Excerpt From “God’s Gift of Perfection” Series
Chapter 25—Part 2
The question is again asked: But is it really a possible ideal? Does God expect it of us? Is grace promised for it? Let us call in Peter as a witness, and listen to what God’s Spirit says through him, as to that terrible necessity of always stumbling which some believe. Also hear what says about the blessed possibility of being kept from such stumbling. “Give diligence,” he writes, “to make your calling and election sure; for if you do these things, you will never stumble (2 Peter 1:10).” “Never” — that includes, not even in word. Let us hear what Jude says, “Now unto Him, who is able to guard you from stumbling… through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, before all time, and now, and forevermore. Amen (Jude 24, 25).” It is the soul that knows and without ceasing trusts God as a God who guards from stumbling—as a God who watches and keeps us every moment through Jesus Christ—that will without ceasing sing this song of praise.
The three texts above on “stumbling” are the only ones in the New Testament in which the word stumble refers to the Christian life. The reference in James is quoted one hundred times for each time the ones in Peter and Jude are quoted. Christ has said, “According to your faith be it unto you (Matthew 9:29).” If our faith feeds only and always on, “In many things we all stumble,” no wonder that we do stumble. If with that “stumble” we take the “stumble not” that follows, “If any man stumble not in word, the same is a perfect man,” and the “not stumble” of Peter and Jude, the faith that embraces the promise will obtain it: God’s power will translate it into our experience, and our life will be a living Epistle into which God’s words have been transcribed. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks: out of a heart that is perfect towards God—In which the love of God is shed abroad, in which Christ dwells—the tongue will bring forth words of truth and uprightness, of love and gentleness, full of beauty and of blessing. God wills it: God works it: let us claim it.
Previously The Perfect Tongue—Part 1