Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16 ESV)
Words like holiness and the fear of God seem to be outdated in western culture. But these are biblical words that require obedience from every follower of Jesus. It’s a very real struggle to live a life that is pleasing to God in a world full of images and philosophies that are contrary to the values of the Kingdom of God. God has called us to work out our salvation with much fear and trembling, not for it.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
(Philippians 2:12-13 ESV)
Our ongoing deliverance can only be accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our minds must be renewed by the words of God through Scripture. Without a radical commitment to ponder deeply on the things of God, we will all succumb to dark patterns of thinking.
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
(2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV)
As temples, or host of the Holy Spirit, we have access to godly living. We have the grace empowered ability to leave a life free of idolatry. When we follow patterns of life that are contrary to God’s ways, we grieve the indwelling Holy Spirit. We must take action to cleanse ourselves in cooperation with the Spirit, of things that we know are spiritually harmful. We all fail in this journey we call life, but we must agree with God about our failures, and allow him to restore us again.