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

 

This verse is speaking in summary of the fact that God has committed to dwell among His people and to transform them into human bearers of that presence by virtue of making each of us who know Christ into something holy and set apart like the Holy of Holies within the Temple, itself. As such, we should consider all that enters our hearts and our minds as if it were something that we are bringing to God as an offering upon His alter, and we need to realize that everything that we bring into contact with us is also joining us in our life-long act of worship to our Lord. For me, these ideas and concepts change the way that I view what I am thinking about, saying, and engaging in. It takes the ordinary and the personal and transfers all of it into the realm of what should be sacred.

 

Yet, there is a lot that I bring into my life that is far from holy, righteous, or sacred. Much of it is ordinary and routine in its nature, but there are also those thoughts and feelings that are unloving, lacking in grace, even filled with anger, or founded in lust, greed, and selfishness. In other words, there are a lot of words and images that I bring into my holy temple that are not acceptable in God’s view of what belongs in His place of residence. All of this is a part of the defilement and the corruption that separates us from God, and each of these things and the thoughts and actions that surround and empower them are also among the aspects of separation that Christ died to bridge and that His risen presence seeks to drive from our lives.

 

The Lord wants each of us to be very clear on this matter, He is with us fully in the struggle for righteousness, for purity, in all aspects of life and of living out our relationship with Christ. This is not an isolated or an individual contest against evil and with sin. We are called upon by our Lord to desire to become cleansed of these elements of sinfulness that we are carrying around with us in our hearts, minds, and spirits, and the Lord then asks us to turn toward Him and to yield our lives in full to His work on and within us. This is that point when we begin to engage in a process that will never cease in this life whereby we grant Christ access to all of our hidden corners and give Him permission to sweep us clean of all that is unrighteous so that we are purified and all forms of defilement are removed from us. In doing this, we are turning away from the momentary pleasures of this world and entering into the eternal glory of the holy presence of the Lord within us.