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.
These are the family records of Noah: Noah was a righteous man. Blameless during his times, Noah communed with God.
When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and announced, "I am God Almighty. Live in constant awareness that I'm always with you, and be blameless.
because I, the LORD, am your God. Set yourselves apart and be holy, because I am holy. You are not to defile yourselves with any of the swarming creatures that swarm the earth.
"Tell the entire assembly of Israel that they are to be holy, since I, the LORD your God, am holy.
Flawless is the work of the Rock, because all his ways are just. A faithful God never unjust righteous and upright is he.
Now let your heart be completely devoted to the LORD our God, to live according to his statutes and to keep his commands, as we are doing today."
because as Solomon grew older, his wives turned his affections away after other gods, and his heart was not fully as devoted to the LORD his God as his father David's heart had been.
He practiced the same sins that his father committed before he was born. Unlike his ancestor David, his heart never became devoted to the LORD his God.
because David had practiced what the LORD considered to be right. He never avoided anything that the LORD had commanded him during his entire lifetime, except for the case of Uriah the Hittite.
He practiced what the LORD considered to be right, but not with a perfect heart.
There once was a man in the land of Uz named Job. The man was blameless as well as upright. He feared God and kept away from evil.
Then the LORD asked Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on earth. The man is blameless as well as upright. He fears God and keeps away from evil."
Job took a broken piece of pottery to scrape himself while sitting among the ashes.
Do you understand his wondrous work of balancing the clouds, the one whose knowledge is perfect,
I was upright before him, and I kept myself from iniquity.
To the holy, you show your gracious love, to the upright, you show yourself upright;
As for God, his way is upright; the word of God is pure; he is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.
The Law of the LORD is perfect, restoring life. The testimony of the LORD is steadfast, making foolish people wise.
Preserve your servant from arrogant people; do not let them rule over me. Then I will be upright and acquitted of great wickedness.
The LORD knows the day of the blameless, and their inheritance will last forever.
For the upright will live in the land, and people of integrity will remain in it.
The righteousness of the innocent creates a level path, but the wicked fall by their wickedness.
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I didn't come to destroy them, but to fulfill them, because I tell all of you with certainty that until heaven and earth disappear, not one letter or one stroke of a letter will disappear from the Law until everything has been accomplished. read more. So whoever sets aside one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom from heaven. But whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom from heaven because I tell you, unless your righteousness greatly exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom from heaven!" "You have heard that it was told those who lived long ago, "You are not to commit murder,' and, "Whoever murders will be subject to punishment.' But I say to you, anyone who is angry with his brother without a cause will be subject to punishment. And whoever says to his brother "Raka!' will be subject to the Council. And whoever says, "You fool!' will be subject to hell fire. "So if you are presenting your gift at the altar and remember there that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and first go and be reconciled to your brother. Then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your opponent while you are on the way to court, or your opponent may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you with certainty, you will not get out of there until you pay back the last dollar!" "You have heard that it was said, "You are not to commit adultery.' But I say to you, anyone who stares at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your body parts than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you. It is better for you to lose one of your body parts than to have your whole body go into hell." "It was also said, "Whoever divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.' But I say to you, any man who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." "Again, you have heard that it was told those who lived long ago, "You must not swear an oath falsely,' but, "You must fulfill your oaths to the Lord.' But I tell you not to swear at all, neither by heaven, because it is God's throne, nor by the earth, because it is his footstool, nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the Great King. Nor should you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. Instead, let your message be "Yes' for "Yes' and "No' for "No.' Anything more than that comes from the evil one." "You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evildoer. On the contrary, whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go two with him. Give to the person who asks you for something, and do not turn away from the person who wants to borrow something from you." "You have heard that it was said, "You must love your neighbor' and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you will become children of your Father in heaven, because he makes his sun rise on both evil and good people, and he lets rain fall on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don't they? And if you greet only your relatives, that's no great thing you're doing, is it? Even the unbelievers do the same, don't they? So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Therefore, whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them, because this summarizes the Law and the Prophets."
Then Peter came up and asked him, "Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I have to forgive him? Seven times?" Jesus told him, "I tell you, not just seven times, but 77 times!
Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me."
