Excerpt From God’s Gift of Perfection Series
Chapter 13 – Part 1
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7: 1.
These words give us an insight into one of the chief aspects of perfection, and an answer to the question: In what are we to be perfect? We must be perfect in holiness. We must be perfectly holy. This is the explanation of the Father’s message, Be perfect.
We know what holiness is. God alone is holy, and holiness is that which God communicates of Himself. Separation and cleansing and consecration are not holiness, but only the preliminary steps on the way to it. The temple was holy because God dwelt in it. That which is given to God is not holy, but that which God accepts and appropriates, that which He takes possession of, takes up into His own fellowship and use — that is holy.
"Make yourselves Holy … for I am the Lord your God," Leviticus 20:7
was God’s promise to His people of old, on which the command was based,
"Be holy." Matthew 5:48
God’s taking them for His own made them a holy people. Their entering into this holiness of God, yielding themselves to His will, and fellowship, and service, was what the command, "Be holy," called them to.
Even so it is with us Christians. We are made holy in Christ; we are saints or holy ones. The call comes to us to follow after holiness, to perfect holiness, to yield ourselves to the God who is ready to sanctify us wholly. It is the knowledge of what God has done in making us His holy ones, and has promised to do in sanctifying us wholly, that will give us courage to perfect holiness.
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us perfect holiness." Which promises? They had just been mentioned:
"I will dwell in them; I will be their God; I will receive you; I will be to you a Father." 2 Corinthians 6:16, 18
It was God’s accepting the temple, and dwelling there Himself, that made it holy. It is God’s dwelling in us that makes us holy; that gives us not only the motive, but the courage and the power to perfect holiness, to yield ourselves for Him to possess perfectly and entirely.
Previously The Perfect Man – Part 2