perfect, perfection

perfect, perfection

An English word sometimes used to translate Hebrew and Greek words with a range of meaning (“completeness,” “wholeness,” “blamelessness,” “maturity”); above all, however, “perfection” describes a characteristic of God that humans are to emulate. In the OT, God is described as perfect in knowledge, justice, fidelity, and promise keeping (Job 37:16; Deut 32:4; 2Sam 22:31; Ps 18:30); God’s law is also perfect (Ps 19:7). Human beings are sometimes described as (or urged to become) perfect with regard to observance of the law (Ps 119:1) or upright and blameless behavior (Gen 6:9; Deut 18:13; Prov 2:21), which does not imply that they would be “perfect” in other aspects (i.e., they might be “godly” in behavior without becoming gods). In (Matt 5:48), Jesus commands his followers to “be perfect,” indicating that their goal should be the attainment of righteousness equal to that of God. Jesus is not concerned here with the question of whether such a goal is existentially attainable; it remains a worthy goal nevertheless. Elsewhere, Paul says that he has not yet attained perfection (Phil 3:12), but that he strives toward that which might be realized only in the life to come (Phil 3:8-21). The Letter to the Hebrews indicates that Christ became perfect through his sufferings (Heb 2:10; Heb 5:9; Heb 7:28), and that perfection is a gift bestowed by Christ (Heb 10:14).

Job 37:16

16Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect,

Deut 32:4

4The Rock, his work is perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God, without deceit,
just and upright is he;

2Sam 22:31

31This God—his way is perfect;
the promise of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Ps 18:30

30This God—his way is perfect;
the promise of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Ps 19:7

7The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
making wise the simple;

Ps 119:1

The Glories of God's Law
1Happy are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord.

Gen 6:9

Noah Pleases God
9These are the descendants of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God.

Deut 18:13

13You must remain completely loyal to the Lord your God.

Prov 2:21

21For the upright will abide in the land,
and the innocent will remain in it;

Matt 5:48

48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Phil 3:12

Pressing toward the Goal
12Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has ma ... View more

Phil 3:8-21

8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all thing ... View more

Heb 2:10

10It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect th ... View more

Heb 5:9

9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,

Heb 7:28

28For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been m ... View more

Heb 10:14

14For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

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