Sooner of later in every book of the New Testament, there is an injunction, a warning, a command, to be wary of false teachers, falsehood, false teaching, false apostles, and even in one book, false Jews! So, we’re preparing to enter another of those warnings.
“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, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.” (Hebrews 6:1–3, KJV)
Some texts speak of perfection, not in the sense of the absence of all sin, but in more specific senses, e.g., of a positive readiness for whatever task is at hand for the Christian (KJV, Eph. 4:13; Col. 1:28; 4:12; RSV “mature”; 2 Tim. 3:17; RSV “complete”; Jas. 1:4), an ability to receive teaching concerning God’s purposes (KJV, 1 Cor. 2:6; Heb. 5:14; RSV “mature”), an ability to make mature judgments concerning specific issues in the Church (KJV, Phil; 3:15; RSV “mature”; cf. 1 Cor. 14:20; KJV mg. “perfect,” “of a ripe age”), and self-control in speaking (Jas. 3:2).
Allen C. Myers, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), 812.
τελειότης is here rendered perfect.
PERFEC’TION, n. [L. perfectio.] The state of being perfect or complete, so that nothing requisite is wanting; as perfection in an art or science; perfection in a system of morals.
Teleiotēs here is rendered in the second meaning, that of possessing everything needed to get the task done. As every Messianic will tell you arrogantly, the word Telos means “goal”, but where they miss out is, at the end of every highway was a tax collector. That location was the Telos. It ended there, and getting there was the telos, as well as the spot itself being the telos. So when Romans 10:4 uses Telos meaning “End” or “goal”, it means that was the goal AND ending of the law. We made it, its; done, not to be repeated, finished.
So, perfection in this verse means that which you have striven for. What’s the perfection? How do we obtain it?
Remember Biblical rule number two? What’s the context? The audience of Hebrews didn’t know their Bibles. So how are you equipped for everything you need?
In secular Greek teleios means also: (i) adult, full-grown, as opposed to immature and infantile, and (ii), in connection with mystery-cults, fully initiated
J. I. Packer, “Perfection,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 900.
Here’s the answer…
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17, KJV)
Not too difficult to figure out.
If you’re looking for how to preach this…
- Read the word
- Feed on the word
- heed the word