How you personally can be without spot or blemish or wrinkle
Personal faithfulness leads to …
When you think about the world in these times that we are living in, it isn’t hard to see that there is a huge amount ofgoing on. Warfare, poverty, innocents suffering, etc. It can leave us wondering: when will it all end? How long can God allow this to continue?
But did you know there is something that you can do to shorten these evil days?
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God …” 2 Peter 3:11-12.
It is through the fear of God that we can hasten the coming of the day of God. As disciples, we are to come to perfection in Christ, so that there is no spot or blemish in us. “… that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27.
With the strength and guidance God gives us by the Holy Spirit, each one of us can live without committing conscious, willful sin. With that strength and grace, we are able to overcome sin in our flesh when we are tempted, to the degree that we are obedient to the light and understanding that God has given us. The more faithful and obedient we are, the faster the work He has prepared for us will be accomplished. (Ephesians 2:10) By this “holy conduct and godliness” we hasten His coming.
Read more here: What does it mean to fear God?
No spot, wrinkle or blemish
Paul said it like this: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on …” He is speaking there about being perfect as Jesus is perfect; coming to the whole fullness of God. (Colossians 2:9; Matthew 5:48) Nonsense, you may think, none of us can be perfect. But Paul says that he was “… reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14.
How can we possibly come to the point where we have no spot or blemish or wrinkle? What does that even mean?
To have no spot or wrinkle or blemish doesn’t mean that we have no sin, as we can clearly see in 1 John 1:8. We all have sin that we are as yet unaware of, which God hasn’t given us light over, because He only shows us as much as we can bear at a time. That sin which He hasn’t shown us yet doesn’t cause us to be blemished.
But what does cause a blemish in us, is disobedience. If God has spoken to us time and time again about something that we need to overcome, if He has given us light over something, and we don’t do anything about it, but allow that sin to remain active in us, then we get “spots” and become blemished. That will make us unfit to be a part of that glorious church that He will present to Himself. We have to do something when He shows us something in ourselves; we have to fight and come to victory over that sin.
Read more here: What does it mean to walk in the light?
Perfect in Christ
We are not accountable for the sin that we are not aware of. But we are fooling ourselves if we think we can say, “Yes, I knew about that sin in myself, but the righteousness of Jesus covers me, so I will not be held responsible for it. I overcome through faith in His finished work on Calvary, not by anything I must or can do.”
Though Jesus’ sacrifice we can indeed receive undeserved forgiveness for sins we have and do commit. But the salvation obtained through forgiveness is only the beginning of a disciple’s life. Jesus opened a way of salvation from sin for us. This way, the way that Paul was pressing forward on, leads to the goal: to be perfect in Christ as far as we have received light. This way reaches all the way to God’s throne. (Hebrews 10:19-22) There we receive all the mercy and grace and help we need to overcome sin. (Hebrews 4:15-16) The power of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent to us after He had opened up this way, is what enables us to be “… more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:27.
It is critical that we pursue this goal, and to be faithful to the extent that we have light over the sin in our flesh. None of us can do more than what we understand to do. But we can be 100% faithful to do that which we do understand. Then God can give us more light and understanding as time goes by, and if we are faithful to be obedient, then that pursuit of righteousness will hasten the coming of the day of God.
“And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” Revelation 19:8.
This article is inspired by a talk by Kaare J. Smith on January 21, 2019.
You might be interested in reading more on our topic page “Christian life – development,” or in the following article:
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.