Christian perfection is a term used to refer to a variety of Christian beliefs that describe the process of spiritual maturation or perfection. The ultimate objective of this process is unity with God, which is marked by unconditional love for God and others, as well as personal holiness or sanctification. The concept has been referred to by a variety of words, including complete sanctification, perfect love, Holy Spirit baptism, Holy Spirit indwelling, second blessing, and second act of grace.
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Certain traditions and churches, especially the Catholic Church, emphasize the possibility of Christian perfection, which is intimately tied with consecrated life. It is also a popular idea in Methodist churches, where it is referred to as Christian perfection or complete sanctification. Perfectionism is a phrase used in traditional Quakerism.
Other faiths, such as the Lutheran and Reformed churches, reject Christian perfection teachings as contradictory to the notion of salvation by faith alone. The notion is frequently referred to as “sinless perfection” by critics, although Christians who believe in the possibility of Christian perfection reject this word.
What does perfection in the Bible mean?
This verse's formulation is known as the Imitatio Dei, and a similar verse may be found in Luke 6:36. “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, You shall be holy: for I, the LORD your God, am holy,” Leviticus 19:2 says in the King James Version.
Since orthodox Christianity teaches that animals cannot approach God's level of perfection, there is significant controversy about the meaning of the injunction to be “perfect.”
In most English translations, the phrase “perfect” is o (téleioi), which is the same word used in the Septuagint for (tamm) and means “brought to its end, finished; lacking nothing vital to completeness.” Barnes claims that “Originally, it was used to describe a whole piece of mechanism, such as a machine. It relates to the wholeness of pieces, or perfection, in which no portion is missing or imperfect.” Some people associate the term's use in the Gospel with that of Greek philosophers. Something was ideal to them if it performed its intended function perfectly.
According to one viewpoint, “Clearly, our Lord is referring to the kind of greatness that would identify His disciples and characterize His kingdom, not to degrees of brilliance. When He says, “Even as your Father in heaven is perfect,” He is referring to the full-orbed beautiful perfection that is in the great Divine Model, “their Father in heaven.” Others say Jesus is here to establish a goal that is likely to be unreachable, so that we will recognize it and be humbled. The quest of perfection is necessary, even if it is impossible to achieve.
Another point of view is that this is a limited sort of perfection being demanded. According to Fowler, it is mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament that individuals who believe in Jesus and entirely rely on him for all things are perfect. Because of their loyalty to God, certain persons in Jewish literature, such as Abraham and Noah, are referred to as perfect. Perfect is used as a synonym for complete in these verses, because perfect obedience to God simply means complete obedience to God. The previous verses, according to Barclay, made it obvious that man's purpose is to love, and anyone who does so perfectly can be deemed perfect. “This perfection is to be restrained to the subject Christ is upon, love to men,” Gill adds, “and not to be referred to any, or everything else.” The Qumran adherents described themselves as “perfect path” followers, referring to their belief in absolute devotion to God.
What does Bible say about perfectionism?
To counter the inner critic's messages, it's critical to tell oneself the truth from Scripture. You may replace the negative messages with the life-giving teachings of the Bible when you reflect on Scripture. When you're struggling with the need for perfection, here are some Scriptures that can help.
All you who are tired and burdened, come to me, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble at heart, and your souls will find rest. Because my yoke is light and my weight is easy. 28-30 Matthew 11:28-30
These words of Jesus are extremely reassuring. He doesn't want you to work so hard on your own to achieve your goals. He wants to give you some rest. You don't have to carry a huge burden on your own; Jesus will assist you. He'll do the heavy lifting for you so you don't have to worry about achieving perfection.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, to praise him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. NIV 1 Peter 2:9
God chose you to be his son or daughter. You are one of his most prized possessions. He prefers that you walk in the light of his liberty rather in the darkness of perfectionism. Lean into the grace of this verse and allow it to set you free.
He redeemed us so that the blessing promised to Abraham may be received by the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, and so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:14
You have been redeemed. This indicates Jesus paid a tremendous price for you in order for you to be a part of his family. He has given you a priceless gift in the form of your faith. Don't worry about demonstrating your worth by your deeds; Jesus has already done so.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully formed; I am well aware of your great works. Psalm 139:14; Psalm 139:15; Psalm 139:
Psalm 139 is a strong text to help you overcome your doubts if you struggle to feel worthy. God created you with majesty and awe. You don't have to show your worth because he saw you as precious even before you were born.
I am no longer alive since I was crucified with Christ, but Christ lives in me. My current physical existence is based on my faith in the Son of God, who loved me and offered himself for me. Galatians 2:20; Galatians 2:21; Galatians 2:22;
You have the power to overcome because Jesus loves you and gave himself for you. He lives in you as a believer, giving you the strength and ability to live the Christian life. He doesn't expect you to be flawless, but he does offer you grace, forgiveness, and instruction. Keep in mind that Jesus lives within you and can assist you in making a different future choice.
Accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, so that God may be glorified. 1 Corinthians 15:7
Christ accepts you just the way you are, warts and all. He doesn't expect you to be faultless because he is the only one who can be sinless totally. His acceptance of you can assist you in accepting others' imperfections as well.
What is the difference between holiness and perfection?
We are all called to holiness as followers of Jesus (see 1 Peter 1:15). But I'm well aware that I don't always get “it” properly. And I'm sure there would be a chorus of friends and coworkers who would say “amen.” “Set apart or purposely separate” is how the term holiness is defined. It has nothing to do with “perfection.” Because He is God, God is holy and perfect, which means He is unlike the imperfect world we live in AND He is perfect, which means He sustains every facet of holiness all of the time.
