Run to the mercy seat and let the Lord Jesus cleanse you and go on without the stain, walking in the light. Spot has to do with character. Blameless has to do with relationships
Alright, thank you very much and hello again my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? You doin’ Alright today? Oh, I trust so. Well, we all have our problems. You’ve got some new aches and pains perhaps, something that requires the doctor’s attention or maybe there’s a flock of new bills that you weren’t expecting or maybe you’ve got some problems with children, or laws or in-laws or whatever.
Life doesn’t run smooth. God never said it would. Jesus, our Lord, said, “In the world, ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world,” and in the very midst of what Jesus called tribulation, we call them troubles, in the very midst of our troubles, we can be aware of the presence of our Lord Jesus who makes us a victor instead of a victim. Oh, I’m so glad that’s so. Aren’t you? Bless your heart. Well, thanks for being there. I’m glad to be back with you.
And we’re looking at 2 Peter 3. Peter said, you know the Lord is coming again and so you better work at this matter of being a person of real peace. That’s what we’re talking about the last time. Peace with God, the peace of God and peace with people.
Now he says, “Without spot.” Now that has to do with my inner character. Character is what a man is in the dark, D.L. Moody used to say. Well, what you are when nobody is looking and when nobody is checking upon you. That I guess is character. Without spot, now that has to do with the blemishing, the blemishing results of sin.
We have a family joke that dates back to the days when I was going with Coreen. I was in garage work a lot of the time helping to make my way through Wheaton College and working in the garage with cars and engines. You know, my hands would get stained with oil and grease and all of that and I wasn’t always completely manicured when I would come to see her. And sometimes she would say, “Oh, watch out with your hands that’ll rub off.” Oh, I’ll say, “Well, it’ll brush off.” (Laughs) Never did brush off you know because they’ve left a stain. It’ll brush off. No it doesn’t brush off. He says, “Without spot.”
Sin has a stain to it. That’s a point that he’s making and if you allow things in your life that are contrary to the will of God, leaves a stain there. Sometimes, I’ll pick out a tie that has been attacked by the gravy previously and my wife will say, “You can’t wear that tie.” And I’ll say, “Why not? It’s a nice tie.” She’ll say, “Look, there’s a stain on it.” Well, then I have lay it aside and send it to the cleaner to get the stain out. The blood of Jesus Christ, His son, cleanseth us from all sin. You can put the word stain there if you want. If we walk in the light – now how do you do this? Jesus is coming and you want to be clean when he comes, right? How do you do it? You walk in the light. That is to say, every step you commit yourself consciously to Him and when you are aware of getting out of line in something, an unworthy or selfish thought, something proud, something greedy, something resentful, something hatred, something hateful, something that has to do with pride or anger or whatever it may be and you’re aware of it because the faithful indwelling Holy Spirit tells you immediately about it. You could depend on that. Then what do you do? Oh, you run to the mercy seat and you confess it and Jesus cleanses you.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we walk in the light – how do you walk in the light? Confess your sin and forsake it the minute you’re aware of it so that you’re clean, kept clean. That’s what Peter meant by his opening verse, “You who are kept by the power of God through faith onto salvation.” You exercise faith in Jesus, your Savior, for the cleansing you need the moment you need it. Don’t wait until the end of the day and come with a rag tag bag of dirty clothes, so to speak, and say, “Here Lord. Wash them all up.” No, no. The minute you’re aware of being out of fellowship with your Lord in something, confess it immediately and let Him cleanse you so that you’re without spot.
Oh, what a blessed experience it is to be clean. Jesus said to the disciples, “Now you’re washed. Now you’re clean.” Wash – the washing of water by the word Paul says, “To be clean, cleanse me. The psalm has prayed, “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” The cleansing that God gives in answer to the cry of a repentant heart, when you’re aware of being out of the will of God in anything, be it great or small, run to the mercy seat. Run to Jesus in prayer. Say, “Lord Jesus, forgive me for this and cleanse me from it. I ask now.” And He’ll do it. He’ll do it.
1 John 1:7 and 9 are the promises on which you my beloved friend and I can depend. We can depend on God’s Word. Confess and forsake and trust him to cleanse and go on because He says, “Walk in the light.” Oh that’s it.
Some of those early winter mornings when I lived on the Farm in Ohio with my Uncle Frank Setzler and I had to get up and help with the milking and the other chores and it would be so dark and the snow would be a foot deep you know and I was trying to walk in his footsteps and I couldn’t see where I was going but the only way I could make any headway was to keep my eye on the lantern that he carried. He had a kerosene lantern and as he carried it and made his way out to the barn to start the milking and the other chores, I kept my eye on the lantern and stumbled along through the snow and I made it. Small boy, deep snow but I had the light.
