God gives the reason why his people must be different from other people. It is because God has chosen them to become members of his family*. He has promised to be their Father. He will declare them to be his children - his own sons and daughters*.
That gives them a very special and wonderful relationship with God*. It is wrong to think that God saves Christians merely in order to forgive them. That is, of course, essential - but it is only the beginning of his work in their lives. He changes them completely*; he even puts his Holy Spirit inside them*. God’s wonderful plan is to make them like Christ*. In other words, they will have the perfect relationship with God that belongs to his sons and daughters*.
Paul declares that the Lord Almighty says these things. That is a special name for God; ‘Almighty’ means that he has all strength. In the New Testament (the later part of the Bible), that word appears only here and in the Book of Revelation.
The fact that the Lord Almighty declares these things gives confidence to his people. He has the power to carry out his promises. He is able to complete the work that he has begun in their lives*.
That fact also shows the importance of this matter. God’s people have no right to argue against his plans for them*. They must live as he directs them to live. They must behave in a manner that pleases him. They must learn how to serve him better.
Paul’s exact words in 2 Corinthians 6:18 do not appear elsewhere in the Bible. However, frequently in the Bible, God calls himself the ‘Father’ of his people. Also, he frequently describes his people as his ‘children’. The first Christians believed that Paul’s letters have the same authority as the rest of the Bible*. Therefore, God spoke to his people by means of Paul.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.