“…let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” II Co 7:1
Even though a lot of research has been done on what certain foods do to our bodies, the results seem inconclusive, so we continue to eat them with a little bit of apprehension, not knowing what the end result will be.
My brother has been abusing his body by drinking and smoking. He probably looks ten years older than his actual age and has been dealing with various health issues. What he has been doing for the past twenty years appears to be coming back to haunt him.
We can easily tell when people do things to contaminate their bodies, for physical appearances simply don’t lie, but it’s relatively harder to tell when people do things that are harmful to their spiritual life. We may not be aware of our spiritual illness, for it doesn’t seem to cause physical pain.
We may die prematurely if we continue to contaminate our bodies by not eating right, but we may die eternally if we neglect to take good care of our spiritual life, which has a far more severe outcome than our bodily death.
Since research on food contamination is somewhat inconclusive, we must diversify our food intake by not eating one single thing consistently. I have been trying to urge my son Michael to abstain from diet soft drinks to no avail, since I have no scientific data on which to base my argument. “My instinct tells me drinking so much of something other than water isn’t a good thing,” I told him.
Michael obviously knows more about the human body than I do. I guess I’d better stick to my field.
Perfect holiness is impossible for us mere mortals to attain, but we should never use this as an excuse for not trying to become holier. God is perfectly holy; therefore we can never have any close association or intimate fellowship with him unless we are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus. We have been justified by faith, yet we must continue to be sanctified by faith as well.
We are washed by water and blood. The Lord Jesus made us clean with his cleansing blood, shed on the cross once and for all, but the cleansing by water is an ongoing process. I am not speaking about the washing Lady Macbeth did in the river, which had absolutely no effect on true purification; what we must do is cleanse ourselves with the living water supplied by the Lord Jesus.
In this context, to drink the living water is to be washed by it.
To be purified by the living water is both active and passive at the same time. We are being cleansed when we read the living Word of God, but we have to first apply ourselves to the act of reading. To be filled by the Holy Spirit appears to be passive, looking at it from a human point of view, but we must seek to be filled by the Spirit through fasting and prayer. Reading the Word of God renews our minds, and receiving the filling of the Holy Spirit transforms our hearts. Both are actions of purification that we must diligently take in our pursuit of holiness.