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Man, the Male Leadership Role as Directed by God - Part 5
Perfection is not an attribute of man
We ended the last Hub with this paragraph . . .
“God’s standards are unchanging. He missed nothing. He forgot nothing. When man sinned, God made no adjustments to the plan because the plan was already in place. Everything was finished. And everything was perfectly laid out in His plan.”
But with man, plans do not always pan out or something don’t work right. So he has to make adjustments. And those adjustments will normally begin with “how to fix it or make it better... for me.” But creation was no no man-made thing. And it was perfect in design. However, there man has always been working at “how to fix it or make it better... for me.”
Take note of Genesis 1:31-2:1,
1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Creation was “finished,” complete. Not just man, but the world, the plan and so on. It was the “sixth day” and all of anything was complete. And what was the state of things? It was “very good.”
Now let’s we look at the meaning of “very good” in the Hebrew language, the first language of the Bible. We find it means that the state of the world and all things in it or on it were “perfection,” that is in place and working as designed by God.
We, that is in our selfish, ego-led, finite minds, are incapable of truly understanding this “perfection.” The best we might understand and confuse with this perfection is “near” perfection. Common parlance might use the words “good” or “very good” or even “excellent” but none of these, nor any other word which the finite mind can grasp equates to the real definition of “very good” found in Genesis 1:31. In this area we are reminded of God's comment in Isaiah 55:9 meaning we are incapable of thinking or acting in the manner of God.
So God created a perfect world by His standards, according His designed plan and directed man, Adam and Eve, to oversee it.
Adam and Eve sinned and marred this state of perfection. Their actions “erased” the word “very” from the condition of the world. It is still a “good” world, but no longer perfect.
Now we come to a tight area in theology. Was man perfect in the beginning? And if we apply this word to him, what would be the criteria. Perfection does not change. It is the same in all ages, unchanging. Yet man changed crucially when he attained the “knowledge of good and evil.” So we see that man was made according to a “perfect plan” but man was not perfect.
Perfection or “very good” in relation to mankind, has never existed except in the being of one man, Jesus Christ.
God created man “in the image of God.” Image here has, at least, a two part meaning, neither of which is defined as perfection.
First, man was made a resemblance of God. This does not mean he “looked something like God." God is a spirit, John 4:24 and we have no idea what that spirit image may be, 1 John 3:2. The meaning here is man was given some of God’s attributes, but he was not God. He was given what he needed to fulfill his task, physical and mental abilities.
Second, he was given certain authority of God’s creation similar to God’s authority. But he did not have total authority. This is the meaning of being the “image” of God.
Man’s limited attributes, abilities and powers are best described by the Bible in 1 Corinthians 1:25,
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
If the two, Adam and Eve, were “perfection,” they would not have succumbed to temptation. But they were “man” and subject to sin and did sin.
Moreover, the Bible says that “all have sinned,” Romans 3:23, “and come short of the glory of God.” The surrounding verses, Romans 3:21-28, make it clear that God, through Paul, is talking about mankind exclusive of Jesus Christ, the sinless and perfect one.
“. . . the glory of God.” includes perfection. No one, not even the devil, Isaiah 14:14, has ever attained the perfection of God. No one was ever made perfect. And in spite of the words of several favorite, traditional hymns, no one has ever given his “all” to God, nor can they. Perfection would allow this but man is not perfect.
Now lets consider why Jesus Christ was the one and only “exception. He was sinless, Hebrews 4:15.
One cannot imagine the type of life Jesus exhibited when we consider many of us don’t even get out of the church doors before they are talking badly about someone. But Jesus was sinless, 2 Corinthians 5:21. Jesus Christ was the only sinless person that ever lived, 1 Peter 2:21-24. He was an exception, though not in the common understanding of the word and He was “perfect.”
Now be careful when considering exceptions. The charlatans of today, and probably days past, are always finding “exceptions,” new meanings and texts, forgotten scripts and so on to justified their actions. They post their “new revelations” verbally or in book form or, most notably, the modern versions of the Bible.
Jesus Christ was not exception or an “exceptional” man by common definiton.
Jesus Christ was an exception in that He was God and He was man. The “human” Jesus of Nazareth had a heavenly Father, God. But “inner” Jesus Christ is God. In theological language, Jesus Christ was “totally man” and “totally God.” Now that is an exception.
Jesus was the author of the plan of God, John 1:1 and John 1:14, so the “seeming” exception does not exist. Jesus, in the position of God, “wrote” His plan according to His abilities with the foreknowledge of walking the Earth Himself in the form of man.
God, being perfection, wrote a perfect plan. Man was made in a manner to fulfill his part in the plan. Man, being imperfect, violated the plan according to his understanding, but the plan continued and without adjustments and corrections. Therefore we conclude man was not perfect but his imperfect was factored into the perfect plan. And here the mystery begins. By intelligence we fail to understand these workings, but by faith we accept it. Suffice to say, nothing that the Bible has prophesied has ever been incorrect though some things are yet to be completed.
One must believe that God knows what he is doing even though we don’t. That is faith. And (my) faith is based on what God has said and done, Hebrews 11:1-3.
Now, using the wording of the Bible, some will say there were other “exceptions.” Most times these folks are not believers and are looking for a reason to stay that way. Or they were told something that the Bible supposedly says and believed it without checking the veracity for themselves, but espouse the position as experts.
In this subject area the name of Job will usually pop up. The Bible says he was “perfect.”
Job1:1, There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect . .
We'll consider Job and his "perfection in the next part of this writing.