Is entire sanctification / sinless perfection possible in this life?

Question: "Is entire sanctification / sinless perfection possible in this life?"

The Greek word teleios (tel’-i-os) is used throughout the New Testament. It is often translated as “perfect” but can also mean “complete,” “full-grown,” and even “mature.” The confusion comes in when various translations use the word perfect instead of one of the other meanings. As an example, in James 1:4 Scripture says that we will be “perfect and complete.” But a further reading of the book shows that a better translation would be “mature,” because in James 3:2 we find that we all stumble. Obviously, we cannot stumble if we are perfect. However, the concept of maturity is compatible with imperfection.

First Corinthians 13:10; Ephesians 4:13; and Colossians 1:28 and 4:12 all should be translated as “mature” or “full-grown,” both of which fit in well in each verse’s context. As human beings we are still bound under the curse of Adam. No matter how hard we try not to, we will still sin against God. The Apostle Paul scolded Peter for favoritism (Galatians 2:11-13). Late in his ministry, Paul calls himself the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). Peter, James, John, and Paul all admitted that they were not perfect. How could you or I claim anything different?

True perfection will not come until the Rapture of the church, when we rise to meet Jesus in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17). At this time we will receive a new body (Philippians 3:20,21; 1 Corinthians 15:54). We will attend the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) where our works will be judged and any rewards given (1 Corinthians 3:9-15). We will then live forever and reign with Christ, in sinless perfection.

Recommended Resource: Balancing the Christian Life by Charles Ryrie.

Related Topics:

Do we sin daily? Is it possible to go an entire day without sinning?

What is a carnal Christian?

How can believers be in the world, but not of the world?

How can I overcome sin in my Christian life?

How can I overcome temptation?

Return to:

Questions about the Christian Life

Return to: Home

Is entire sanctification / sinless perfection possible in this life?