Daily Readings & Thought for September 5th. “BRINGING HOLINESS TO COMPLETION”
The 3 chapters (totaling 55 verses) we have in 2nd Corinthians today are quite a challenge to get our minds around and grasp all the passionate points and appeal Paul is making in them. He is concerned about “those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart” [5 v.12] He tells them, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (or creature: footnote)[v.17]
We are either “in Christ” or we are not, there is no half way position – and we prove whether we are in Christ by how we live, our aims in life. Paul starts ch. 6 by reminding them (and us) we are “working together with him” therefore we are “not to receive the grace of God in vain:” further we must “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” [v.14] their values and aims in life are, in the end, quite different to what ours should be – sometimes they are totally different.
Today’s ch. In 2 Kings (10) shows how God commended the zeal of Jehu in getting rid of all the worshippers of Baal and destroying their Temple – thus removing their evil influence. Regrettably this was not followed by him fully worshipping the LORD in the right way, see v.31, yet another lesson for us.
Paul tells the Corinthians that “we are the Temple of the living God; as God has said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them …” [6 v.16] Awesome! To think that God, with Christ, “walk among” us! Is this beyond our imagining?
Remarkably, today’s 1st ch. In Ezekiel has a symbolic picture of the all-seeing eyes of God, as a sort of ball, a wheel, “full of eyes all around” [v.18], the wheel could move in any direction, and therefore could “see” in every direction. The symbol “full of eyes” is repeated in Revelation 4 v.6
Paul asks the Corinthians ”what fellowship has light with darkness” [v.14] The answer is obvious. But is the ‘light’ too blinding? We cannot dwell in twilight or “the living God” will not “walk among us.”
Finally let us fully absorb into our thinking the end of ch. 6 and the start of ch.7. We learn that, when we truly dwell in the light then “ ‘you shall be sons and daughters to me’, says the Lord Almighty. 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.” May we work hard, with God’s help, in “bringing holiness to completion” – Let us make progress toward doing that today.