Bible Discussion Thread

  • Chuck Boyer on Colossians 1 - 1 year ago
    In Colossians 1: verse 28, what is Paul stressing with "that we present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." Knowing that man, even with the gospel and the Spirit of the Lord within, does not remain perfect. Thank you!
  • GiGi - In Reply on Colossians 1 - 1 year ago
    Hello Chuck,

    I have heard that this word "perfect" means "complete" rather than flawless. But even this rendering does not really explain what Paul is meaning by this phrase. Perhaps he is talking about being sure that those who respond to the Gospel with belief have been matured in faith by sound teaching and/or ensuring that those who respond the Gospel with belief truly understand the salvation they now possess. Or perhaps he is talking about these people having faith that endures to the the end of their lives so that they will stand before God with the righteousness of Jesus and no merit of themselves.

    I hope that someone else will respond with a better explanation than I give here.
  • Chris - In Reply on Colossians 1 - 1 year ago
    That's quite correct, GiGi. The Greek word for 'perfect' is 'teleios', which essentially means 'having reached its end' (or, made complete, and by extension, 'matured or perfected'). And such was the burden on Paul, that he fulfil his calling & ministry to not only bring folk to Christ but that they would also reflect lives that exhibit Christ in them. And this he did by 'teaching them & warning them' that they would grow in faith & grace to the point of real spiritual maturity.

    As Paul wrote to Titus in Titus 2:12,13, "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." We could see these verses as the fruit of Christian spiritual maturity, which Paul pointed believers to & hoped to see, & also urged Titus to pursue for his congregations.
  • GiGi - In Reply on Colossians 1 - 1 year ago

    It is good that we agree on this, as I do not know Greek. I wasn't quite sure if I had learned it correctly and you have confirmed it for me.

    Paul said that he who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it. ( Philippians 1:6) So our completeness comes from the working of God in our lives and in us by the Holy Spirit. Paul also says that he desires for us to grow up into the full measure of Christ. ( Ephesians 4:13).

    These verses seem to imply this same view of being made complete, having progressed from conversion to maturity and, ultimately, readiness for heaven. I think that it is not so much a matter of our effort (though we do need to make choices to obey) but of being open, willing, and desirous of how the Spirit wills to work in us to bring us towards completeness.

    On another angle, this makes me think that this perfection/completeness may be referring to God's plan coming to fullness, perfection, fruition, and, as you say, His foreordained end to His plan for creation, in us one by one, and in the whole church over the ages. There is a culmination of all things to come. That will be glorious.
  • S Spencer - In Reply on Colossians 1 - 1 year ago
    Amen Gigi and Chris.

    This completion is by the Spirit dwelling in us.

    Hebrews 11:39-40. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

    The law couldn't make one perfect.

    Hebrews 7:19.

    I believe Christ fulfilling the law, his righteousness imputed to us and the baptism of the Holyspirit is the consummation of all things.

    God bless.
  • Chris - In Reply on Colossians 1 - 1 year ago
    Amen GiGi. The question that should be asked is: 'how much do we allow the Holy Spirit to have of us, so as to direct our lives?' We know that the Spirit of God yearns that we be conformed to Christ's Image ( Romans 8:29); yet our flesh continually desires conformation to the world ( Romans 12:2). The more of the 'world' that drops off, the road before us towards maturity (perfection) becomes more visible & desirable - though the end of it can only be Heaven when all traces of the world & sin are removed.

    As the apostle wrote, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" ( Galatians 5:24,25). And it's only by the Power of the Spirit in us can our flesh be crucified, and only by the Life of the Spirit in us can we truly walk in the Spirit, desiring only to please our Lord God & His Son. Those who so walk, can be confident that "an entrance shall be ministered unto (them) abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." ( 2 Peter 1:11).

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