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As Paul the apostle was closing the sixth chapter of his second Corinthian epistle, he was calling upon those who would be faithful Christians to separate themselves from the evil elements of the world around them. If they would discipline themselves enough to do so, God promised them a relationship with Him like a father would have with his own children. It’s quite apparent that no such promise of fellowship with God was offered to those who still fellowshipped with the world of sin. However, it’s a wonderful promise of “oneness” with the Lord that is made to those who will refuse to make themselves a part of the cosmos of iniquity. As the seventh chapter opened, Paul referred to that promise again, saying that all those who want it or have it should cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. The cleansing is, of course, one of a spiritual nature. Such a cleansing could not be possible unless one removed himself from the context in which sin and the resulting guilt takes place. The first step in cleansing should be removing the source of the spiritual stain. Then, forgiveness for the repenting heart becomes possible. Otherwise, sin and guilt will continue as before. As Paul’s words continue to flow, it is in the ridding ourselves of sin-stains and their source that the perfection holiness results. To be holy is to be separated from that which is offensive to God. It should be noted that this is exactly what Paul was calling upon us to do in the sixth chapter. The separation from the source of sin and guilt was the beginning of our steps toward God. The opportunity to be cleansed from that sin and guilt is the perfection of our mortal form of holiness. According to Paul’s words in the text, it’s done by the fear of God. Those not fearing God as they should will not respect his instructions on the matter. At Proverbs the first chapter, Solomon wrote at verse seven that the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge. However, it’s a fool who despises such wisdom and instruction. To be wise is to be able to properly apply knowledge. Therefore, without knowledge, there is no possible basis for wisdom. So, the fool remains in the darkness formed by wisdom’s absence, while the God-fearing man seeks His revelation of knowledge on his way to becoming as wise as mortals become. It’s true knowledge that a faithful Christian cannot please God while in fellowship with the world, and that he can’t be cleansed from it unless he forsakes it. It’s wisdom to respond accordingly.

 

Written and Recorded By: David Hayes Prophater