God calls us to cleanliness (righteousness) in the body and spirit.
2 Corinthians 7:1 (NASB) “Therefore, having these promises, beloved let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
What does God mean by defilement (uncleanliness) of the flesh?
Galatians 5:19-21 (NASB) “19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” I think these “deeds of the flesh” can be broken down into two categories.
The defilement of the flesh being sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, outburst of anger drunkenness, carousing.
The defilement of the spirit being idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions.
Defilements of the flesh impact the natural body, while defilement of the spirit begins internally in our spirit and our thoughts then manifesting outwardly with unrighteousness expressed toward others or rebellion toward God.
Perhaps you do not believe that there is a God. Perhaps you are not sure there is a God.
Hebrews 11:6 (NASB)
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him."
Perhaps you scorn at the idea of a God.
1 Corinthians 1:18 (NASB) "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
For those of us that believe it is the blood of Jesus that grants us access to salvation, eternal life, and direct access to the Father through prayer. The Holy Spirit has spoken to our spirit and testified that this is true. By faith we believe. As a result of faith, we chose to turn from sin and by the power of the Holy Spirit lead a righteous life. That does not mean we will not fail. But it is our love for God that wants us to do our best.
Paul writing to the Corinthians said 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (NASB), “9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
I like this definition of repentance. “Repentance is an honest, regretful acknowledgement of sin with commitment to change. Repentance leads us to cultivate godliness while eradicating habits that lead into sin.” *
Once we have repented, we should not dwell on past mistakes. We should learn from them but not let them haunt us.
Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14 (NASB) “13 Brothers and sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Remember that Paul prior to his conversion persecuted the church. He considered himself a foremost sinner. Yet Christ chose to save him and forgive him of all his sins.
Christ is willing to do that for you. That was His purpose for coming to earth. To once and for all make atonement for sin by dying on the cross. You can be forgiven, nothing you have done is out of reach of His blood. His love for you will never fail. You have a choice. Are you willing to accept the blood of Jesus as the atonement for your sin?
All you have to do is ask Jesus to come into your life and forgive you of your sins. You must really mean it, but it is that simple.
NASB New American Standard Bible