What does the Bible say about perfection?
Throughout Scripture God says to be perfect. He is the standard for perfection. Many try to seek perfectionism, but they fail miserably. We have all sinned. God has every right to throw everyone into hell for eternity and He should. But out of His great love for us He brought His perfect Son to become perfection on our behalf. Our imperfection leads us to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Jesus, our sin debt is gone and we are made in right standing with God. Christians don’t have to work for their salvation. Salvation is a free gift from God. God is working in believers to bring forth fruit in them.
It is God who changes a man. We can’t lose our salvation and we don’t obey to keep it.
We obey because Christ saved us. We obey because we are so thankful for Christ and we want to honor Him with our lives.
Evidence of true faith in Christ is that a person will continue to move forward and bring forth good fruit because God is at work.
Christian quotes about perfection
“God’s will may not be the perfection of the true believer’s life, but it is the direction of it.” John MacArthur
This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.” Augustine
“Passion drives perfection.” Rick Warren
“Being a Christian demands constant progression, not perfection.”
“To Jesus, the Christian life wasn’t about being perfect but about being perfected.”
“I’m a Christian! I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I mess up, but God’s grace is bigger than my sins.”
“God is not looking for perfect people. He’s looking for people who have a perfect heart toward Him.”
“Our peace and confidence are to be found not in our empirical holiness, not in our progress toward perfection, but in the alien righteousness of Jesus Christ that covers our sinfulness and alone makes us acceptable before a holy God.” Donald Bloesch
“Absolute perfection belongs not to man, nor to angels, but to God alone.”
“The one marvelous secret of a holy life lies not in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfections of Jesus manifest themselves in my mortal flesh. Sanctification is “Christ in you.”… Sanctification is not drawing from Jesus the power to be holy; it is drawing from Jesus the holiness that was manifested in Him, and He manifests it in me.” Oswald Chambers
“What makes a Christian a Christian is not perfection but forgiveness.” Max Lucado
“The gospel alone is sufficient to rule the lives of Christians everywhere – any additional rules made to govern men’s conduct added nothing to the perfection already found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Whenever we endeavor to bring about our own perfection, or that of others, by our own efforts, the result is simply imperfection.
We all stumble
1. 1 John 1:8 If we say, “We aren’t sinful” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
2. 1 John 2:1 (My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One,
3. James 3:2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
4. Romans 7:22-23 For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body.
5. Romans 3:23 Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard.
Let’s learn about perfection in the Bible
6. Matthew 5:48 So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
7. 1 Peter 1:15-16 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
8. 1 John 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
9. Ephesians 5:1 Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children.
Christians are being perfected
God is working in our lives to conform us into the image of His son. We are perfect in Christ who died for our sins.
10. Hebrews 10:14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
11. Philippians 3:12 It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already become perfect. But I keep pursuing it, hoping somehow to embrace it just as I have been embraced by the Messiah Jesus.
12. Philippians 1:3-6 I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
13. Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God
14. James 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.
Love being perfected
15. 1 John 4:17-18 In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.
16. 1 John 2:5 But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
17. 1 John 4:11-12 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
18. Colossians 3:14 Above all, put on love–the perfect bond of unity.
Perfection through works
The Catholic Church teaches a works based-salvation. However, it is impossible to obtain perfection by combining faith and works. You can’t add to the finished work of Christ.
19. Galatians 3:2-3 I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
20. Hebrews 7:11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood–and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood–why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?
The nobody is perfect excuse
Sadly many people use the nobody is perfect excuse to live in rebellion. Scripture makes it clear that people who practice sin and rebellion are not truly saved. We must not use grace as an excuse to live like the devil.
21. 1 John 3:6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
22. Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name, drove out demons in your name, and performed many miracles in your name, didn’t we? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who practice evil!’
23. Matthew 7:16-18 You will know them by their fruit. Grapes aren’t gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit.
God’s Word is perfect
24. Psalm 19:7-9 The instruction of the LORD is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. The precepts of the LORD are right, making the heart glad; the command of the LORD is radiant, making the eyes light up. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are reliable and altogether righteous.
25. James 1:25 But the one who looks at the perfect law of freedom and remains committed to it—thereby demonstrating that he is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of what that law requires—will be blessed in what he does.