“Where, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (2nd Peter 3: 14)
For if we expect to get any spiritual good in any of other way, we shall be disappointed. We must show that it is the work of the Spirit by steadiness and uniformity, not all religion today, and the next day saying, “We are too busy, this must be done;” and any trifle, however insignificant, is suffered to take away the edge of all our diligence. For this diligence is what God works in the hearts of Hus people. We shall find that when death comes we shall never be able to stand, unless we are “without spot and blameless;” that is, perfectly cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. For if there be any wrinkle at that time, it will make a sick bed very uneasy.
Now if we cavil at these things, and say, “We are not so far as that; yet may we not still be right?” That is not being blameless. Our mercy is to tremble at the Word of God, and to come up to that; and not to bring it down to us.
Some may say, “We had this perfect cleansing years ago, but have not get it in the same power and savour now. Must we not hold fast what we have?” Yes, if you have the love of God shed abound in the heart, hold that fast; for that is substance. But if you have only a fleshly memory of it, and say, “What shall we do if we are so situated?” go and carry your trouble to the LORD, and beg of Him to renew and revive the things you have felt; that He would cause you again to be found “without spot, and blameless.” Sure I am that if you are enabled to exercise this diligence, you will have them renewed; but do talk of old things without power: only give this diligence that you be not found a foolish virgin, but a wise one. This diligence will lead you to go to God Himself for oil, not to the wise virgins; and to seek His help in all things. And He says, “Pray without ceasing.”
If we are often saying, “O that I could have Him for my Guide my Counsellor, my Friend!” This is praying. We may pray so in all our common occupations. God sees whether our hearts are hankering after Him or not.
Paul prays for the Ephesians that God would give them “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,” that that might know “what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe” (Ephesians 1:17-19). Does not this imply the exceeding great power of sin in us, of our conceit and self-will and perverse resolving to have a way of our own, and that nothing but the power of Christ can put this down? This He will do, for He is made Head to His body; and no man hates his own body, “but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the LORD the church” (Ephesians 5:29). Therefore the apostle prays that’s their “love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement” (Philippians 1:9); that is, that they may be made uniform and steady in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this He will do if we are made diligent. For there is but one religion, one Lord, one faith; and we must be perfectly joined in one heart and mind with the people of God. There is only one true religion — to come as a lost sinner to Jesus Christ. But there are some of you today where you were yesterday; you cannot find in your heart to yield this spiritual obedience to the Word. To you the Word speaks, “Be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
– James Bourne