2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
Purity and holiness always seem to go hand in hand. When I consider the process of becoming more like Christ I’ve always thought of purity as it relates to action required to be like Christ while holiness seemed to be more of the measure of our position.
Paul’s encouragement to the Corinthian church regarding God’s promises is encouragement to press on.
What are the promises of God that motivates us toward purity and holiness?
God’s Promises are Yes! and Amen!
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
When we walk in Him we find that our desires begin to align with His will. It becomes a natural process when seeking after Him, He meets our needs for this journey in full. We are not left striving on our own, He delights in our striving after Him and we can be assured He will answer our prayer.
The process of holiness through purity is established in Christ. In other words, God does the leading our responsibility is to follow. His blessed anointing is on your head, He is the one sending you forth into the world and He reminds the enemy you are His! His seal is upon you gives notice to the enemy, he no longer has authority over you and you are kept by God’s power now.
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing”
As we go forth in His anointing, we represent Christ to both fellow believers and to the world. We remind brothers and sisters in Christ of the life that is vibrant and living in each of His people. We also remind the world of impending judgement that awaits all who reject His salvation.
The process of purity is one of submission. Recognizing the leading of the Spirit toward holiness is to listen to the conviction of sin in our lives. If we want to walk in freedom, we must remember why God leads us in the way He does, it is for our good.
2 Corinthians 3:4-5 “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God”
We can go forward, not because we are any better than anyone else but simply for the reason is that our strength is revived apart from us. As we learn to place our lives in His hands, we grow more confident in knowing that He is able.
- He is able to complete the work He has begun in us.
- He is able to lead us on into maturity.
- He is able to make us into a people made in His image.
2 Corinthians 3:12 “Since we have such a hope, we are very bold”
The more we walk in Him, the more we see His presence evident in our lives. The more we walk in His leading, the more we become like Him. The more we become like Him, the more His strength becomes our strength and this makes us bold in our testimony.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
If you truly love the Lord, the natural desire is to become more like Him. There is such a close fellowship with Christ when walking in freedom from sin, it feels like you get a taste of what Heaven is going to be like. It is this blessed fellowship that is impossible to make people of the world fully understand, it reduces men to tears, it draws you in where you simply want more of Him, and it is a reminder that God is good, His ways are good, and nothing can touch us that He doesn’t allow.
It is in this intimate fellowship with Christ where boldness really takes hold. The persecuted Christian cannot be dissuaded by torture, threats, or isolation. The joy of the Lord overwhelms any situation that rises against us, nothing in this world can overcome Him.
2 Corinthians 4:1-2 “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”
The more closely we walk with Christ, the more we desire to please Him. The intimate fellowship with God’s Spirit causes the believer to hold on tighter, knowing sin is a personal offense that becomes unthinkable in the midst of this blessed fellowship.
Purity and holiness becomes more of an act of sacrifice out of thanksgiving, and less of an act of duty.
We recognize what is disgraceful because we have His Word to guide us. We also can recognize sin by the way it affects our fellowship with the Spirit. A personal relationship with God is like stepping carefully into His throne room, knowing His holiness and wanting not to offend.
When we honor Him in our lives, we are taking one more step toward Heaven and leaving this world behind.
A Testament to His Goodness
2 Corinthians 4:5-6 “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
The more we become like Christ, the less we represent ourselves. It’s no longer about us, about our problems, about our desires and wants—it is now about Jesus and how can we please Him.
Pleasing God is found in the path of showing love to others.
He shines His light in us, so that we can shine His light to others!
It’s a beautiful relationship.
2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
We come to Christ frail and broken, like jars of clay that are made in the hands of the potter, we hold His water of life—we are but dust that was formed from the earth and made valuable in His hands.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Yes, these bodies will fail, each day they grow older and continue to die. Within our spirit lies an eternal hope that is being renewed day by day. Our spirit doesn’t grow old, it grows in hope.
- The hope of a life with Christ in Heaven.
- The hope of being presented perfect before the Father.
- The hope of receiving a crown of life when we stand before Him.
2 Corinthians 5:6 “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight”
Faith in Christ is not blind. The blindness of the world tries to see with their eyes what can only be experienced in the heart.
We know He is faithful and we have great courage.
2 Corinthians 6:16-18 “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”
What are the promises of God?—they are many!
If you have been called to this life in Christ, you’ve received a great blessing. We have so much to be thankful for and He continues to lavish His love upon us.
Day by day submit to Him, submit to His leading, walk in holiness and turn away from sin…let your life become a fragrant aroma unto Him and know that He is pleased with you.