Ephesians 5:27… “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (KJV).
The word “glorious” means “splendid, noble, honorable, stateliness.” Revelation 21:11 describes the church as having the glory of God upon it. Today we see people turned off from the church. The glory is not there, and nothing is happening. There’s lots of routine and no freshness. Recently in a meeting, two different people came up for prayer. They said, “We love the Lord dearly, but is this all there is in the church life? Our hearts hunger to see Jesus in the meetings.” Psalm 87:3 says, “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.” Paul in our text spoke of spots, wrinkles, and blemishes. What are they?
What is a “spot” in the church? Jude 1:11-12… “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core [Korah]. These are spots in your feasts of charity” (KJV). 2 Peter 2:13… “Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you.” These two references describe “spots’” as people who reject authority, who speak evil of God-called ministries, who always boast of having gifts but bear no fruit, who are like clouds who bring no refreshing, who are caught up on the fads of presumption, whose eyes are full of covetousness, and more.
What is a “wrinkle” in the church? A wrinkle is a crease on a normally smooth surface; it is also a mark of deterioration on the human body. It typifies spiritual dearth and leanness in the life. Job said that his three friends caused wrinkles on his face because they lacked compassion and care (Job 16:8). A wrinkle shows leanness in the church, and it is connected with “spots.” If you are unfaithful, it’s going to show. If you are not tithing, it’s going to show. If you are critical, it’s going to show. If you are negative and a worrier, it’s going to show. If you are unhappy in the church, it will show up as a wrinkle.
What is a “blemish” in the church? A blemish is a fault, a flaw, a defect, a disfigurement, a marring. In Leviticus 21:17-23 there is a list of blemishes that disqualified people from the ministry and that hindered people from serving. Paul teaches in 2 Timothy 2:19-26 and Galatians 5:13-21 (see also 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9) of things that can disqualify a person from serving in the church. Keep in mind that in Hebrews 7, the writer teaches of the Old Testament and New Testament priesthood. Christ can deliver people from blemishes and make them fit in the ministries needed in the house of God. From Leviticus 21 we see what the blemishes are: a blind man (no spiritual perception), a lame man (a wrong walk, an uneven spiritual life), a flat nose (unable to discern right from wrong or a right spirit from a wrong spirit), anything superfluous (extra growth that draws attention to oneself), brokenfooted (always falling down, unable to stand), brokenhanded (unable to serve), crookbackt (unable to bear burdens or lift heavy loads), a dwarf (one who has stopped growing), blemish in the eye (double vision, shortsightedness), scurvy (the lack of fresh food, wrong eating habits), stabbed (filthy with unhealed wounds), stones broken (unable to produce children; i.e., bear fruit).
The Lord can change people. He can take people with blemishes and make them men and women of faith, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Jesus can make them servers, warriors, and more. Jesus is preparing a glorious church. Revelation 19:7-8 tells of a day that the bride has made herself ready. She was arrayed in fine linen, which is the righteousness of the saints. Isaiah 64:1-11 tells how the holy and beautiful house was laid waste because of unrighteousness. Verse 5 teaches that God will meet you when you rejoice and worketh righteousness. Paul, in Ephesians 5:16, teaches that we are to “redeem the time”; i.e., in the times of crisis we are to make full use of the redemptive work of Christ. This is the day to know what the will of God is… to make yourself and the Church glorious.
Pastor George Belobaba
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