Short post today. Here is a short passage from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians:
14 Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Be′lial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will live in them and move among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore come out from them,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch nothing unclean;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.
(2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)
Then we move to St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians:
12 But we beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.[a] 14 And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray constantly, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit, 20 do not despise prophesying, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good, 22 abstain from every form of evil.
23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:12-24)
The passage from First Thessalonians is important because important because St. Paul clearly lays out that our Body, Soul and Spirit are different aspects of our being. I talked about these three parts of our being in my Background on the Nature of Man post, here. In addition, this passage shows St. Paul praying for the Thessalonians so that each of those parts of their being is “sound.”
This ties in with the first passage I quoted from. From Second Corinthians we can see that our Spirit, not just our body, can be defiled. Another word that I like is polluted, for it shows how the life within us, the life purchased at great price, can be made unclean in all the proper senses of the word. And of course that pollution is sin. But at the same time it also shows that we can cleanse this impurity from ourselves. Now, cleansing our bodies will be different depending on what we have done. However, cleansing our spirit relies on cleansing our soul through repentance and confession. This is where we see the great Hope of our faith- that no matter the defilement, God can cleanse us of it… if we let him. That is where Faith comes in, and why it is necessary to salvation. Without Faith we are lost because we won’t let work within us.