SPIRITUAL SEPARATION. The concept of spiritual separation from evil is fundamental to God’s relationship with His people, “Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.”” II Corinthians 6:17-18 Separation involves two dimensions: 1) separating ourselves morally and spiritually from sin and from everything contrary to Jesus, righteousness and God’s Word; 2) drawing near to God is a close and intimate fellowship through prayer, worship, the Word, and loving service. Separation in this twofold sense results in a relationship where God is our Heavenly Father and we in turn are His sons and daughters. Before this regeneration and separation, we were children of the devil. (1 John 3:1-10)
In the OT God’s people were called to be holy, different and separated from all other people in order to belong to God as His very own. (Deut 7:6) One key reason God punished His people with exile into Assyria and Babylon was they persistently accommodated themselves to the idolatry and wicked lifestyles of the nations around them.
In the NT God calls His people to be separated as a holy people just the same. He is the same, yesterday today and forever. He calls believers to be separate: (1)from the corrupt world system and from unholy compromise “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:1-5 (2) from those in the church who sin and refuse to repent “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner— not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”” I Corinthians 5:9, 11-13 and (3) from false teachers, churches or cults who teach error and deny biblical truths (2 Peter 2).
Our attitude in separation must be one of: (1) hatred toward sin, unrighteousness and the corrupt world system, (2) staunch opposition to false doctrine, (3) genuine love for those from whom we must separate, and (4) a fear of God as we pursue holiness.
If we separate properly, God rewards us by drawing near with His protection, blessing and fatherly care. He promises to be everything a good Father should be. He will be our counselor and guide; He will love and cherish us as His own children. However, the refusal of believers to separate themselves from evil and this corrupt worldly system will inevitably result in loss of fellowship with God. This separation is essential to our relationship with the Father and failure to separate has eternal consequences. Therefore, it is a foundational doctrine of the faith.
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