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Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.  (Matthew 5:48)

Consider the following passage of Scripture:

Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?

So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, that is God.  But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

He said to Him, “Which ones?”

Jesus said, ‘“You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall you’re your neighbor as yourself.”

The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth.  What do I still lack?

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:16-22) 19:21

How was teleios is used in this passage?  In verse 19 the word “perfect” is the translated word for teleios, and it means spiritual completeness in the context of the story.

What lesson is being taught about teleios?  Jesus takes the young man beyond eternal life to current life, and current life is about becoming spiritually complete, not just saved for eternity.

God’s priorities are different from most people, and sadly most churches.  The young man asked about eternal life and Jesus moved the topic towards maturity.  And this story teaches that this spiritual maturity is the result of self-sacrificial character.  If you want to be complete as a Christian you have to live a sacrificial life.  This can play out I many different ways.  It could involve sacrificial giving as in this story, or sacrificial service.  God will use whatever way you are open to in order to help you mature.

Listen to the Holy Spirit and develop the character of self-sacrifice in daily living.  The young ruler went away sorrowful.  How about you?  The choice is yours.