Evening, May 15, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Made perfect.” — Hebrews 12:23
Remember that there are two kinds of perfection which the Christian needs—the perfection of justification in the person and sacrifice of Jesus, and the perfection of sanctification fashioned in him by the Holy Spirit. At present, corruption still remains even in the hearts of the regenerated—experience soon teaches us this. Within us still are lusts and evil thoughts. But I rejoice to know that the day is coming when God shall finish the work which he has begun; and he shall present my soul, not only perfect in Christ, but perfect through the Spirit, without spot or blemish, or any such thing. Can it be true that this poor sinful heart of mine is to become holy even as God is holy? Can it be that this spirit, which often cries, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death,” shall get rid of sin and death—that I shall have no evil things to aggravate my ears, and no unholy thoughts to disturb my peace? Oh, happy hour! May it be hastened! When I cross the Jordan, the work of sanctification will be finished; but not until that moment shall I even claim perfection in myself. Then my spirit shall have its last baptism in the Holy Spirit’s fire. I think I long to die to receive that last and final purification which shall usher me into heaven. No angel shall be more pure than I, for I shall be able to say, in a dual sense, “I am clean:” through Jesus’ blood, and through the Spirit’s work. Oh, how should we exalt the power of the Holy Spirit in thus making us fit to stand before our Father in heaven! Yet do not let the hope of future perfection make us content with imperfection now. If it does this, our hope cannot be genuine; for a good hope is a purifying thing, even now. The work of grace must be abiding in us now or it cannot be perfected then. Let us pray to “be filled with the Spirit,” that we may increasingly bring forth the fruits of righteousness.