As Jesus was setting out again, a man ran up to him, knelt down in front of him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked him. "Nobody is good except for one God. read more. You know the commandments: "Never murder.' "Never commit adultery.' "Never steal.' "Never give false testimony.' "Never cheat.' "Honor your father and mother.'" The man replied to him, "Teacher, I have obeyed all of these since I was a young man." Jesus looked at him and loved him. Then he told him, "You're missing one thing. Go and sell everything you own, give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me." Shocked at this statement, the man went away sad, because he had many possessions. Then Jesus looked around and told his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were startled by these words, but Jesus told them again, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in their wealth to get into the kingdom of God! It's easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God." The disciples were utterly amazed and asked one another, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them intently and said, "For humans it's impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God." Then Peter began to say to him, "See, we have left everything and followed you." Jesus said, "I tell all of you with certainty, there is no one who has left his home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or fields because of me and the gospel who will not receive a hundred times as much here in this world homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields, along with persecution as well as eternal life in the age to come. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."
Jesus told him, "You have answered correctly. "Do this, and you will live.'"
Then an official asked Jesus, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked him. "Nobody is good except for one God. read more. You know the commandments: "Never commit adultery. Never murder. Never steal. Never give false testimony. Honor your father and mother.'" The official replied, "I have kept all of these since I was a young man." When Jesus heard this, he told him, "You still need to do one thing. Sell everything you have and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me." But when the official heard this he became sad, because he was very rich. So when Jesus saw how sad he was, he said, "How hard it is for rich people to get into the kingdom of God! Indeed, it's easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God." Those who were listening to Jesus asked, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus replied, "The things that are impossible for people are possible for God." Then Peter said, "See, we have left everything we have and followed you." Jesus told them, "I tell all of you with certainty, there is no one who has left his home, wife, brothers, parents, or children because of the kingdom of God who will not receive many times as much in this world, as well as eternal life in the age to come."
Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death resulted from sin, therefore everyone dies, because everyone has sinned. Certainly sin was in the world before the Law was given, but no record of sin is kept when there is no Law. read more. Nevertheless, death ruled from the time of Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the same way Adam did when he disobeyed. He is a foreshadowing of the one who would come. But God's free gift is not like Adam's offense. For if many people died as the result of one man's offense, how much more have God's grace and the free gift given through the kindness of one man, Jesus the Messiah, been showered on many people! Nor can the free gift be compared to what came through the man who sinned. For the sentence that followed one man's offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift brought justification, even after many offenses. For if, through one man, death ruled because of that man's offense, how much more will those who receive such overflowing grace and the gift of righteousness rule in life because of one man, Jesus the Messiah! Consequently, just as one offense resulted in condemnation for everyone, so one act of righteousness results in justification and life for everyone. For just as through one man's disobedience many people were made sinners, so also through one man's obedience many people will be made righteous. Now the Law crept in so that the offense would increase. But where sin increased, grace increased even more, so that, just as sin ruled by bringing death, so also grace might rule by bringing justification that results in eternal life through Jesus the Messiah, our Lord.
What should we say, then? Should we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Of course not! How can we who died as far as sin is concerned go on living in it? read more. Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into union with the Messiah Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore, through baptism we were buried with him into his death so that, just as the Messiah was raised from the dead by the Father's glory, we too may live an entirely new life. For if we have become united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old natures were crucified with him so that our sin-laden bodies might be rendered powerless and we might no longer be slaves to sin. For the person who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we have died with the Messiah, we believe that we will also live with him, for we know that the Messiah, who was raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has mastery over him. For when he died, he died once and for all as far as sin is concerned. But now that he is alive, he lives for God. In the same way, you too must continuously consider yourselves dead as far as sin is concerned, but living for God through the Messiah Jesus.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is infected by death? Thank God through Jesus the Messiah, our Lord, because with my mind I myself can serve the Law of God, even while with my human nature I serve the law of sin.
You, however, are not under the control of the human nature but under the control of the Spirit, since God's Spirit lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of the Messiah, he does not belong to him.
Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God's will is what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.
Your love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Do not owe anyone anything except to love one another. For the one who loves another has fulfilled the Law. For the commandments, "You must not commit adultery; you must not murder; you must not steal; you must not covet," and every other commandment are summed up in this statement: "You must love your neighbor as yourself." read more. Love never does anything that is harmful to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the Law. This is necessary because you know the times it's already time for you to wake up from sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we became believers. The night is almost over, and the day is near. Let's therefore put aside the actions of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let's behave decently, as people who live in the light of day. No wild parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, promiscuity, quarreling, or jealousy! Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, and do not obey your flesh and its desires.
Brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, I urge all of you to be in agreement and not to have divisions among you, so that you may be perfectly united in your understanding and opinions.
However, when we are among mature people, we do speak a message of wisdom, but not the wisdom of this world or of the rulers of this world, who are passing off the scene.
Brothers, I couldn't talk to you as spiritual people but as worldly people, as mere infants in the Messiah.
