The various Biblical terms connoting 'perfection' differ in shade of meaning between wholeness, the attaining of an end or ideal, complete adjustment, full equipment in fitness for an appointed task. They are sparingly applied to God; In OT His way, work, knowledge, law are 'perfect' (Ps 18:30; De 32:4; Job 37:16; Ps 19:7); in NT the same term is used of His will, His gifts, His law (Ro 12:2; Jas 1:17,25), while Christ describes the Father in heaven as 'perfect,' and therefore as the source and pattern of moral ideals (Mt 5:48). The sense in which perfection is attributed to or urged upon men must naturally vary according to the moral conceptions of the time.
1. In OT.
Think not that I have come to make the law or the prophets of no effect. I have not come to make them of no effect, but to give them their full efficiency. For verily I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one yod or one point shall in no way pass from the law till all be fulfilled. read more. Whoever, there fore, shall make void one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, That, unless your righteousness excel that of the scribes and Pharisees, you can by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to the ancients: You shall not kill; and whoever shall kill, shall be liable to the sentence of the judges. But I say to you, Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be liable to the sentence of the judges. And whoever shall say to his brother, Worthless fellow, shall be liable to the sentence of the Sanhedrin. But who ever shall say, Impious wretch, shall be in danger of hell-fire. If, therefore, you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has any thing against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go, first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to an agreement with your opponent at law quickly, while you are on the road with him, lest your opponent at law deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Verily, I say to you, You shall by no means come out thence, till you have paid the last farthing. You have heard that it was said: You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, Whoever looks upon a woman to cherish desire for her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If, then, your right eye ensnare you, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be thrown into hell. And if your right hand ensnare you, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is profit able for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be thrown into hell. It has been said: Whoever will put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, unless on account of lewdness, causes her to commit adultery: and whoever marries her that is divorced, commits adultery. Again, you have heard that it was said to the ancients: You shall not swear falsely, but shall pay to the Lord your vows. But I say to you, Swear not at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King: neither shall you swear by your head, for you can not make one hair white or black. But let your word be, Yes, yes; No, no; for whatever is more than these is of the Evil One. You have heard that it was said: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, Resist not the injurious. But whoever will smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And to him that will go to law with you, and take away your coat, give your mantle also. And whoever will compel you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him that asks of you; and from him that would borrow of you, turn not away. You have heard that it was said: You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who insult you and persecute you: that you may be the sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and causes it to rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brethren only, in what do you excel? Do not even the publicans so? Be you therefore perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
Be you therefore perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
Be you therefore perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
Be you therefore perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
Be you therefore perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
All things, therefore, whatever you would that men should do to you, even so do you to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Then Peter came to him, and said: Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus said to him: I say to you, Not till seven times, but till seventy times seven.
Jesus said to him: If you would be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.
And as he was going forth into the road, one ran and bowed the knee to him, and asked him: Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? Jesus said to him: Why do you call me good? None is good but one, that is God. read more. You know the commandments, You shall not commit adultery; You shall not kill; You shall not steal; You shall not give false testimony; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother. He answered and said to him: Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth. And Jesus, looking on him, loved him, and said to him: One thing you lack; go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and fol low me. But becoming sad at that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples: With what difficulty will those who have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And his disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus, answering again, said to them: Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished beyond measure, and said among themselves: Who, then, can be saved? Jesus looked on them and said: With men this is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible. And Peter began to say to him: Behold, we have left all and followed thee. And Jesus answering, said: Verily I say to you, There is no one that has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, who shall not receive a hundred-fold, now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.
He said to him: You have answered correctly; do this, and you shall live.
And a certain ruler asked him, saying: Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said to him: Why do you call me good? None is good but one, that is God. read more. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery; Do not kill; Do not steal; Do not bear false testimony; Honor your father and your mother. He replied: All these have I kept from my youth. When Jesus heard this, he said to him: One thing you yet lack; sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sad, for he was very rich. When Jesus saw that he was very sad, he said: How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom, of God. And those who heard it said: Who, then, can be saved? He replied: Things that are impossible with men, are possible with God. Then Peter said: Behold, we have left all and followed thee. And he said to them: Verily I say to you, There is no one that has left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife, or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive manifold more in this time, and in the age to come, eternal life.
For this reason, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by his sin, death; and so death passed through to all men, because all have sinned: for till the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged where there is no law. read more. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that did not sin in the likeness of Adam's transgression, who is the type of him that was to come. But the favor bestowed is not, in all respects, like the offense: for if, by the offense of one, the many have died, much more have the grace of God and the gift which is by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ, been made abundant for the many. And the gift is not like the sentence that came through one who sinned: for the sentence to condemnation was because of one offense; but the favor bestowed in order to justification, is because of many offenses. For if, by one man's offense, death has reigned through that one, much more shall those who receive the abundance of the grace, and of the gift of righteousness, reign in life through the one, who is Jesus Christ. Therefore, as, by one offense, sentence came on all men to condemnation, so, also, by one act of righteousness, the gift has come on all men to justification of life. For as by the disobedience of the one man the many have been made sinners, so, also, by the obedience of the one, the many shall be made righteous. But, besides the first offense, law was introduced, in order that offenses might abound: but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin has reigned, ending in death, so might grace reign by justification, ending in life eternal, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What, then, shall we say? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? It can not be. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer in it? read more. Know you not that as many of us as were immersed into Christ Jesus, were immersed into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him, by immersion, into death, that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so also we should walk in a new life. For if we have become united to him by the likeness of his death, we shall certainly be united to him by the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our former man has been crucified with him, in order that the sinful body may be deprived of its power, so that we should no longer serve sin: for he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death has dominion over him no longer; for, as it regards his dying, he, once for all, died to sin; but as it regards his living, he lives to God. So also do you count yourselves as dead indeed to sin, but as living to God, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body that subjects me to death? I thank God that I shall be delivered through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, I my self, with the mind, serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin.
