2 Corinthians 7:1 “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.”
We’re going to pick the studies back up again with this wonderful verse today in 2 Corinthians! I thank you for your continued prayers, as I’m recovering from being sick these past few days. Praise God I was able to get some sleep last night and I’m feeling much better—not yet 100% but still so much better! Please keep another brother in your prayers as well, Polo Tapia, as he recovers from surgery and a hospital stay. Thank you so much for all of your prayers. We know our prayers definitely do not fall on deaf ears!
Looking at today’s verse we see both encouragement and yet at the same time the Lord tells us to do something many have claimed is impossible. The verses before today’s, tells us of how God has called us His own, and called us out of the world. We have been adopted by God Himself! The verse right before today’s, 2 Corinthians 6:18, says “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
Then we see today’s verse telling us, now that we have these promises (the promise of being actual sons and daughters of God, having such an awesome and close relationship with God our Father), let us CLEANSE ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit!
I’ve often said it in the past, and will continue to say it in the future, that people tend to be extremists. People tend to go to one extreme or the other. This is very much true with Christians as well. We see Christians who are all about the Love Gospel, and say “God loves us and forgives us and we are not under the law of Moses anymore . . . “ and go on and on and basically give free reign to sin in their lives. They often label anyone who corrects and says we must live a holy life unto God, as being “legalistic.” Then we see the exact opposite in people who are ALL law and say that we MUST be perfect and give no room for God’s grace! But what does the Bible say?
The Bible explains that we have been given the grace of God to save us and it’s God Himself who does such wonderful things for us. We’ve been freed from the curse of the law of Moses. We are indeed under grace! However, the Word of God actually says, that we are a LAW UNTO OURSELVES! We Fulfill the Law just as Jesus does. It’s not that we don’t have to obey the “law” but rather that because of the Grace of God through the Blood of Jesus, we obey the law without having to be told to obey the law. It’s just as someone who has graduated from High School. Those who have graduated don’t have to be told all the time that “1+1=2” because we’ve not only learned it but we walk such truths every day. We don’t have to be told “Thou shalt not kill” because after we are saved, with the Spirit of God within us, we no actually DESIRE to obey the law without needing to be told! That whole subject of the law and grace and such though is a study unto itself and would take a whole 2 or more pages on its own. So for the sake of today’s study, we won’t get into that. God willing, we’ll do so another day. For today though we’ll simply look at what we are told in Galatians 5:13, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”
I once taught a hard subject for some: Holiness. That also would be a subject all on its own, but it goes along with today’s verse. We are called to Holiness . . . yet what is holiness? Perfection? Never sinning? Nope! Holiness . . . is separation! This means something spectacular: YOU ARE HOLY!
Today’s verse tells us to perfect holiness! How can we perfect something that we can’t even obtain or don’t have already? We can’t. So, God has given us holiness, which is the promise today’s verse is mentioning. We have been promised to be separated unto God as His sons and daughters. Therefore let us perfect that separation by cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.
God tells us to be separate and to cleanse ourselves of the filthiness the way He does, not because He’s some sort of dictator trying to tell us what to do. Rather, sin is harmful. Sin brings death (not just physical death as we know is seen as a result of Adam and Eve’s initial rebellion, but spiritual death as well). I’ve often shown how sin is like a poison. And even a little sin, a little poison, still is harmful to us. That is why God tells us to cast these things away from us. He doesn’t want us harming ourselves!
Some people believe and tell others, that it’s impossible for us to be sinless even for one day, much less the rest of our lives! Yet God tells us to do that very thing . . . and He would not tell us to do something we cannot do! What is impossible with man, is possible with God. This is where the grace and power of God comes into play. He has given us His Spirit and placed it inside us (Ezekiel 36:27), so that we may be well able to follow the Word of God to a tee! The problem comes, that we have developed the habit of giving in to our flesh, and that has made our flesh quite strong when it comes to getting what it wants. The Word of God tells us that we must crucify our flesh, every day, for that very reason.
Today’s verse reminds us that, because we have such a great promise of what God did for us (setting us free, giving us His Spirit, calling us His sons and daughters, etc.) we should therefore continue onward to cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of both the flesh and spirit. Lately God has really been putting the verse Psalm 119:9, in my heart regarding the very thing of cleansing ourselves: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” That verse isn’t just for young men either, but is most definitely for ALL of us!
So very often we note that it’s so very hard to live right, to walk uprightly according to what God Himself tells us to do! And that’s very true—it IS very difficult at times. But yet, it’s only difficult because we’ve fed our sinful nature all our lives, to where it’s this big and strong and mighty monster in our lives that we must now learn to starve so that it become weak, and feed our spirit so that IT becomes big, strong, and mighty instead! And that won’t be an easy thing. The devil, and our flesh, will not give up without a fight. And most times . . . the harder the fight, the better the rewards are! So we have to fight indeed.
The way that we do cleanse ourselves, and fix the mess of bad habits that we’ve made in our lives, is to read the Word of God, the Bible, as much as possible! If we don’t do that, we can definitely NOT expect to see change in our lives, nor can we ever expect to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit as God tells us to do.
Let’s remember to read His Word every day . . . even if it’s just one chapter. Remember that the Bible is like food for our spirit. If we don’t feed it every day, can we ever expect it to grow stronger than our flesh’s sinful desires?
I continue to pray for all of you and thank you for your own prayers. Please pray for me concerning this sickness, and also pray for our brother, Polo, as I mentioned at the beginning. Please pray for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world! May God guide us and keep us and give us the right words to speak at all times, especially to those who may come against us or try to rile us up. God Bless you continually, as I know He does bless you! I shall see you all tomorrow!
Love Always in Christ,
Psalm 117 “O Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.”