Thursday, February 16, 2017
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection” Hebrews 6:1 (KJV).
In a 1947 lectureship at David Lipscomb College in Nashville, Tennessee, a well known brother stated, “But even the members of the church are to aim at perfection. (Heb. 6: 1.).” It is true that the word “perfection” is found in the verse and is from the Greek word teleiotes (τελειότης) which is found twice in the Greek New Testament. It is rendered once as found in Hebrews 6:1, but as “perfectness” in Colossians 3:14. The NKJV is more consistent by rendering it as “perfection” in both passages. Strong’s Greek-English Lexicon shows an alternate word, “completeness.” The NASV, RSV, NIV, WEY, GW, NLT, TLB, IEB, and ESV render it as “maturity.” The BBE and DARBY translates it as “full growth.” If one interprets “perfection” in Hebrews 6:1 as sinless perfection, they come away with the wrong idea. Jesus is the only one who was and is perfect! Any effort on our part to reach that state is meaningless and ends in dismal and discouraging failure. In fact, if we develop the idea that we can attain sinless perfection, we displace Jesus and his blood by substituting our works of righteousness (Titus 3:5)!
It is impossible for human beings to obtain sinless perfection through our works. However, it is possible for Christians to mature. Peter states, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV). Being sinless is an impossibility, but not maturity! The Hebrew writer stated, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” (Hebrews 5:12 (NKJV). Therefore, they needed to grow up and be mature. Spiritual maturity is still needed today and possible! A majority of that spiritual growth is in recognizing that Jesus and only Jesus can save you. Why not put your trust in what he did for you upon the cross? It’s the grown up thing to do!