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What is 'Perfect' or 'Perfection'?

Discussion in 'Bible Chat' started by Br. Bear, Feb 4, 2018.

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  1. #1 Br. Bear, Feb 4, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018

    as the title says, what is 'Perfect' or what is 'Perfection'?

    If I asked you to describe it to me, how would you do so?
    When Abram was a tender 90 years old, the LORD said unto him, "I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect." from Genesis 17:1 KJV
    Did Abram have trouble working out what the LORD was talking about? Perhaps Abram would be perfect if he walked before the LORD? or was being perfect another thing all together?

    There is no record of Abram reading this in any written language, so how did he interpret the meaning of the LORD's words? Was it an order, as in a commandment which also can be translated or understood as being a law or if we go forward a few hundred years, Torah.

    Back then the language took on a quite different form when written at all. Much like the Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Hebrew language was written in pictographs.
    Perfect was written with four pictures, a cross, waves like water, an arm and hand and more water. Given that the people back then thought and spoke and lived differently to the western mindset of communicating, the whole concept of perfect and perfection would be able to be easily understood because it would be in a tangible expression of life rather than a mere abstract word that left the hearer and reader to decide for themselves depending on their own imagination.

    , 'Perfect' - a cross, water, an arm and hand, water. Sounds perfect to me. How about you?

    What does it mean to be perfect? And can you please explain it to me in terms that aren't abstract?

    Bless you ....><>

    I like using Jesus Speaks to look up Scripture... try it today!
    Dave M likes this.
  2. I know this isn't exactly what you asked, but....

    Matt 5:43; "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.'
    Matt 5:44; "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
    Matt 5:45; so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
    Matt 5:46; "For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
    Matt 5:47; "If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
    Matt 5:48; "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    I think sometimes context helps. This passage end by telling us "to be perfect". Not only perfect... but as perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect!!

    The passage starts off with loving your neighbor. It goes on to say we have to love our enemies too.
    ... then there is a conditional statement... "so that you may sons of"... (your heavenly Father). If we want to be sons of God, it is a
    requirement to love "everyone". (So much for grace alone) We need to love even the hard to love. If we only love those who love us back... what reward is there?

    It seems that being "perfect" in this context... is simply loving everyone. Really loving them without exception.
    KingJ likes this.
  3. This will probably be taken as a comparison between versions... but it isn't meant that way. Again, I believe
    multiple versions can sometimes help with meaning.

    [Gen 17:1]
    (AMPC) WHEN ABRAM was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the Almighty God; walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete).
    (AMPC+) WHEN ABRAM was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the Almighty God; walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete).
    (ASV) And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, Jehovah appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
    (CSB) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him, saying, “I am God Almighty. Live in my presence and be blameless.
    (ESV) When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless,
    (GNB) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am the Almighty God. Obey me and always do what is right.
    (GW) When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to him. He said to Abram, "I am God Almighty. Live in my presence with integrity.
    (HCSB) When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to him, saying, "I am God Almighty. Live in My presence and be blameless.
    (KJV) And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
    (MKJV) And when Abram was ninety-nine years old, Jehovah appeared to Abram and said to him, I am the Almighty God! Walk before Me and be perfect.
    (MSG) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, GOD showed up and said to him, "I am The Strong God, live entirely before me, live to the hilt!
    (NAS77) Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.
    (NASB) Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.
    (NIrV) When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to him. He said, "I am the Mighty God. Walk with me and live without any blame.
    (NIV) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
    (NLT) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.
    (RV) And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
    Br. Bear likes this.
  4. Jesus said that God is the only one that is good. How do you define good? With God, how can we disagree that he is not Omniscient,Omnipotent and Omnipresence.
    • For everything to work according to God's realm, would he not have to be prefect?
    • Wasn't Jesus the perfect sacrifice, could any of us have done that?
    • Isn't the love description in 1 Corinthians 13 , Agape or God's love...since he does it 24 /7, isn't that perfection, isn't that a description of perfect love, are any of us capable of that kind of love 24/7 for the rest of our life!
    amadeus2 and KingJ like this.
  5. Greetings,

    thank you Brothers for your replies.
    You are sort of touching on the question and answer and I appreciate that.

    B-A-C without going into an unnecessary argument with you or anyone, (please everyone) you mentioned grace. Perhaps it is grace that enables and provides for 'perfect'? So in that sense, yes, it is by grace alone, for without it we have no provision to do the loving as 'perfect'. Anyone can love, as such, but the whole search here is to grasp what 'perfect' is.

    also, to love your neighbour is good but it is fairly loose, as is. After all, what is love? Who decides? A bit on the abstract side and without any concrete, is quite 'out there' for self-definition and boundaries.
    So we need the LORD's definition (which He has given us).