Oh listen, if we walk in the light, keep your eyes on Jesus and when the Holy Spirit of God shines the light of God into your heart on some matter. You’re aware of the fact as you’ve gotten out of line immediately. Immediately turn it over to Him asking to cleanse you and to forgive you and He said, “The blood of Jesus Christ, His son, cleanseth,” and that is a linear form of the verb that means keeps on cleansing. That’s the way you can read it. It’d be perfectly accurate. The blood of Jesus Christ, His son, keeps on cleansing us from all sins. It’s great, isn’t it? Oh alleluia. I’m grateful for that.
Now he says, “Jesus is coming so you better keep walking in the light so there isn’t any stain on you when He comes.” How do you keep the stain off? The minute anything happens that gets you out of the will of God, plead the merits of the shed blood of Christ. Run to the mercy seat and let the Lord Jesus cleanse you and go on without the stain, walking in the light.
Then he said, “I’m blameless”, Now He’s going a step further. Spot has to do with character. Blameless has to do with relationships. Blameless means without anything for which other people can blame you. Now this poses something of a problem. Do I have to go around constantly fearing lest I do something to upset other people? Is that the normal Christian life? No, I don’t think so but Paul said, “Judge this rather than – no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” That’s what we’re talking about. You’re concern is for the other person’s welfare.
You’re concern is for the other person’s welfare before God and if you live in terms of the other person’s welfare. “Look not every man on his own things only but every man also on the things of others,” Paul said in Philippians. If your concern is for other people’s welfare, number 1, you’re not going to be so taken up with your own little problems and number 2, your conduct is going to reflect that concern because your conduct will be shaped in terms of that which will encourage and help the other person. What can I say that will encourage this person? What can I do that will help this person? What attitude can I show that will make this person a better, happier, more fruitful Christian?
Now you don’t make a federal case of this. You don’t go around and say, “I’m going to be a blessing to you my brother.” No, you don’t do that. People will stay away from you by the thousands, you know, they’ll avoid you. A person who is officially religious is a bore and also a walking hazard, an accident going somewhere to happen so don’t be that way. I know you won’t. Well, then you say then, “What are you driving at Brother Cook? What shall I be?” Well listen, those of you who are parents, you know that you constantly look out for the welfare of your small fry. Didn’t you?
Now take an illustration that just comes to me now. When I was a boy and sitting at the table in Toledo in the home of a lady we called Aunt Molly, she wasn’t an aunt really; she was a second cousin several times removed as I understand it but in any case, there she was. She had taken in this little family of a father, widowed father, and sister and baby brother. So I guess I was maybe 3 something like that or 4. Sitting at the table and somebody would say something and I wasn’t particularly listening but then I would look at Aunt Molly and she would put a finger to her lips and say, “Little pictures have big ears.” And I wondered what she meant at the time.
Now you know what she meant. Don’t you? She was saying to the other grown ups, “Listen, don’t say things like that because it will have an effect upon this little boy sitting here.” You follow that, don’t you? We’ve all done the same thing. Your concern, as a parent or a grandparent or aunt or uncle or whatever, your concern is for the well being of those children and you’re going to say things and do things that help and encourage and that don’t tear down. Aren’t you? That’s all we’re getting at here, isn’t it?
Blameless doesn’t mean trying to avoid anybody pinning the blame on you. You know? (Laughs) That’s a miserable business. I’ve seen people whose whole life was made up of trying to dodge the blame. No, no, no. You’re looking for an opportunity to help and encourage and you are guarding against anything that would tear down and destroy. That’s what we’re talking about. “Look not every man on his own things only but every man also on the things of others. Bear ye when another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Now, start applying. Jesus is coming He said, and you want to live by the rule of helping and encouraging other people so that you aren’t tearing down or discouraging or putting up a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in your brother’s way as Paul said in Romans but you’re building them up. “Do all things,” He said to the cause of edifying. Do everything you do to build the other person up. That is the positive side of this negative word ‘Blameless.’
Alright? Jesus is coming and you want Him to find you helping other people. That’s the point. A person of peace, a person who is clean and kept clean by Jesus’ blood, a person who is helping other people that is, how to get ready for the second coming.
Isn’t that good truth? Oh, that tasted good to me. (Laughs) Really did.
Precious Father, we pray that we’ll be people who are ready for the coming of our Lord Jesus when He comes. I ask in His name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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