Really? Spotless?

June 18, 2016

Friends,
While witnessing downtown on Thursday (the Trump rally was about a mile away so I only met about a handful headed there), I was asked a question by one of my long-time friends who used to be a pimp and has, for a few years now, been trying to get right with God. He asked, “Do we really have to be spotless?” This was after I had been exhorting him about fleeing from and severing all sources of temptation, and about continuing in holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit which comes by reading and obeying the Word of God.

Do we have to be spotless before God? I told my friend that yes, we do! Someone might say, “I agree, but this spotlessness (perfect righteousness) does not come by our own effort, but simply by believing what Jesus did for us on the cross and asking for pardon and salvation which enables God to then impute Christ’s righteousness to us so that from then on, whenever He looks at us, God sees no sinfulness in us but only His Son’s perfection, and this is the case no matter what our behavior actually is.” Though likely stated in a different way, this IS what most “evangelicals” are saying and teaching.

I quoted to my friend a bunch of verses, and one of them was 2 Pe. 3:14 which says, “…Make every effort to be found by Him [God] spotless, blameless, and at peace.” We are to be spotless –void of sin. As Jesus says, “Be perfect, therefore, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt. 5:48) How perfect? How spotless? How clear of sin? We are told that our holiness is to be as perfect as God’s. Whether or not a person wants to argue that this word ‘perfect’ really means ‘mature’, it would still mean to be so as perfectly as God. A mature person would still be required to be spotless. Spotlessness is the issue. It is commanded and required, and that it is our effort that is necessary is what is being addressed.

It is about our choice. God warned Cain in Gen. 4:7, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Jesus warns us of the same. (Mt. 7:21-23 // Luke 13:3 // John 5:29)

Therefore, since we have been given the Holy Spirit by which to walk pleasing to God (Rom. 8:1-14 // Gal. 5:16 // 2 Pe. 1:3,4), if we choose not to do so, we are left at the Judgement without excuse. (Rom. 1:18-20 // Heb. 2:3 & 10:26-31)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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