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You Mean I Have A Part Too

by Justin Smith on November 17, 2021

Scripture 

"Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." (2 Corinthians 7:1)

Observation

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I find so much peace and joy in reading passages about God’s sovereign power over everything I face, about His grace that covers all my failures, and about His love that is unconditional and eternal. BUT, if I were honest, sometimes I overlook passages that have to do with my part, my role, the effort that I must take to be in this relationship with Him. I like to think about the work He did for me on the cross, but I don’t always like to think about the commission given to me…the calling to take up the cross and follow. Today, God reminded me that my obedience matters, my choices matter, my purity matters, and although it is going to take discipline and intentional effort, it should be my response to His promises.

Paul writes, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” Prior to this passage, we are taught that God promises to receive us, He promises to be our Father, He promises to be near us…all incredible things…and Paul continues that thought by saying that in light of these promises we must take some action:

  1. Purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit.
    • Jesus does the purifying, it’s His power that does the cleansing, BUT, as Paul describes, we play a part, we must choose, we must put forth effort, it must be our will to be purified by Him. There must be a surrendering of the things that contaminate our body such as addictions, sexual sin, and what we choose to watch, listen to, and do. There also needs to be a surrendering of things that contaminate our spirit such as pride, self righteousness, judgement, and unforgiveness. In fact, one theologian writes, “I sometimes think that the sins of the spirit are more deadly than the sins of the flesh.”
  2. Perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
    • Paul isn’t speaking about being perfect, as we will never achieve perfection while we’re here on Earth, but he is speaking about pursuing continual obedience and purity. It’s not a one time event and it’s not a once a weekend, at church, event. Rather, it’s a life that is continually repenting and recalibrating back to complete holiness and purity before God.

Application

What actions and things in your life are contaminating your body?

What emotions, attitudes, and choices are contaminating your spirit?

What daily compromises have you accepted as “ok” and “normal” that you know you need to stop and surrender?

What hurts have you not let go of and forgiven?

Today, God is promising that He will receive us, be near to us, and be our Father, AND we must respond to these promises by cleaning out our heart and spirit.

Do you want to be closer to God and be used by Him like never before? It starts here with choosing to purify ourselves and obey.

Prayer

Jesus, I ask You to search my heart and spirit and show me the areas that I have yet to surrender and allow You to purify. I desire to be close to You and used by You, so I ask for Your grace in dealing with these areas of disobedience and compromise in my life. Help me to surrender and keep surrendering each day that I might honor You with my actions, thoughts, and words when people are watching…and even when I think they’re not. I choose to take up my cross and follow You today. In Your name, Amen!

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