ancient deities required sacrifices that were extreme and the legends of their conduct read like a rated r movie! A god should never be more sinful that their creation. In today’s society the three Abrahamic religions fight over many things but we thing we do not fight about is that God is perfect. As the Bible says that no one has goodness in them all goodness comes from God (Ps.16:2). If something is the source of all goodness it must be perfect. Rene Descartes posed this logical proof for God’s perfection and existence. He said that God must exist for we are aware of God’s perfection: He is the greatest (most perfect) being, it is greater to exist than not to exist, and thus God exists. Another proof of God’s perfection is His holiness. God is referred to many ways in the Bible but the top two ways God is referred to is as a God of mercy and firstly a God of holiness. God does not break His word even when we make mistakes, thank Him-even at personal cost to Him. But the relationship we enjoy with God is not evidence of His impeccability but that of Christ because if God had sent a mere man to pay for our sins, he would have come up short in the bill but we needed an impeccable man-we needed someone who had His foot in both worlds, the human nature and temptations we endure and yet the perfect nature of the Father; we have that combination in Christ.
We must be careful not say that Christ started life with a clean slate nature and struggled to avoid sin lest He would fall under His Father’s wrath but it was a struggle and almost lost it a few times. Christ is sinless because He was possessed and made up of the Father’s holy nature. And it was so intrinsically part of His being that while the enemy tried to tempt Him He could not sin because it would go against His very nature. In the Bible there is no evidence that Christ even thought about sinning. Christ is the physical and evidential human proof of God’s impeccability because as the Lord Jesus says “the Father and I are One.” So let us look at the proof that Christ and thus God is perfect. Well let’s go right back to the beginning, no not Genesis-too far, I am leaving lets leaf through the pages of time to just over 2000 years ago, roughly 2040 years ago-in Galilee, Nazareth should be good. This farm girl is sitting, resting from her day’s work. And an angel comes to herald good news of great joy. The Holy (perfect) Spirit of the Most High will come upon her and overshadow her. In the gospel of Luke the angel calls the Christ growing in the Virgin’s womb a “Holy thing”. This should not be surprising since the Son of God must be holy since He is holy. A son will always have the attributes of their parents-why should the Son of God be any different and since He is perfect and claims to be from God as the angels confirmed then logic dictates God is perfect. But what evidence do we have of the impeccability of Christ’s character during His adult life?
The perfection of Christ has been one of the most hotly debated topics in theology since the Lord’s ministry. But one of the most powerful passages Jesus claims His own impeccability without putting Himself about the Father is in John 14:30; “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” Jesus says plainly and humbly that Satan, the root of evil has nothing in Him or near Him so thus He has no sin. Earlier in the gospel of John Christ is so sure of His impeccability He challenges people to find one iota of sin in His life. He lays it out in the open as He did throughout His entire ministry; but He did the same with human beings. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Jesus put Himself on our level and as such He said since my life and all my personal little moments are open to you, yours are open to Me. Another proof of His perfection is the fact that Christ did not suffer illness, physical or mental. Illness is a result of man’s fall from grace as is death and Christ did not taste either naturally. Medical researchers say that based on the information at hand and historic analysis Christ should have died from His injuries and blood loss hours before. The final point I would like to look at is how God through Christ’s perfection is cause for extreme joy for us.
One of the core arguments people give for not accepting God’s gift is because they claim that they hate the thought of being judged and they feel extreme pressure because God is perfect they would feel more comfortable with a deity who can connect more to what they are going through. This would be a valid argument if Christ did not come but the fact that Christ, came, ministered, died and rose again. In 2nd Corinthians 5 verse 12 it says “For he (God) hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, who (Christ) knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” One of the most obvious examples of Christ’s impeccability in that famous event, His temptation by Satan in the desert. And this brings me to my third point, why His perfection is cause for joy on our part. The purpose of Christ being tempted in the desert was not as some people believe purification but a necessary part of His incarnation, the same way He was cold, or hungry, or had His hair grow. But the reason we should cheer at His perfection is that Christ overcoming temptation blots out an error from the beginning of time. The last Adam did what the first Adam could not. Jesus Christ has often been referred to as the Last Adam both Him and the first Adam are direct sons of God, one being completely human and a clear failure and the other the older, perfect brother. Dr. John McCormick summed it up best;
“The First Adam was tempted in a beautiful garden, and fell in utter defeat. The Last Adam was tempted in a barren wilderness, and was victorious. The First Adam was given a “helpmate” to strengthen and encourage him. The Last Adam stood alone. The First Adam was not tempted directly by Satan, for his inducement to sin came from the very one who was appointed to be his helpmate. The Last Adam was tempted directly by Satan. The First Adam’s defeat brought guilt and condemnation to all his posterity. The Last Adam’s victory brought grace and cleansing to all His posterity. Thank God, He who faced the Tempter in the wilderness was no mailed soldier with a toy shield defending Himself against paper arrows! He was the Last Adam, standing in the position of being the federal head of a new race, and winning for them the victory over the Tempter from the very beginning of their new existence!”
The entire premise of this sermon is that God is perfect but above that God is perfect and we should be grateful. This can be summed up finally and wholly in Hebrews 2:10, 14-18; “10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering… 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 for surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
In each of these sermons we could analyze for years and write novels expounding on one topic. When I start writing these sermons I always need to reign myself in and refocus myself. But fortunately that is not hard, the question I always ask myself to refocus is, how does this point to the supremacy of Christ? God is perfect, that really was never in doubt, but the reason people doubt Christ is because He is a man. He is a perfect man, no; He is a perfect Son of God sent to erase the imperfection of a fallen species descended from another son of God-that is the joy of Christ’s impeccability. May the Lord bless you this week, may He make His face to shine upon you and grant you peace. May the Lord bless you and keep you.