The Biblical text says, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Read 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NKJV). The Bible also says, “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law.” Read Galatians 5:22 (AMPC). Here, we can see these promises Paul talked about; and I want to relate it to the “fruit of the Spirit,” in Part 3.
Let us start by peeling layers off of 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NKJV). Like a surgeon, cut pieces of the verse, and see what we can make of it, and how best to embrace the insight thereof. After which, we would put the text back and see what it says to us. So what did Paul mean when he said the following:?
“These Promises” – Here, Paul was referring to the gift or the promise of the Holy Spirit. Let us see what Acts 2:33 (NLT) says, “Now He is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as He had promised, gave Him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today.” We know, the Holy Spirt is our helper and guide. The Bible says, “He leads us into all truth.” In other words, the Holy Spirit is a revealer of truth to our human spirit. And if we are co-operative enough with Him, then missing it becomes virtually impossible. Beloved, it is imperative you and I embrace and yield to the bidding of the Holy Spirit. I liken the Holy Spirit to our internal GPS, nudging and hinting at us before taking any decision. To be effective and efficient Christians especially in this Century, would be by help of the Holy Spirit; and I cannot but over-emphasize His importance.
“Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit” – Beloved, like we wake up in the morning, giving ourselves a good bath and a brush; in like manner, we should make every effort to rid ourselves of behaviours and characters, attitudes that are not pleasing to God by daily bathing ourselves in the word of God. The Bible says, the works of the flesh are evident, Read Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV). The works of the flesh leads to death, but the works of the spirit leads to life. The complete word study dictionary defines the word ‘spirit’ in the Greek to mean PNEUMA (mental accent). In other words, we are to stay away from trying to use our intelligent minds to understand the things of the Spirit. Galatians 3:2-4 (NIV). When we try to rationalise spiritual things, it gets even more complicated, hence the scriptures says, “But the man who isn’t a Christian can’t understand and can’t accept these thoughts from God, which the Holy Spirit teaches us. They sound foolish to him because only those who have the Holy Spirit within them can understand what the Holy Spirit means. Others just can’t take it in.” Read 1 Corinthians 2:14 (TLB). This is quite clear and needs no interpretation.
Brothers and sisters, perfecting holiness in the fear of God is critically important in our Christian walk. If our light is to shine, our salt to season the earth, and our testimony to have any credibility whatsoever, then we have to die daily to the impulses and gravitations of the flesh. The Bible says, “But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for [nor even think about gratifying] the flesh in regard to its improper desires.” Read Romans 13:14 (AMP).
Therefore, the entire process of perfecting holiness is a complete work of the Holy Spirit; with you and I earnestly and diligently working alongside Him, co-operating and yielding to every counsel. I want you to remember, “For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey Him, and then helping you do what He wants.” Philippians 2:13 (TLB).
The next post would be looking into perfecting holiness, and the fruit of the Spirit in light of self control.
We write. You read. Be encouraged.