Paul stated to the church at Corinth:
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 Cor. 7:1).
To be honest, being saved is not a get out of hell free card if we keep defiling ourselves in filth. I have a friend who keeps debating me about her “once saved, always saved” doctrine, but thankfully she is slowly coming around to the truth even though she is yet to change most of her ways. Notice in this scripture it starts with the word “Therefore”; this being the beginning of the sentence suggests that it is a continuation from a passage that came before it. In 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 it says,
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
In the first scripture we see mention of cleansing, and in the second we are advised to not touch the unclean. Well, my previously mentioned friend loves to tell me that she is abiding by these passages, and I do not want to unfairly judge her so I just watch her fruit. Have you ever gone to the grocery store looking through the peaches, or cherries or plums? You will dig, toss and tumble that fruit until you find a few that are unblemished; we are just like that, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Like the grocery store fruit needs to be brought home and cleansed before we eat it, Jesus had to cleanse us before we are worthy to worship God. If we eat that fruit from the store without cleaning it it is possible that we will ingest poisons from the fruit being sprayed with insecticides, things that will corrupt our physical bodies. See where I’m going?
Paul stated in Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Will God accept us any way? Sure, at first, but once we have accepted His great salvation we are to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, as well as not touch the unclean thing. What are some things that defile the body & spirit:
- Cursing/Swearing (James 3:10, Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.)
- Smoking (1 Cor. 6:19-20, What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.)
- Fornication (1 Cor. 7:1-2, Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.)
- Envy (James 3:16, For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.)
- Vanity (Eccles. 2:11, Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.)
These are just a few examples of things that may defile the flesh and spirit. Paul stated that when we present our bodies as a living sacrifice (notice, we are not to wait until we have died!) that it is our REASONABLE service; this means that it is the least that we can do for God because of His mercy towards us. Going back to the beginning, and using myself as an example:
When I got saved the first thing that I did was to cut off my old friends who meant me no good (Come out from among them and be separate…). Then I asked God to deliver me from all of my bad habits like smoking, drinking, lying and sleeping around (Cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit…). Finally I prayed and asked God to show me His will for my life and to direct my path (Present your body a living sacrifice…). I did not labor God with my issues I just humbled myself under His mighty hand and allowed Him to work in me. People often ask me, “well don’t you still sin sometimes?” My answer is, of course I do! However, I know that I have an advocate with the Father, AND I know that 1 Corinthians 10:13 states, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” If I can do it (through Christ) you can too. Have a blessed week/weekend!
A Pastor’s Wife