2 Cor 7:1 "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
When I was younger I had a pastor who always used to say: "When you see a therefore know what it is there for." In other words, there is something that precedes the therefore so take a look to see what it is. Paul said that since we have these promises. What promises? Here they are from 6:16 and 18: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be my people." And: "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
Those are some pretty amazing promises that God has made to believers. Really this stuff is really mind blowing: He will dwell in us. This really means that He will influence us. He will walk among us. He is our God and we are His people. The very God of the universe, of all creation, of all that we see and don't see, the God of heaven, the God who is eternally existent, the God who scripture says "dwells in unapproachable light", this God will personally work in our lives. He will mingle with us and walk among us and He will be ours and we will be His. Not only that, but this intimacy is beyond just being with us and walking with us, He is our Father and we are His kids. This is not just a friendship, although it is that, it is a familial relationship. It is a blood relationship. It is an eternal relationship. It is a relationship that cannot be broken. It is a loving, caring, providing, protecting relationship. This God that we cannot even fathom is my Father. I am His child. He wants to influence me and direct me and help me and use me and walk with me every day.
Because of that…therefore…how should I live? In purity. In holiness. Clean from all filthiness both in the body and in the spirit. It seems like that is where we are attacked. Physically and mentally. We use our bodies to do dumb stuff and we use our minds to think dumb stuff. Inner and outer purity. Inner and outer holiness. Inner and outer cleansing. I know that some people deal with sin that involves their bodies. Sexual sin. Habits that we just can't seem to break whether it is drinking or drugs or smoking or gluttony or whatever. Our tongues are used to destroy people. There are all kinds of things that our bodies do that are not consistent with God's holiness. Then this one: In the spirit, in the mind, in the inner man. This is the one I battle. Oh, I can look all holy on the outside, but inside I am critical, and competitive, and controlling, and proud, and doubting, and fearful…to just name a few. Not holy at all. Not pure at all. This is where I need to get a good dose of the fear of God. When I do, I will perfect holiness…or I should say, He will perfect holiness in me. I really cannot control the junk on the inside. He has to do it. He has to perfect it. He has to reveal it and cleanse it and take care of it.
Because He is to influence me. He walks with me. He is my God. I am His. He is my Father. I am His kid…inside and out.