Online Articles

Online Articles

Perfecting Holiness

"Therefore, having these promises, 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 pursuit of holiness is the Christian's lifelong ambition. To "put off the old man" and to "put on the new man" is the lofty goal. It is connected to the sinless life of Christ, the model of character and behavior.

The disciples are exhorted to cleanse their lives of fleshly defilements. Perhaps the reference here is to the idolatry and unchastity so prevalent in Corinth. A separation from old habits and associations are necessary, coupled with a focus on the purity of God.

At times one can become discouraged with this task. Old habits are hard to break, new wholesome ones are hard to begin. It is encouraging to know that spiritual growth is  gradual. The perfecting process is accomplished by setting daily goals, and constant, steady attention given to the task.

Paul appeals to the promises of God to motivate the disciples to this work. One of the sweetest thoughts in scripture is the very thought of God's reception of us, of a father-son relationship. What an awesome thought that God would say, "I will be there God, and they shall be by people."  (2 Corinthians 6:16)

The perfecting process must also be coupled with fear. I am amazed at the number of times that fear and holiness are coupled together in Scripture. “Be holy, for I am holy.”
 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear." (1 Peter 1:16,17) Remembering that we live each day in his holy presence, and the tender dread of offending him in anyway will help us to move in the right direction.

Thus, in the fear of God, and with our hearts encouraged by his promises, let us be determined to manifest God's holiness. God says, be holy, for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:1:16)

George Slover