Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Perfecting Holiness In The Fear Of God

Temple Baptist Church 4-16-2008

2 Corinthians 7:1


A. “Having therefore these promises” shows that Chapter 7 is a continuation of chapter 6, which deals with separation and the blessings of God that accompany our obedience. In the end of chapter 6, God made special promises to special people: His reward for our love and obedience.

B. Separation is obedience to God but it is more than just obedience. Separation is a love for Christ that causes the believer to go “without the camp, bearing his reproach.” Unfortunately, in our day, the separatist is not only reproached by the world but also by the modern day, carnal church member. Separation has always had its price.

Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Luke 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.

C. Separation has its price but it also has it blessings and the blessings outweigh all else.

1. The Lord said, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them.”
2. The Lord said, “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
3. The Lord said, “I will receive you.”
4. The Lord said, “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters.”

D. In chapter 7:1, the Holy Spirit gives the formula for living a clean, separate life for Christ in this present evil world.

1. “Let us cleanse ourselves”

a. This Cleansing Is A Choice - Luke 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

b. This Cleansing Is Personal - Matthew 7:3-5 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (Most believers are so busy judging others that they have no time to judge themselves. I have found that those who judge self have no time to judge others.)

2. “From all filthiness of the flesh and spirit”

a. This Cleansing Needs To Be First Inward – “all filthiness of spirit”

Matthew 6:22-24 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 23:27-28 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (To cleanse the outward without first cleansing the inward leads to Phariseeism to which God pronounces a “Woe.”)

b. This Inward Cleansing Becomes Outward – “all filthiness of flesh”

Matthew 23:25-26 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. (Internal pollution brings about external defilement!)

3. Perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (Perfecting - to be on a course of righteousness and holiness to the end)

a. Perfecting holiness is not in the fear of man (Most of the time, we draw our “convictions” from others and live in fear of their finding out that we do something that they would object to.)

b. Perfecting holiness is in the fear of God

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.
Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil.

c. Perfecting holiness is in obedience to God’s Word

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Conclusion: Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.

No comments: