DAY 13 Christianity: A Separated Life

Thus far this sermon has purported two truths concerning Christian separation. (1) God separates Christians at salvation by imparting His holiness to them (2) Christians are to separate themselves unto God by sanctifying themselves – by living holy lives.

At this point I think we all understand that separation from the world is essential to the Christian faith. James straightforwardly declared any faith that was not accompanied by works dead. See James 2:20. I think a major part of the works of faith has to be spiritual separation – separation of the believer from this world.

Surely there are many Christians who, like myself, know Christians who are not living the separated lives that faith requires. There could be several reasons for this but perhaps the most common is they just have not felt the importance of Christian separation. How important is separation?

1. Separation is validation of one’s faith. A Christian knows whether or not he/she is actively and ardently seeking to separate from the world. A Christian should also realize that the degree of their separation dictates their degree of usefulness to God.

2. Separation is a witness to the lost. Lost people will not detect or be impressed by our faith if we are not a separated Christian. It is the difference in character and lifestyle that captures the attention of the lost. We can tell them how faithful we are but separated living is the “proof of the pudding.” We cannot entice lost people to want what we have if we don’t have something different and better.

3. Separation is preparatory for heaven. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14 We must possess holiness if we wish to gain heaven. That holiness comes from sanctification. Sanctification is received from the Lord at salvation and further gained from our personal conduct of faith.

This closes our sermon, Christianity: A Separated Life. If I have adequately presented the matter we have come to know: (1) God separates believers unto Himself at salvation by granting them a state of holiness. (2) Christians are to separate themselves unto God by sanctifying themselves. This is done through living holily.

In our next meeting we will begin another sermon. Until then may GOD BLESS YOU…

DAY 12 Christianity: A Separated Life

In our last devotion we learned that God demands Christians to separate themselves unto Him through personal sanctification. We also were shown specific ways by which are to separate from the world. Today we wish to discover how Christians can to separate themselves from this world and unto God.

We begin with these words of Paul to the Roman Christians. “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, acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

In verse 1 Paul instructed Christians to “present your bodies a living sacrifice.” We should first understand that our “body” is the whole person: body, soul and spirit. The word “present” here means to give or to yield. Christians are to give themselves wholly to God for His service and use.

In verse 2 Paul admonishes Christians to “be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Christians are not to conform themselves to this world. That means we are not to pattern ourselves after the people of the world. I wish it were not true but it seems that Christians are copying the attitude and ways of the world more and more.

To combat conformation to this world we are told to “renew our mind.” How do we renew our mind? We bring our thinking, both morally and spiritually, in line with the Word of God. Naturally, in order for us to do that we must first know the Word of God so that we can direct our thinking. Again, it seems increasingly noticeable that Christians have the same mind as those of the Word.

I believe that constant application of Romans 12:1-2 will make separated Christians for God and Christ. However, I also believe that we cannot transform and renew ourselves without proper assistance. That assistance is found in:

1. The Holy Spirit. “…Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16 If we let the Holy spirit lead us we will not conform to the world and our mind will be more Christ like. We will agree with God, Christ and the Word.

2. God’s Word. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17 Jesus prayed this to the Father. According to Jesus the Word of God will sanctify us (make us holy) and provide us with the truth. The more of the Word we have in us the less we will be conformed to the world.

Today we saw how Christians are to separate themselves from the world and where our help is for accomplishing it. Much has been said about Christian separation. Tomorrow we will note the importance of Christian separation. Until then may GOD BLESS YOU…

Day 11 Christianity: A Separated Life

In this session we search the truth that Christians are to separate themselves unto God by personal sanctification.

Aren’t you glad that God sanctified you (declared you holy) at salvation? God’s holiness is what separates Christians from the lost world. What some of us may not know is that God’s declaration of our holiness is not the end of the matter. Christianity is an ongoing pursuit of personal sanctification or holiness.

Here is a fitting quote from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. “Thus sainthood, or sanctification, is not an attainment, it is the state into which God, in grace, calls sinful men, and in which they begin their course as Christians.” Notice: sanctification is a state in which “they begin their course as Christians.” This course is one of continual growth in personal sanctification or holiness.

1. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.” I Thessalonians 4:3-4 We are to remain sexually pure thereby sanctifying ourselves before God.

2. “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.” II Corinthians 7:1 We are to cleanse (purge) ourselves of all fleshly lusts which will allow us to be holy in the sight of the Lord.

3. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct or lifestyle)” I Peter 1:15 God commands Christians to be holy by their own manners, conduct or lifestyle.

If we are separate ourselves unto God by personal sanctification there are some things we must avoid. Here are three Bible verses that identify them.

1. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” Titus 2:11-12

2. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness…?” II Corinthians 6:14

3. “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” II Thessalonians 3:6

In the above three verses we are instructed to: (1) avoid ungodliness and worldly lusts (2) not to be wrongly associated with unbelievers (3) to disassociate ourselves from misbehaving Christians. Because of our innate sinful inclinations this is not always easy but it is necessary if we want to be the separated Christian God would have us to be.

