Stained versus Smeared

Revelation 3: 4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.

I’m not a Revelation student. I am a practical, “give me what will help me walk like Christ today” kind of girl. But this weekend, on my retreat, God had me in Revelation. Several things stuck out in my mind, but I would like to share one thing that I hope will benefit you the most. God was talking to the Church at Sardis, and they were not walking as they should with Christ. At first what I read scared and worried me, since no one walks with Christ perfectly. What does it mean to SOIL their clothes? Does that mean any and all sins?

Then I read that the greek word for soiled was like SMEARED. That is different from when the Bible talks about sin that eternally separates us from God (not believing that Christ is the son of God, not accepting His payment on the cross for our sins, and not taking Him as our Lord). That is a STAIN. The stain of not taking Christ as Lord can only come out through the precious blood of Jesus shed on the cross. That blood washes away that crimson stain once and for all, and washes us white as snow. We become saved from hell and start the sanctification (clean up process) while on our way to heaven.

But we can still sin in our walk with God. Faith means trusting God with everything in our life. Sin means not trusting God. He expects us to not get it perfectly right. But when we don’t trust Him and act on our own fleshly instincts, we are SMEARED with our sins. These sins don’t separate us eternally from God, but they separate us temporarily from hearing Him and sometimes from feeling His presence. All we have to do is repent to be cleansed from those daily sins.

Some people get upset, thinking they may have sinned the unpardonable sin, but if you have taken Christ as Lord, you are saved. You just need to daily repent for the ways you have gone off on your own to be cleansed again. We used to be sinners saved by grace. Now we are saints who sometimes sin. And that’s ok with God. He doesn’t expect perfection.

So your questions for today are:
1. What sins have you been worried might be endangering your salvation? Are they eternal sins (not taking Christ as Lord), or temporal, fleshly sins?

2. Have you been hard on yourself for not being perfectly obedient? In what areas? God knows that you cannot be perfect in your flesh.

3. What do you need to repent of today to restore closeness with God?

Have a blessed and glorious day.