“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”1 John 2:1 (KJV)
“Jesus Christ, if that’s who you believe in, Jesus Christ, admittedly was not perfect when he was here on this earth.” This ridiculously inaccurate statement was made by CNN Host, Don Lemon during his show “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.” When I heard it I was filled with gratitude for two things. One, I don’t have to go to CNN to learn about, well, anything. Two, that I know from the Word of God that Jesus was, indeed, perfect — and I’m supremely grateful that He was.
If Jesus wasn’t perfect He wouldn’t have been able to be our sacrifice. The sacrifice for sin had to be spotless — perfect. Jesus’ perfection was attested to many times throughout scripture. 1 Peter 1:18-19 tells us, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Again in 1 Peter 2:21-22 we read, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.” Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:21, makes this statement, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
Jesus’ earthly sojourn was to show us the way — to walk and to live perfect. He gave us an example of a man walking in the perfect will and authority of God. This was done, not to discourage us in our own imperfection, but to encourage us to do the same. Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:48, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” He was not a cruel man. He wouldn’t have told us to do or be something that was unattainable. We were made in the likeness of our God. We were made to be like him in every way, that includes His perfection.
It would surely blow the tiny mind of a certain CNN Host, that not only was Jesus, indeed, perfect…we are intended to walk perfect as well. The Apostle John, in 1 John 4:17 words it this way, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.” As He is, so are we in this world. Wow. That is a mouthful. How can this be? It would be nice if, at salvation, we had no desire to fulfill the lust of our flesh any longer. It would be nice if we just walked perfect and never made any more poor choices, but we have a free will — and that free will sometimes has a very loud mouth. How do we walk perfect? Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “That ye put off concerning the former conversation of the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” We have to put off the old man. It’s a choice — a choice many of us have to make several times a day.
So what happens when the old man rears his head? What happens if our old nature begins to scream out? What happens if we make a poor choice? (I won’t even deign to call it a mistake, as a lot of what people call mistakes are actually just really bad decisions.) For that we have 1 John 2:1, what I like to called the “in case of emergency, break glass” verse. You don’t want to have to use the fire extinguisher. If everything goes right, you shouldn’t have to. But if something goes terribly wrong, its nice to have one. 1 John 2:1 reads, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” First of all, don’t sin — but IF you do…if you sin and judgment is sure to follow you have Jesus in heaven at the right hand of the Father as your advocate. He points to the mercy seat, sprinkled in His own blood and says, that sin is paid for, they are made righteous.
We have been given the ability to live as He lived. Walk as He walked. Do as He did. And in case of emergency, break glass.