Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry


2 Corinthians

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

2 corinthians 7_1

Okay, look….we all know that phrase never actually appears in The Bible, right? In fact, the thought expressed technically is not even related to the post. We are taking a short trip back to our passage from yesterday for today’s thought. Sometimes we have to dig a bit to get the full meaning of something we see in God’s Word, and this was a case in point. The word in the passage filthiness(defilement in some translations), seems pretty straight forward; stay away from filthy things of the flesh and spirit. Sin, debauchery, not loving God, all these things come to mind. But, wait, there is more! Apparently that Greek word molusmos only appears here in the New Testament. It was used some in the Septuagint, and then  it referred to religious defilement.

There seems to be a consensus out there among commentators that this is not referring to just separating oneself from sin and filthiness in general, but false teaching in particular. Isn’t that interesting? False teaching is certainly a thing, and Christians should certainly recognize and avoid it; however, that is only semi the point here today.

2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth

Friends, we will all answer some day regarding the diligence with which we pursued the truth in God’s Word. We will be rewarded, or not rewarded on this. I believe this to be true. Some things, such as salvation by grace through faith, are so important, that we absolutely must understand them properly to even see Heaven.

On the other hand, some things are simply not so clear. This never releases us, friends, from our God given responsibility to study and dig. Sometimes we have to go deeper than just a surface scan of the Bible. We won’t get every thing right, and I am not sure God actually intends that we nail every little meaning(although some are pretty sure they have.) He does, however, expect us to pursue that meaning with effort and diligence. Read the passage again. It never says stand around and wait for God to cleanse us(even though He does the cleansing.) It says “cleanse ourselves.” Even though God does it, the need for effort and diligence on our part is clear!

Perfecting Holiness

2 corinthians 7_1.JPG

2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1

In the section just prior to this, Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to reference some promises made to the Nation of Israel back in the Old Testament. As we have said before, when we see a “therefore,” we need to consider what it is…there for. In this case, it is not that difficult to figure out what is going on here.

First, there is some really, really immense theology going on in just that one passage above, but we are going to keep things simple. Seriously, though, get a good word study dictionary and some basic commentaries and really dig in there. It’s pretty amazing.

First, promises have been made. Secondly, because of what these promises have given, we can accomplish some things. In fact, we are told to do some things. We are to cleanse ourselves of the filthiness of both the flesh and the spirit. We are to avoid, abstain from and flee from these things. Friends, salvation is NOT a work, or an accomplishment. In fact, as we all know, our works are nothing but filthy rags in the sight of a perfect God. On the other hand, our Christian walks are all about work.

God has made promises. Will we appropriate those promises, and the power they bring to make ourselves holy and separate from the evil and declining world around us? Will be separate from that world, yet manage to still evangelize it?

What Happens When a Believer in Christ Dies?

2 corinthians 5_6

2 Corinthians 5:1-6

Life is tough. Reality tells us that, and we can all see it in our daily lives. We get older and our bodies break down; many live with unending physical pain. We suffer diseases, some of which can claim our very lives. Financially or economically we don’t always get what in want; in fact, sometimes we literally are without absolute necessities. People are mean, unreasonable and hateful in many cases. Life is, indeed, tough. I may be a shock to some, but God has never promised otherwise for His children; there are numerous references in God’s word to not “if,” but “when” believers will suffer the trials of life. In some cases, it is the very act of being a believer in The Lord Jesus Christ that brings the suffering!

Why is that so? Our verse above tells us that answer. It is because, while in our bodily homes, we are absent from the physical presence of the Lord. We are trapped in our physical states as fallen, decaying and imperfect humans. That seems a tough word, but it is a true word.

Friends, glory to God, it will not always be that way. That is, if we are His children. Some day we will be absent from the body and be present with the Lord. There, we will be just as He is: perfect, holy and without flaw or blemish. There, in that eternal state, there will be no trials or suffering but only perfect eternal glory.

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