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Purify yourself ........ to perfect holiness

(25)

Sermon shared by John Christopher

November 2004
Summary: Living upto the holiness, that God expects from eah of us as we are called to be holy, as He is Holy.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: Believer adults
About Sermon Contributor
Sermon:
A girl in Sunday School had learnt the Beatitudes in Mathew’s gospel and so was asked as to which of the things mentioned in the Beatitudes she liked the most to have in her. She said, ‘A pure heart’. When asked why she preferred that, she said, ‘If my heart were pure, I believe I would have all the other virtues mentioned in that chapter’. What and wonderful and a confident reply from the Sunday School girl. Is that be our desire too? We need to stop and ask ourselves.

Paul while writing to the Corinthian Church exhorts them in Ch.7:1 saying, ‘….let us purify ourselves….., perfecting holiness…’. Peter while writing his epistles exhorts in I Pet. 1:15,16 saying, ‘ But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written, ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’. So then how is it that can we purify ourselves so as to perfect holiness. That’s what he suggests in the previous verses from Ch. 6:14-18. Here we see Paul giving Five Commands to live a pure life, Five arguments for the commands and Five promises as a result of following his commands.

Five Commands:
1. Do not be unequally yoked : Paul begins by urging the Corinthians not to be joined to unbelievers in an alien yoke. Undoubtedly this goes back to the old commandment in Deut. 22:10 ‘You shall not plough with an ox and an ass together.’ (Lev. 19:19) The idea is that there are certain things which are fundamentally incompatible and were never meant to be brought together. It is impossible for the purity of Christian and the pollution of the unbeliever to run in double harness. And so the apostle draws upon this illustration to enforce separation on the Corinthians and so we see his other commands are
2. Come out from them (vs. 17)
3. Be separate (vs. 17)
4. Touch no unclean thing (vs. 17)
5. Purify yourself from everything that contaminates the body and spirit (7:1)
The whole passage is a rousing summons not to hold any fellowship with unbelievers. It is a challenge to the Corinthians to keep themselves unspotted from the world. The very essence of the history of Israel is in the words, ‘Get thee out’. That was the word of God that came to Abraham as it says in Gen. 12:1, ‘Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred and from they father’s house’. That was the warning that came to Lot before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorah (Gen. 19:12-14). There are things in the world with which the Christian cannot and dare not associate himself.

Five arguments:
To make these commands more clear the apostle brings about 5 arguments. They are:
1. What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? / what does righteous and wicked have in common? – They are diametrically opposed principles. Fellowship means holding something together in common with another, but these two have nothing in common. One is the underlying principle in the government of the kingdom of God, while the other is the basic principle in the kingdom of darkness.
2. What communion hath light with darkness? / What fellowship can light have with darkness? – These are diametrically opposed elements. Communion means common interests resulting from communion of life. The two elements cannot be mixed. They are antagonistic/opposed the one to the other. Darkness hides. Light reveals.
3. What concord / harmony is there between Christ and Belial? – They are diametrically
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