September 2, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"Therefore come out from among them and be separate. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17-18
In the preceding verses, Paul emphasizes the need of separation of the clean from the unclean, the godly from the ungodly, and the just from the unjust. Unfortunately, some believers respond in a legalistic manner and take great pleasure in being “separated from the world.” They make this the criteria of “spiritual maturity,” when in actuality, they are simply taking pride in “their” accomplishment. Such an attitude comes through as being “spiritually superior.” Paul has something different in mind in these verses.
When we become a believer, God seeks to draw us to Himself, to an intimate relationship, that we may start our spiritual journey of BECOMING "conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29). Rather than focusing on being “separated from the world,” God wants us to be “SEPARATED UNTO HIM”…humbly responsive to His working. This growing process is HIS doing, not ours. HE is the “potter,” we are the "clay." He is the creator who now seeks to mold and fashion our life for His glory. We are “works in progress”…vessels being cleansed, shaped, and created to magnify His Name. We have no reason to boast of anything in our spiritual life…HE DOES IT ALL…“We are HIS WORKMANSHIP created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10).
Separation from the world, with all of its superficial allurements, is but a by-product when our lives are yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Being “sanctified” means to be “set apart” to the Lord, where HE is our authority. We surrender to Him “the right of control of our life” to His lordship. Paul says, “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).
The “creative development” of our spiritual life is the work of the Holy Spirit. He reveals to us an understanding of the Scriptures, “leads” us in the paths of righteousness, and “empowers” us so we may “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
God has given to us “exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we may be partakers of the divine nature.” These promises must be appropriated and applied, so they will be a reality in our daily walk, and produce sanctification and holiness in us. In direct proportion to what we claim and apply to our lives will be the sanctifying effects produced by them. In this process, we begin to mature in our faith and grow in grace…becoming like the image of His Son.
Separation from the world is often the effort and work of the flesh that manifests pride in its accomplishment. Sanctification is the opposite. It is a humbling decision whereby we surrender our heart and life without reservation…that God will make us what HE wants us to be. Sanctification is WHOLLY GOD WORKING IN US.
Dare to trust God to do His sanctifying work in you. You will be brought into a blessed, intimate, relationship with the Lord…blessed in walking in His companionship…and a steady growth in grace that will bring you to spiritual maturity. SANCTIFIED IN CHRIST. May the whole of your personality be filled with the Holy Spirit with the adequacy of Christ!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=246&date=2012-09-02
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