2 Corinthians 7:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us purify ourselves from every pollution of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God's fear.

World English Bible
Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Young's Literal Translation
Having, then, these promises, beloved, may we cleanse ourselves from every pollution of flesh and spirit, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God;

2 Corinthians 7:1 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Having therefore these promises - The promises referred to in 2 Corinthians 6:17-18; the promise that God would be a Father, a protector, and a friend The idea is, that as we have a promise that God would dwell in us, that he would be our God, that he would be to us a Father, we should remove from us whatever is offensive in his sight, and become perfectly holy.

Let us cleanse ourselves - Let us purify ourselves. Paul was not afraid to bring into view the agency of Christians themselves in the work of salvation. He, therefore, says, 'let us purify ourselves,' as if Christians had much to do; as if their own agency was to be employed; and as if their purifying was dependent on their own efforts. While it is true that all purifying influence and all holiness proceeds from God, it is also true that the effect of all the influences of the Holy Spirit is to excite us to diligence to purify our own hearts, and to urge us to make strenuous efforts to overcome our own sins. He who expects to be made pure without any effort of his own, will never become pure; and he who ever becomes holy will become so in consequence of strenuous efforts to resist the evil of his own heart, and to become like God. The argument here is, that we have the promises of God to aid us. We do not go about the work in our own strength. It is not a work in which we are to have no aid. But it is a work which God desires, and where he will give us all the aid which we need.

From all filthiness of the flesh - The noun used here (μολυσμὸς molusmos) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The verb occurs in 1 Corinthians 8:7; Revelation 3:4; Revelation 14:4, and means to stain, defile, pollute, as a garment; and the word used here means a soiling, hence, defilement, pollution, and refers to the defiling and corrupting influence of fleshly desires and carnal appetites. The filthiness of the flesh here denotes evidently the gross and corrupt appetites and passions of the body, including all such actions of all kinds as are inconsistent with the virtue and purity with which the body, regarded as the temple of the Holy Spirit, should be kept holy - all such passions and appetites as the Holy Spirit of God would not produce.

And spirit - By "filthiness of the spirit," the apostle means, probably, all the thoughts or mental associations that defile the man. Thus, the Saviour Matthew 15:19 speaks of evil thoughts, etc. that proceed out of the heart, and that pollute the man. And probably Paul here includes all the sins and passions which pertain particularly to mind or to the soul rather than to carnal appetites, such as the desire of revenge, pride, avarice, ambition, etc. These are in themselves as polluting and defiling as the gross sensual pleasures. They stand as much in the way of sanctification, they are as offensive to God, and they prove as certainly that the heart is depraved as the grossest sensual passions. The main difference is, that they are more decent in the external appearance; they can be better concealed; they are usually indulged by a more elevated class in society; but they are not the less offensive to God. It may be added, also, that they are often conjoined in the same person; and that the man who is defiled in his "spirit" is often a man most corrupt and sensual in his" flesh." Sin sweeps with a desolating influence through the whole frame, and it usually leaves no part unaffected, though some part may be more deeply corrupted than others.

Perfecting - This word (ἐπιτελοῦντες epitelountes) means properly to bring to an end, to finish, complete. The idea here is, that of carrying it out to the completion. Holiness had been commenced in the heart, and the exhortation of the apostle is, that they should make every effort that it might be complete in all its parts. He does not say that this work of perfection had ever been accomplished - nor does he say that it had not been. He only urges the obligation to make an effort to be entirely holy; and this obligation is not affected by the inquiry whether anyone has been or has not been perfect. It is an obligation which results from the nature of the Law of God and his unchangeable claims on the soul. The fact that no one has been perfect does not relax the claim; the fact that no one will be in this life does not weaken the obligation. It proves only the deep and dreadful depravity of the human heart, and should humble us under the stubbornness of guilt.

The obligation to be perfect is one that is unchangeable and eternal; see Matthew 5:48; 1 Peter 1:15. Tyndale renders this: "and grow up to full holiness in the fear, of God." The unceasing and steady aim of every Christian should be perfection - perfection in all things - in the love of God, of Christ, of man; perfection of heart, and feeling, and emotion; perfection in his words, and plans, and dealings with people; perfection in his prayers, and in his submission to the will of God. No man can be a Christian who does not sincerely desire it. and who does not constantly aim at it. No man is a friend of God who can acquiesce in a state of sin, and who is satisfied and contented that he is not as holy as God is holy. And any man who has no desire to be perfect as God is, and who does not make it his daily and constant aim to be as perfect as God, may set it down as demonstrably certain that he has no true religion, How can a man be a Christian who is willing to acquiesce in a state of sin, and who does not desire to be just like his Master and Lord?

In the fear of God - Out of fear and reverence of God. From a regard to his commands, and a reverence for his name. The idea seems to be, that we are always in the presence of God; we are professedly under His Law; and we should be awed and restrained by a sense of his presence from the commission of sin, and from indulgence in the pollutions of the flesh and spirit. There are many sins that the presence of a child will restrain a man from committing; and how should the conscious presence of a holy God keep us from sin! If the fear of man or of a child will restrain us, and make us attempt to be holy and pure, how should the fear of the all-present and the all-seeing God keep us not only from outward sins, but from polluted thoughts and unholy desires!

2 Corinthians 7:1 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Twenty-Fourth Day. Holiness and Cleansing.
Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.'--2 Cor. vii. 1. That holiness is more than cleansing, and must be preceded by it, is taught us in more than one passage of the New Testament. 'Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself up for it, that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word.' 'If a man cleanse himself from these, he shall be a vessel
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

Implanted Dispositions.
"Perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord."--2 Cor. vii. 1. To deny that the Holy Spirit creates new dispositions in the will is equivalent to a return to Romish error; even tho Rome argues the matter in a different way. Rome denies the total corruption of the will by sin; that its disposition is wholly evil. Hence, the will of the sinner not being wholly useless, it follows: (1) that the regenerate does not need the implanting of a new disposition; (2) that in this respect there is no difference
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Work of God in Our Work.
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ."--1 Thess. v. 23. The difference between sanctification and good works should be well understood. Many confound the two, and believe that sanctification means to lead an honorable and virtuous life; and, since this is equal to good works, sanctification, without which no man shall see God, is made to consist in the earnest and diligent
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Comforts Belonging to Mourners
Having already presented to your view the dark side of the text, I shall now show you the light side, They shall be comforted'. Where observe: 1 Mourning goes before comfort as the lancing of a wound precedes the cure. The Antinomian talks of comfort, but cries down mourning for sin. He is like a foolish patient who, having a pill prescribed him, licks the sugar but throws away the pill. The libertine is all for joy and comfort. He licks the sugar but throws away the bitter pill of repentance. If
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Cross References
Ecclesiastes 11:10
So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.

Matthew 5:48
"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Hebrews 6:9
But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.

1 Peter 1:15
but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

1 Peter 1:17
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

1 John 3:3
And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

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