Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God. Please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone, nor led anyone astray, nor taken advantage of anyone. I’m not saying this to condemn you. I said before that you are in our hearts, and we live or die together with you.2 Corinthians 7:1-3
- What promises?
- What is Paul talking about?
- Haven’t we just been talking about not being unequally yoked with non-believers, with those who don’t share our worldview?
- Where are the promises in that?
Look carefully at the passage before you. Take in all the details from Chapter 6.
- God’s power is working in us.
- We are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people.
- Therefore, come out from among unbelievers . . . and I will welcome you.
- And I will be your Father, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.
Paul may even be thinking back to his comments on the beautiful exchange but whatever the case it is clear there are benefits in what God promises. Therefore do everything you can to cleanse yourself from anything and anyone that would defile your body (your outer temporary part) and your spirit (your inner eternal part). So do all you can to work toward complete holiness. Not just because there is benefit in it for us but because we fear God and want to honour Him.
Paul then says open your hearts to us. don’t shut yourself off from us. We have opened our hearts to you. You are in our hearts. We hold you dearly as brothers and sisters in Christ. We are in this life together. We will or die together. Paul is effectively saying “I am telling these things because I love you and want you to walk with Christ and experience all His blessings. I say all this because I care. I say all this because you mean so much to me.” Open your hearts to us as we have opened our hearts to you. Work toward complete holiness and don’t compromise.
You know by now not to fall into the trap of crossing a chapter boundary and thinking that you are starting a new chapter so we can leave all that was said before behind. To understand Paul properly take all he has said before with you into the new. Paul’s mind is like a scroll unrolling. “Because we have these promises . . .” begs us to ask because of what? What promises? Once again connect the dots. Unfortunately most of us have a mind set or a habit that lulls us into the sense that it is a new chapter now so we are starting a new topic. Not with Paul, his thoughts roll forward like a snowball gathering all along the way. Look for all the possibilities. If you are sharp and you are with me on this, you will tell me of one obvious connection that comes to mind. Rather distant from where we are at the moment. Go find it. Of course you know there is an easy way as well. What’s that?
I have given you enough to think about now. Time to stop and let you go to work.
Goodness gives me what I don’t deserve + mercy spares me from what I do deserve!Rick Godwin
A small leak will sink a great ship. Pursue excellence in even the little things.John Maxwell
Until We Reject Worldly Behaviour, The Promises Of Heaven Are Just Beyond Our Reach.Robb Thompson