Biblical Basics - #6-6
[While this topic will be my own work, I would commend to you the following:
“Be ye holy” - The Call to Christian Separation by Dr. Fred Moritz, Bob Jones University Press, Greenville, N.C., 1994]
Paul, a servant/bond slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
The following is drawn from the “Christian Life Study Outlines” from the Bible Student Edition, the Holy Bible with Personal Study Guide by W. S. McBirnie, 1975
The Abundant Life (Joh. 10:10) is accessible only through faith in Christ as personal Savior (Joh. 3:15) and in yielding completely to the in-dwelling Holy Spirit. Only this life leads to victory in Christ! Paul, in the “Christian Constitution”, his letter to the Christians at Rome, delineates the dual aspects of Separation, the one Positive and the other Negative. To be “separated to the gospel of God” (Rms. 1:1) you must be separated from “anything contrary to the perfect/complete will of God. ”
(2 Cor. 6:17)
In separation (sanctification/setting apart) for salvation and service, the Christian need look only to his Word of God, his Bible. This “sword of the Spirit” is able to separate the believer from sin (Joh. 17:17) [the negative aspect] and God the Heavenly Father is able to separate the believer unto “the coming of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. ” (1 Thes. 5:23) [the positive aspect]
Ephesians 5:24-27 details how God the Son is able to separate the believer unto righteousness, “not having spot or wrinkle”[the 'Holy transfer transaction'] . 2 Thes. 2:13 notes God the Holy Spirit having the power to separate the believer unto salvation and service.
The following has been noted elsewhere; it's import marks it critical to reiterate:
“Without being separated, you can have relationship with God, but you cannot have fellowship with Him. You may be united to Him in Calvary, but separated from Him in sin (Isa. 59:1,2). Without separation, you can have influence without power, movement without achievement, you may try, but not trust; serve,but not succeed; war, but not win. Without separation unto God from sin,your whole Christian life will be “wood, hay, stubble. ”
The abundant life is made possible by the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and made a reality by being separated unto Him.
The concept of separation originates in Genesis chapter three with the “fall of man” simultaneous with the initiation of mankind with the “wiles of that old serpent, the Devil. “
Gen. 3:1 - “Yea, hath God said...?”
Created man was initially “sinless”, innocent because he knew no sin and there was no “target” to miss, no law he had to keep. Further, his “fellowship” with God had been unbroken, his motives had been to please his Creator who made him in His image (Gen. 1:27) consisting of body, soul and spirit.
The above four words, “Yea, hath God said” introduces the first, the primary “innocuous” strategy of Satan, that of questioning, not to clarify or make certain what God really said but with the motive of causing doubt and therefore separation in the mind of Eve.
Gen. 3:4 - “Ye shall not surely die. ”
The second strategy of Satan is the lie; contradiction of what God said salved over with “a good reason” - “...your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (v.5)
The lie is further put over on Eve when, at least physically to her discovery, she “didn't die!” Moreover, she ate and gave to Adam and, lo and behold, he also ate and “didn't die! With both of them having known the Will of God, to keep the first “law of God” which was “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:17) and having “transgressed/passed over and gone beyond” this first law, the separation had gone from motive to actuality; spiritual death had occurred and God had to deal with the issue.
With “the knowledge of good and evil” present in Adam and Eve comes the next concept of Sin, that of “buck-passing” or blame shifting. Adam blames his wife, Eve, and indirectly God (“...whom thou gavest to be with me...”) (vs 12), Eve blames the serpent, and indirectly God (“...the serpent beguiled me...”) (vs 13) who could have prevented it, and vs. 14 – 19 God presents “the Curse” upon the serpent, (v.14,15) upon the woman, (v.16) and upon Adam (v.17 – 19).
The consequences of Sin and Depravity resulting from Adam's Sin (he was “...put in the Garden...to dress/cultivate and keep/guard it... (Gen. 2:15) are:
the ground is cursed producing thorns and thistles (v18)
sorrow and regret shall be a part of living off the land (v17)
sweat and toil shall be a part of consuming the products of the land (v19)
being “spiritually dead”, Adam returns to the ground being dust originating and returning to dust (v19)
God “mercifully” expels Adam from the Garden “lest he put forth his hand...take also of the tree of life, ...eat, and live forever.” [spiritually dead!!] (v22)
In Paul's second letter to the Christians living in Corinth, chapter 6 and verses 14 through 18 the Holy Author has his amanuensis write:
v14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what
fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what
communion hath light with darkness?
V15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that
believeth with an infidel?
V16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are
the temple of the living God; as God hath said,
I will dwell in them, and walk in them: and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
V17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye
separate. Saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean
thing: and I will receive you.
V18 and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons
and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Having therefore these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse
ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness
in the fear of God.
How is this “holiness” possible, the “cleansing from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit”? What is entailed in believers being “yoked together”, “fellowshipping” together, communing together, having concord/agreement together? In short, how do we go from the spiritual, and therefore physical separation of God and man in Genesis chapter two to this high and lofty requirement of God written to the Corinthian Christians by the apostle Paul of “cleansing” and “perfecting/completing holiness in the fear of God?”
This is the great “New Deal”, the cry of Ecumenicalism; as Rodney King cried “Why can't we all just get along?!” Even now such as Glenn Beck and countless others are striving to incorporate “the Church” into the fray of the “NWO”, the “New World Order” realizing that man is after all, a “tripartite” being of body, soul and spirit. What God “mercifully” accomplished in Genesis chapter two man is attempting to “undo!!”
Countless hundreds of professing Christians have “climbed over the wall rather than entering through the gate” as noted in Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress'. Known only to God are those who “playing the Christian game” find themselves repeatedly rebuffed, carried about by ever wind of doctrine (Eph.4:14) coming to “the head, even Christ” (v15b) to find the rest and peace no amount of hand holding and singing “Kumbiya” can bring.
Christ, the Savior says:
“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest -
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and
ye shall find rest upon your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Mat. 11:28-30
Separation and Reunification comes down to the basics:
Man sins because he's a sinner (Rms. 3:9 – 20)
God is Holy (Isa. 43)
God the Son (Jehovah saves) (the Messiah, the Anointed One) – Jesus, the Christ , born of a Virgin (Luk. 2) was “born to die” (v29-32).
Christ's cry “It is finished” on the cross (Joh. 19:30) completed all that needed and could be done for God's perfect Work of Salvation
Man's surrender, repentance, confession and acceptance of this precious substitutionary “Gift of Blood” ends his separation from the thrice Holy God
This Reunion makes possible 2 Cor. 6:14-2. Cor. 7:1!
Continual confession of sin of the Christian permits forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness (1 Joh. 1:9)
The key question for us then is as was asked by Christ himself:
“Whom say ye that I am?”
Christ declared “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh to the Father but by me!”
The Antichrist is one who opposes Jesus Christ or one who puts himself in the place of Jesus Christ. 2 John 7 notes:
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.
Denying this “Only Way”, whether out of pride, fear, indecision, denial or rejection relegates you to proceed on your natural path to the Way of Destruction.
SURRENDER!! The freedom so many have known can be yours!! End the separation between yourself and a loving, heavenly Father before it's eternally too late!