Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
“Therefore, since these [great] promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God” [2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 AMP].
With these promises ringing in our ears, dear friends, let us keep clear of anything that smirches body or soul. Let us prove reverence for God by consecrating ourselves to him completely” [J.B. Phillips].
In the last three verses of 2 Corinthians 6 Paul gives us three promises from the Old Testament. By applying these promises to our lives we will cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit, grow in holiness and have a deep reverence for God. The three promises are:
Firstly, “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” These words are taken from Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 32:38 and; Ezekiel 37:27. God promises to be our God, to dwell in us and to walk among us. We are literally the temple of the living God. He makes His home in us.
Secondly, “Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” This promise is taken from Isaiah 52:11. If we turn from everything that is displeasing to God and honour godly boundaries He promises to receive us.
Thirdly, “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.” This promise is taken from 2 Samuel 7:14. Paul has added the words, “and daughters” to the original promise. God promises to be a Father to us.
Can you imagine three more wonderful promises that God could give to us than to make His home in us, to receive us and to be a Father to us?
We can enjoy these wonderful promises but in order to do so we must fulfil the conditions attached to them. We are to separate ourselves from the spirit of the world, to no longer compromise, and to separate ourselves from the impurity of unbelieving attitudes and behaviours. Then we shall know His blessing, grow in holiness and reverence Him.
Some time ago I met with a young student on holiday from Bible School. I asked him how he was doing. He told me that his appetites had totally changed, and whereas in the past he would just ‘go with the crowd’, that this no longer satisfied him because he was chasing after God and His glory. My heart was filled with praise for the change in this young man.
What does it mean that we are temples of the living God?
According to our reading today what are God’s promises that we can claim when we separate ourselves from the spirit of the world?
What does it mean to have reverence for God?