Chapter Context MHCC: This chapter begins with an exhortation to progressive holiness and a due regard to the ministers of the gospel (v. 1-4). Then the apostle returns from a long digression to speak further of the affair concerning the incestuous person, and tells them what comfort he received in his distress about that matter, upon his meeting with Titus (v. 5-7), and how re rejoiced in their repentance, with the evidences thereof (v. 8-11). And, lastly, he concludes with endeavouring to comfort the Corinthians, upon whom his admonitions had had so good an effect (v. 12-16).
Our main text for today is a continuation of the thought from Chapter 6, v.16-18. Paul is writing the church at Corinth and all future generations:
Having therefore these promises, “I will dwell among them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people...And I will be a Father to you,
And you will be My sons and daughters,”(6:16,18)
Herein is the great and mighty promise that God the Father has reserved a place for those He has chosen. He will be Father, Friend, and Protector just as our earthly fathers should be.
dearly beloved, Paul reminds the Church at Corinth, that they/we are God’s children His beloved
let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, “So come out from among unbelievers and be separate,” says the Lord, “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor], (6:17 AMP)
This is not anything one can do alone. It can only be done by, through, and with the grace of God. I Paul via the inspiration of the Holy Spirit calling for a total ban on all things of the world? NO! one can not live in the world and be separated fully from it that not practical or sensible. One can however strive to daily walk in the light of Divine Grace and daily cleanse ourselves of all sin. JFB comments on this: not only from fleshly filthiness, such as are sins of intemperance, drunkenness, uncleanness; but also from spiritual filthiness, extravagant passions, corrupt affections, pride, envy, rash anger, idolatry, contention, division.
perfecting holiness in the fear of God. This is not the work of God in us (Sanctification) for we have no part in that it is solely God’s doing. No this is our work, the daily fight for holiness in life, in conversation, in thought. Not because we “fear” (afraid) of God but because of we stand in “fear” awe of God’s mercy upon such sinners as us.
It must be noted that this “perfecting of holiness” can only be done by true Christians, with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit guiding their actions and consciousness.