Perfecting Holiness

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 NASB

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the average professing Christian is more concerned about retaining his defiling habits than he is about living a life that pleases God. As long as we can go through the common religious rituals and still enjoy our sinful practices, all is well—or so we think. The modern Christian’s unwitting mantra is, “Come weal or come woe my status is quo.”

Who among us, after hearing the Word of God preached, goes home saying, “I have to get rid of _____.” Or, “I must quit doing ______.” A genuine Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit calls every disciple of Jesus to take decisive and surgical action against every defiling thing. What is defiling your body and spirit? What unclean thing are you embracing, enjoying, indulging in, and practicing? What unholy attitude contaminates your heart, your tongue, and your thoughts? Our holy God calls us to take action, engage our will: “cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit.” Clean house!

I well remember when Will came to church for the first time and knelt at the altar to receive Christ. I went to his home that afternoon to pay a visit. His lovely, but then unconverted wife, Penny, met me at the door. She said, “Oh, Pastor Tilley, something’s wrong with Will. He’s been reading the Bible ever since we came home from church!” What I found out later was that Will went home from church and immediately destroyed his pornography and poured his liquor down the kitchen-sink drain. And he didn’t hear the pastor say anything that Sunday morning about either!

We perfect holiness “in the fear of God,” not in the fear of what others think. To perfect holiness means to agree with what God says about our body and spirit, and then act on it. Holiness cannot be perfected without a cleansing. While the cleansing is decisive, with a resultant perfecting, God will reveal other needs in the Christian’s life as he continues in his walk. However, once God reveals an unclean matter, the Holy Spirit will keep his finger there until we take action, or we will cause the Spirit to grieve (see Eph. 4:30).

Taken from . . .
Renewed by the Spirit: 365 Daily Meditations
by Ralph I. Tilley
copyright © 2016 Ralph I. Tilley
(May be copied for noncommercial purposes,
not to exceed 500 copies.)

Author: Ralph I. Tilley

I joyfully identify with the long history of the orthodox, evangelical stream of the Church. Theologically, I am a conservative. On issues of secondary importance, I will not quibble with my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” I would hope I have no doctrinal biases; however, I realize that is a practical impossibility: “Now I know in part.” You can read more on the About page.