The mentality that “nobody's perfect” is killing our churches. Is it true? Sort of. Apart from Jesus, no one on this earth is perfect. But using that truth as a badge of honor or a license for sin does not promote holiness. In fact, it may kill our personal pursuit of holiness.
We often think of the Bible’s call to holiness to be only an Old Testament concern, but Peter quoted Leviticus in his letter to exhort us to be holy in all of our conduct (1 Peter 1:15). Peter writes clearly, “As he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:15). There you have it: be holy because God is.
Though some denominations historically have wrongly understood the call to moral holiness and perfection to mean that sinners can attain perfection on this earth, the pursuit of holiness is no less important. By the power of the Spirit, Christians are to become like Christ. And that means moral perfection. No, it’s not possible, at least not yet. But the “nobody's perfect" mentality often gets employed in the excuses we make for our sin. Too many of us believe we have some kind of justification for our sin in singing the “nobody’s perfect” song.
In many ways, what we need in our churches more than anything else is holiness. Thankfully, all those who have turned from their sin toward God have been declared holy in the sight of God because of Jesus’ righteousness that has been transferred to their accounts. Yet positional holiness displays itself practically in the consistent pursuit of holiness on this earth.
James argues that dead faith produces no works, but living faith produces works. A life that has been transformed by the gospel will not cling to the holiness of Christ without any practical holiness displaying itself in the believer’s life.
So let’s enjoy the benefits of imputed righteousness while walking in the Spirit toward a life that adorns the gospel message. Let’s realize that it’s a lie to say that nobody’s perfect, because in fact there is One who came to live a perfectly obedient life. And through his work of salvation, Christians have the power to pursue holiness because of the Helper who has come to make us like Jesus.