- Separation is no new doctrine. It is not the invention of the Free Presbyterian Church.
- We are not necessarily living a separated life just because we attend a separated church.
- Biblical separation is not limited to denominational affiliations. We cannot be separated unto God amidst apostasy. It is a doctrine which impacts upon the whole man, the whole of our life and behaviour.
- Here in this chapter we have clear teaching on separation.
Separation is, in essence, God’s purpose for all of His people.
I. SEPARATION IS THE WORK OF GOD IN THE LIFE OF HIS PEOPLE
“And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people. . . And ye_shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine,” Lev 20:23-24, 26.
The purpose of God for His people is one of SEPARATION!
1. In eternity, God in love, separated a people unto Himself. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love,” Eph 1:4.
2. In time, God, by the convicting power of His Spirit begins to separate His elect through convicting them of sin.“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment,” John 16:8. Acts 2:37.
3. Regeneration is an imparting life to a sinner and a separating him from their former deadness. “And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go,” John 11:43-44.
4. By the grace of God the believer is daily separated from sin.“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life,” Romans 6:22. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” Romans 12:2; Galatians 1:4; 5:22-25.
5. The final act of separation is our glorification. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is,” 1 John 3:2. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory,” Colossians 3:4. “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness,” Psalm 17:15. “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself,” Philippians 3:21.
II. SANCTIFICATION IS ADVANCED IN THE BELIEVER BY THE HOLY SPIRIT THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. . . And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth,” John 17:17, 19. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified,” Acts 20:32.
1. It is the Word of God that enables us to identify sin and thus avoid it. “And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them. I am the LORD which sanctify you,” Leviticus 20:8. Isaiah 59:13, John 4:23, Ps 119:54.
2. We must read and apply God’s Word daily. Psa 1:1-2
3. It is a spiritual washing. “That he might-sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” Ephesians 5:26. A daily, indeed, a moment by moment experience. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit,”1 Pet 1:22.
III. THE SEPARATED LIFE BRINGS US REPROACH
1. It identifies us with the Lord. He is the object of men’s reproach. “For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth,” Exodus 33:16. “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter,” Romans 8:36.
2. Everything that is the Lord’s men despise. “But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself,” Psalm 4:3.
3. The nearer we get to the cross the greater will be our reproach. “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach,” Hebrews 13:13. “Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used,” Hebrews 10:33. The world ridicules and sneers at those who are different, none mores than the Christian.
In order to avoid that reproach, many avoid association with Christ!
IV. HOWEVER, OUR COMFORT AND JOY DEPENDS UPON OUR SEPARATION
1. Holiness is the secret of joy. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful,” Psalm 1:1. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore,” Psalm 16:11. “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile,” 1 Peter 3:10. Fulness of joy is found only in God’s presence, Ps 16:11.
2. Sin offends God and brings His judgment. “Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out,” Leviticus 20:22. (18:25, 28). “The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth,” Psalm 34:16.
3. Sin wounds. “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul,” 1 Peter 2:11. “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition,” 1 Timothy 6:9.
V. THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF THIS SEPARATION IS THAT WE MIGHT BE THE LORD’S
“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine,” Lev 20:26.
Separation is a surrendering unto the Lord to live according to His Word.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” Romans 12:1-2. (Rom 6:13, 16, 19.)