I. Why & How We Cleanse Ourselves
A. Why We Cleanse Ourselves V. 1a
1. The Corinthians had joined themselves to false teachers.
a. They had allowed these people to steal their hearts and affections.
b. They had compromised their walk with God.
c. They had begun to view people through worldly standards.
d. They became respecters of persons. (See 11:19-21)
e. Joining yourself to ungodly people will always bring ungodly results.
2. We cleanse ourselves from unholy unions because we are the Temple of God. (6:16)
3. We cleanse ourselves from unholy unions because God dwells with us and walks with us.
a. God dwells within each individual Believer. (John 14:15-17)
b. Jesus is present when we are gathered in His name. (Matthew 18:20)
4. If we are inappropriately yoked to someone, we miss out on the fullness of the Fatherhood experience to some degree. Our hearts are divided, & not fully given to God.
a. We choose to be joined to someone to whom God will not be joined.
b. To some degree, we exclude God in our lives and choose someone else instead of Him
5. God loves all of humanity, but He will not be joined to unforgiven sinful man.
6. Therefore, if we are yoked to someone in an ungodly fashion, we are giving ourselves over to something that Jesus will have no part in.
7. We forfeit the full experience of the presence of God, and the Fatherhood of God.
B. Cleansing Ourselves V. 1b
1. cleanse out the sin- purge, purify.
2.This isn’t something that God does for us. This cleansing is something we must do.
3. filthiness of flesh- things that we do that are sinful before God.
4. filthiness of spirit- attitudes within our hearts that are sinful.
5. Prodigal son was guilty of many sins of the flesh. Wasteful, self-indulgent living.
6. The older brother was guilty of sins of the spirit. Self-righteousness, pride.
C. Perfecting Holiness V. 1c
1. perfect holiness- perfecting- to fulfill further, to complete, accomplish.
2. Speaks to us of effort required in the Christian life.
3. We are not perfected by our works, but are called to put forth effort in seeking God, walking after God, serving God.
4. The Corinthians needed to cleanse their lives and their church fellowship.
5. Read 2 Peter 1:2-11. A wonderful list of things to add to your life.
II. Inviting Sinful Brothers Back Into Relationship
A. Paul Defended Himself Vs. 2, 3
1. The cause of their damaged relationship was them being yoked to unbelievers. (6:12)
2. V. 2- Paul was able to speak to them with a clear conscience.
a. We have wronged no one- injured or hurt you in any way
b. We have corrupted no one- to spoil or ruin by influence
c. We have cheated no one- taken advantage of someone.
d. Matthew 7:3-5 3And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
3. We see the fruit of sin. – Disunity, separation, division, lack of affection and love.
4. V. 3- It is a hard thing to question some people in this way. He isn’t condemning.
a. Some people get defensive when this discussion takes place, even when it’s with love.
b. Proverbs 15:32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
5. V. 3- for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together & to live together.
a. How hard it was for Paul to convince these people of His love for them.
b. How suspicious they had become regarding his motives, intentions, and calling.
B. Explaining & Clarifying
1. V. 4- Great is my boldness of speech toward you,
a. Paul said some very straightforward things to them.
b. He loved them deeply, and wanted to communicate his heart to them.
c. He took the chance in speaking strongly to them.
2. V.4- great is my boasting on your behalf.
a. His former letter had brought about much godly fruit.
b. He was able to brag about them in a godly fashion.
3. V. 4- I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
a. In the midst of all his suffering and tribulations, they were still a source of joy.
b. It seemed as though there was still opportunity to mend fences, and restore fellowship
4. V. 5- Paul had sent Titus to Corinth with a letter of rebuke. Besides all of the physical dangers and troubles that Paul had, there were the inner fears and struggles.
a. Would the Corinthians receive correction from Paul?
b. Would they correct the wrongs that they were allowing in their church?
c. Would they turn away from God, and turn away from Paul also?
5. V. 6- At one point in this situation, Paul did not know for sure how things were going to turn out.
a. But he was still sure that God would be the One who would comfort him.
b. Regardless of what the Corinthians did, Paul would be comforted one way or another.
c. That helps us bear the burden of having to confront someone about their sin.
d. As it turned out, Titus brought good news, and Paul’s comfort came that way.
6. V. 7- We take tremendous risks when we seek to correct and exhort people.
a. The one correcting is the risk taker. The one being corrected is now in control.
b. To receive the correction & repent, or disregard correction, and turn on you in hatred.
c. Matthew 7:6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
d. When Titus returned to Paul, he brought a good report. There was repentance.
7. V. 8- sorry- grief, heaviness
a. I do not regret it- I don’t feel bad about it now
b. though I did regret it. Though I did feel bad about it at the time
c. There was heaviness in Paul’s heart when the letter was sent. Second guessing.
d. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. I realize that the letter I sent you temporarily brought grief and heaviness.
8. V. 9- your sorrow led to repentance-Reversal, turning around, a change.
a. that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.
b. Though it was painful, they did not suffer damage from Paul’s letter.
c. It wasn’t intended to hurt, but to heal. Godly pain and sorrow brings repentance.
d. We can feel pain and hurt, but be damaged by an unloving person or a weak faith.
e. We can feel pain and hurt, but it can produce a change of direction; we lose nothing.