Has it ever occurred to you that God always separated a people for Himself and that it was never His intention that His people should be yoked with unbelievers (cf. 2 Cor 6:14)? I dare say, we should not even be yoked with Christians who remain stuck in this world and keep to this world’s mentality and pleasures, either. Also, I want to include tradition and religious rituals of any kind here that need to be stripped off if we want to obey God’s voice daily at any given moment. At first this separation from the world is made by the Holy Spirit’s power in our own hearts and minds. But sooner or later we might realize, a bit startled perhaps, that the line God drew between those who are His and those who are not His has become an unbridgeable gap. We might still hope that we could get along with those who believe in God in a way that is much different from ours. Furthermore, we might still be intent on loving those who keep attacking us because they do not understand the paths on which God leads us, however, we need to come to grips with the fact that a heart to heart communication apart from God’s Spirit is no longer possible with them unless we want to share their often ungodly ways.
In order to accentuate and to put it more biblical what I have just said above, I now want to share some thoughts from T.A. Sparks on the idea of how and why God separates us from everyone and everything which is unpleasing in His sight. Here you are.
The church is a separated company. Our position is plainly stated by the Lord in John 17. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world”. We are to be sanctified and yet are sent into the world as witnesses for Christ. We are “in the world” (v. 11) but “not of the world” (v. 16).
The New Testament gives us five governing factors which determine our separation.
(a) We are separated by the cross
As the cross separated the Incarnate from the resurrection life of Christ, so the cross separates the Christian from sin and the world. (Rom. 6. Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5 and Gal. 6:14). We are dead to sin, and crucified to the world.
(b) We are separated by our life in Christ
In Christ we live unto God and are to yield ourselves to Him as those alive from the dead (Rom. 6:10-14).
In Christ we are “hidden in God” and are therefore to “seek the things that are above”, i.e. in the spiritual world (Col. 3:1-4).
(c) We are separated by the light
God is Light. Christians are “children of Light” and they should “walk in the light”. The world is in darkness (Eph. 6:12. 1 Thes. 5:4-8). Light cannot have fellowship with darkness, it can only witness against it (Eph. 5:7-14).
(d) We are separated by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
We are a sanctuary, a temple of God, in whom God dwells and walks (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). Therefore we cannot have fellowship with idolatry of any kind. (1 Cor. 6:13-20).
(e) We are separated by our love to God
Love for God, and love for “the world” are inconsistent (1 John 2:15-17). The world is ridden with lust, i.e. … selfish desire. God is full of love, i.e. selfless desire, and these two do not cohere. At Calvary the world’s lust and the Father’s love were fully revealed, nor is the situation any different now. Therefore “love not the world”.
[Emphasis in bold letters mine]
If we deny our separated position, we may face the consequences given by God too. TAS reminds of the Old Testament when he said just before that excerpt:
Wherever God’s people forsook their separate position, Judgment inevitably followed, e.g. Flood, Baal-Peor (Num. 25) and the events of Judges. The other consequence was the utter frustration of the purposes of God, e.g. history of Israel.
Indeed, we have a wonderful God who loves us unconditionally. He is eager to bestow every really (!) good thing on His beloved children (see Js 1:17). But Jesus bought us with a price no human being could have ever paid but Him. So, if we are truly His who have been separated, sanctified, and redeemed by His sacrifice on the cross, where in our lives could there still be a place for following this world’s fleshly desires? The apostle Paul reminds the Corinthians about this by saying,
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Cor 6:19-20 ESV)
Brothers and sisters, let’s try to help one another to climb His (spiritual) mountain as we can see it in the picture I chose to illustrate this article. Although we need to leave a lot behind, i.e., all of our old self life, however, what we will get in return is God’s pure and joyful eternal life, even abundantly (Jn 10:10, 17:3).