“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7.1
What is Paul talking about when he says, “Having therefore these promises … ”? To name a few, in chapter 5 he tells them that when “we are absent from the body (we are) present with the Lord.” (5.6-8). He also reminds them and us that we will all “appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” (5.10). In 5.21 he reminds us “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” In chapter 6.16 he reminds us all “for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
He issues a clear call to the Corinthians and us to “… cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit … ” Will you note that he does not say that God will cleanse us from all these things? That responsibility rests squarely on our shoulders. The instructions are specific. We are to address our flesh and our spirit. We must control our flesh and we must allow God’s Holy Spirit to have total access to our spirit and give Him control.
The reason for doing these two things is this: to “perfect holiness in the fear of God.” We must never be afraid of the word “holiness.” We must realize that God has called US to a holy life. In 1 Peter 1.15-16 we have these instructions: “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
Let’s take these thoughts today and apply them to our lives and see what God will do in us. Just my thoughts …