Read 2 Corinthians 5
Absent from the body . . . present with the Lord (II Cor. 5:8). Our life is to represent Christ, and our privilege is to bring others to Him (5:18-21). We, the Temple of the Living God, are to be cleansed and separated from sin (chap. 6). Worship, dedication, humility (8:5). A call to generous giving (8:1-15).
Among the Corinthians there were abundant gifts of the Holy Spirit. But, there was also much lacking. For Paul had to say: We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest (exposed) unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences (II Cor. 5:10-11). He (God) hath made Him (Christ Jesus) to be sin for us, who (Christ) knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (5:21). We all need that same desire to reflect the likeness of Christ.
The true source of defilement of the flesh is self-gratification, which includes the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16). In relation to God, it manifests itself in choosing our will rather than His. In relation to our fellowmen, it shows itself in envy, hatred, strife, backbitings, and cold, harsh judgment of others. Pity the poor saint who is intent on displaying "his" gift or talent, satisfied with what he “does" and yet unconcerned with what is the greatest gift: The greatest of these is charity (love) (I Cor. 13:13). In relation to ourselves, self-gratification is seen as pride and the ambition to make self the center around which everything else revolves. A Christian should separate himself from actions, influences, or people that will contaminate him spiritually. Victory is available through our Lord Jesus Christ (15:57). Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (II Cor. 7:1).
For the discovery of such defilement of spirit, the believer needs to truly desire to know the Word of God. As we read the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit does His work by exposing our sin and enabling us in His strength to cast out whatever is hindering us from having a pure heart. Every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure (I John 3:3). If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things (3:20). For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death (II Cor. 7:10).
Thought for Today:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23).
For II Cor. 6:2: See Is. 49:8. II Cor. 6:16: See Lev. 26:11-12; Ezek. 37:27. II Cor. 6:17: See Is. 52:11. II Cor. 8:15: See Ex. 16:18.
5:5 wrought, prepared; 5:13 beside ourselves, insane; sober, of sound mind; 6:5 In stripes, Having been beaten; tumults, riots; 6:6 unfeigned, genuine; 6:12 Ye are not straitened in us our love toward you is not restrained; bowels, emotions; 6:13 for a recompence in the same, in return for our love; be ye also enlarged, open your hearts to us; 7:9 that ye might receive damage by us in nothing, that you not be offended in what we did or did not say; 7:10 not to be repented of, without regret; 7:11 carefulness, diligence, seriousness; 8:1 we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on, we want you to know what the grace of God has accomplished in; 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, urging us insistently to allow them the privilege of meeting our needs; 8:7 abound, excel; 8:8 forwardness, earnestness.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Joe & Betty Crawford; and in memory of Letha Hash • Government Officials: Sec'y. Janet Napolitano (Dept. of Homeland Security) and Rep. Jean Schmidt (OH) • Country: Guinea (8 million) on the Atlantic coast of western Africa • Major languages: French and tribal languages • Freedom for nationals, but strict limitations on missionaries • 83% Muslim; 12% tribal religions; 4% Roman Catholic; .6% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Express your gratitude for the loving-kindness of God (Jer. 32:17-18).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 6:15