• Chris Steele

Spots and Stains

Be Strong, Be Well — Tuesday, September 1

The more we grow as a Christian the more aware we become of how different we are from the world in which we live. The people around us are corrupt, defiled, and immoral. As Jesus said, they are of their father the devil (John 8:44; Revelation 22:15).

It is our duty before God to keep ourselves from becoming spotted with the sinful ways of the world. “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

James would not have written about this topic unless there was a need for it among the early Christians. There has never been a time, since sin was introduced in the Garden of Eden, that mankind hasn’t slipped into immoral ways and practices. The lesson for us lo learn—pay attention to our surroundings and keep walking on the path of purity and holiness.

The Greek word for “spot” is equal to a “stain.“ In this context of morality this would be a figurative "moral" stain or blemish. Peter used this idea when speaking of the purity of Christ in 1 Peter 1:18-19. “...knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

These terms were used to describe the church in Ephesians 5:26-27. “...that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 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.”

Considering the prevalence of immorality that surrounds us, Christians must be diligent in remaining morally pure and holy. What do we do when we’re standing near a mud puddle and a car is about to pass by? We step back, maybe even jump back, to prevent mud from being splashed on us.

Spiritually speaking there are plenty of times when we need to step back or jump back from situations and people, lest we get stained by their worldly immoral influence. Take the time to read 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4; Ephesians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 Corinthians 7:1.

The devil is always sneaking around waiting for us to get too close to sinful people and their situations. Jude tells us while we’re trying to rescue fallen brethren who have slipped into ungodly, lustful, sensuality, we could become infected with their sins. He said we must build up ourselves on our holy faith. Some will respond through compassion and mercy, “but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 23).

In the description of the end of the world (2 Peter 3:9-13) the apostle concludes, “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (3:14).

We must be cautious to walk each day without becoming spotted and stained. If we fail to remain pure, do something about it right away. Take advantage of the continual washing in the blood of Christ. No one spotted and blemished with sin will enter into God’s heavenly home. —Chris

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