There are two becauses in this verse. Both would be replaceable by since or therefore.
At the end of chapter 6 we see a promise to the Corinthians who had a hard time moving from their past idol worship to God worship. God tells these believers who still serve carved gods that can’t do anything for them that God promises if they leave that stuff alone, step away from the unbelievers completely, He will welcome them and be their Father.
While there are aberrant cases, Fathers are known to love their sons and daughters. God was telling these people if they devoted themselves fully to Him, no longer thinking or acting like the unbelievers, He would treat them as dearly loved children. He would take care of them instead of them having to take care of the “god” on a shelf.
Whew! I’ll take that option, please!
God, through Paul, tells them (and us) that looking at that promise and the others God has made, we must cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile us. Anything that messes with our mind, keeping it from Christ, gone. Dabbling around with any false religion, gone. Every. Thing. If it’s not God, it’s gone.
Then he writes that we are to work toward complete holiness because we fear God.
Two things here:
• Paul is not reneging on his words to the Ephesians. Works will not save us. We are, however to work toward becoming Christlike, holy. We are to shed those thoughts and activities we know are not pleasing to Him and take up those that are.
• Fear God? That’s like a reverential awe, right? Yes, and also fear. Like, for-your-very-existence fear. In Matthew 10:28, Jesus said to not fear those who could kill us, but to fear the One who can destroy both body and soul. God spoke us into existence, He can undo that at any time. Throughout the Old Testament we see time after time the disobedience of Israel is met with instant death. God requires us to be holy. He expects complete obedience from us. When we disobey, we place ourselves squarely in His wrath.
Many today like to downplay this fear of God. I believe we’re supposed to be just as cognizant of His power and wrath as those who saw a hole open up in the earth and swallow 3,000 people at one time. We also have to remember He’s not waiting for us to do wrong so He can squash us like bugs. He loves us. He died for us. He cares for us as a mother her newborn.
Time to make a choice: continue to play around with the gods of this earth or surrender completely to the Creator of the Universe.
It’s time to decide if we will stop drifting here and there hoping we’ll land on being Christlike and instead get to work on it. Read the scriptures. Pay attention. Pray. Work on our own holiness instead of on others’.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
© 2019 Faye Stoeffler Bryant