Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. II Corinthians 7:1 NKJV
Having these promises
Cleanse ourselves (To cleanse, make clean, literally, ceremonially, or spiritually, according to context. From katharos; to cleanse)
Perfecting (complete, cultivate) holiness in fear (reverence, respect)
So banish sorrow from your heart, and cast off pain from your body, for youth and vigor are fleeting.
Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.
1 Peter 1:15
But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do,
1 Peter 1:17
Since you call on a Father who judges each one’s work impartially, live your lives in reverent fear during your temporary stay on earth.
1 John 3:3
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Verse 1. – Having then these promises. The promises of God’s indwelling and fatherly love (2 Corinthians 6:16-18). Dearly beloved. Perhaps the word is added to soften the sternness of the preceding admonition. Let us cleanse ourselves. Every Christian, even the best, has need of daily cleansing from his daily assoilment (John 13:10), and this cleansing depends on the purifying activity of moral effort maintained by the help of God’s grace. Similarly St. John (1 John 3:1-3), after speaking of God’s fatherhood and the hopes which it inspires, adds, “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure” (comp. James 4:8). From all filthiness; rather, from all defilement. Sin leaves on the soul the moral stain of guilt, which was typified by the ceremonial defilements of the Levitical Law (comp. Ezekiel 36:25, 26). The word used for “filth” in 1 Peter 3:21 is different. Of the flesh and spirit. From everything which outwardly pollutes the body and inwardly the soul; the two being closely connected together, so that what defiles the flesh inevitably also defiles the soul, and what defiles the spirit degrades also the body. Uncleanness, for instance, a sin of the flesh, is almost invariably connected with pride and hate and cruelty, which degrade the soul. Perfecting holiness. This is the goal and aim of the Christian, though in this life it cannot be finally attained (Philippians 3:12). In the fear of God. There is, indeed, one kind of fear, a base and servile fear, which is cast out by perfect love; but the fear of reverential awe always remains in the true and wisely instructed Christian, who will never be guilty of the profane familiarity adopted by some ignorant sectarians, or speak of God “as though he were some one in the next street” (Hebrews 12:28; 1 Peter 3:15).
Matthew Henry Commentary
7:1-4 The promises of God are strong reasons for us to follow after holiness; we must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. If we hope in God as our Father, we must seek to be holy as he is holy, and perfect as our Father in heaven. His grace, by the influences of his Spirit, alone can purify, but holiness should be the object of our constant prayers
Knowing our destination and the beautiful promise of being made like glorified Jesus in body is worth striving to be out best while encased in the wonderful mess of flesh.
We are called here to cultivate or complete holiness in both our flesh and spirit: the outside and inside. Left to our own devices, this is impossible. We must rinse our spirit with God’s renewing daily grace, soak in God’s holy Word and scrub the dirt knowing that God doesn’t like it but understands it. Afterall, He created everything.
The Bible encourages and prescribes many remedies to us until we are totally clean such as baptism, fasting, meditation, renewing our mind, confession, intake of Scripture, rest, sleep, the Sabbath, and prayer.
Positionally we are fully pure by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and totalling justified by our faith in Christ’s merit and His work on the cross.
However, as we all know being saved does not mean we are yet without sin. Rather, our sin is magnifying. So we are hereby called to employee all the resources and tools at our disposal to mitigate our fallen and soiled temporary circumstance. We can’t do this by our own works yet we must work to employ God’s mechanisms He has made available. As Paul wrote, we must work out our own salvation.
What do you think if this analogy? God has built a excellent gym facility and given us a lifetime membership but if we don’t show up, exercise and workout it is of no value, and perhaps worse it squanders His gift and insults Him.
FATHER, please oh Lord, wash me by Your word and cleanse me by Your Spirit. Renew my soul’s aspirations for all that is good and Godly.