You Can’t Improve on Perfection

I feel like I need to write this, as a clarification. I choose to write a lot with a heart to call the church to purity and righteous living. I wonder sometimes if this comes off as self-righteous or legalistic.

If so, then I need to write this.

Self-righteousness and legalism are falling from the faith of the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is thinking that we can “earn” God’s love or favor.

It is a lie.

It is impossible.

We can’t improve on perfection.

When Christ our LORD died on the cross it was finished–our salvation was complete.

We can’t add to it.

We can’t earn it.

We can’t work for it.

We don’t deserve it.

We can just believe it, and receive it.


There is nothing I can add to my salvation.

Just like Abraham, we believe and it is counted to us for righteousness.

Because our good works are simply filthy rags.

It is our faith that pleases the Lord.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him.

But our faith, is worked out in our lives.

Abraham’s faith affected his actions.

He choose to draw a knife above his son’s head–because our beliefs affect our actions.

He knew God would honor the promise and that Isaac was the chosen son.

He knew God could even raise him from the dead.

If Abraham didn’t believe God’s promise, he would have protected the life of his child.

I want my faith to be worked out radically in my life.

Not to earn my salvation, because I can’t, but to prove that I am indeed saved.

That I have actual FAITH.

I want to boldly believe the Word of God.

I want to agree with it.

I want to order my life and my actions according to it.

I see people all around saying that asking people to repent of sin is LEGALISM.

But why does the Bible call us to repent?

Even if we just believe that we need to repent, acknowledge that we are helpless apart from God, and call out in desperation for His Spirit to help us.

Jesus saves us from hell, but He also delivers us from our sins (presently).

Yes, it is a process!

But a REAL Christian, wants to begin that process.

A real Christian is grieved by sin.

A real Christian is convicted by the Spirit.

This isn’t legalism.

If you call yourself a Christian, then you should be praying for the Lord to transform you.

The word says He makes us a NEW creation.

We are, by His Spirit, born again.

We still have a sin nature,

but do we hate it?

Do we pray for help?

Or do we put on spiritual sweatpants and kick back with cheeseballs and another episode of Orange is the New Black?

In prison–to our past, to our lust, to our old natures?

Are you comfortable in your sin?

Are you resigned to your cell?

Has Christ handed you a pardon,

And you refuse to leave the jail?

Let us realize that sin is not a gift.

Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? NO! Certainly not.

We cannot improve upon the cross.

We can’t improve upon perfection.

But we can prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect WILL OF God.

What is His will for us? That we be transformed!!!!

This isn’t legalism!!!

It is deliverance!!!

And guess what? We can’t even take credit for it!!!

He gets all the Glory!!!

He redeems and He delivers.

But we must desire it.

He won’t deliver us against our will.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

This isn’t legalism!!!!



God bless ❤


About The Last Hiker

Following Him Up the Mountain
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9 Responses to You Can’t Improve on Perfection

  1. Shannon C. says:

    Yes and AMEN!

  2. Saved & Grateful says:

    So much truth! It is like the fragrance of Christ. Thank you Last Hiker. So we’ll spoken.

  3. Becki F says:

    You have no idea how much I needed this today. God bless you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    People accuse also of being “judgemental” as well as legalistic if you dare say anything. I’ve come to understand that it is NOT judgementalism or legalistic if you are are trying, in love, to bring ACCOUNTABILITY. That is the key. People mistake accountability, (or refuse to accept it), for judgementalism or legalism.

  5. Sharee Odegard says:

    I look so forward to receiving your emails. You speak truth in a time when truth doesn’t seem to be the watchword…as we know from what God’s word tells us. I am forwarding this to my daughter since this is part of our ongoing discussion via telephone every day…I know she will appreciate and agree with your comments wholeheartedly just as I do. Thank God for your obedience in sharing what He puts on your heart. AMEN and AMEN!

  6. Anonymous says:

    There was a statement/question there that COULD or SHOULD be expounded on. IF you call yourself a Christian? I fear that there are many who have been inoculated with Jesus Christ. They have been exposed and have built up immunity to HIM, HIS Ways and the PRICE we must pay. This is not Legalism either. Give up your will to yourself and the world. Sacrifice the flesh. Workout your salvation daily. If we are not made ill by our own sin and the sin of the world or those standing right next to us. If we are not driven to our knees to pray for those and ourselves because they/we hunger for the world and NOT HIM. Then they/we are in Big Trouble. You will know them by the fruits of their Spirit. We know that it is an apple tree because it bears apples. The world or GOD the Father. Can’t have both. Righteousness or a life plagued by sin. It is not about being judgemental, it is about be humble, broken, Surrendered and willing to be used by GOD on this Battle Field. Rest assured we are at War. For the very soul of man kind. Do not be deceived.

