What is it that we need to know? Why do we need to know God? Why must we accept the work of Christ? Why do we need the Holy Ghost?
II Corinthians 5:1-6 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothes upon with our house which is from heaven. If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body; we are absent from the Lord.
We as the people of God must know that we have to strip ourselves of the sin in our life; not on a pole but in our hearts and soul. We have excess in areas of our lives that must come off; not fat but the sin that weighs us down. We need to be deprived of the possession of sin in our lives. For this I know we need to be made bare and cleared of the charge of sin being resident in our mind, body, soul, and spirit. The glory of the Lord cannot rise in us because we wonít take off the cloak of sin. Before the completion of milking a cow there must be a pressing for the last available drop. We have to press through the terrains of life and maintain our salvation all the way to the end; for whoever endures to the end the same shall be saved. There is a stage of depriving, taking off, and pressing in the process of stripping off sin. Strip means to tear or damage the thread of, to separate, to press, take off and perform. We have a duty as the people of God to fear God and keep his Commandments for it is He that will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be; good or evil.
A stripper strips off their clothes to tease the customer that is looking on. A sinner sin because it is pleasurable to the body but a Christian pulls off sin to please God. When we please God He clothes us with righteousness and a sure foundation of grace. The text was written by the Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth that had been invaded by false apostles who was seeking to undermine his authority and to lead the people away from the gospel which they had received from him. He was writing to them as their spiritual father that they know what they know and hold on to that knowledge that was given to them concerning Christ.
Paul wanted them to remember the struggle, suffering and hardship he had to endure in order to bring the message of salvation to them. He had to pull off his own feelings and have some transparent humility and sincerity, and indeed with embarrassment. Throughout the epistles the dignity, the devotion, the serene faith, and the passionate dedication of the Apostle Paul shine forth with an intense glow that warms all but the most willfully weak and worthless, but through whose weakness the grace and power of Almighty God are magnified. In contrast to the self-esteem and self-interest of the false apostles is Paulís self-effacement; all is of God and to the glory of God. For Paulís thorn in the flesh God told him that His grace was sufficient for him. God gives us that same assurance, our strength is made perfect in weakness. We must know that Christ has reconciled us to the Father through suffering also. We have to pull off sin and be renewed in Christ that our vision and vitality be restored to us that we may continue to strip ourselves of the weights and sin that so easily besets us.
Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by grace of God; we have had our conversation in the world and more abundantly to you-ward. Paul admonished the Saints that they acknowledge what they have read and trust the Word to the end. We know sin has no place in us for it should not reign in our mortal bodies that we obey it to the lusts thereof. Neither are we to yield our members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin but rather yield ourselves to God as those that are alive from the dead. Sin has no dominion over us for we are not under the law but grace. We have been made free from sin and become the servants of righteousness. We are to know this.
Just like we know the laws of the land and how to stay out of jail or trouble, we need to know the Law of God and keep them. We are to bring fruit of righteousness to God. When we were in the flesh the motions of sins which were by the law did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the lifestyle we once lived. We know we are to keep our insides cleaned out naturally; the same thing holds true with God. We are to delight to please God in the inward man. Godís Spirit dwelling in us will quicken our mortal bodies. We know that we are not to live after or be debtors to the flesh; for if we do we die. Through the Spirit though we do mortify the deeds of the flesh that we may live that Godly life we sacrifice and strip sin off for.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God; a house not made with hands; eternal in the heavens. This earthly house is our bodies made of dirt and water and we call it the flesh. Before God made man a flesh body He created man in his image a spirit being. The Holy Spirit that came from God breathed into this flesh body and made it come alive. Man was spirit and flesh, except he was in a pure state; never being yet tampered with disobedience and sin. Because of sin this earthen vessel dies now; but the spirit man goes back to the Father from whence it came. God will judge us accordingly and this building not made with hands; the spirit man will live eternally in heaven or hell. Itís manís choice.
We must know who we are and we only have our being in Christ; and we have to superimpose Him in the inward parts by hearing and keeping the Word. If a man will be saved at all it is by the Word of God. When the Word comes it loosens the effect of sin. Jesus came and destroyed sin in the flesh; breaking sinís power over man. He makes us distinct; distinguished by the mind or eye as being apart or different from others. He calls for us to be separate where we lack any connection to sin. We are to have an identity that is distinct and our walk with Christ is unmistakably and readily apprehended by the sinners looking on. Christ children are in a class by themselves. Our lifestyle is to give God special honor and recognition. Jesus cleared all excuses that man could have to sin. He has given man a diversion from the course of sin where we can withhold the forces of the enemy of our soul.
For this we know that the desire for sin is gone; we no longer wear the clothes of the enemy. The Holy Ghost is our new apparel when we accept Christ and strips us of sin and all things that go against the Will of God. The conscious impulse to sin is gone; we no longer enjoy sin or gain any satisfaction from it. For this we know that what we have a longing for now is forever; it donít lie to us, steal from us or deceive us. The longing desire for Christ should increase day by day. Our appetite is fulfilled daily and when we make requests or petitions to the Father he readily answers us. We are to know that we have been born again Christians are to covet the relationship with Christ, having a strong envious desire for the Creator. This means we have a want, a felt need of God in our lives, physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically.
Only we know if we have a relationship worthy of Godís love. Only we know if we are full of assurance that we will one day go to heaven and have eternal life. Only we know if we have a trusting and confiding reliance on God. Only we know if we are full of Godís conviction still radiating in our lives. Only one with a personal relationship with God can know and be certain that they born again and saved.
For this we know that if we were to die today, we would lift our eyes in heaven. While we remain in this body we are absent from the Lord if we live in sin. We are dead naturally and spiritually. The love God constrains us in Christ. We have been given restrictions and limits to our actions in the earth through the Commandments we are to obey. Our inward affection is to be to Christ that gave everything up in this world for the salvation of man. Therefore is any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.
Today is the accepted time for us to come to know Christ in a more significant way. What we know propels us into the future. There has never been such a fight to keep knowledge coming to man as we have today. What we know helps us to walk in this life pure and holy by the Holy Ghost. We are exhorted to purity of life. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Have we wronged any man? Have we corrupted any man? Have we defrauded any man? If we have let us lay it aside and come to the Lord wholeheartedly. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Flee from the wrath to come? Repent my brother, my sister and be converted that your sins may be blotted out. Draw nigh to God today and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, purify your heart, confess your sins, and be zealous and repent today. If we confess our sins, god is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As many as God loves he rebuke and chasten.
For we know itís time to come into the presence of God and be refreshed today.