“That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or blemish, or any such thing [that she might be holy and faultless].” (Ephesians 5:27 AMPC)
“So, beloved, since you are expecting these things, be eager to be found by Him [at His coming] without spot or blemish and at peace [in serene confidence, free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].” (2 Peter 3:14 AMPC)
These two scriptures are pretty intimidating to me since I’m a flawed human being. It seems such a daunting task to get my life without spots, wrinkles, or blemishes. Nonetheless, Jesus Christ IS COMING for a bride that is without spot or wrinkle or blemish. I want to be named among that number and I will do whatever it takes to do it.
What is a “spot?” The Greek definition of the word spot is “spilos,” which means a defect or a disgrace. Since nobody is perfect, how can we ever hope to achieve being spotless? All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and we are flesh, which is a whole other issue. Bear with me as I think this through because this blog post is for me as much as it is for you. If Jesus Christ requires us to be spotless, then there is more to these “spots” than meets the eye. Spots happen on our clothes as we live life. How many of us have made the mistake of eating spaghetti and meatballs wearing a white shirt? Believe me, you will get red spots on that white shirt! So spots are going to be something we have to deal with pretty regularly.
What does this mean for us as believers? It means that we need to keep short accounts with God to stay on top of this. For example, our goal with our credit cards should always be to pay them off at the end of the month. This is hard to do, but it’s our goal. Similarly, we need to daily examine our hearts to see if we have any bad attitudes, unforgiveness, or offenses creating “spots” in our spiritual life.
“Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you–unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected. But I hope you will recognize and know that we are not disapproved on trial and rejected.” (2 Corinthians 13:5-6 AMPC)
How does this fit into our everyday lives? For example, let’s say that you are going along and your boss calls you on the carpet in front of the entire office. That’s a major hurt and embarrassment for anyone to take. It’s only natural to get angry and offended at this. So here is a big “spot” that’s been thrown at you. How are you going to handle this? For a Christian who is trying to live fully for Jesus Christ, they will take it immediately to Him in prayer. They will deal with the fiery dart and forgive those who inflicted it. This response will erase the spot immediately. But what about the injustice of it? Shouldn’t we stand up for ourselves and push back? The way of the world is to do that. What does 1 Corinthians 13 say?
“…Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way for it is not self-seeking;…) (1 Corinthians 13:5 AMPC)
By releasing the injustice and hurt to God like this, it removes YOU from the picture and puts the whole issue between them and God. They will have to answer for that at the judgment at the end of all things. By letting love cover it, it helps you to move on to what God has for your future. It’s just not worth getting all embroiled in strife over offenses like this.
So the “spots” to me are the issues that life throws at us to keep us offended or with bad attitudes, which in turn, distances us from God’s plan and purpose for us. We must keep short accounts with God on a daily basis through self-examination of our hearts!
What is a “wrinkle”? The Greek word is “ethutis,” which means a fold, like on the face. As we age, our skin begins to lose its elasticity and the skin begins to overlap and cause lines and wrinkles. It also means to “lay hold on,” which could mean something like a bad habit or besetting sin that will cause us to spiritually wrinkle.
Let’s think about a bride. A bride is going to do her best to be perfect for her wedding day. She is horrified if she has a line or a pimple on her face on her wedding day! A wrinkle can indicate dryness and the best thing to do is to apply moisturizer or better yet, oil. It takes time to minimize a wrinkle, and, with regular care, it can be minimized.
A spiritual “wrinkle” is something that happens over time. It’s a compromise or disobedience in certain areas that cause us to wrinkle. Think about it, you can tell by a person’s face, the kind of life they have lived. A hard-lived life will show on the face in wrinkles and deep furrows. These compromises or disobediences eventually turn into a rebellious lifestyle if not put under the blood of Jesus Christ. That is the key. Repentance is the key that turns this back into smoothness before God. Again it goes back to keeping short accounts with God.
Another analogy is the spiritual dryness we all go through periodically. How many times have we been in the wilderness of a dry and barren place? Dry skin will wrinkle and shrivel up because of a lack of moisture. The Word of God is compared to water; to moisture. Don’t neglect the Word, and I’m preaching to myself here. The key is to be diligent and to put God as a priority in your daily schedule. If you are being diligent to spend daily time with God in prayer and in His Word, then any besetting sins or compromises are going to be dealt with. It’s inevitable!
“So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of the water of the Word.” (Ephesians 5:26 AMPC)
Notice in this scripture that Jesus is the One who does the cleansing. The purpose is sanctification, which means to “set apart.” What is our responsibility? To get into the Bible and let Him have His way in this process. Unlike natural wrinkle creams, Jesus Christ has the ability to completely eradicate every spiritual wrinkle you have!
What is a blemish? The Greek word is “amomos,” which means “at fault,” “guilty,” and “subject to blame.” A blemish on the skin is also known as a pimple. Pimples are temporary in nature with certain kinds of protocols to deal with them. Pimples that are not properly dealt with can leave unsightly scars. We are starting out in our Christian walk full of blemishes as well as spots and wrinkles. Thank God for Jesus!
“Say to Aaron, Any one of your sons in their successive generations who has any blemish, let him not come near to offer the bread of his God.” (Leviticus 21:17 AMPC)
According to this, blemishes keep us separated from God’s presence. Blemishes are serious but with proper care can be eradicated. What is that proper care for us spiritually? The blood of Jesus Christ being applied will eradicate it. This is done through repentance.
Blemishes are sin. Sin is done through our actions, our attitudes, and our words. Sin is dealt with through repentance and the blood of Jesus Christ because He is the sinless, perfect Lamb of God who paid the price to make us blemish-free!
“But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:19 AMPC)
Does this give us a license to willfully sin? NO! We are required to live holy and sanctified lives and be ready to meet the Lord when He comes at all times. Failure to obey Him will cost you dearly, I’m telling you the truth.
Blemishes are unrepentant sins, attitudes, unforgiveness, sins of the flesh, etc. that keep us out of His presence. What does this mean for us? Unrepentant sins keep us outside of kingdom blessings of healing, prosperity, peace, etc. Obedience and repentance are key to our ability to enjoy the abundant life Jesus purchased for us.
Again, it comes back around to our keeping short accounts with God and self-examination of our hearts daily. This process is also known as crucifying the flesh.
“And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.” (Galatians 5:24 AMPC)
Yes, the grace of God is here for us because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross, but we have a responsibility to live for Him wholeheartedly and this requires us to be diligent about our attitudes, actions, and words.
Let’s begin today this process of self-examination to ensure that we are always ready to meet the Lord should He come today. If we are not ready to meet Him, we will be left behind to face the wrath to come. We are living in perilous times and His return is nearer than we think. Don’t wait to begin this process of surrender, self-examination, and repentance. He is coming for a bride without spot, or wrinkle, or blemish. He wouldn’t require this of us if it was impossible to do. It is possible; it just takes a made-up mind and diligence to achieve it!