Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Corinthians 7:1
No doubt 2 Corinthians 7:1 is an admonition to all that we have believed in Jesus Christ: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Holiness must be our natural response to God’s love. After receiving salvation and eternal life, it is not for us to continue to practice sin, but to live a life of holiness, separated for God, who rescued us from hell and cleansed us from the filth of sin with the blood of His Son Jesus.
The subject of holiness is one that has been almost completely excluded from modern preaching. With the excuse of respect for each person’s way of thinking, they have lacked respect for God and the fear of Him has been lost. When I speak of the fear of God, it is not to walk in fear of His presence and think that God is a grouchy old man who walks with a stick looking for someone who has misbehaved to punish Him. Fear of God is to keep respect for Him and His Holy Word and stop inventing our own rules of conduct and accepting His own.
It is so important to remain in holiness that Hebrews 12:14 says, Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. And as if that were not enough, 1 Thessalonians 3:13 states the following, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. The Lord Jesus Christ will come and expect to find a clean and pure church, without blemishes or wrinkles. That is only possible if we remain in holiness.
Now can we remain in holiness and perfect it in our own strength? The answer in no and 2 Corinthians 7:1 tells us how we accomplished it, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Several times in the Old Testament it is affirmed that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and that has been preached enough. Now, how does the fear of God perfects us in holiness? Proverbs 8:13 tells us, The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.
If we feel a reverent fear of a Holy God, we will be subject to Him and, therefore, we will love what He loves and hate what He hates. God abhors sin, which is the opposite of holiness. With the fear of God we are going to hate evil, we will abhor sin and we will keep separated for Him and we will perfect the sanctity to which we have been called so that we can be part of that church without blemishes or wrinkles that will Receive the Lord in the clouds.
Searching in the Word of God we will learn more of Him, we will respect Him more and we will love Him more. And that fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, will teach us to hate and depart from evil; but it will also give us greater knowledge of God, as Proverbs 2:5 says, The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Only in the fear of God will we perfect holiness, which we will need to see the Lord when he returns triumphant and full of glory as King of kings and Lord of lords. God bless you.