and I will be his God and he shall be My son

Thoughts on 2Corinthians 7:1



Thoughts on 2Corinthians 7:1

"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 
- 2Cor 7:1 NKJV

Recently read this verse in my studies, and it really got me going...

So what are "these promises" that we must cleanse ourselves to obtain?

As we read in the verses ending chapter 6, the promise is: To be called His “sons and daughters.” To dwell with Him and walk with Him for eternity. Oh, the privileges that come with being called God's son!

God has desired us to inherit and have dominion over all His creation, and to minister Life to the saved nations. He has indeed called us to be His children, brothers of His Firstborn: the Man Christ Jesus.

"and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." - Rom 8:17 NKJV

"Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." - 1John 3:3 NKJV

And so how do we "purify" and "cleanse ourselves" that we may obtain these promises? And didn't that cleansing take place when we accepted Jesus, or at our baptism?

Indeed, our “past sins” were washed away when we believed, were baptized, and received the grace of God through Jesus Christ (see 2Pet 1:9, Rom 5 & 6), but now we must walk the walk to enter into the fullness of salvation and the promises of God. We must walk worthy of God, of the Lord, of our calling and of His Kingdom. (Eph 4:1, Col 1:10, 1Thess 2:12, 2Thess 1:5, Rev 3:4) “Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Phil 1:27)

As Paul writes in his letter to the saints in Rome -
“We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
– Rom 6:2-4 NIV

That "new life" is one of leaving behind old habits and attitudes and living and behaving in ways that are acceptable and pleasing to God. We are to be turning away from the sins we have been delivered from.
When we choose to remain bound to our sins, we "limit the Holy One of Israel" (Psalm 78:41) and find ourselves restricted from moving forward in Christ. Those verses in 1Cor 6 tell us that it is not God's Word that restricts us, but our own affections (vs 12) if we allow our fleshly desires and passions to control us. Our compromising with the things of the world, seeking pleasure in that which is passing, will rob us of God's blessings and we risk being disowned by the Father –

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

- 2Cor 6:14-18 NKJV

Verses 17 & 18 should be preached from pulpits everywhere every Sunday. Sin has no place in the Christian life. Jesus did not come to forgive us so we could continue in our old ways, He came to set us free and destroy the sin that "so easily entangles.” Jesus was accused of being the “friend of sinners”, but in reality, He was a friend to those who repented of their sin. “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 14:15)
The Lord’s brother agrees with the Apostle Paul, in his letter to God’s chosen people -
“Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts.” – James 4:8

1Cor 7:1 from the Holman translation -

“Dear friends, since we have such promises, let us cleanse ourselves from every impurity of the flesh and spirit, completing our sanctification in the fear of God.

We "cleanse ourselves from every impurity, all filthiness, of the flesh" in part by putting down the bottle, throwing out the porn, giving up the gossip and guarding our tongue. And even deeper “we cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the spirit" (in part) by forgiving those who have harmed us, by letting go of our pride, by giving our allegiance only to God, and by "taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ." (2Cor 10:5)

We are to be done with our old nature. It's time to walk in the "newness of life" that we have received by His Spirit. As God spoke so clearly, plainly through the Prophet -

“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before My eyes;
cease to do evil, learn to do good.”

- Isaiah 1:16 ESV

It’s time to grow up, saints, and “put away childish things.”

“You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead.”
- 1Pet 4:3-5 NLT

Yes, we may be ridiculed by our old friends because we've given up drinking & smoking & swearing and removed certain posters & movies from our home (or gotten rid of TV altogether as I did almost 15 years ago), and you may be mocked for your belief in Jesus and the promises of God. But oh what we will forfeit if we continue in the ways of our old nature, or try to live in both worlds at the same time.

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” - Col 3:5-10 NIV
These activities and lifestyles and attitudes have no place in the Kingdom of God. These will all be removed in the Day of the Lord, along with all who still cling to these behaviors whether they claim to be Christian or not. (Matt 13:41-43, 1John 3:7-9)

As we let our light shine by righteous behavior and speech that is pleasing to God, may it be said of each of us –
“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” - Rom 6:17-18 NIV


I would encourage all reading this to study and meditate on the passages I used and referenced here. And inquire of the Lord His wisdom and Spirit to lead you into all Truth.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2Tim 2:15 KJV21

Peace & Blessings as you walk with Jesus,

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
- Heb 12:1-2 NKJV


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