A Perfect Man (or Woman)

by Scarlett Stough

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Go On Unto Perfection.

We tell ourselves "nobody’s perfect." That is definitely true from our perspective. Yet, God commands his children to "be perfect as he is perfect." What did he mean? How do we attain that perfection?

The Holy Spirit gave gifts to the members of Jesus' church for a purpose:

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children…. [Emphasis by the author.]
Ephesians 4:12-14 KJV

Perfect, translated into English from the Greek word teleios, means "brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness, perfect (Jas 1:4); consummate human integrity and virtue (Rom 12:2); Teleios, as an adjective means 'complete, perfect,' men full grown, adult, of full age, mature [from telos], 'an end,' and is translated 'of full age'; (Heb 5:14)...."*

Paul acknowledged he had not attained the perfection he sought, but he kept reaching for it and encouraging all of us: "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded…." (Philippians 3:15). We are called "perfect" (vs.15) while we are not yet "perfect" (vs.12). The only way we can be perfect/perfected is by being united in Christ:

I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one, [even] as We are one: I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me, and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.
John 17:22-23 AMP**

The difficulties we face in this life, when we allow ourselves to learn from them, work toward perfecting us in the likeness of Christ’s perfection:

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort, or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed (with no defects), lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4 AMP

Prayer keeps us in communication with God so we can receive the supply of help we need during our difficulties and even during our pleasant times.

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
Hebrews 4:16 AMP

* From The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers.
** The Amplified Bible, Expanded Edition Copyright 1987 by The Zondervan Corporation and The Lockman Foundation.

Volume 15 Issue 6 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation

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