10 Signs of a Christian – 3. Separation

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

17   “Therefore come out from them

and be separate,

says the Lord.

Touch no unclean thing,

and I will receive you.”

18   “I will be a Father to you,

and you will be my sons and daughters,

says the Lord Almighty.”

 

7   Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.  (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)

Learn it:

            In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he encourages his readers to be “yoked” to unbelievers.  The term “yoked” is not one we use very often today.  To be “yoked” together means that you and another person are entering into a contractual relationship together.  As a believer we should be hesitant to enter into partnerships with unbelievers in marriage or business. 

Why should we be separated in these types of relationships?  One, we will both have different values that we are pursuing.  Believers live in the “light” and unbelievers are in “darkness”.   Believers goal in life is to please God.  Unbelievers could be pursuing good things like bettering their community or they could be pursing their own gain.  A follower of Christ could be tempted to do the same and if you partner with someone who doesn’t share your values it will be harder to keep your focus on Christ.

A second reason we should be separated is because God commands us to in his Word.  Just like Israel was commanded to be separated from the rest of the world we too should live a life that looks different.  We have a special relationship with God and as we covered Friday, he wants us to be in a relationship only with him.  He wants us to be holy as he is holy.  It will mean we will have to sacrifice things, but it will be worth it.   

Live it:

            As with a lot of things in life, this is always easier said than done.  Separation will naturally create tension.  When we remove ourselves from certain areas of culture, we should do it graciously but also firmly rooted in our faith.  If people question our actions, we should take the opportunity to share our faith.  We must also be careful not to take this passage to the extreme and remove ourselves from every area of the world and have no unbelieving friends.  If we do that how can we be the light in the darkness?  Paul is focused on entering into partnerships, not relationships in general.  Examine your life and think about what it means for you to be separated from the world.  Are there areas in your life that need to change?  How can you be the light in the darkness? 


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