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Bringing Holiness to Completion

I read this verse a few weeks ago and I emailed it to myself so I wouldn't forget it. It has been rolling around in my mind ever since.

"Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God." - 2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV

The idea of cleansing myself from 'every defilement of body and spirit' is both wonderful and discouraging.

Can I be honest? It is discouraging because I have a few defilements, and the idea of cleansing myself of all of them seems like it could be quite a bit of work. However, I don't want to appear before Jesus someday stinking like a wet dog who just finished rolling in a manure field, so I'm not content with just remaining the way I am.

Now, I'm not advocating ratcheting up the self-righteousness quotient in our lives. I don't think Paul would have said that kind of behavior is "step #1" in the process. A better, more Biblical plan would be to look at the beginning of the verse which says "since we have these promises, beloved." The motivation to cleansing ourselves is meditating on and ingesting the promises of Scripture over and over again until they are buried deeply within us.
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