August 3, 2017
READ: 2 Corinthians 6:1-18
We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us and by our sincere love (v.6).
Hearing rave reviews from her circle of friends—all believers in Jesus—about a TV show they’d been watching, my friend decided to check it out. After just two episodes, however, she was taken aback by the programme’s explicit sexual content. She chose to no longer watch the show due to her convictions, but wondered how to handle future discussions about it. Thinking through her concerns, she wondered why the show sustained drawing power for her friends.
Freedom and holiness (being set apart for God) are certainly not incompatible, but sometimes we may find ourselves in difficult conversations about these two powerful concepts. We know “Christ has truly set us free” (Galatians 5:1), but how do we steward this gift, especially knowing that we serve a holy God who calls us to live differently than those who don’t know Him? (v.17).
Having dealt with inappropriate behaviour within the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul offers guidelines that still apply today. The foundation of our pursuit of holiness must be the remembrance of what first brought us to intimacy with Christ: God’s kindness (2 Corinthians 6:1). Only by His grace are we able to have freedom. This truth should both challenge us to set aside compromise and humble us in response to others’ choices (vv.3,6).
As we mature, we come to understand how our lives preach the gospel (vv.4-5); and what we allow to enter our minds can shape what comes out (v.7). As we value God’s presence, may we seek His wisdom to be a dwelling place for His Spirit instead of following popular opinion—even that of other believers (v.16). In all our responses, though, love must resonate in any correction offered (v.11), for it was Love that first drew us.
365-day-plan: Luke 11:14-32
Read 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 and consider the impact when believers in Jesus are willing to sacrifice out of love for others rather than demanding personal privilege.
When are you called to challenge another believer (Proverbs 27:17), and when should you back off and let the Holy Spirit speak to someone about an issue? In what ways is holiness both the pursuit of a standard set in Scripture and a personal journey?