  7. Ok, I’m breathing again! lol…when I first started reading this I thought, “Oh, no! Please, God, don’t let this be so”…you see, I’ve come upon a long-distance friend who starts off her explanation of the Salvation much like this…all the way down to “because our good works are simply filthy rags”…then she branches off into the slightly twisted idea that ALL are saved for ALL TIME (ever since the resurrection) and therefore all will end up in heaven. Ouch!! Thank you for only going down the path He has set for us the fact that we work it out daily. We must accept the cost of truly following Him and be faithful to persevere unto the end. Whew! Now I’m off to send this to her….

  8. Right! The bottom line is this: people don’t want to admit that they need to turn from their sin, because they don’t want to turn from their sin. They just want Jesus to “save” them. They want a ticket to heaven. But, they don’t want to relinquish their sin. But, you can’t have it all. They seem to pull the wool over their own eyes that sin is ‘no big deal.’ Well, to that I say, then why did God the Father have to send His holy, pure, perfect, precious, and only Son to come down in a human body and DIE on a cross in a tortured crucifixion death for OUR SINS?!?! Because, sin IS a big deal!!! And, He rose again, and sent the Holy Spirit; so that we can also rise again in His power to a new life!!! In sequence, in Jesus’ public ministry, the bible registers the first word out of His mouth in Matthew was this: REPENT! John the baptist said it. Jesus said it. The prophets said it. The apostles said it. The whole Bible says it!!! Yes, you do need to repent. The false gospel of the emergent church has muddied the waters on this as they sweep all serious flesh crucifying verses under the rug, along with those who proclaim them. But, truth is not mocked.

    There are differences in how it comes to pass, but it needs to come to pass. The Bible calls us to live a holy life. That is not pride. That is not ‘self’ righteousness. That is not legalism. That is not ‘holier than thou’ theology or what have you. That is our calling according to the God of the Bible. If we truly turn to Christ, we want His will for our lives, we want to please Him and be like Him, and that means we must live as He wants us to, and that means a holy life. We must repent and He will give us the Holy Spirit and thus the power to live as He wills, and that is what the process of sanctification is. We are justified by the atonement right away, but sanctified over time as we yield and grow in Him by His Spirit. The fruit is a holy life. We are not perfect until heaven, but holy, yes.

    Legalism is a term that has been totally misused. Legalism is misapplying old testament laws to new testament believers. Like ‘thou must keep the Sabbath’. Now, we worship on Sunday after the resurrection. We are not held to laws of circumcision or holding one day as holier than another. Ascribing salvation to these laws or holding the church to keeping them, that is legalism. But it is a lie of the devil to say we don’t need to obey God and His laws (like don’t murder, etc.). Christ fulfilled the Law for us perfectly. Now we live by His law of love. Thus we don’t need ‘laws’ to keep us in check. Galatians 5; 22-23. If we live by the Spirit and His law of love, we fulfill all such laws such as ‘don’t covet,’ etc. Now if a regulation is in the New Testament, the church is to keep it. That is not legalism; that is obedience. (That is why I follow 1 Corinthians 11 for women praying in public. It is not relative.) Now on to ‘self righteousness.’ First, we are called to live righteously. There is nothing, I repeat; nothing wrong with being righteous. I’m not talking about the ‘Christ made me righteous’ thing. That is justification. I speak of sanctification. We are to live a righteous life, that is not bad, that is good. Many will claim ‘oh, well Christ has given me His righteousness, thus made me righteous, so I need not worry, I may continue to sin because after all, He knows I’m a sinner,’ etc. etc. False! You are no longer a sinner now, you have passed over into His victorious life in the resurrection power! Jesus not only delivers us from past sins and their guilt, but He delivers us from THE POWER OF SIN in our life now! That is why we are a new creation. Notice that both righteousnesses come from Christ; justification righteousness and sanctification righteousness. That is why there is no room for ‘self’ righteousness; another word for ego and pride. There is no room for pride over this, and those that are proud in a ‘holier than thou’ way, you spot them a mile off and surely know what I mean; they stinketh! “Look how wonderful I am and all the good deeds I have done by My muscle and MY goodness… I, I, I…” etc. ad nauseum. We’ve all seen them and I have not been spared that “pleasant encounter” either.

    Surely you have all heard the Bible verses that turn grace into a license to sin, that we are to live a righteous life and repent from sin. There are too many to list them all here. But a few I will:


    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor. 6; 9-11

    Acts 3:19 – Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

    Luke 13:3 – I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    Ezekiel 18:21-23 – But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. (Read More…)

    Acts 17:30 – And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

    2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    Proverbs 28:13 – He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.

    Revelation 2:5 – Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

    Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


    2 Corinthians 7:1 – Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    Hebrews 12:14 – Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

    1 Peter 2:9 – But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

    1 Thessalonians 4:7 – For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

    2 Timothy 2:21 – If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

    Leviticus 20:26 – And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.

    Pretty much the whole bible, just keep reading!
    : D
    God bless you all in your pursuit of His will,

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