Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.2 Corinthians chapter 7, verse 1; from the New Living Translation
Paul says that we need to cleanse ourselves from everything that can–well–mess up our life and relationship with God. That prompted me to think about cars/trucks and all its filters. There’s the air filter, oil filter, transmission filter, fuel filter; there’s even an inside cabin filter, and maybe some I’ve overlooked. These filters are all about preventing the bad stuff from getting inside. If the bad stuff gets inside? Well, let’s just say that the outcome isn’t good at all.
Once we’ve been cleansed from sin by God’s Grace, how do we keep out the bad stuff in order to have God’s life of holiness? The late Albert Outler once described a way to help us filter out this bad stuff from the teachings of John Wesley. He called it Wesley’s Quadrilateral–Scripture, reason, tradtion, and experience. However, later in life Outler regretted coining that term. Nonetheless, it’s a great tool to assist us in pursuing this life of holiness.
But sometimes traditions are wrong. Experiences change from person to person. And human reasoning fluctuates more than the stock markets. But one of these tools never changes–and that’s The Bible. Use those other 3 tools because they are beneficial to help us understand the life of Holiness. But the aforementioned are subject to change and may allow us breathe in some of that bad stuff. But The Bible has withstood the test of time. Allow God’s word to be that final filter so that after God has cleansed us from our sins, we don’t get “dirty” again. God’s commands are not given to us to make us miserable and unhappy. They are the filters that PREVENT us from being miserable and unhappy. And remember–when I say The Bible, I’m not talking about what others say about it–it’s about what The Bible says to us!