Be ye, therefore, perfect, even as your Father, who is in heaven,
is perfect. Matthew 5:48
A wealthy farmer responded to the witness of a Christian employee by
saying, "I'll admit I'm not perfect. I get pretty angry sometimes. I swear a little,
and sometimes tell a lie; but I don't cheat people, and I give liberally to good causes. I
figure I'm better than the average individual, with enough good points to offset my
weaknesses. This should get me into Heaven."
That evening when the hired hand who had tried to testify to his boss
came in from building a fence, the employer said, "Well, Jack, is the fence all tight
and strong?" The man replied, "I can't say that it's perfect, but it ought to
do. Some parts are a little weak, but others are extra firm. There are a few gaps in it,
but I made up for them by doubling the rails on each side of the openings. Perhaps it's
not entirely satisfactory, but considering everything, it strikes a good average."
The farmer exploded, "Why you might as well not have built the fence at all. If there
is even one weak spot, the cattle will find it and go through. It must be perfect or it's
worthless." "I used to think so," came the reply, "but I've heard you
talking so much about averaging matters with the Lord, it seemed to me we might try the
same logic with the cattle."
I'm sure you get the message. Man cannot build a "fence of sinless
righteousness." Anyone who would try to earn Heaven by works would have to be perfect
in order to meet God's requirements. Since no one can measure up to His standard, everyone
needs forgiveness by grace through faith in Christ!"