Therefore dear friends, since we have such promises, we should wash ourselves clean from every impurity of the flesh and spirit, making our sanctification complete in the fear of God.2 Corinthians 7:1(HCSB)
The Lord God Almighty desires His people to separate themselves from fond affinity with the filth of this seductive world system. He charges that all such unnatural bonding of purity with evil, should be discarded with equal revulsion and tenacity, as if fleeing from Satan into the arms of the Lord.
The precious promises for those that heed this call, is that God will be a Father to them and they will be His dearly beloved sons and daughters. The serious warning to those who reject His offer of salvation, is eternal estrangement from God the Father and eternal condemnation, "because they have not believed on the only begotten Son of God."
We are not only called to cleanse ourselves of physical impurities and to rid our lives of fleshly pursuits that dishonour our Lord, but we are to be holy, for God is holy. We are to be righteous in thought and word - in deed and in motive. We are to love the Lord with all our heart, and soul, and mind, and strength, and we are to love one another as Christ loved us, and gave Himself for us.
Paul instructed the Corinthians by telling them, "Therefore dear friends, since we have such promises, we should wash ourselves clean from every impurity of the flesh and spirit, making our sanctification complete in the fear of God." We are all being given a call for spiritual purity and the purification of the inner heart. This is a call for godly virtue in the inner being. We are summoned towards integrity within the hidden motives of the minds.
This is not implying that a man or woman is sinlessly perfect during their post-salvation life, for we occupy a sinful body and we live in a sinful world. Indeed, we are sinners saved by grace, who are going through a beautiful sanctification process, which will continue throughout our entire, earthly walk. It is during this life that we are being prepared for our heavenly home. As we walk in spirit and truth, we are being changed from glory into glory.
It is as we grow in grace, mature in the faith, abide in Christ and He in us, that we are making our sanctification complete. At the moment of our salvation, we were given all we need for life and godliness, and our sanctification will be finalised at the Rapture of the Church, when the dead in Christ are raised. But as we travel through life, we are to make our sanctification complete by actively depending on Him in all things.. by choosing to die to self and live for Christ.
Practical sanctification is a vital part of our Christian growth. Progressive sanctification is part of our spiritual development, where we are being conformed, day by day, into the image and likeness of the lovely Lord Jesus Christ. Although we are positionally sanctified the moment we first believe, and enjoy all the benefits of sonship... we are also being called to develop an inner attitude of reverential fear of the Lord, which produces in us humility of heart, and willing obedience to His Word. And the Lord has promised to be Father to all who trust in Christ for salvation.
In His grace, He has forgiven our sins, adopted us into His family, covered us in the righteousness of Christ, and raised us up to sit with Him in heavenly places. Can any human mind begin to fathom the enormity of such tremendous promises, given to a sinful and rebellious race of fallen creatures who are estranged from their Creator, Who is eternally perfect and unchangingly holy?
No wonder the apostle Paul encourages us to cleanse ourselves from all fleshly filthiness, moral impurity, and spiritual pollution. No wonder we are called upon to purify our hearts from all that is offensive to the Lord.. and it is no surprise that we are encouraged to cultivate a spirit of awe, wonder, and reverential fear of the thrice-holy Triune God.
God has given to all who are saved, by grace through faith in Christ, many precious promises that are all "yes" and "amen" in Him - and He has exalted His Word of truth above His holy name, "Therefore dear friends, since we have such promises, we should wash ourselves clean from every impurity of the flesh and spirit, making our sanctification complete in the fear of God."
Dear Heavenly Father, I kneel in awe and wonder when I consider the grace that has been showered on me, that I should be called a child of the holy Creator-God and made joint-heir with Your beloved Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. I pray, that as I gaze into the face of the lovely Lord Jesus, I may pass from glory to glory, and become increasingly conformed into Christ's image, and separate myself from the impurities and lusts of the world system and my fleshly self. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.