Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.2 Corinthians 6:17
God is calling his people to come out and be ye separate. What does it mean to come out and be ye separate, and from what should we be separate from? To be separate has to do with being clean, but it is much more than that. Separation is whatever is contrary to the will of God and to God himself. We are to be separate in our desire, motive, and act from what we were as sinners in this world. That is why the apostle Paul stated, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” [see 2 Corinthians 5:17]. When we came to Christ and confess our sins, we were reconciled back to God. Now we are to be separate and not go back to what held us in bondage. We were slaves to evil desires and made to be something other than what God had intended. The apostle Paul is pleading and preaching to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [see 2 Corinthians 6:14].
Paul exhorts to examples of light and darkness, righteousness to unrighteousness, and even Christ as compared to Belial, which is the devil. Lest we forget that the works of evil have the acts of violence [see Isaiah 59:6]. Let us remember that adultery, fornication, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, murders, envying’s, drunkenness, strife, and heresies are acts of evil and bring bondage. We are in the world but not of the world as Jesus spoke in John 17:14. The world system has people who are children of the devil, for they do not adhere to the righteousness of God. That is why we are to separate ourselves from anyone who does acts of evil. We cannot have fellowship with those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God. There is no compromise with God as there is in the world, for God provided the perfect sacrifice. Nothing can compare to the Son of God who came in the flesh, died, and arose from the dead. Through Jesus we have the ministry of being reconciled to God. We should not compromise in any form how we were reconciled.
No teaching or preaching that does not include God’s son as part of our reconciliation is to be allowed, for it is only through Christ that we might be made the righteousness of God. We did not work for this for God himself provided it. Any form of complicity or conformity is to be questioned if it is done behind closed doors. The body of Christ is to be transparent since they are reflecting the image of Christ for the world to see. Being separate is the state of not being involved in any illegal activity of wrongdoing. If we desire to have God receive us, we must separate ourselves from all things that would keep us from growing as a true child of God. God’s desire is to dwell within us and to walk with us. However, if there is anything we are holding unto in this world, He cannot be our God. The apostle Paul tells us to let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, [2nd Corinthians 7:1]. We must know the difference between what is clean and what is not. Anything that exalted itself against the knowledge of God is to be cast down. We are to bring every thought we have to the obedience of Christ [see 2nd Corinthians 10:5].
Having purged our minds from evil intentions is the key to being separate unto the Lord. Our conscience is to be clear in every action we take. I remember a pastor who conveyed the importance of separation from all evil things that are associated with witchcraft. He talked about a large number of youths who were involved with the practices of witchcraft in his congregation. He had a burning barrel set up so they can bring items out of their homes to burn in the barrel. They brought books, games, and anything else that was associated to witchcraft for burning. This was separation from what was evil. To some this may be an easy thing to do, but do not underestimate the evil power that controls human beings. There must be a surrender of oneself from doing these evil things. I recently read chapter 9 and 10 of Ezra when God’s people fail to separate themselves from the surrounding nations and involving themselves in the customs of pagans. Ezra was a priest, and pastor who read and spoke the word of God. Many had not heed to Gods commandments in regard to taking possession of goods and people of the unclean land.
In the case of Ezra who prayed to the Lord God and confessed the fault. Reconciliation was made not only through confession but separation as well. The people who were at fault had to put away the wives of foreign lands and anything else that was associated with the people of the foreign lands. There is a list of those repentant heads of families. This is a separation from what is unclean in the eyes of God. God is in the business of reconciliation and separation. Is it any wonder that God sent His son to reconcile the world unto himself? That is why the apostle Paul was pleading to the Corinthians. We are now ambassadors for Christ stated Paul that we should be reconciled to God. Put away the unclean act, idol, or anything else that is unclean and evil and be reconciled to God. Some of us may need to do some Spring cleaning on items in our homes as well as who we are associating with.
The promise of confession and separation is having a relationship with God. He will be our God and we will be His sons and daughters. We will be a temple of the living God in order that He may dwell with us and walk with us [see 2nd Corinthians 6:16]. We will have the peace of God in our hearts, and we will have the promise of our inheritance when the Lord returns. As some celebrate St. Patrick’s Day know that He received the calling of God to be an Apostle to Ireland. In this calling St. Patrick had to separate himself from his own land and heed the voice of God to go back to Ireland. St. Patrick knew what it meant to be a slave of evil since he was kidnapped by pirates, but God gave unto Patrick the ministry of reconciliation. Confession of sin and separation unto God was St. Patrick’s life. You can read about his confession at Confession | St. Patrick’s Confessio. Be assured that God calls every true Christian to confession and separation unto God himself. We are kept in God’s mighty hand and delivered from the evil one as Paul stated in Galatians 1:4:
Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.
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