Holy separation from the world!
Scripture reading for September 3rd: 2nd Corinthians 6:14-7:7
When one is reconciled to God and is filled with God’s love, the things of this world lose their attraction. The Holy Spirit begins the work of sanctification. This word ‘sanctification’ means being ‘made holy’ or ‘set apart’ for God. The Holy Spirit helps us to separate ourselves from the worldly influences and ways that we had before salvation. When we become a ‘new creation’, the old things pass away and new things come that are from God. (2nd Corinthians 5:17-18)
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” (2nd Corinthians 6:14-16a) Paul urged the Corinthians to not be yoked with unbelievers. He asked them questions with an obvious answer of ‘none’ or ‘nothing’ to emphasize their need to maintain separation and cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
They were now the temple of the living God. God lived in them and called them to be a holy and separated people! God wanted to be their Father and they would be called ‘sons’ and ‘daughter’s’ of God the Father. They would be known as the people of God. These promises of God were “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ Jesus! (2nd Corinthians 1:18) These promises should motivate believers at Corinth and everywhere to perfect holiness in reverence for God.
This process of holy separation is initiated by the Holy Spirit living in us. He is the Spirit of Truth who reveals Christ to us. He convicts of sin, righteousness, and the coming judgment. He reveals to us all that we are and have through our relationship with God in Christ. (1st Corinthians 2:10-12) As we study the word of God, we are also required to do our part in a response of faith. We put off the old ways of the world and put on the new ways of the Spirit.
“Do not be yoked with unbelievers!” Paul’s instruction and questions were for self-examination. Take a moment today and ask yourself the questions Paul asked. Are there unbelievers who are influencing you because of close associations? Take Paul’s advice today!