Holiness was the name of a study by Jerry Bridges, published by NavPress, that was at the beginning of my life growing deeper as a follower of Christ.
There are two things to realise – there is the fight against sin and lack of success. They might look like they are contradictory but I think we might be thinking of failing and becoming a failure, which are in fact just that. I know I am going to fail.
“The righteous man always resembles more a loser than a victor, for the Lord lets him be tested and assailed to his utmost limits as gold is tested in a furnace.” – Martin Luther
This is an important part of discipleship, especially in my eyes as I am in my mid 50’s and still learning to persevere through my failures. Failure does not make me quit, it makes me repent more diligently and press on, not in my strength, but in the Spirit’s.
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body[a] and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. – 2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV
Here is Paul’s strong message to the Corinthian church for holiness. The very next verse he gives a secret to how that journey begins.
Make room in your hearts[b] for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. – 2 Corinthians 7:2 ESV
If you can carry unholiness in your heart, there must be room there for you to carry holiness too.
This verse is definitely dealing with impurity of some kind and there seems to be a darker element here than in any of his previous writings to the church. Money usually plays a part in some of the misunderstanding between Paul and the church and that is why he never asks this church for support. I believe this church found themselves partying just as hard as their secular neighbours and if not, they tolerated it for sure and they were part of their friendship circles.
No wonder there were rumours that the Agape or the Feasts of Love, were scenes of complete senselessness.
In case you were looking for good news – the Corinth church did in fact repent and beautifully responded to Titis’ visit. Good news indeed.