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Should We Reject The Word Perfect

April 17, 2024

In the last blog I indicated that Wesley held to a robust view of what God can do IN the life of the believer. This robust work is the work of the Holy Spirit is often relayed by the use of the term "perfect."

Wesley knew that the word "perfect" (telos and ) was distributed throughout the New Testament and so he is not hesitant to use it. One sees this term in the Gospels on the lips of Jesus in Matthew 5:48, the Apostle Peter in Acts 3:16 and by multiple authors of The Epistles (II Corinthians 7:1; Phil 3:12 & 15; Hebrews 10:1; James 1:4; and I John 4:18). To say that the term perfect is never applied to human beings is to not consult the language of the New Testament.

However, the real challenge is to understand what this term means.....not just what it says. This challenge caused Wesley to give a great amount of time in his teaching and writing to explain what perfect/perfection did NOT mean in the Scriptures. Wesley's work at times seemed to be more of what this term did NOT mean than what it DID mean. But Wesley was determined to use Biblical language in his preaching and writing and would not reject the term.

Over the next several blogs we will investigate whether we should keep or reject this word.

REFLECT: Have you given any attention to the occurrence of the term "perfect" in the New Testament? What is your understanding of this term?