|2 Corinthians 7 |
1 Therefore having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.1 [Richard Claridge, an outstanding early Quaker, profoundly wrote: "The real happiness of man consists in being truly religious, or holy, in our measures, as God is holy; for holiness and happiness are so nearly related, that the one cannot be, or subsist, without the other. Holiness is happiness begun, and happiness is holiness in perfection."]
2 Receive us [in your hearts]; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
3 I do not speak this to condemn you; for I have said before, that you are in our hearts to die and live with you.
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying on your behalf. I am filled with comfort, I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
5 For when we came into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were conflicts, within were fears.
6 Nevertheless God, who comforts those who are downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
7 And not only by his coming, but by the comfort that he had from you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced all the more.
8 For though I caused you sorrow with my letter, I do not regret [it now], though I did regret it, for I see that the letter caused you sorrow, though it was only for a little while.
9 Now I rejoice, not because you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, so that you might suffer no damage by us.
10 For godly sorrow produces repentance that leads to salvation, and is not regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. [Believers who do not repent and seek the Lord's help to learn what other ungodliness to deny until all evil is removed from their hearts, destroying even the desire for any and all sin, have not experienced salvation. Through repentance you must totally change; salvation is to be freed from all sin in thought, word, and deed.]
11 For you can observe this very thing: when you sorrowed in a godly way, what carefulness it produced in you, yes, what clearing of yourselves, yes, what indignation, yes, what fear, yes, what vehement desire, yes, what zeal, yes, what revenge! In all things you have proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
12 Therefore, though I wrote to you, I did it not do it for the one who had done the wrong, nor for the one who suffered the wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might be known to you.
13 Therefore we were comforted by the result; yes, and we rejoiced all the more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.
14 For if I have boasted anything to him about you, I am not ashamed; but as everything we spoke to you was the truth, even so our boasting, which I made to Titus, is proved to be the truth also.
15 And his affection toward you is all the more abundant when he remembers your obedience, how with fear and trembling you received him.
16 I rejoice therefore because I have confidence in you in all things.
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1 Notice! Paul is addressing believers, members of the church, people with gifts of the Spirit, and he says: Therefore having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. So, to receive the promises of heaven, it is necessary to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit and perfect holiness in the fear of God. Mark! This is the fine print requirement that the false prophets totally ignore, deceiving you into thinking you are forever righteous just by believing or getting wet with water: The ministers of the deficit sects tell their members that they are righteous, even while they are still sinning, sin being wickedness. He who says to the wicked, 'You are righteous;' him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him. Pro 24:24.
All the pastors and ministers shall be cursed, who lied, saying that with belief in Jesus, you are righteous while still locked in sin.
In effect, the ministers of today tell their members: don't seek, don't obey, don't fear, don't strive -
saying there is no need, because of grace, your supposed license for immorality and excuse for remaining in sin.
Yet Paul instructed ministers thus: "Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear." 1 Tim 5:20.
Paul also pleaded for repentance: remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
What are the promises? To be freed from sin; to be filled with love; to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit to teach you all things; to partake in the divine nature; to become one with Christ and the Father; to have a share of the inheritance of the saints in the light, to be translated into the Kingdom of Heaven; to have Christ and the Father in you guiding and energizing you forever; to become a priest and a king, in his presence, serving him forever; to produce much fruit of the Sprit, bringing glory to your Father.
Therefore having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
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