—On our being made free of those ugly spots and blemishes of character
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:27)
Remember that in the Mosaic Law all sacrifice, all offering to God, was to be made of an animal ‘without blemish’ and ‘without spot.’ (Leviticus 1:3, etc., etc.)
Just as Jesus was and made the ‘perfect’ sacrifice (complete holiness) to God, so He is able to present us to God; make us, that way. We have to be made free of those ugly spots and blemishes of character, of spirit. Often we don’t consider such things to be too bad in ourselves, in fact, we are able to get by and live with them in and of ourselves, but in God’s eyes sin is sin. It’s not the degree that counts but the presence. God is not going to be satisfied until sin is completely purged from within us. There should not be even a ‘wrinkle’ that doesn’t need to get ironed out. The Lord’s aim is to perfect his holiness in us. Our sacrifice is that we should be willing to be made so.
Paul later reiterates in his first letter to Timothy this same theme of pureness of character and sacrifice, and the apostle Peter in his second epistle echoes it, when each says respectively:
That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: (1 Timothy 6:14)
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (2 Peter 3:14)
And finally in Job; the oldest book of scripture, we have the following rendering which echoes the same acceptable quality of sacrifice—absence of sin (of spot, blemish, or wrinkle):
If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him;
If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.
For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear: (Job 11:13-15)
From In 52 Bible studies series
– focusing on a personal re-engagement with scripture
© Copyright 2015 John Hislop