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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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That state or quality of a thing, in which it is free from defect or redundancy. According to some, it is divided into physical or natural, whereby a thing has all its powers and faculties; moral, or an eminent degree of goodness and piety; and metaphysical or transcendant is the possession of all the essential attributes or parts necessary to the integrity of a substance; or it is that whereby a thing has or is provided of every thing belonging to its nature; such is the perfection of God.

The term perfection, says the great Witsius, is not always used in the same sense in the Scriptures.

1. There is a perfection of sincerity, whereby a man serves God without hypocrisy, Job 1:1 . Is. 38: 3..

2. There is a perfection of parts, subjective with respect to the whole man, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 . and objective with respect to the whole law, when all the duties prescribed by God are observed, Psalms 119:128 . Luke 1:6 .

3. There is a comparative perfection ascribed to those who are advanced in knowledge, faith, and sanctification, in comparison of those who are still infants and untaught, 1 John 2:13 . 1 Corinthians 2:6 . Philippians 3:15 .

4. There is an evangelical perfection. The righteousness of Christ being imputed to the believer, he is complete in him, and accepted of God as perfect through Christ, Colossians 2:10 . Ephesians 5:27 . 2 Corinthians 5:21 .

5. There is also a perfection of degrees, by which a person performs all the commands of God with the full exertion of all his powers, without the least defect. This is what the law of God requires, but what the saints cannot attain to in this life, though we willingly allow them all the other kinds above-mentioned, Romans 7:24 . Philippians 3:12 . 1 John 1:8 . Witsii OEconomia Faederum Dei, lib. 3: cap. 12 & 124; Bates's Works, p. 557, &c. Law and Wesley on Perfection; Doddridge's Lectures, lec. 181.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Perfection'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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