Are You Flawless?

Matthew 5:48 Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Perfect: Teleioo  Teleiotes  Teleios

The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon Strong’s Number: 5048

Original Word teleioo from (5046) Definition: to make perfect, complete; to carry through completely, to accomplish, finish, bring to an end; to complete (perfect); add what is yet wanting in order to render a thing full; to be found perfect; to bring to the end (goal) proposed; to accomplish; bring to a close or fulfillment by event….   

Bibliography Information: Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Teleioo”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon”. . 1999.

Greek lexicon based on Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary plus others; this is keyed to the large Kittel and the “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.” These files are public domain.

I grew up in a church that taught Christian perfection. Even as a young child I understood that it was impossible to be perfect – flawless – because I was surrounded by imperfect people whether Christian or nonChristian. My Grandpa was as near perfect as anyone I knew, but he had his flaws.

Perfection of humanity comes through keeping the law. And we had rules! I remember going to a beauty school to get the ends of my hair trimmed. The student was a beginner and I ended up with very short hair. When one of the ladies from my church saw me she was simply horrified – and I learned an important lesson. “Rules do not a Christian make.” Since then I can smell a traditional Christian a mile away!! Traditional Christians may sometimes actually know Jesus but they are primarily rule-keepers.

The admonition Jesus gave about being perfect was taken literally years ago. But these days we have access to Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Concordance and Dictionary either on-line or in print. As I’ve shown above, it’s easy to find the definition of the word “perfect”. Flawless is not a definition of perfect, but it is still a very high goal to aspire to – maturity.

Job as an example

Job in Obadiah 1:1 is said to be “perfect;” that is, not holy as God, or “sinless” – for fault was afterward found with him: Job 9:20; Job 42:6. Job was not merely a pious man in one instance, but uniformly. He was consistent in every situation. This is the meaning in Matthew 5:48. Be not religious merely in loving your friends and neighbors, but let your piety be shown in loving your enemies; imitate God; let your piety be “complete, proportionate, regular.” This every Christian may be; this every Christian must be.

What are some indications of maturity?

1. Marriage is a commitment for the life of the man and woman involved. The marriage relationship is used to illustrate our relationship to Jesus. Feelings are shallow, but a commitment is for as long as both parties shall live.    

2. A mature person is secure in his identity. Unfortunately, few Christians are secure in knowing who they are in Jesus. That is, they quickly shrink in the face of criticism, and swell in the face of praise. Knowing Jesus loves me is my Rock. He will never fail me or let me down (Heb. 13:5-6 AMP)

3. A mature person thinks of him/herself less often than an insecure person does. The mature person is confident of his abilities and doesn’t feel the need to showcase himself. The mature individual begins to see the needs of others and reach out a helping hand.   

4. A mature person has learned to grow his spirit to have dominion over his soul – to submit his spirit to God regardless of his soulish feelings. He has learned to develop his character, his values, and not to cave to superficial feelings. Maturity produces principled individuals.

5. A mature person says “thank you” often. Thanking Father God is the foundation for worship and adoration. Thankfulness to Father God spills over into one’s human relationships.

6. A mature person is teachable. Ecclesiastes 7:6 It is better to be corrected by a wise man, than to be deceived by the false praise of the foolish.

7. A person who knows his strengths and weaknesses doesn’t need to brag or compete because he is at peace with who he is. That self-acceptance is humility.    

Below are some Scriptures that illustrate how the Greek word for perfection is used in the New Testament.

Luke 13:32 And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.’

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

John 17:4 “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.

John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.”

Hebrews 5:9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

Hebrews 10:1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

Hebrews 11:40 because God had provided something better for us (added: Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself on the cross), so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

Hebrews 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

1 John 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:

Such a simple statement but with profound meaning – “whoever keeps His word”.

1 John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

Resources:

https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/teleioo.html

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible https://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/5-48.htm

Prophetic Intercession

Growing up in a traditional church, I never heard of a prophetic intercessor. I sensed that my prayers were different and they were often answered just as I had prayed them. In simplicity I prayed from God’s word and kept a journal of what and how I prayed so that I could know when and how they were answered.

I didn’t share my way of praying although I treasured it. When I went to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) in China, my ability was observed among those I fellowshipped with and I was placed with other intercessors and honored as such. That was new to me, and the responsibility/accountability increased.

When I shared Scriptures that I took to give me authority to decree God’s will over a person or situation there were brothers and sisters present to assure me that I was in error. God didn’t say that I could decree a thing. He didn’t say I could speak something into existence. Arguing did no good, so I kept my faith to myself except in company with those who also believed.

As I matured in my walk and new understanding of the value of prayer, I only became more confident of God’s leading. Not everyone is called to prophetic intercession although most Christians will experience it occasionally. It is a very intimate relationship with almighty God because you are praying His will into existence. To do that you need to know His character and agree with His desires.

For example, David decided to build God a Temple. God was pleased with David’s consideration of His heart, but He told David that because he was a  man of war, He would allow David’s son who sat on the throne of Israel after David’s death to build the Temple. But He let David collect all the materials for God’s house.

A prophetic intercessor knows God’s heart and His unexpressed desires so that he/she can speak things that reveal the Lord and express His desires. Also, as noted in Job 22:30, the prophetic intercessor must walk in purity if he/she is to gain intimacy with the Holy One. Prophetic intercessors are known to be solitary individuals because most of their time is spent in communion with the Lord. Praying Hyde and Andrew Murray come to mind.

Early in my life I loved Jesus and wanted to be completely His. As a preteen I told the Lord that I wanted to stay unmarried and committed to Him only. I knew that marriage meant preparing meals having babies, nurturing a relationship with a spouse, etc. And I wanted to be totally God’s. I have stayed true to that desire with the help of the Holy Spirit. I can tell you it is much harder than I could have known except for having walked through it. It’s not so much the domestic needs as the need for human fellowship. We were created to be social creatures, so to live a solitary life goes against human nature. The Holy Spirit knows that very well and I have found that He presses in close to me when I’m feeling lonely. His presence supports and strengthens me.

There aren’t many people who answer the call but there are some who do, and they are priceless to the Body of Christ. They may seem unsociable but that isn’t the case. The intimacy of their relationship with the beautiful Savior means more to them than they can put language to.

Below are some of my favorite verses about the power and authority of prophetic intercessors and below the Scriptures are a couple of links to articles about intercessors.

Job 22:28-30 AMPC

28 You shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you; and the light [of God’s favor] shall shine upon your ways.

29 When they make [you] low, you will say, [There is] a lifting up; and the humble person He lifts up and saves.

30 He will even deliver the one [for whom you intercede] who is not innocent; yes, he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.

Isaiah 44:26 AMPC

26 [The Lord] Who confirms the word of His servant and performs the counsel of His messengers, Who says of Jerusalem, She shall [again] be inhabited, and of the cities of Judah, They shall [again] be built, and I will raise up their ruins,

Isaiah 45:11 nkjv

11 Thus says the Lord, The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons; And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.

Amos 3:7 AMPC

7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.

Links to articles about intercessors:

https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/43204-where-are-all-the-old-school-intercessors

https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/god-s-watchmen.html