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
A promise is a pledge that a future or expected event will occur. For instance, when we place our money in a bank, we have confidence in the phrase: “Backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government.” This promise gives most people confidence that their money is safe. In 2 Corinthians, we have been given divine promises to help us live a victorious Christian life. Let us see how faith in God’s promises can draw us closer to God.
We see the encouraging AFFIRMATIONS.
“Having therefore these promises…” We have the promise of being God’s children. “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty,” 2 Cor. 6:18. We have the promise of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and filling. “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” 2 Cor. 1:22. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Cor. 4:7. We have the promise of reconciliation with God through Christ’s death. “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” 2 Cor. 5:18. We have the promise of God’s comfort in our lives. “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Cor. 1:4. We have the promise of heaven for all eternity. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,” 2 Cor. 5:1. We also have the promise that we must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, to give account for the things done in our body. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad,” 2 Cor. 5:10. God’s promises are encouraging affirmations. They are unbreakable, and backed by God Himself.
We see the exhorted ACTION.
“…Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit…” God’s promises are given to stir us to action. Every promise is tied to the importance of a holy relationship with God. Even though we are saved, Satan and our sin nature fight with us to lead us into sin. The Corinthian believers struggled with their past sins of idolatry, immorality, and impulsive reactions. Paul uses the first six chapters in 2 Corinthians to speak of God’s grace at work in our lives, and how it teaches us how we should live sober, godly, and separated lives. We are called upon to seek God’s cleansing from sins of the flesh and of the spirit. Sins of the flesh are sins we commit with the body. Sins of the spirit are sins we commit when anger, apathy, bitterness, complaining, envy, jealousy, malice, pride, slothfulness, unforgiveness, unkindness, wrath, and other matters of the heart trip us up. All sin is corrupting and must be dealt with immediately. Prov. 16:2 says, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.” We must be careful of becoming negligent and self-righteous concerning sins of the flesh and spirit. Consciousness of the promises should lead to personal cleansing.
We see the excellent ATTAINMENT.
“…Perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” The ultimate goal in character development is becoming like Jesus. Becoming like Jesus is perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Instead of letting our corrupt culture morph us into its image, our goal is to be transformed into the image of the Lord. Daily confession, cleansing, and communion with God are vital practices that are the way to perfecting holiness. Someone aptly said, “Practice makes perfect.” The more we practice the presence of God, the more God’s grace is perfected in us in conforming us into His image.
Take time this morning to study the promises of God in 2 Cor. 1-6. Let these promises encourage you, and help you set the goal of perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Have a transformational God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Kings 12-14