    To all,
    if we use words to explain that is good. But if those words we use are abstract, ie something we need to individually think with our own present understanding, then those words do not really covey anything for the hearer except that which the hearer may imagine that term to mean to them. This is dangerous territory and the whole world is full of people who reckon that it is up to them to believe in whatever idea of a god they want and they base their often sincere considerations on what they imagine their god to be, along with any principals they think with their own understanding that their god would be requiring of them.

    Please tell me if this doesn't make sense and i will try to re-word it.

    I used the verse from Genesis about Abram and the LORD and it fit well with what followed but there are of course many uses of the word 'perfect' at least in the KJV.
    When we look at the other versions provided above in a previous reply, we can see lots of abstract and not so much concrete regarding any amplified or paraphrased versions go, so unless we sift through them all and pick and choose, we are not much better off. Yes, having those many to look at surely gives us a more definite word to understand but even still, much is left to our imagination.
    Likewise, we can say that God is perfect and Jesus is the perfect sacrifice but how does that mean?
    Once we really understand what the term 'perfect' means according to the LORD we can use it because we understand from the LORD what He means and therefore if one says or writes 'perfect' another will completely understand. From there, nor disputing will arise because everyone is on the same page, being the LORD's not their own. Another way of putting that is that everyone will be not only on the same page but in the same book.

    The problem; our own understanding.
    The solution? God's understanding (if I can use that expression)

    Look again at the pictograph way of writing what the word 'perfect' is.
    A Cross, water, an arm and hand, water.
    what does that mean to you?

    Bless you ....><>
  6. To be "perfect", one does things as if Jesus was controlling them.
    Christ4Ever likes this.
  7. We just don't know or have an example, save one, God!

    From the time of my first memory of perfection it was a carnal view and a mystical one at best. As I grew up, I found that the idea of perfection I had was pretty much not achievable . Oh, i scored an occasional 100 on test but, was that perfection....somehow I had this innate understanding that it was not. Other, than somehow knowing something to be true or not, the carnal society that I grew up in skewed the idea. Finally, after probably reading the Bible, I realized than my definition of perfection had been marred with untruth... a bondage that many live under today.

    I eventually realized that carnal society's picture of perfection was skewed or almost perfect at best. A look at a standard human definition for perfection:
    "the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects"... This is what we have, almost perfect is good enough.
    • A Pitcher throws a perfect "No Hitler" but was it perfect, it it wasn't for some grounding feat of a fellow teammate?
    • A perfect diamond can have some allowable inclusions or flaws.
    So, growing up, my standard for perfection was not actually perfect but a mere allowable imperfections of what is perfect.
    After reading the Bible, did I grasp and, still understanding, what true perfection means; here are only a few:
    • Job 9:20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.
    • Psalms 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect
    • Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    • 1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
    • Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
    • Hebrews 7:28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever
    • Hebrews 10:14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
    • James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above
    So, God and only God is perfect and by this standard can we truly define perfection!
    KingJ likes this.
  8. To deny that 100% on a test is "perfect" seems like a denial of reality..

    The fact that your "reference" states two different descriptions of "perfection" should have been warning enough to, perhaps, check out other references.
    • Why can't a "perfect" game have perfect contributions by others?

    • Says who?
    Even the scriptures you posted disallow your conclusion.
    Heb 7:19, 28 state a present "perfection" on earth now.
    BTW, your "version" of Heb 10:14 has added to your inability to see anyone, especially those in Christ, as perfect.
    The KJV of the bible says..."For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
    Sanctification happens when the blood of Christ is applied to us, at baptism in Jesus' name for the remission of past sins. (Acts 2:38).
    Just as the temple and it's instruments were sanctified by the blood of animals.
  9. Greetings,

    before this gets out of hand, may I offer a few bits, please.

    In all fairness, I think that the point that Born Again 2004 was making was entirely to show the stupidity that he found availing in the world and even attempting to subdue him in the process, much as it is for all who are yet in darkness. Therefore, understanding this, the comments regarding what he wrote were no doubt given with this in mind and therefore, there is no offence given and need not be taken. If there has been a misunderstanding can we please move on and stay on track?

    At Peace, I would stop at
    Anything else you said after that is not actually in the Scriptures , word for word. (except the possibility of being able to say that your reference to Acts is in Scripture. However, even that is not strictly written in the Bible, word for word.


    I'm still interested in any replies relating to the actual word 'perfect' in the early Hebrew written language, which reflects to at least some degree the language and understanding of that word.
    English does not do Scripture many favours. Especially in a world where people are pre-set in understanding what words mean. Most use words without giving them much thought and rarely get too interested in what the word(s) they use actually mean or where they come from.

