A Separated Life

by David and Stephen Olford

Text: "Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (2 Cor. 6:17).

Thought: Without separation there is no fellowship in the Christian life; and conversely, without fellowship there can be no separation in the walk and service of a Christian.  Consider:

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1. Motivations for a Separated Life: "O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels" (vv. 11-12). Paul had proved that his devotion to his Lord in a life of separation and service had not restricted his heart, but rather enlarged it. The Corinthian believers could sense this, for he had a heart big enough to receive them all in spite of their disgraceful behavior. Nevertheless, they had not reciprocated the love that he had lavished upon them, and discerning this lack he appeals to them to be "enlarged."

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2. Prohibitions for a Separated Life: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelieversbe ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing" (vv. 14, 17).  The Apostle Paul makes it quite clear in these verses that there are prohibitions in the Christian life. The first has to do with unholy associations that we must stoutly refuse. Loyalty to Jesus Christ leaves no room for any compromise with the devil. We should see to it that our lives are not desecrated by compromise with evil, whether in the areas of false teaching, the marriage bond, or in social and business life. The second prohibition relates to unholy contaminations from which we must withdraw. The apostle is reminding his readers that when God called His ancient people out of exile, they were to leave in Babylon everything that was unclean, taking only the sacred vessels of the Temple.  In similar fashion, when a Christian finds himself in a situation, which would defile and degrade him, he must remove himself at once, for God says, "be ye separatetouch not the unclean thing." God enables us to walk in the pathway of true separation and so fulfill the divine requirements.

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Thrust: The best of God's work can only be rendered by those who are prepared to come out' from sinful associations and be all-out for Him." 

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