WHAT IS PERFECTION IN THE SCRIPTURES?

  • 2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

MANY today try to use the word ‘mature’ instead of the word perfect or any of its synonyms, but ‘maturity’ is not a synonym nor a definition of the word ‘perfect.’ It is not even a word used in Old Testament or the New.

NOTICE THAT MATURITY IS NOT A SYNONYM OF PERFECTION.

https://www.freethesaurus.com/maturity (see a graphic example of synonyms)

Webster defines maturity thus:

Synonyms & Antonyms for maturity

Synonyms

Antonyms

Examples of maturity in a Sentence

His behavior shows a lack of maturity.

He reached emotional maturity late in his life.

According to Strong’s Concordance, SYNONYMS OF PERFECT OR PERFECTION are COMPLETE, COMPLETED, FINISHED.

Look at all the Scriptures that mention perfect, perfectly or perfection and see that the meanings all agree:

Matthew 5:482 Corinthians 12:9Hebrews 9:11
Matthew 14:362 Corinthians 13:9Hebrews 10:1
Matthew 19:212 Corinthians 13:11Hebrews 10:14
Matthew 21:16Galatians 3:3Hebrews 11:40
Luke 1:3Ephesians 4:12Hebrews 12:23
Luke 6:40Ephesians 4:13Hebrews 13:21
Luke 8:14Philippians 3:12James 1:4
Luke 13:32Philippians 3:15James 1:17
John 17:23Colossians 1:28James 1:25
Acts 3:16Colossians 3:14James 2:22
Acts 18:26Colossians 4:12James 3:2
Acts 22:31 Thessalonians 3:101 Peter 5:10
Acts 23:151 Thessalonians 5:21 John 2:5
Acts 23:202 Timothy 3:171 John 4:12
Acts 24:22Hebrews 2:101 John 4:17
Romans 12:2Hebrews 5:91 John 4:18
1 Corinthians 1:10Hebrews 6:11 John 4:18
1 Corinthians 2:6Hebrews 7:11Revelation 3:2
1 Corinthians 13:10Hebrews 7:19
2 Corinthians 7:1Hebrews 9:9

Some also try to say that when someone wants to obey Matthew 5:48, that he/she is actually talking about becoming ‘sinlessness’ (quoting Romans 3:23 and Romans 5:12) “all have sinned.” Instead of acknowledging that Scripture does not define the word that way nor does it teach that perfection is sinlessness anywhere, these unlearned people claim ‘sinlessness’ is the meaning, and that is why Christians can never become perfect.

We know the apostle Paul sinned when he was covetous in Romans 7:7-9, yet he was finally able to overcome that sin and become complete (fight the good fight, finish his course, keep the faith) before he died (2 Tim. 4:7-8). And there was a crown laid up for him.

  • Matthew 5:48 KJV “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
  • Romans 7:7-9 KJV “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”
  • 2 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

RETURNING EVIL FOR GOOD

How does God view those who return evil for good? 

Returning evil for evil is a natural response for most men. God requires a higher standard of his children, commanding us not even to return evil for evil (1 Thess. 5:15).

In fact, we are commanded to return good for evil even to our enemies (Matt. 5:44-45), and in so doing, overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).

On the other hand there are those whose hearts are ready to return evil for good. The Lord warns those who return evil for good that “evil shall not depart from his house” (Pro. 17:13).

Another kind of heart feels fully justified in speaking evil of what they do not understand (2 Pet. 2:12). The Jews in Ephesus believed they were fully justified in teaching the Law, but they did not understand either what they said or what they affirmed (1 Tim. 1:7).

Still others speak evil of God’s favored and anointed. David was plagued with this kind of people. “False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. 12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul” (Psa. 35:11).

David, on the other hand genuinely loved the souls and testified that “…when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting and my prayer returned into my own bosom.” David further testified:

14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. 15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: 16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth (Psa. 35:14-16).

Though we may think that David had an easy and prosperous life in killing Goliath and winning all the battles, nevertheless, he testified that many spoke against him.

For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. 4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. 5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. 7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin (Psa. 109:2-7).

David comforted himself by his faith in God. First he describes those who love evil and then declares God’s judgment on those same souls.

Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp rasor, working deceitfully. 3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. 4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. 5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah” (Psa. 52:2-5).

The prophet Isaiah warned those who perverted judgment. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight” (Isa. 5:20-21).

Is it possible to know the real hearts of these people? Jesus declared:

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (Matt. 7:16-18).

God promises to judge us by our words.

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37).

He encourages us to turn away from evil to do good and promises: “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it” (1 Pet. 3:10-11).

He warns us that those who hate cover their hatred with good words.

24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;

25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. (Proverbs 26:24-26)

Again our Heavenly Father warns us about gossips. Those who flatter us are likely to be the same ones who are speaking perverse things behind our backs.

19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips (Proverbs 20:19).

What should we be doing?

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ” (1 Pet. 3:15-16).

If we are truly pleasing to God, we will have a tongue that is choice silver. “The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. 21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom” (Pro. 10:20-21).

We should never be like the person whose tongue is like the piercings of a sword.  “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. 19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment” (Pro. 12:18-19).

Do we want to have a wholesome tongue?  “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit” (Pro. 15:4).  “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. 24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath” (Pro. 21:23-24). “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile” (1 Pet. 3:10).

–Beth Johnson

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – LESSON 12 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING

Lesson 12 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING

All Christians (men and women) should adorned themselves inwardly and outwardly with only what is fitting for one of God’s children.  Our outward appearance should never shame the name of Jesus or our Heavenly father, nor should we have moth-eaten clothes or nakedness instead of the spiritual clothing God has intended.  We know that man looks on the outward appearance while God looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

So where should our focus be?  Should we think only about our outward appearance?

Continue reading BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – LESSON 12 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING

Zeal for Our Father’s House

If only we can determine to always be a blessing to God’s people and not a shame. Our actions really do reflect on family, church and our Heavenly Father himself.

for the invisible

Zeal for Our Father's House

John 2:13-17

And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

Studying through the book of John today, someone shared with me some thoughts about these verses that were new to me, and encouraging!

Why was Jesus offended that ones were buying and selling in the temple? This was His Father’s house. Anything that belonged to the Father should…

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Studying to Learn – Suggestion #4

Why are these study methods not generally taught? Everyone has a right to know how to search the scriptures to use them.

for the invisible

Studying to Learn - 4

I’ve saved the best for the last. Several years ago, one sweet lady from another congregation shared with our family a lesson she had done on obedience. Beginning in Genesis, she’d read through the entire Bible, noting Scriptures that mentioned obedience or anything to do with it. She had very few comments typed out at all – just Scriptures. But the Scriptures speak for themselves so clearly!

1 Corinthians 2:11-16

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

Who knows what God means by a verse better than God Himself? Who can explain what He means better than He can?

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely…

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