Paul’s admonition for godly living (6:11-9:15)-continued
1 Corinthians 6:14-7:1-He tells them to not be associated with unbelievers-continued.
2 Corinthians 7
2 Corinthians 7:1-Because we worship the true God and because we are His children...we should be holy in all of our life. We should “cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit…”.
καθαρίζω katharizō purify; cleanse; make clean
79.49 καθαρίζωa; καθαίρωa: to cause something to become clean—‘to make clean, to cleanse, to clean.’ καθαρίζωa: καθαρίζετε τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τῆς παροψίδος ‘you clean the outside of the cup and plate’ Mt 23:25. καθαίρωa: πᾶν τὸ καρπὸν φέρον καθαίρει αὐτό ‘every (branch) that bears fruit he cleanses’ Jn 15:2. In Jn 15:2 the meaning of καθαίρω may also be understood as ‘to prune branches’ (see 43.12), thus playing on two distinct meanings of καθαίρω.
Logos Bible Software
“Let us cleanse ourselves” cannot refer to literal ceremonial washing (as in Num. 8:6–7) since the cleansing involves “spirit” as well as “body”; the reference is to figurative purification or purity (as in 1 Cor. 7:34). As used here, the expression καθαρίζω ἀπό (“cleanse from”) is elliptical, with ἀπό denoting separation. The sense is “Let us cleanse ourselves96 [by keeping clear of …].” There is no necessary implication that Paul and the Corinthians were already defiled in body or spirit and so needed cleansing, just as “let us throw off the deeds of darkness” (Rom. 13:12) need not imply that Paul and the Roman believers were clothed in evil. The constant need to repudiate any possible defilement (παντὸς μολυσμοῦ) is Paul’s point. The aorist καθαρίσωμεν does not point to a single decisive act but to repeated action conceived of unitarily. μολυσμός, “defilement,” “pollution,” a NT hapax legomenon, denotes something that makes a person ceremonially or morally unclean and therefore unfit for worship. In each of its three LXX uses it is linked with the defilement of idolatry (Jer. 23:15; 1 Esdr. 8:80 [EVV, 8:83]; 2 Macc. 5:27; cf. the cognate verb μολύνω, “defile,” in 1 Cor. 8:7)…
This urgent call to avoid both physical and spiritual defilement restates the earlier entreaties to repudiate unholy alliances (6:14) and to reject the pagan way of life (6:17, three imperatives). In all these cases Paul seems to have uppermost in his mind the danger that the Corinthian believers constantly faced of idolatrous associations that would jeopardize their devotion to Christ (cf. 11:3). In 7:1, however, he includes himself in the exhortation and expands it to incorporate the rejection of every possible form of defilement, idolatry or otherwise, that might harm the believer.
Harris, M. J. (2005). The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: a commentary on the Greek text (pp. 511–512). Grand Rapids, MI; Milton Keynes, UK: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.; Paternoster Press, Logos Bible Software
Paul now turns around this negative admonition to consistently be free from sin…to a positive admonition to be continually practicing holiness.
Whether we render ἐπιτελοῦντες by “complete” or “bring to completion” or “make perfect,” a process of sanctification (ἁγιωσύνη) is involved (note the present tense of the participle), not the acquisition of perfect holiness. The same person who affirmed that he had “not yet reached perfection” and that his calling was perpetually to “press forward” (Phil. 3:12–14) would hardly envisage a permanent arrival at holiness in the present age. From 1 Thess. 3:13 it is clear that believers are “unblameable in holiness” or “faultlessly pure” (Goodspeed) only at the second advent. But how is this maturing in holiness related to the self-purification mentioned earlier in the verse? If in fact they are separate ongoing processes and not related as cause and effect, then we may say that they are complementary obligations resting on all believers.
Harris, M. J. (2005). The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: a commentary on the Greek text (p. 513). Grand Rapids, MI; Milton Keynes, UK: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.; Paternoster Press, Logos Bible Software
2 Corinthians 7:2-16-He tells them that the purpose of his letter had been successful.
Paul rejoices that his letter brought them sorrow that led them to repentance (:8-9). This kind of sorrow is actually the result of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It will always lead a believer to repent of his sin and to be reconciled with God. However, there is another kind of sorrow…that of the world. It does not lead to repentance…but to rebellion. Worldly sorrow is not such that it is born in the belief of a Sovereign God to Whom one is accountable. Worldly sorrow rejects God and it rebels against accountability. It ends in death…separation from God…because there has been no reconciliation with God that results in salvation (:10) Paul then says that he rejoices over the fact that they had repented and the blessings of doing so had been made evident (:11-13). And, he also rejoices for the manner in which the Corinthians had taken care of Titus while he was there (:13-15).
Prayer: Lord, I pray that my heart will be tender and open to the conviction of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to have godly sorrow that leads to repentance when You identify sin in my life. Please, help me to not struggle with You at all...but to always, immediately repent of the sin which You reveal.