Today we learned that as Christians we are to sanctify ourselves by living holily before God. Tomorrow we will learn how we can accomplish the act of personal sanctification. Until then may GOD BLESS YOU…

DAY 10 Christianity: A Separated Life

Christianity surely is to be a Spiritual separation from the worldly life. Yesterday we learned that separation from this world comes at salvation because God sanctifies us. He imparts His holiness to us making us an image of Himself. We further learned that God rightly has ownership of us because He created us to be engaged in good works – righteous works.

Though we are granted a holiness status with God at salvation there are several sources of holiness from which we must continually draw. The Bible lists these sources of sanctification as:

1. Jude 1 reads: “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father…” James addressed his letter to “them that are sanctified by God the Father.” We cannot be saved except God sanctify us (make us holy) at salvation.

2. I Corinthians 1:2 reads: “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them which are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” Paul speaks of Christians as being “sanctified in Christ Jesus” which makes them saints or holy ones. The more like Christ a Christian becomes the holier he is.

3. I Peter 1:2 Peter writes to the: “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit…” Peter sees believers as God’s elect (chosen) by sanctification (being made holy) by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead so therefore must be holy. Our holiness is proportionate to the amount of control we give the Holy Spirit.

4. John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Jesus prayed to God the Father for His disciples. He asked God to sanctify the disciples by the truth which is the Word of God. Surely we understand that the more of the Word of God we know and the more it rules us the holier we will be made.

Praise to our gracious God who amply provides what Christians need – sanctification or separation by holiness. We now know that sanctification is provided by God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Word. Christians ought not lack sanctification with the abundance and power of these sure sources.

When God surveys humanity from on high He sees two vastly different groups. The first is the lost people. These are void of God’s sanctification. They have not been set apart by God’s holiness. The second group is the saved people – those who have been sanctified (made holy) by God at salvation. In which group are you?

This finishes Part 1: God Separates Christians Unto Himself. As we continue tomorrow we will hear how Christians separate themselves unto God. Until then may GOD BLESS YOU.

DAY 9 Christianity: A Separated Life

Christians experience a fundamental but monumental change at salvation. It is sensed immediately but later understood with some learning. That change is a spiritual separation from this world due to God’s grace in sanctification. To be sanctified is to be made holy in the likeness of God the Father.

With salvation comes God’s imputation of holiness to every Christian through His sanctification. Without sanctification there would be no separation from this this sinful world. Without sanctification we would remain unholy – remain lost. Thank God for sanctification by which He ascribes holiness to the believer.

Following is a quote from W.E. Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. “Sanctification is that relationship with God into which men enter by faith in Christ…and to which their sole title is the death of Christ.” Upon one’s placement of faith in Jesus Christ God graciously grants a new relationship with Him by His sanctifying power. That new relationship is one of holiness.

While praying to the Father on behalf of His disciples Jesus admitted that believers were no longer considered part of this world – no longer to be counted among the lost. Jesus prayed these words to the Father: “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:14

A change of ownership happens when God sanctifies a believer with His holiness. Because we assume the likeness of God by receiving His holiness we become His property. Our life is no longer ours. It belongs to God. We are all familiar with the words of the Apostle Paul written to the church at Corinth:

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” I Corinthians 6:19-20 The Christian’s body, mind and soul belong to God.

There is a very good reason Christians belong to God. We are His creation which gives God undisputed ownership. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 Not only did God create us but He created us to perform good works for Him.

We have seen: (1) that at salvation God separates Christians unto Himself through sanctification. (2) Because of sanctification we take on the likeness of God and become His property. (3) God created us as Christians for the single purpose of doing good works.

Our next session will talk about the various sources of sanctification. Until tomorrow may GOD BLESS YOU…

DAY 8 Christianity: A Separated Life

This begins a new sermon titled, “Christianity: A Separated Life.”

Logically we begin with an INTRODUCTION which opens with these three assertions:

1. If there is one term that defines a Christian it is separated. God graciously and miraculously separates Christians from the world at salvation. However, it is also required, as we will see, that Christians separate
themselves from the world.

2. If there is one thing that faith demands it is separation. Faith separates believers from unbelievers. God knows who has faith and who does not but the world must detect our faith through Christian separation.

3. If there is one thing the world needs more of it is separated Christians. The lost need to see a different people than themselves. They need to see God living in separated Christians.

The disparaging truth is:

1. Christians are mingling with rather than separating from the world. Imagine how many Christians there are who are never recognized as being a Christian? Even worse, they don’t let on they are a Christian. Could that be because they really are not?

2. Separated Christians are becoming a scarcity in the world today. Many causes may be advanced for this but the basic reason is they are not walking in the Spirit as the Bible directs us.

3. The worst is the fact that the position of “spiritual separation” is losing favor with Christians in these last days. Christians are too fond of the things and ways of the world which John warned us against. I John 2:15-17.

The separation to which we refer is that of sanctification. Sanctification implies holiness. To be sanctified is to be holy. To be holy is to sin not. We will learn much about holiness and how we obtain it in this sermon.
Believers are called “saints” no less than 62 times in the New Testament. Saint means a sanctified or holy one. At salvation a saint receives God’s imputed righteousness which permanently separates us from the world – from the lost. In this sermon will learn of separation by sanctification and how it is acquired.

Tomorrow we will address how God separates Christians unto Himself by sanctification. Until then may GOD BLESS YOU…