|Today’s Scripture: I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. Ecclesiastes 3:14|
|How do you add to perfection? You can’t. By definition, perfection is the utmost level that can be achieved. Perfectly perfect is redundant because if something is not quite as perfect, it is not perfect at all. However, many times in Scripture God makes redundant statements to make a point. Let’s look at a few examples.
Revelation 4:8 says, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.” First, “holiness” is the condition of being absolutely pure. Because of our sin, we are far from being holy, but we are told to “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) We are to work to become more Christ-like. However, God is not only holy, He is holy, on top of being holy, and holy again. This emphasizes just how separate He is from any impurity.
Also, “Lord God Almighty” is partially redundant. First, “Lord” indicates one who has authority over another. E.g. “Lord” was used interchangeably with “master.” Second, “God” indicates a being that has authority over different aspects of life. E.g. the Greeks and Romans had gods of war, love, the sea, crops, etc. Third, “Almighty” means all powerful and powerful in every circumstance. Therefore, an almighty being is God of everything because He has control over everything. Also, because He has control, He is also “Lord” because everything is beneath Him. However, it is only partially redundant because it was stated this way to separate the true God from the false gods of the culture.
In our verse, we see that nothing can be added to or taken away from what God does. We have no power to change what God does. When God created the world, He made everything perfect. There was no way to improve upon what He had done. Any attempt to alter perfection creates imperfection. When man sinned, sin entered the world, and we see the destruction it has caused in our world.
We will look at one more instance in Scripture where we see God be overly redundant. When God talks about salvation, He uses the phrase, “free gift.” In Romans 5:15-18, God uses the words “free gift” three times. A gift is something that has been paid for and offered to another without condition. Any compensation given in exchange causes it to cease to be a gift. It then becomes a purchase, trade, or some other form of transaction. Free is explicitly implied in the term gift. You cannot get around it. If works were required for salvation, salvation would be a reward for our service, not a gift.
If God offers salvation as a free gift, and God is perfect, why do we try to add to His perfect way? Again, if we change perfection, it ceases to be perfect. Because He is holy, God can only accept perfection. Christ, the perfect Son of God, came to Earth to die to pay for our sin. That is the payment God accepts – any other payment will not work. If you have never trusted in Jesus as your Savior, do it right now. When you do, you are accepting His free gift. If you already have, thank Him for providing the perfect way.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.