“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.”

Psalm 37:37


The end of the perfect man and the upright is peace! 

Astounding truth! 

About whom does the poet speak? Are there such people on this sorry earth? Who would dare to say that he is a perfect man? And who would dare to say of himself that he is upright? Are we not all very imperfect, and also false? 

Let us see. 

First of all, the derivation of the names perfect andupright leads us to contemplation of the Godhead. God is the eternally perfect One, as also the Upright One. 

Attend to this Scripture: “He is the rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” Deut. 32:4

God’s endless perfection means that with regard to His divine being He is blessedly full, complete and integral. There is no lack in God. All that is needed to be the great God is in Him. Perfection emphasizes fullness, completeness. 

God’s uprightness emphasizes truth. 

It is that virtue of God whereby He is as He reveals Himself. His inmost thought and the works of His hands, even as His words are all harmonious. He thinks, speaks and works as He is from eternity to eternity. You are never disappointed in God. Uprightness stresses that the hidden and inmost life as well as that which is seen and manifested are in complete harmony with one another. Far is the almighty from falsehood. 

Relatively these virtues dwell in man, made in the similitude of God. 

That is, as man came forth out of the hands of God in paradise. 

But he fell. And now man, by nature, is very imperfect, and very false. 

And as necessary consequence, he is condemned, damned and cast away from God. 

Where, then, is the upright and the perfect man?

And still the text says: Mark the perfect man and the upright . . . .

Yes, there are perfect men and upright men (and women, and children) among us.

To be a perfect man does not mean that we are without sin. 

It means that he is and has everything which belongs to the Christian here below. 

It means that with respect to all the manifestation of his life and heart and conversation he bears the image of Jesus Christ. 

You see, when man fell away from God, so that there was no longer any man that revealed the virtues of God, God chose Him a man. There is really only one man left. And that man is Jesus, the perfect and the upright Jesus. 

Oh, how He has shown that during His sojourn among the serpents and the adders. 

He is the only man who could arise and throw this challenge among men: Who of you convinces me of sin? 

He is the upright one and the perfect man. 

And no one, either in the Church or without the Church has ever had the courage to deny this. If anything in the whole manifestation of Jesus was plain it was this: Jesus is L’Innocence in person. 

For He was aid is and shall be God, most blessed forever, Amen! 

Therefore, if any man, women or child has Jesus in his or her heart, he is perfect and upright. 

That is even true with regard to sin. 

If you are regenerated, and if this regeneration has reached your consciousness, you reveal the perfection of your deepest heart, in the hatred against sin, especially your own sin. 

The perfect child of God hates sin, condemns it, eschews it and sorrows because of it.

And he proceeds, and will tell it all to his God. He confesses sin. 

And he or she is also the upright one. 

The upright is the man (or woman) whose inward and outward life is harmonious. 

You will note that such is the very opposite of deception which is our natural heritage.

But the real Christian’s life is such that the subjective and the objective harmonize with each other. 

And now, please, do not oppose me by saying that all Christians confess that the opposite is often true. That the Christians often are also false. Take for instance David. Watch how he smiles on Uriah when he returned from the wars and tries to induce him to go home to Bathsheba. 

We will admit all this with reservations. 

You must not stay there. Watch David in Psalm 51

And then you have the complete picture. There you see something which, you will never find with the reprobate. David confesses all his sins. And proves his uprightness. So much, that he will even warn sinners from sin. 

Here is the explanation: the Christian is perfect and upright in two ways. 

First, he is perfect in Jesus Christ. And also upright in Him. All the uprightness and perfection of Jesus’ person and work is reckoned unto the elect. Our fathers wax very bold, and say that the elect will stand in the judgment as though they themselves in their own persons had fulfilled all the law of God. So completely are they justified in the Son of God. 

Second, they are perfect and upright here on earth in this life in principle. And mark you well, that little principle of perfection and uprightness dwells where they live the deepest, in their inmost heart. The Scripture denominates it as “truth in the inward parts.” 

And that is the portion of all God’s elect. It is not so, that some of God’s children are perfect and upright and that others have little or nothing of these virtues. No, but all God’s people are equally perfect and upright in Jesus Christ, and there is a varying degree of perfection and uprightness in them here on earth. And we are admonished in the Scriptures to strive after them, if haply we may grow in such beauties. 

God be blessed, there are perfect and upright men and women.

There is an end. 

Contrary to our creation. 

We should live on and on everlastingly. 

That is the way we were created in Adam and Eve. 

But we sinned, and the Lord said: Dying you shall die. And die we did. 

There is an end. 

And it is very unnatural for man to die. We hate and abhor death. We all do. He is the great enemy. 

And the wicked rebel against death. They never bow the head in obedience to God’s voice. God has to snatch them away in death. 

But not so the perfect man and the upright. 

When God says to them: Prepare your house for you shall die! they say: I will be ready right away, Lord! 

Of all people, only the perfect man and the upright are able to die. Their death is an act of faith. 

And their end is peace, says the text. 

Peace, what is it? 

Peace is absolute harmony between God and us. In the sphere of love. 

Peace is when God’s heart and your heart beat in unison. 

And it seems to me that it ought to be rather plain that only the perfect and upright have a peaceful deathbed. 

God will never dwell with the imperfect and the false. 

For God is God He is far from all iniquity. He cannot dwell with sinners. Only when Jesus has made you perfect can you expect to dwell in the hallowed tranquility of heaven’s perfection. 

And here is the sweetness of the present Gospel, that you may taste this peace even before you go to heaven. That is also proof of the stand that there are perfect and upright men in this world. If there were not, all communion with God would be impossible. But even now you sing: In sweet communion Lord with Thee I constantly abide. 

And Paul tells us that we have peace with God since we are justified by faith thru our Lord Jesus Christ. 

And such peace is past understanding. Even now. 

But that peace certainly will be tasted to the full when we die. The end of that man is peace says the text. But at this juncture I must remind you that all of this is of grace. 

Of grace you are chosen; of grace Jesus was given to you and died for you; of grace you believe and are saved; and it is the gift of grace that the perfection and the uprightness of Jesus is given to you on this side of the grave. And it is again the grace of God which makes you sing on your deathbed: Even if I go thru the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me . . . . 

It is peace, but out of grace, the grace of God in Jesus.

Mark such! 

Behold them! 

It is the injunction of the text. 

Mark the perfect man and behold the upright! 

It shows that the children of God are walking gospels unto their fellows. 

Do not mark the imperfect or the false. It might make you do as they do. But be sure and mark the perfect man. And be sure and behold the upright. 

We are walking evangels for one another. 

There is a wondrous power of Christian discipline in the communion of saints. 

Paul reminded the Philippians to mark the apostles, so that haply they might follow them, seeing the end of their conversation. 

That is especially so at their latter end. 

Mark the perfect man (and the woman) when they die. 

Some of them sing on the way to the hospital where they will breathe their last breath.

In fact, I have derived much joy in marking the end of a dear mother in Israel, who had passed the age of the strong. 

Her end was peace. And we have marked and beheld.

There was a song of, peace among us when we have sown her earthly remains against the day of the harvest. 

It is in her memory that I wrote these few lines. 

Peace, blessed peace! Amen.