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
That’s what God’s standard is for the believer –
"that ye sin not." There are folks who claim to live sinless lives, and they are
often very ready to tell you so.
Like the boy who draws a caricature of some kind and then writes
underneath it, "This is a horse." Without the explanation you’d never know
it. I think of that when I hear a professing believer claim that he or she is living a
sinless life. If it were so, everyone would know it immediately; you would not need to
tell it. God knows we don’t live without sinning, but He does not lower His standard
because we don’t live up to it. He wants us, with His help, to aim at sinlessness;
and so He set us an example in the perfect life of Christ. Christ is our pattern.
When I was a boy, my father one day gave me a piece of lumber and told
me to saw twenty pieces just like that one. But, boylike, I dropped the sample piece he
had given me, and cut each next piece by the one sawed previously. When I got through with
the twenty pieces, the last piece was about two inches longer that the first.
Use others for your pattern, and you will get further and further away
from your goal. Perfection is found only in Christ.
The story is told of a gentleman who walked into a large museum, where
someone was painting a copy of one of those world famous paintings hung there for
exhibition. There was a quite a crowd around the imitating artist, watching him work.
After looking a while, the gentleman walked out, grumbling to himself; "What a crowd!
Here stand some fifty pair of eyes, looking at this cheap imitation, and not one was
looking at the marvelous original hanging on the wall.!"
But then. all of a sudden, he stopped and said to himself: "You
old hypocrite, you are worse than any of them! They were looking at the imitator, and you
scorned them. What about you? You were even further off. They were looking at the
imitator, but you were looking at the people who were looking at the imitator!"
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are
changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord"
(2 Cor. 3:18). That’s the way to become like Christ.