    Perhaps this also is the case with this word perfect.
    remember that we read backwards!
    a Cross, water, an arm and hand, water

    Bless you ....><>
    KingJ likes this.
  10. I feel it has been made clear that genuine love is tied to perfection. Genuine love for God is to hate what is evil and cling to what is good Rom 12:9.

    We are to love God (first) and then others (second). We place ourselves third.

    Perfect is not always smiling and blowing kisses to God or our neighbor as Prov 27:6 clearly states. It is laying our lives down Matt 16:24.

    We are not perfect beings, but God sees perfection when He sees actions that show a depth of intent to love James 5:20.

    Person A: Never curses or thinks immoral thoughts. But will not take a bullet for God / his neighbor.
    Person B: Curses much and is always repenting of immoral thoughts. Will take a bullet for God and his neighbor.

    Person B is made perfect. Person B is welcome into heaven. Person A will go to hell.

    Jesus told the young rich man what he has to do to be perfect to God, to qualify to enter heaven Matt 19:16-30: Sell all he has.
  11. This makes me think about children. All children are perfect. They may be naughty and disobedient. But they are perfect because they are unable to sink to a depth of intent of evil.

    A kid will not stab you in the back. God wants to surround Himself with people that will not 'stab Him in the back'.
  12. Greetings,

    do you mean something like, except ye become as little children...

    And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

    Bless you ....><>
    KingJ likes this.
  13. Greetings again all,

    perhaps the following might also help us in understanding what those words to Abram would mean to Him? [referring to Genesis Chapter 17 verse 1}

    Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it. Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone. He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death. The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; even the waters forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men.

    As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire. The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold. There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen: The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it. He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overturneth the mountains by the roots.

    He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every precious thing. He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light. But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

    Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

    The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold. Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?

    Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air. Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears. God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;

    To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure. When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.

    And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
    Job 28

    Bless you all ....><>
    • I mean no disrespect but you don't see the kingdom of God as I do.
    • You may be right for one Carnal human test but, with respect to God's kingdom, that is more like a denial of truth. In God's realm, perfection would be more like scoring a 100% on every test, 24/7 for the rest of your life.
    • Are you capable of that?
    • I disagree on this "perfection" of yours, for it does not meet the definition of perfection required by this Thread.
    • Maybe we can just agree that Jesus is Lord and Savior and leave it at that?
  14. Yes. We just need to properly understand exactly what Jesus meant when He said this. Little children have a good and innocent heart. They are a threat to nobody. Albeit they can be a handful :smile:.
    Br. Bear likes this.
  15. Children, in our realm, is as close as it comes to representing perfection.
    ..they are pure in heart and spirit.. wonder God wishes us to come to in this manner..... remember, "such as these, have inherited the kingdom of God"!
    Sent from a mobile device
    KingJ likes this.
  16. I certainly wasn't offended, and can see no reason for him to be either.
    Is it you who is offended?
    BTW, I hope your understanding of his POV is correct.
    My conclusion drawn from his writing shows a flaw in his initial point.
    That being, that there is nothing perfect... in spite of the perfection he achieved on a test.
    This is the basis some use to never strive for the perfection Jesus commanded of us in Matt 5:48.
    I beg to differ.
    My point is to refute the notion that perfection is unachievable.
    Scripture not only commands it, but shows us the OT shadow of its prior accomplishment.

    I can understand the word "perfect" perfectly from the context of its use in verses of the bible.
    You seem to be more interested in the interpretation of ancient hieroglyphs.

    Again, I hope you weren't offended.
    As this is a forum to hash out ideas, to discontinue would serve no purpose.
    Our differences on this topic are rooted in the scope of the perfection you address.
    While I was pointing to individual points of perfection, a test score, you were pointing out a grand scale perfection.
    Example...My car is perfect.
    But it needs a muffler.
    Even with its needs, it performs its intended duties without fail.
    While it perfectly serves its purpose, other aspects of it may not be perfect in the grand scale.

    We can get a perfect test score and still fail a class, so if enough "perfects" are not evident, the imperfections, in a limited scope, win out in the end.
    That doesn't militate the one perfect score.
  17. And they obey those they love and respect.
  18. Most of the time, sure. I know many that don't. Are they less deserving of heaven? Does Jesus say we must be like 'these' little ones and not 'those' little ones? Little children are not pets.

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Users Who Have Read This Thread (Total: 14)

  1. Br. Bear
  2. B-A-C
  3. Dave M
  4. Born Again 2004
  5. Christ4Ever
  6. Wired 4 Fishen
  7. At Peace
  8. KingJ
  9. Hekuran
  10. Brad Huber
  11. amadeus2
  12. Bendito
  13. Sue J Love
  14. Bill