Archive for the ‘#obediencetogod’ Tag

Worshipping God with Our Lifestyles   1 comment

Sometimes it makes sensse to just focus on a single verse and there’s a lot in 2 Corinthians 7:1.

Thereforesince we have these promisesdear friendslet us cleanse ourselves from everything that could defile the body and the spiritand thus accomplish holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

Image result for image of baptismPaul had told the Corinthians that God would walk in His temple, and dwell in His people, be their God, and they His children, that He will receive them, and be their Father, and they His sons and daughters. They already possessed these promises. They weren’t just the hopes of Old Testament saints. With the resurrection of the Messiah, the New Testament saints actually possessed what had been promised through the means of salvation. They had communion with God Who had received, protected and preserved them through the power of grace.

The Corinthian Christians were of God, being His people, His sons and daughters, adopted, justified, called, and chosen by Him.

And because they had all these promises, there were things they should do to show their appreciation for what God had done for them … and, by extension, us.

The Bible doesn’t teach that the flesh is evil, but it does make it clear that the flesh is corrupted and corruptible. If flesh were evil, God couldn’t have stepped down into it since eveything about God is good. But that doesn’t mean our flesh is good. Not being evil is not the same thing as being good.

Because we are born into a corrupted world, our flesh is corruptible. When Paul exhorted the Corinthians to cleanse themselves from “everything that could defile the body”, he spoke of external pollution, defilement by outward actions committed in the body, that defile us — examples like impure words, filthiness, and foolish talking, rotten and corrupt communication. The tongue, James the brother of Jesus said, is a little member, but it can defile an entire body and corrupt the good manners of others. But filthy actions also include idolatry, adultery, fornication, incest, sodomy, murder, drunkenness, revellings and everything that makes up filthy living.

“That which defiles the spirit” means internal pollution such as evil thoughts, lusts, pride, malice, envy, covetousness. The Jews believed that when a man had taken care to avoid defilement of the body, he must be careful to also avoid defilement of the mind because an evil imagination was likely to drag the body into all sorts of sin.

We don’t have the power to cleanse ourselves from the pollution of our nature. We’re born corrupted and our subsequent actions are also beyond our ability for redemption. It is God’s work alone that can cleanse us from our disobedience, which is why Jesus shed His blood on our behalf, so we might receive the sanctifying influences of the Spirit, which creates a clean heart within us, thoroughly and continually washed of sin as we allow God to work in our hearts.

Although Christians must always focus on our inward faith over any outward form of religion, Paul appears to nod toward at least some external religion — to keep ourselves separate from sin and the behaviors of sinners, to abstain from the appearance of sin, to lay aside activities that are not pleasing to God.

We’re not trying to make ourselves “holy”, for only God can do that. But having our lives dedicated to be good examples of what God wants in His believers is part of the service we offer Him in return for the salvation He has freely offered.

We do these things out of reverence for God — not because we fear Him, but because we recognize that He is deserving of our service, because He is the author of the universe and the Savior of our souls. Consider how a child obeys his father because he loves his father not because his father will punish him if he doesn’t obey, though that may happen if the issue is of great enough importance.

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