2 Corinthians 7:1-4 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
1 Therefore dear friends, since we have such promises, we should wash ourselves clean from every impurity of the flesh and spirit, making our sanctification complete in the fear of God.
2 Take us into your hearts. We have wronged no one, corrupted no one, defrauded no one. 3 I don’t say this to condemn you, for I have already said that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. 4 I have great confidence in you; I have great pride in you. I am filled with encouragement; I am overcome with joy in all our afflictions.
The goal for a Christian is to become complete or perfect, that is to perfect holiness or to show perfectly the holiness of God to the world. The word translated “complete” or “perfecting” is a transitive verb which means that it carries action with it. We are to move toward the goal of perfection. It is an intensive verb which means that our movement toward perfection is not to be done haphazardly or without intent, but done with the purpose of bringing about in our lives a perfect realization of the presence of God. We are to focus on and desire holiness in our lives and we are to move toward it with intensity. Done in the presence of the world, but purified from the influence of the world, we become a light in the darkness. We are the temple of God placed in the world to show the presence of God.
Clearly God has been using Paul in the lives of others, but it seems that Paul is just as enamored with the work of God in him, allowing him to find joy in afflictions, as he is with the work of God through him. How would you like to have the same testimony as Paul? Will you be willing to strive today to gain the testimony of Paul in ten years?