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How can anyone be "perfect" (James 3:2)? Can anyone attain perfection?

 James 3:2 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 

James 3:2

ESV - 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

Clarify Share Report Asked March 02 2020 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Tjart3 Thomas Riccardi Warrior Spirit
We are born into sin, imperfect. But through Jesus Christ we are made perfect and seen as perfect in the eyes of the Father! As it states in Hebrews 10:14 

Your sins are not just hidden, buried, beneath a white garment. No! In Christ, you are truly made perfect. The Bible says that by “one offering He has perfected forever and completely cleansed those who are being sanctified [bringing each believer to spiritual completion and maturity].” Praise the Living Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

March 06 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that James was not using the word "perfect" in the sense of "sinless". (As James himself said in the verse cited in the question, we all stumble.) Instead, he was using the word in the sense of "complete".

One of the main points that James was emphasizing in his epistle was the importance (as well as the difficulty) of controlling the words one speaks (as symbolized by the tongue). In my opinion, James was saying that the tongue is so difficult to control that, if people (particularly Christians, such as those to whom James was writing) can achieve control of their speech, they are also capable of practicing similar control in every other area of life, making them complete with respect to their relationship with both God and other people.

March 02 2020 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Img 5726 Leslie Coutinho
James 3:2: For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one, for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:10,23) For in many things, we offend “ALL” Jesus sends His Holy Spirit upon us to guide us and lead us in our ways (John 16:7); then why do we have to boast with our tongues that we have achieved the goal through our might and power where the scriptures say the inner nature of mankind has no self-control over the tongue that leads them to stumble and fall?

The wisdom which is given by the Holy Spirit of God should not be led astray by the slip of the tongue, for no one is perfect but should be led to pray for them who condemn and offend you (Mat 5:44). For all are as an unclean thing and all our righteousness are as filthy rags. (Isa 64:6) If any man among you seems to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, he deceiveth his own heart and this man’s religion is in vain. (Jam 1:26) 

The Lord looks into the inward part of a man and that is his heart (1 Sam 16:7). Heavenly Father chose David because he saw that his heart was good (1 Sam 16:13). God gives more grace to the humble but resists anyone that is proud, for the scriptures command us that we should humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand so that He can lift us up in due time. (1 Pet 5:6) David humbled himself under the hand of God, and the Lord lifted him up when the time was right to be the King. 

Psalm 139:23-24: Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

April 15 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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