2Cor 7:1 Purify Yourself

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Feb 23, 2024, 8:03:11 AMFeb 23
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Purify Yourself

2Cor 7:1
 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.

The promises he's referring to are mentioned at the end of chapter 6, namely,

(Lev 26:12)  "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
(Is 52:11)"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."
(Hos 1:10) "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

While the quotes from Lev and Hos are unconditional, what are we to make of the quote from Isaiah 52? Is this teaching salvation by works? Well if we go back to chapter 6 and review Paul's thinking that led up to sharing these verses we notice that he's not alluding to salvation. For example in 2Cor 6:14,15 the reason he gives as to why believers should not be yoked with unbelievers is not in order to be saved. For he views the Corinthians as already saved. But rather his argument is that it's simply not appropriate behavior Yet he speaks of the Corinthians along with himself as being the temple of God. "For we are the temple of the living God" 2Cor 6:16b. It's not that the saints purify themselves in order to be saved, but rather having been saved, the saints purify themselves, as that is the appropriate thing to do given our reconciled relationship with God and given that we are the temple of the living God.

This is important. For the gospel gives us significantly different motivation than those under the Law. Those under the Law purify themselves in order to attain a righteous status. But those under the grace given us through faith in the gospel are given a righteous status as a gift from God, and the regeneration by the Holy Spirit affects our attitude and behavior. It's not that the saints need to purify themselves, but rather that the saints do purifying themselves because it's the right thing to do.

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