Below are the relevant verses in the NT on the topic of Perfection. Everyone has their thoughts on the topic, and most people knee jerk saying nobody is perfect but Jesus. To that I can only say...... That doesn't begin to reconcile the verses below, therefore that isn't an acceptable answer. Specifically since Paul and James both said to be perfect was a goal on earth. So, I think it's more important to find out what it means, than avoid the big bad scariness of the onus of expecting to be perfect. Agreed? I will make comments below for you to consider, and a summary of what I think it is after the verses. I'd enjoy the various comments, thoughts and what not, but I have a rule.... as if I could enforce it.... You will not agree with all I say. I won't agree with all you say. We know that going in. So it's ok to call me an idiot for the mistakes I made in exegesis, as long as you can SHOW the mistakes I made, and it's not actually YOU who are being the idiot! That's pretty fair, right? In other words, I don't care about being picked at, but back it up with reasoning, don't just self proclaim you are GOD of all Biblical interpretation and make statements we are supposed to accept carte blanche. I expect to be challenged, but I expect it to be done with argument, not solely denigration. Mat 5:48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. The context of this comment, was Christ describing how we are to love, to meet the command Love neighbor. Read the previous 12ish vss. God loves even His enemies and provides necessities for them, and he says we are to love as perfectly as God does. Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (who renews the mind? Who wills this perfection?) God changes us, not ourselves, so whatever you think perfection is, it's by God's doing, and I think He's considered powerful enough to pull it off, whatever it is, even similarly to using 300 people to defeat 27K people in a war. Phl 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; Someone tell me how to remove html formatting from a cut and paste? While Paul just said he didn't consider himself perfect yet, he then turns around and claims him and others ARE perfect. This is it's own thread, but it's something anyone accepting this study must reconcile. Was Paul a stark raving mad idiot? Or was he one or the other, or are both true statements? Col 3:14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Love being the perfect bond of Unity, coincides with the request for unity in John 17, Eph 4 vs below, and 1 john 4:16-18. Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. Apparently, Epaphras was working to prepare those he wrote to be perfect in God. How perfect? See Ephesians 4:11-17. Jam 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, Jam 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Jam 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James says that endurance is what finishes the making of your perfection. He expects it in living people, so what is it? James discusses works a lot, and put that word AGAPAO ( which requires works, and most often is LOVE except in KJV where it's also charity at times,) into the conversation and yo usee that He's teaching you to do loving acts to others which is a sign of your maturity/perfection. 1 john 4:16-18 goes hand in hand here. Jam 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. (not a sarcastic comment, but a statement of fact.) This verse really doesn't apply to being perfected as it's observational not directional. But we can discern that it's a comment that will show a person mature/perfect won't stumble anymore. Which put with Gal 5:16 walk by the Spirit won't give into temptation, sorta fits very well into the conversation. A result of one being perfect is they will not stumble. That's wwhat the verse says. To presume "no one is perfect so this must be sarcasm" is just that assuming. Insert funny cliched joke about assuming here.... Seriously if we are going to insert assumptions like that into the mix, let's do it to ALL biblical claims. Here's a good one. No man has raised themselves from the dead, nor can they, therefore Jesus never died and this whole faith thing is a bunch of silly pretending fools. <<<< same standard, applied in a different example. 1Pe 5:9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 1Pe 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 1Pe 5:11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. You go through sufferings, trials and tribulations, to learn a new discipline, one of service, not self providence, God HIMSELF perfects you, confirms you, strengthens you, and establishes you. Too manh in teh Church today, say they can't be perfected because they are trying to perfect themselves, but Scripture says HE is the one that will do it. Thus the question, who parted the red sea, Moses or God? Had Moses not held the staff over His head, GOD would not have parted the red sea. Or so it is written. So before someone discards Christian perfection as possible or not, they should consider if God is powerful enough to pull it off or not, as HE is the one doing the changing, not us. Mat 19:21 Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (said on all three synoptic gospels...) At the point Christ asked "if you would be perfect/complete/mature/finished, he was no longer dealing with the salvation/eternal life question that was asked. He took the chat to the next step, after salvation/atonement, is the maturation. Thus He was teaching an incremental process in God's plan. It starts with salvation, giving you clear conscience, knowing you are forgiven, so you can come to Him, give more of yourself, expose more of yourself to Him, and let Him change you to that finished? "PERFECT', complete? state He has intended for you, an instrument of His righteousness. 1Cr 2:6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; Paul taught different things/or levels of things, to the mature, so apparently IT DID HAPPEN. That word mature, in the NASB is also the word for PERFECT above in the verses. But since the word PERFECT causes such a knee herk, they worked at making it read where people got the gist of it. If you are going to be a KJV only person, you had better work really hard at the words that has changed in meaning in such HUGE proportions from 1611. So, Paul "SPEAKS" different things to the mature, but he WRITES to those not there yet to help them get there. Why would he spend time telling someone already there how to get there? And if they are already there, they have a better teacher than Paul is anyway. Right? 1Cr 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. Children denotes those NOT changed fully yet. He's telling them have less evil and more maturity. Same thing as 1 john where he says walk in the light as HE does have NO darkness in you, and in 2:8 says they are getting there as the darkness is washing away. Less evil, more maturity, just a little more needed in maturity for those in 1 john and THEN they would be in fellowship with God. Eph 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. How mature did Paul think was possible? This is a hard verse for the evangelical far right to digest. NOT every person that is evangelical for sure, but the farthest loudest fringes..... consider the words above, I'll give a different analogy, that reflects what is said. To be a perfect/mature man. So the question is HOW perfect mature... The answer.... To the fullness of Christ's maturity. (most of you are taught that is impossible. Again, I guess Paul is whacked in the head... fried noodles or summ'n.) How full is "fullness of Christ's maturity?" If His was measured in a glass, as a picturesque example, we would have the same size glass, (to the stature...) And it would be filled with the same amount of ... whatever.... (to the measure.) Of teh fullness of Christ. Perfect, as Christ, as big as much as His fullness. Five lines to reinforce the claim. If being redundant puts emphasis on things, Paul left absolutely NOT room to wiggle here.... if we are one bit less spiritually mature as CHrist Paul is telling us there is more we can and are expected to have. Continue running the race, don't stop and brag about "I'm in the Spirit you aren't so listen to what I say.... Or however that thought that you arrived will manifest itself. Col 1:28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. Paul wanted to have everyone PERFECT/COMPLETE in Christ before Christ returned. Hbr 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. Hbr 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. There are mature believers, and through practice, OR LIVING NOT READING ABOUT IT, same as the EPHESIANS 4 verse above says that maturity comes through works. THE DOING of it is what brings you to maturity. And through doing it, your senses are trained (Hebrews 12 discipline, the word discipline means the same as trained here, well not exactly the same, but very close...). That is what we saw above in the trials and tribulations that make you MORE than where you started. Your trials and tribulations are in life from living it, not from reading about it and being PROUD or PUFFED UP at your knowledge. Which is ironic since I'm speaking from knowledge I've attained from study.... Hey, at least I'm honest. It's how I check myself. So, Perfection, is an actual changing of the person, done by God, but through man's work, same as Moses, to become as Spiritually Mature as Jesus the Christ was, not one bit less. Now, what that might look like is another conversation. But that is what scripture calls Spiritual Perfection. I guess the question is, was Paul wrong in His teaching? Is God incapable of pulling it off? Or can it happen? Or will we just knee jerk that no one is perfect ever but God, making Paul a liar and the claimant of said words the correct one. Feel free to accost me violently... Just do it with a reasoning attached.