2 Corinthians 7:1-5
2 Cor 7:1 (KJB)
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Let us cleanse - Make clean or purify
Filthiness - Defilement or pollution
Perfecting - Fulfill or accomplish
Since Paul had given the many promises which are for the believer, he now turns to the subject of sanctification. In Chapter 6, he definitely called for a complete separation from the evil element. Keeping company with the unsaved can bring us back into sinful ways. However, this was only a beginning. He then stated that these Corinthians would have to cleanse themselves from all things which would defile them. When a person becomes saved, they are instantly sanctified, that is, set apart, but there is also a lifelong growth in sanctification. After salvation, we begin to distance ourselves from the things of the world that entangled us. When we stay on the road of sanctification, eventually the things of the world lose their appeal and we no longer seek after them. We go far from the world and closer to God. As we draw closer to the Lord through sanctification, we begin to accomplish or fulfill the life of holiness. The root word in the Greek for both holiness and sanctification are the same. Paul speaks of the filthiness of the spirit. Now keep in mind that when we become saved, we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit which means Paul would not be talking about being able to defile the Holy Spirit in us. That would be an absolute impossibility and a heresy. What Paul is speaking of is the spirit of filthiness, that is, the sinful desires that we want to fulfill in the flesh. Sin starts in the mind and then is finally fulfilled in the flesh. Paul is saying that we need to curtail sinful thoughts so they never come to physical fulfillment.
2 Cor 7:2 (KJB)
Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
Wronged - Injured or act unjustly
Corrupted - Defile, ruin, or spoil
Defrauded - Exploited or took advantage of
Paul here continues in the defense of his ministry and person. He is asking the Corinthians to receive him because he has not done anything to them to warrant such wrong behavior on their part. First, he states that he has not wronged any man. The word in the Greek for “no man” is in the cardinal form which means a specific number. Paul is stating that he has never even wronged one man which means his record is completely clean. Then he said that he never corrupted even one man and then he states he never defrauded one man, that is, cheat or take advantage of. Paul’s ministry was clean and above board and there was no one there which could lay one true evil accusation against him, if someone did, it would have to be a false witness.
2 Cor 7:3 (KJB)
I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.
Condemn - Act of condemnation or give adverse judgment against
Paul does not want the Corinthians to misunderstand his motives toward them and he does not want them to think that he is condemning all of them along with the false teachers who opposed him. He reiterated again that they were in his heart and that he was ready to either live with them or die with them. He was stating that his commitment to them was still alive and strong.
2 Cor 7:4 (KJB)
Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
Boldness of speech - Outspokenness or frankness
I am filled - Make full or complete
Paul knew that his relationship with the Corinthians was such that he could use great boldness of speech without fear of being misunderstood or rejected by them. Paul boasts in them because as he has stated in the past that they are his crown as they will someday be in Heaven with him. Paul is completely comforted because he had drawn much inspiration from their lives and this resulted in Paul being joyful in times of tribulation. Notice that Paul stated he was joyful and not happy. Joy is something which comes from inside because of our relationship to Christ but happiness is determined by outward circumstances. Happiness can change in a moment while joy is a stable tenet of Christianity.
2 Cor 7:5 (KJB)
For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
Troubled - Oppressed or afflicted
Fightings - Conflict and quarrels
Paul talks about the problems he faced when he came into Macedonia. He says that his flesh had no rest, that is because of all the preaching, disputing, and everything else that he had to face. He felt like he was being oppressed on every side, simply because of all the conflicts he had to face, no doubt from those who opposed him and then he speaks of fears, probably because he had a lot of anxieties over the churches he was dealing with. Paul was always concerned that whenever he planted a true church or wherever he preached the true Gospel, there would be those who would immediately attempt to destroy his efforts and those are the kind of things which caused him much fears.