The word "perfect" as the Bible uses it of men, does not refer to sinless perfection. The thought, usually, is completeness in all details or to reach a goal or achieve a purpose. Three stages of perfection are revealed:

(1) Positional perfection, already possessed by every believer in Christ. (Heb. 10:11)

(2) Relative perfection, (i.e. spiritual maturity), especially in the aspect of the will of God (Col. 4:12), love (1 Jn. 4:17-18), holiness (2 Cor. 7:1), patience (James 1:4), and every good work (Heb. 13:21). Maturity is achieved progressively, as in 2 Cor. 7:1, "perfecting holiness" and Gal. 3:3 "are ye now being made perfect?" This maturity is accomplished through gifts of ministry bestowed for the perfecting of the saints (Eph. 4:12).

(3) Ultimate perfection (i.e. perfection in soul, spirit and body, which will be realized at the time of the resurrection of the dead, Phil. 3:11).

For the believer, nothing short of the moral perfection of God is always the absolute standard of conduct.