Separate Yourself and Set Yourself Apart for God
As children of God, we need to separate ourselves from the world. We live in this world but the Bible tells us that we are not of this world. Jesus said in John 18:36 that His Kingdom is not of this world. 2 Corinthians 5:20 tells us that we are Christ’s ambassadors.
This means as born again believers in Christ, we are in this world but since we have been born into the Kingdom of God (spiritually), we are not of this world but of God’s Kingdom. In everything we do, we should remember that we are Christ’s representatives in this world.
“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life.” 2 Timothy 1:9 [NLT] What does “holy” mean? It means to be set apart or distinct for God. Our lives must be such that there should be a difference between us and the world. Romans 12:2 [NLT] says: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
This means we are to separate ourselves from the sinful ways of the world. This does not mean that we live physically apart from other people who are not believers, but we do not copy the way the rest of world behaves. At the same time, we need to love others, whether friend or enemy; Christian or not.
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.” Romans 12:9 [NLT] This Scripture sets out the basics of living a holy life. Let us look at it in more detail.
1. Love Others
How do we love others as the Bible commands? This kind of love is not a feeling, but a decision to treat others as you would like others to treat you, no matter who the other person is. In Romans 13:9-10 the Bible teaches us that to “Love your neighbour as yourself” means doing no harm to a neighbour. Jesus went even further. In Matthew 5:44 [NKJV] He said: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,…”
How is it possible to love others in this way when the world is full of conflict, hatred, strife, violence etc.? It is only possible when we bear (exhibit) the “fruit of the Spirit”, i.e. when our behaviour is influenced or led by the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 [NLT] says: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
For this fruit to be borne in our lives, we need to abide (remain) in Jesus first. Jesus said: “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in Me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.” John 15:4-6 [NLT]
How do we remain in Christ? By having a personal relationship with Him through prayer and by obeying His teachings in the Bible.
“Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.'” John 14:22-24 [NKJV]
It is when we remain in Christ that we will get to know God’s love and from our personal experience of His love, that love will be exhibited in our lives through the help of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 3:16-19 [NLT] says: “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” God’s power is manifested in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
2. Hate What is Wrong
This means we must hate what is against the word of God. “All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.” Proverbs 8:13 [NLT]
We live in a world in which there is increasingly no sense of right or wrong, but everything is acceptable, as long as it seems right in people’s thinking – if it feels right, it must be good. No regard is given to what the Creator of the universe has taught us about the choices we make in life. But the Bible teaches us that: “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” Proverbs 14:12 [NLT]
We must resist such negative influences in our own lives. 2 Timothy 3:2-5 [NLT] says: “For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!“
Who in your life do you need to stay away from (i.e. not allow them to get close to you so that you avoid their negative influence in your life)?
However, we must separate the sin from the person who commits the sin. As we are called upon to love others as we love ourselves, this means we must hate the sin but love the sinner! We cannot love the sinner but leave such person in their sin and not tell them the truth of what the word of God says. Matthew 5:13 [NLT] “You are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:14-15 [NLT] “You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”
Who do you need to tell the truth of God’s word to?
If you have read the above message and you have not even started your walk with God, let today be the day of the beginning of that walk with God by receiving Jesus into your life.
If you would like to receive the gift of salvation that God has for you today, make a decision in your own heart that you want to be forgiven of your sins and that you wish to turn your back on a sinful life. Believe in the Kingdom of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ [Mark 1:15]. The Bible says if you confess with your mouth (i.e. actually say it) that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead, you will receive salvation [Romans 10:9-10]. Salvation is open to any human being who calls upon the name of the Lord [Romans 10:12-13].
If you want to get saved right now:
First silently read the text in the paragraph below and make sure you understand it. It is a confession prayer you can use to get born again this very moment.
If in your heart you agree with the content of the statement below then, read it again, but this time say it with your mouth out loud as you read it:
“Father, I thank You that you sent Your only Son, Jesus Christ, to take my sins and my punishment. Lord Jesus, I believe that You died for me and that God raised You from the dead. Today I confess that You are my Lord and my Saviour. Father, forgive me of all of my sins. Thank You Father that today, by Your grace, I am born again, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Did you say the above prayer sincerely to receive Jesus Christ into your life? If so, please click on “yes” below to get guidance on what to do next.