But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now, if any one has not the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.
And be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may learn what the will of God is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good;
Owe no one any thing, except to love one another; for he that loves another, has fulfilled the law. For these commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not indulge evil desire; and if there is any other commandment, all are summed up in this saying, namely: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. read more. Love works no evil to our neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. And do this, because you know the time, that the hour has already come when we should awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed: the night is far advanced, the day draws near. Let us, therefore, put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk in a becoming manner, as in the day; not in riotings and in drunkenness, not in lewdness and in wantonness, not in. contention and in envy: but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.
Now, I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you, but that you be perfectly united in the same mind, and in the same judgment.
Yet we speak wisdom among the perfect; but not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are brought to nought:
And I, brethren, was not able to speak to you, as to spiritual men, but as to those who are carnal, as to babes in Christ.
Brethren, be not children in understanding: yet, in malice, be childlike; but, in understanding, be full-grown men.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness,
Now those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and on earth is named, read more. that he may grant to you, according to the riches of his glory, to be mightily strengthened by his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through the faith; that, being rooted and founded in love, you may be fully able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and depth and hight, and to know the love of the Christ that passes our knowledge, that you may be filled with aft the fullness of God. Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to his power which works in us,
Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to his power which works in us,
earnestly endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as you have been called in one hope of your calling; read more. one Lord, one faith, one immersion;
darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
Be you, therefore, imitators of God, as beloved children;
being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you, will carry it on till the day of Jesus Christ;
for it is God, who, of his good pleasure, works in you both the will and the power to perform.
Not that I have already attained, or have already reached the goal; but I am pressing forward, that I may lay hold on that for which I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.
Let us, therefore, as many as are fully enlightened, be of this mind: and if you are of another mind with respect to any thing, God will reveal even this to you.
Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men: the Lord is at hand. read more. Be anxious about nothing, but in every thing, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, or any praise, think of these things. Do those things which you have learned and received, and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
and who also made known to us your love in spirit. For this reason, we also, from the day in which we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to request that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
For this reason, we also, from the day in which we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to request that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, in order to please him in all things, by means of every good work bringing forth fruit, and increasing in the knowledge, of God, read more. strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, in order to all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness, giving thanks to the Father, who has made us fit for a portion of the inheritance of the saints in light: who has delivered us from the authority of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature; for by him were all things created, things in heaven and things in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or authorities; all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist: and he is the head of the body, the church: and he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in all things he might be preeminent; for it pleased the Father that all his fullness should dwell in him, and by him to reconcile all things to himself, having made peace by the blood of his cross; by him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And you, who were formerly alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled by means of death in his fleshly body, that he may present you holy, and without spot, and blameless in his sight; if you continue in the faith, founded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, have been made a minister.
whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
and over all these put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you; he always strives earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
and, having been made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all that obey him,
Of him we have many things to say, and difficult to be explained, if we do say them, since you are slow in understanding.
Therefore, omitting the elementary Christian teaching, let us go on to the perfection of Christian instruction, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
If, then, there had been a perfect expiation by means of the Levitical priesthood, (for with reference to it, the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should be raised up after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? It is evident that, when the priest hood is changed, there is of necessity a change also of the law. read more. For he of whom these things are said, belongs to another tribe, from which no one attended upon the altar. For it is very clear that our Lord sprung from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident, if, after the likeness of Melchisedec, there arises another priest, who is made, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life; for he testifies, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. For, indeed, there is a setting aside of the preceding commandment, because it was weak and unprofitable, (for the law made no perfect expiation), and the introduction of a better hope, by which we draw near to God.
For the law makes men high priests, who have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was after the law, makes the Son, who is perfected forever.
which, as a symbol, remains to the present time, in which are offered both gifts and sacrifices that can not make perfect, as it respects the conscience, him that does the service;
For by one offering, he has made a perfect and perpetual expiation for the sanctified.
because God had provided some better thing for us, that they, without us, should not be made perfect.
to the general assembly and church of the first-born, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect,
perfect you in every good work, in order that you may do his will, working in you that which is acceptable in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory from age to age. Amen.
But let patience have its work perfected, that you may be perfect and faultless, wanting in nothing.
every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor slightest trace of turning.
But he that looks intently into the perfect law of liberty, and remains constant, being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, he shall be blessed in his deed.
For in many things we all offend. If any one offends not in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
-whom, though you have not seen him, yet you love; on whom not now looking, but believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory,