Let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1–2)
We seek to go on to perfection. Unfortunately, as I previously noted, the word perfection has an unattractive sound for most Christians because of some doctrine of sinless perfection that they’ve been exposed to. In most cases, those who claim to have achieved perfection demonstrate just the opposite by their words, behavior, and lifestyles. This hypocritical attitude has turned people away from the pursuit of perfection.
I would like to remind you of three alternative translations of the word perfection that make better sense: “maturity,” “fulfillment,” and “completion.” The Greek word translated “perfection” comes from a noun that means “end.” Therefore, it suggests a goal or objective toward which we are moving. I think we would all agree that having a spiritual objective is desirable. Having entered into the way of righteousness by faith, we can go on, or we can go back. God will have no pleasure in anyone who turns back, so we belong to those who are moving on into the full salvation of their souls. (See Hebrews 10:38–39.)
There are two things: the actual and the ideal. To be mature is to see the ideal and live with the actual. To fail is to accept the actual and reject the ideal; and to accept only that which is ideal and refuse the actual is to be immature. Do not criticize the actual because you have seen the ideal; Do not reject the ideal because you see the actual. Maturity is to live with the actual but hold on to the ideal.