We are told in Matthew 5:46-48 to aim for the same perfection as our heavenly Father. However, God's objective for us in this life is purity, as we work toward fully representing Jesus. “Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the centre of his love, to be made full and holy by his love,” says Ephesians 1:4 in The Message.
My family has a “holy” plate, which means it has been set aside for a particular occasion. “You are Special,” it states on a red plate with white letters. Birthdays and graduations are two times when we bring it out.
So, when we talk about being “holy” in the middle of a fallen world, we're talking about standing out in a way that draws people to God.
Are there any ways you may have been “different” from others who do not follow Christ when you reflect on your day? Solicit forgiveness from God. Solicit forgiveness from individuals who have been harmed by your conduct. Ask God to change you in such a manner that you are distinct in ways that smell like Jesus.
Can perfection be achieved?
We will never be able to achieve the perfection we want. “Don't be afraid of perfection; you'll never achieve it.” While the majority of individuals aren't full-fledged perfectionists, it's difficult to find someone who doesn't strive for perfection in some element of their lives.
What does the Bible say about trying to be perfect?
“If we could…we'd be ideal…” I can't tell you how many times I've used this phrase! “It would be wonderful if only…” However, we can see from this text that we are far from perfect. We all make errors.
Not only should this make it easier for us to forgive ourselves, but it should also make it easier for us to forgive others. So much of perfectionism stems from other people's (intentional or inadvertent) remarks. “It's fantastic…but here's how we could make it even better.” “I had high hopes for you.” “You've disappointed me.”
Even when meant to advise or assist, words like these can have terrible and long-lasting consequences. Despite the fact that we have been hurt by such remarks, we appear to believe it is entirely acceptable to repeat them to others, particularly our children.
If we remember that we all make mistakes, we may extend to others the same grace that we would love to receive, the grace that says, “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry “It's perfectly acceptable to make mistakes; we're all human. Let us work together to make things better.”
“If you want to be perfect, sell all you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven,” Jesus said. Then come on over here and follow me.”
I love how Jesus defined perfection in this way. While I sit here regretting my filthy home, unfinished projects on my to-do list, the broken leg on the sofa we haven't gotten around to replacing, or the unhealthy supper I served last night, Jesus reminds me that none of these things have anything to do with perfection.
In fact, the things that make me feel flawed are the impediment to Jesus' definition of perfection.
However, not in the sense that I believe they are.
None of those things matter, Jesus says. What important is that you adhere to my instructions. If your possessions are impeding your ability to follow me, throw them away. My prize is far superior to anything you might find on this planet.
Obviously, I'm not seeking people's favor, but rather God's. I would not be Christ's servant if pleasing people was my purpose.
Oh, how I wish we could all say the same thing. Obviously, I'm not seeking people's favor, but rather God's. Obviously.
It's astonishing how engrossed we may become in our Christian work. Isn't there a never-ending list of things to do? Bible study groups, hospitality initiatives, Sunday school, fundraising, outreach, and anything else the church or our neighbors want us to do. We wish to do everything, and we make an effort to do so. We genuinely believe that. Most of us burn out trying to do everything.
But why are we doing it in the first place? We're looking for approval from whom. What are we listening for? Whose voice are we hearing? Are we so preoccupied that we've lost track of God's little voice? Are we vying for people's approval, yearning for them to notice how hard we're working? To acknowledge and recognize us?
I'm not saying we shouldn't do these things; I'm saying we should stop trying to be the hands and feet and simply relax. This outpouring of love is undoubtedly a component of our mission. However, we may need to reconsider what He's asking of us, to ensure that we're chasing His approval rather than the favor of those around us.
We are, after all, God's chosen ambassadors, entrusted with the Good News. Our goal is to satisfy God rather than mankind. He is the only one who checks our hearts' motives.
This text, like Galatians 1:10, speaks to our people-pleasing character. It reminds us that only God knows our true motivations. He examines it and understands it in a manner that no one else can. Our Creator knows everything about us. He sees directly into our souls and understands why we do what we do. Even if the outcome isn't as great as we'd anticipated, he understands our intentions.
That knowing brings a great deal of relief. We are not required to demonstrate our worth to God. We are known and liked for our motivations as well as our accomplishments. Knowing that our goals are in the right place and that we're pursuing God's joy alone can bring true satisfaction.
For you did not acquire a spirit of servitude that brings fear back into your life, but you did receive the Spirit of sonship, through whom we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Perfectionism can be a cruel master. It has the potential to keep us up all night ‘finishing up' things. It's the nagging voice in our heads telling us that we haven't done enough, that we're going to disappoint people, that we're not good enough.
The shackles of fear, however, have been broken by Jesus. We don't have to be terrified of that voice or the agony it threatens to inflict on us any longer. We've been brought back to life. We've been given the gift of sonship. We are God's offspring. As a result, we serve no other master: not fear, not perfectionism, and certainly not the people in our lives who have pushed us to strive for perfection in the first place.
We are accountable to our God, who loves us unconditionally and desires to use us for good, defects and all, despite our flaws, imperfections, and shortcomings. He's after everything.
You can commit all of your feelings to Him, no matter how long you've fought with perfectionism or how insufficient you feel, and in His infinite mercy, He will free you from those constraints and give you a heart of peace.
What is perfectionism a symptom of?
Although the phrases “perfectionist” and “OCD” are frequently interchanged, they are not synonymous. Perfectionism is a psychological attribute marked by high standards and expectations, whereas obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness characterized by intrusive thoughts and/or repetitive actions that are difficult to control. Perfectionism is a symptom of OCD that may or may not be present.