Standing On The Head Of A Pin

    This article is to address a major issue that people wrestle with that causes major problems in their lives. It is the idea that one must be "perfect themselves" in order to become a Christian or be perfect to maintain their salvation. The Scripture that people often quote is. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect"  (Matthew 5:48).  However, the New Testament word translated "perfect" has more the meaning of "complete" or "mature" than absolute perfection.

    Churches often and other well meaning individuals promote the idea of absolute perfection in behavior. Churches often require all kind of loops that an individual must jump through in order to become a Christian. You must be christened as a child. You must go through  a certain Bible course study.  You must be confirmed. You must confess and repent of all your sins.  You must be water baptized  and for some it is using a certain formula of certain words. You must be a member of a particular church. You must spend some much time witnessing. You must tithe. You must speak in tongues. You must not curse.

    In essence, they want you to stand on the head of a pin.  And those who claim that they are living the absolute perfect life are lying to themselves.  An individual may honestly try to do all the things that he is told to do. However, no one in and of themselves can stand on the head of a pin. Those who are legalistic in their views will say, "You must do more" or "You must try harder" or "You must have more faith".  You may try, but never live up to the absolutely perfect standard that is required of you. An individual may again try, but fail.  He or she feels guilty and condemned.  After a time he may become depressed and  may say, "Phooey on Christianity!"

    In the Old Testament concept, it is understood that standing on the head of a pin is not feasible. "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one"  (Romans 3:10).  This is most likely taken from, "Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one"  (Psalms 53:3).  Paul concludes, "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin"  (Romans 3:20). In fact that natural man can't even receive the things of God.  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"  (I Corinthians 2:14).  How then can an individual receive salvation, if he can not stand on the head of the pin (live a absolutely perfect life)?

    The solution is found in Jesus, the only begotten Son of God.  The Old Testament requirement of God was for there to be a lamb without spot or blemish to be sacrificed to cover a man's sin and that was only for one year.  "Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats"  (Exodus 12:5).  However, Jesus became that perfect sacrifice.  "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot"  (I Peter 1:19). The sacrifice of Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, was not just to cover one's sins for a year, but was to take away one's sins forever! "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God"  (Hebrews 10:12). O.K, so what does that do for us?  It means that Jesus was absolutely perfect and became the perfect sacrifice so that we can without living a perfect life, receive eternal salvation through faith in him.  "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law"  (Romans 3:28).

    Isn't there something that we must do to be saved?  Yes!  "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God"  (John 3:3). We must be spiritually born again. For clarification, the water birth mentioned in the context refers to the natural, physical birth, not to being water baptized. O.K.,how then are we born again? First, is not by doing any kind of good works.  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast"  (Ephesians 2:8-9). Even the faith to believe comes from the grace of God. So what must take place. Paul said, "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ"  (Acts 20:21).  Repentance, here mentioned, is not confession all our individual sins, but coming to recognize that we can't save ourselves by our doing good works, but then turning to God for salvation. The second step is simply turning to a faith in Jesus as our Lord.

    When I was nine years old, I didn't have a good knowledge of all my sins to confess them. I simply knew that I couldn't save myself and therefore I gave my life to Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Guess what? He accepted me, not because I was perfect, but because He loved me.  Paul wrote, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation"  (Romans 10:9-10). Paul later wrote, "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day"  (II Timothy 1:12).  It is simply a faith commitment to Jesus as Lord (ruler, king, and owner). Paul did not say that he, himself, was able to keep the commitment, but that God was able to keep His commitment.

    This then brings us to the second issue of trying to live the "absolute perfect" life once we give our life to Jesus. We still, by our own ability, can't stand on the head of a pin, even though others "believers" may insist that we do so. They tell us, "Now that you have become a Christian, you must live like one."  Then they give us a long list of things that they say we MUST do and things MUST not to do. Let me clarify. There are things that we SHOULD do and things that we SHOULD not do. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"  (Romans 6:1-2).  The "must do" has condemnation attached to it, the "should do" has a goal attached to it. I had a client a number of years ago who failed to live up the "must do" of his pastor's standards and was told that he had lost his salvation. When I met the man at the airport, he could hardly walk and talk because this condemnation by his pastor. He had lost his job because of this condemnation and only by the grace of his loving wife, she stuck with him. The man knew a lot about the Bible, but he fell under the "curse words" of his pastor.  As he begin to learn about the GRACE of God, God began to set him free from the condemnation and heal him mentally and physically.

    Some years ago, as I prayed, God spoke to me to seek a pastorate outside the church where I served as an elder. In my excitement, I shared this with my pastor and my pastor reacted negatively to what I shared with him. He begin to push me toward leaving the church, fearing that I would be unfaithful to him as long as I stayed there. Of course, that was not my intent at all. I began to send out resumes to churches all across the US and from Alaska even to Old Mexico. However, the door to ministry was shut even though I sent out as many as one hundred resumes. Soon people in the church began to come to me and tell me that I didn't hear from or that I was not trying hard enough or that I didn't have enough faith. Still the door to become a senior pastor did not open. I know that I heard from God, but it was difficult to hear people say that I must stand on the head pin that they chose for me to stand upon. God gave me grace to remain in the church for another year, before God released me to go to another church to help it (even though I did not become the senior pastor). The pin head that I was to stand on by God's grace was to remain where I was that year. Later, after leaving the first church, some others in the church saw the grace that God gave me during that very difficult time and they were encouraged in the Lord.

    Now allow me to return to my gyro illustration. The gyro can not stand on the head of a pin in and of itself.  However,the gyro can stand on the head of the pin once someone sets the inside wheel spinning as in the above photo which was taken at a fast shutter speed. We like the gyro, need to be energized from within!  However, there is an interesting fact about the gyro.  Once you set the gyro on the head of the pin, the outside of the gyro begins to catch up spinning to the wheel on the inside. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work on the inside, the outer  man begins to catch up with what is happening on the inside. Then when the Holy Spirit says to walk on water, we can walk on water or do that which is otherwise impossible to do.  Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father"  (John 14:12).