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Growing in Christ

22 Jul

As we continue through the epistle of Second Corinthians, we see that Paul is now transitioning to a new subject.

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
2 Corinthians 7:1

There are some important points to glean from this Scripture.  The first is that there are things we allow into our lives that not only contaminate our body but our spirit as well.

That caught me by surprise.  I thought that my spirit was beyond contamination.  Now I realize that there are things that can hinder my fellowship with the Lord.

That’s because my spirit is the part of my being that communicates with God on His level.  That’s the part of me that the Holy Spirit inhabits.  So I have to be vigilant to keep it clear of anything that would defile it.

The second important issue is that our holiness needs to be perfected.  That word literally means to fulfill further or to bring to completion.

When we bow our knee to Christ, He imparts His holiness into us.  But it doesn’t end there.  This holiness has a work that it needs to accomplish in me.  It is cleaning up my life and setting me apart for God’s exclusive use.

That means that I need to cooperate with God’s plan for me.  This consists of me continually seeking God’s Word and then obeying what I hear.

Most people would agree with this line of thinking.  The challenge comes when we see how Paul then applies this truth.

Make room for us in your hearts.  We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one.  I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you.  I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you.  I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.
2 Corinthians 7:2-4

If you remember the flow of this blog, I’m going through the New Testament in the order that the Holy Spirit revealed it to the church.  So far we’ve gone through groups of books that were foundational.  Then we went through the books that were for personal growth.

Now we’re in the books that deal with our corporate walk – our relationship with the church.

Part of cooperating with the Holy Spirit at work in you is found in your relationship to the body of Christ.  We need each other.  We will never reach our full potential in Christ without being a part of a local body of believers.

We also need pastors, teachers, and other leaders to help mentor us.  That’s what Paul is getting at.  We need each other if we’re going to become the church that Christ is returning for.

Question: How has your growth been affected by other Christians?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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