If we ever think we’re without sin in this life, it’s proof that we either have a superficial understanding of God’s law or an incredible view of our performance. Today, R.C. Sproul warns of the fatal theology of perfectionism.
I think for us to come to the conviction or the conclusion that we are, in fact, completely free of sin in our lives, we have to do one of two things. And usually, we would do both of them. One of those things would be to alter radically the full measure of the demands of God’s law. We would have to drag the law down to the level of our performance. This was the error that the Pharisees made. They had a superficial understanding of the full demands of God’s commandments. And for me to deceive myself into thinking that I am perfect, I have to really have a superficial understanding of the law of God. For example, I don’t believe that I have ever loved the Lord my God with all of my heart, and with all of my mind, and with all of my strength for five minutes. I can always conceive of a greater affection, a greater love for God, than I presently enjoy.
The second mistake is like unto the first. In order for us to be persuaded that we have achieved perfection in any kind, we have to have an exaggerated view of our own performance. So, we bring God’s law down and bring our own performance up so that the two can meet. Either one of those is an extreme danger for Christian growth, and both of them together is basically fatal. So, I caution you against that.