The Expectation of Holiness
2Cor. 7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God.
Paul was concerned about the ways in which the Corinthians were living their daily lives. There was much pagan worship which occurred in that city and the influence among the believers was very great. God, however, promised that the Holy Spirit would provide for transformation in the lives of those who followed Christ. This transformation was not just in the Spirit, or in the Spiritual life but was to be witnessed in the body or the “fleshly” life as well. Holiness is not just about a spiritual condition, it is about wholeness and the daily life of an individual completely devoted to becoming God’s holy child.
The expectation is for God’s holy people to be transformed in the fleshliness of our daily lives as we are empowered by the Spirit. There should never be a separation or distinction between our spiritual lives and the ways in which we live. Holiness is to be visible in how we behave day in and day out.
For the Corinthians holiness meant that they no longer engaged in pagan worship practices. They were to abstain from sexual immorality and were to make holiness the aim of their lives.
God’s plan is for us to be his holy people — this is the expectation. Holiness is not an optional part of the Christian life, it is the Christian life. As followers of Christ the Corinthians seemed to try and see how close to the edge of the world they could live and yet be called Christ followers. If that’s the focus of our lives, we have it all wrong. The center of our lives must be Christ and becoming more and more like him. The more I am like him, the more his holiness is reflected in and through me.
You and I are to be God’s holy children living in this world. That is the expectation for all of us. We are to bear the family resemblance and that is the promise. We are adopted as children and brought into the holy family. Live like it! Act like it! It’s our inheritance and expectation.
Lord, please lead me to you today in all things. Amen.