Brothers, stop being childish in your thinking. Be like infants with respect to evil, but think like adults.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Now those who belong to the Messiah Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also be guided.
This is the reason I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its name. read more. I pray that he would give you, according to his glorious riches, strength in your inner being and power through his Spirit, and that the Messiah would make his home in your hearts through faith. Then, having been rooted and grounded in love, you will be able to understand, along with all the saints, what is wide, long, high, and deep that is, you will know the love of the Messiah which transcends knowledge, and will be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to the one who can do infinitely more than all we can ask or imagine according to the power that is working among us
Now to the one who can do infinitely more than all we can ask or imagine according to the power that is working among us
Do your best to maintain the unity of the Spirit by means of the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit. Likewise, you were called to the one hope of your calling. read more. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart.
So be imitators of God, as his dear children.
I am convinced of this, that the one who began a good action among you will bring it to completion by the Day of the Messiah Jesus.
For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him.
It's not that I have already reached this goal or have already become perfect. But I keep pursuing it, hoping somehow to embrace it just as I have been embraced by the Messiah Jesus.
Therefore, those of us who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will show you how to think.
Keep on rejoicing in the Lord at all times. I will say it again: Keep on rejoicing! Let your gracious attitude be known to all people. The Lord is near: read more. Never worry about anything. Instead, in every situation let your petitions be made known to God through prayers and requests, with thanksgiving. Then God's peace, which goes far beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your hearts and minds in union with the Messiah Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is fair, whatever is pure, whatever is acceptable, whatever is commendable, if there is anything of excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy keep thinking about these things. Likewise, keep practicing these things: what you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
He has told us about your love in the Spirit. For this reason, since the day we heard about this, we have not stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the full knowledge of God's will with respect to all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
For this reason, since the day we heard about this, we have not stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the full knowledge of God's will with respect to all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might live in a manner worthy of the Lord and be fully pleasing to him as you bear fruit while doing all kinds of good things and growing in the full knowledge of God. read more. You are being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, so that you might patiently endure everything with joy and might thank the Father, who has enabled us to share in the saints' inheritance in the light. God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of the Son whom he loves, through whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether they are kings, lords, rulers, or powers. All things have been created through him and for him. He himself existed before anything else did, and he holds all things together. He is also the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he himself might have first place in everything. For God was pleased to have all of his divine essence inhabit him. Through the Son, God also reconciled all things to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, thereby making peace through the blood of his cross. You who were once alienated with a hostile attitude, doing evil, he has now reconciled by the death of his physical body, so that he may present you holy, blameless, and without fault before him. However, you must remain firmly established and steadfast in the faith, without being moved from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
It is he whom we proclaim as we admonish and wisely teach everyone, so that we may present everyone mature in the Messiah.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which ties everything together in unity.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of the Messiah Jesus, sends you his greetings. He is always wrestling in his prayers for you, so that you may stand mature, completely convinced of the entire will of God.
It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering as part of his plan to glorify many children,
and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,
We have much to say about this, but it is difficult to explain because you have become too lazy to understand.
Therefore, leaving behind the elementary teachings about the Messiah, let us continue to be carried along to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead actions, faith toward God,
Now if perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood for on this basis the people received the Law what further need would there be to speak of appointing another kind of priest according to the order of Melchizedek, not one according to the order of Aaron? When a change in the priesthood takes place, there must also be a change in the Law. read more. For the person we are talking about belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. Furthermore, it is obvious that our Lord was a descendant of Judah, and Moses said nothing about priests coming from that tribe. This point is even more obvious in that another priest who is like Melchizedek has appeared who was appointed to be a priest, not on the basis of a genealogical registry, but rather on the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared about him, "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." Indeed, because it was weak and ineffective, the former commandment has been annulled, since the Law made nothing perfect, and a better hope is presented, by which we approach God.
For the Law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promised oath, which came after the Law, results in a Son who is eternally perfect.
This illustration for today indicates that the gifts and sacrifices being offered could not clear the conscience of a worshiper,
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
since God had planned something better for us, so that they would not be perfected without us.
to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to a judge who is the God of all, to the spirits of righteous people who have been made perfect,
equip you with everything good to do his will, accomplishing in us what pleases him through Jesus, the Messiah. To him be glory forever and ever! Amen.
But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
Every generous act of giving and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father who made the heavenly lights, in whom there is no inconsistency or shifting shadow.
But the one who looks at the perfect law of freedom and remains committed to it thereby demonstrating that he is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of what that law requires will be blessed in what he does.
For all of us make many mistakes. If someone does not make any mistakes when he speaks, he is perfect and able to control his whole body.
Though you have not seen him, you love him. And even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,