Be Perfect

Philippians 3:15-19 Let us, therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

‘Perfect’ [Greek: teleios] mature; complete. Here it is used of full growth, as men, and not children, in Christian knowledge – thoroughly instructed and deeply experienced, as in 2Corinthians 2:6; 14:20; Ephesians 4:13; Colossians 1:28; James 1:4; 3:2; Hebrews 5:14; 1John 4:18, to be full of Christ who was perfect in all conduct.

‘Followers’ [Greek: summimetes] fellow-imitators.

‘Mark’ [Greek: skopeo] look out for. Be alert for those who cause divisions and have no religious fellowship with them so that the flock may be protected (3:17; Rom. 16:17). Also translated “look at” (2Cor. 4:18); “look on” (2:4); “take heed” (Luke 11:35); and “consider” (Gal. 6:1).

‘Ensample’ [Greek: tupos] example (3:17; 1Cor. 10:6, 11; 1Thess. 1:7; 2Thess. 3:9; 1Tim. 4:12; 1Pet. 5:3); pattern (Tit. 2:7; Heb. 8:5); manner (Acts 23:25); fashion (Acts 7:44); form (Rom. 6:17); figure (Acts 7:43; Rom. 5:14); and print (John 20:25).

‘Enemies of the cross of Christ’ – Anyone adding or taking away from God’s Word to suit their own purpose or to justify certain sin, are seen as false teachers of His Word. Five facts about false teachers: They are enemies of the cross (3:18). Their end is destruction (3:19; 2Cor. 11:14-15; Heb. 6:8; 2Pet. 2:20). Their god is their belly (3:19; Rom. 16:18; Isa. 56:10-12; Ezek. 13:19). Their glory is in their shame (3:19). They mind earthly things (3:19; Rom. 8:5-6; 2Pet. 3:3, 13-20; cp. Matt. 7:15).

Be Perfect

2Corinthians 13:11-14 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. Greet one another with an holy kiss. All the saints salute you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. The second epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi, a city of Macedonia, by Titus and Lucas. 

‘Perfect’ [Greek: katartid’zo] to complete thoroughly, that is, repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust: – fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect (-ly join together), prepare, restore. From James 1:4 we see six perfect things: Perfect work of patience (Jas. 1:4); perfect knowledge (Php. 3:15); perfect gifts (Jas. 1:17); perfect law of liberty (Jas. 1:25); perfect faith by works (Jas. 2:22); the perfect man by restraint (Jas. 3:2).

‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost.’ Another clear reference to the Trinity of three separate Persons in the Godhead: The grace of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father (John 1:17; 1Jn. 5:7). The love of God the Father (John 3:16; 1Cor. 13:1-13; Rom. 5:8). The communion (fellowship) of the Holy Spirit (Php. 2:1; Rom. 8:14-16).

‘Communion’ [Greek: koinonia] communion (1Cor. 10:16; 2Cor. 6:14; 13:14); communicate (Phm. 1:6; Heb. 13:16); fellowship (Acts 2:42; 1Cor. 1:9; 2Cor. 8:4; Gal. 2:9; Eph. 3:9; Php. 1:5; 2:1; 3:10; 1Jn. 1:3, 6-7); contribution (Rom. 15:26); and distribution (9:13).

Jesus Prayed: Made Perfect in One

John 17:20-26 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which thou gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou have sent me, and have loved them, as thou have loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou have given me: for thou loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou have sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou have loved me may be in them, and I in them. 

‘One’ – this request for absolute unity is made five times (17:11, 17:21-23). Unity among Christians is necessary to convince the world that He had been sent by God. Is this why the world has not been convinced?

‘Are in me, and I in thee’ – the so-called doctrine of interpenetration, that is, persons entering physical into each other, is false. The Bible does speak of the Corinthians and Philippians being in Paul’s heart (2Cor. 7:3; Php. 1:7); God being in Christ (2Cor. 5:19); Christ being in God (John 14:20); God and Christ being in each other (John 14:10-11); men being in both the Father and the Son (1Jn. 2:24); men being in Christ (2Cor. 5:17); men and the Spirit being in each other (Rom. 8:9); Christ being in men (Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10); man and Christ being in each other (John 14:20); all creation being in God (Acts 17:28); and satan entering into men (Luke 22:3; John 13:27). However, these passages refer to being in union with, being consecrated to the same end – one in mind, purpose, and life. They do not teach physical entrance of one being into another. It may be best understood by a man and woman becoming one in life together, being in each other’s plans, life, etc. Hence, satan entering into Judas simply means Judas submitted to satan’s temptation to betray Jesus. He became one with satan, like men become one in spirit with God when joined to Him in consecration (1Cor. 6:17).

‘That the world may know’ – if Christians want to know how to convince the world that their religion is of God, then let them become one as God and Christ are one. Make no mistake about it – this is the secret of the world’s recognition of Christianity. See what it did in the early congregations when they were one (Acts 1:14; 2:1, 46; 4:24, 32; 5:12). James 3:16 is so true: “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

‘Before the foundation of the world’ this is the second statement here of Christ’s preexistence – see also Micah 5:1-2; John 1:1-2; Revelation 1:8, 11; 2:8; 22:13 and Col. 1:15-18.

‘Righteous Father’ – eight facts about the Father: He is righteous (17:25); He is holy (17:11); He originates from heaven (Matt. 6:14, 26, 32); He is the Father of Mercies (2Cor. 1:3); the Father of Glory (Eph. 1:17); the Father of Spirits (Heb. 12:9); the Father of Lights (Jas. 1:17) and the Lord of Heaven (Matt. 11:25).

‘Them’ – there are 169 pronouns used in this prayer. Plural pronouns are used of God and Christ in the same sense as used of disciples, proving plurality of persons in the Godhead (17:11, 21-23). There are 65 singular personal pronouns used of Christ and 53 of the Father; 43 plural pronouns are used of God and disciples.