Thursday, 26 December 2019
Question of the day: Do we understand the assignment being given to us through this verse? 2 Corinthians 7:1 "Therefore, since we have these promises, loved ones, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of body and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
Answer: Let's break it down. What promises do we have? We better back up to chapter 6. There is a call to come out from among them and be separate. 2 Corinthians 6:14b "For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness?"
Our subject verse (2 Corinthians 7:1) gives us the assignment, saying the same thing twice. We have a calling (assignment) to cleanse ourselves from all defilement of body and spirit. That is further explained in the following phrase, "Perfecting holiness in the fear of the God."
Perfection is a lofty goal and most likely unattainable. Does that mean we should not pursue it? By no means. And how is this done? Psalm 34:15 "Depart from evil and do good. Seek shalom and pursue it."
What is "Shalom?" (I know I've taught you this before.) It is not the usual English translation "peace" or "hello and goodbye." It means wholeness, perfection, lacking nothing, complete. That last one grabs me. We are complete in Him. Colossians 2:10a "and in Him you have been filled to fullness."
What are we perfecting? Oh yes, holiness! What does that mean? Both holiness and sanctification mean being set apart (in this context) for service to God.
Rabbi Trail: Seeking "Shalom" is a journey, not a destination. It's like being a good student. A good student proves it every day. It would be foolish to wait until graduation day to learn if you are a good student. Perfecting holiness is a daily quest in the journey of life. End RT.
We are perfecting our walk with God. We are perfecting our testimony. We are perfecting our lives so that His glory will shine forth through us. Isaiah 60:1+3 "Arise, shine, for your light has come! The glory of Adonai has risen on you ... Nations will come to your light, kings to the brilliance of your rising."
The end of Matthew 5 seems to tie perfection to being kind to the unkind. Matthew 5 ends with these words in verses 47-48 "And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than anyone else? Even the pagans do that, don't they? Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
My point here is that this is doable as a pursuit. It was never intended as a destination. Enjoy the ride.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,