Thursday, March 19, 2015

a family resemblance

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
2 Corinthians 7:1

Paul's reminder to the Corinthians is something to consider today. The promises of God are an encouragement to love God, obey Him, and fear Him properly, all in order to live holy lives. Paul quotes from the relational promises of the Law: "I will make my dwelling among them... I will be their God and they shall be my people" (see 2 Corinthians 6:16). He also pairs that with God's call to be holy as He is among Israel citing Isaiah 52:11. He ends his "promise list" with God's reminder of paternal care, liberally quoting principles found in Exodus 4:22 and possibly Jeremiah 31:9. Paul's point was that even the Old Testament Law promised intimate, family-like relationship within the context of obedience to god that sought to emulate His holiness. If we are indeed God's children, we must be like our Father.

The motivation for holiness is the love of our Father. We are His children and since God is holy and loves His children, we should be holy and love God our Father. That is our "family resemblance". It is what God longs to see in us. It pleases our God AND it brings happiness to us when we are actively bringing our bodies and spirits into holy compliance out of the respect we have for God's holiness.

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