Text: 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Chronicles 19:2

The failure to separate from sin and unbelief invokes God’s anger and wrath. When Jehoshaphat aligned himself with the ungodly Ahab, God sent Jehu the son of Hanani to warn him – “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.” (2 Chr. 19:2) Jehoshaphat’s trysts with Ahab resulted in his son Jehoram marrying Ahab’s daughter Athaliah. This is the same Athaliah who sought to exterminate the royal seed of David after the death of her son Ahaziah (2 Kings 11:1). This is the tragedy of compromise. Compromise never pays.

On the other hand, there is great reward for those who practice biblical
separation. Two such rewards are highlighted for us:

  1. The Blessing of Fellowship – “I will receive you” (v.17). The picture of the word “receive” is of a welcome being extended to a friend or guest.
    Here, it refers to God welcoming into a gracious fellowship with Him.
  2. The Blessing of Sonship – “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6:18) When we obey the command of separation in faith, we get to experience the fullness of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. He knows our needs and will take care of us. Just like Daniel and his three friends who were blessed by the Lord as they refused to be defiled with the king’s meat (Dan. 1), so too will the experience be for the saint who is committed to remain undefiled for the Lord’s sake.

“The doctrine of separation is a doctrine of preservation. Like white blood cells in our body that seek and destroy any invading virus or bacterium, separation keeps the Church pure and free from false teachers and heresies.” (Tow and Khoo) Let us therefore keep ourselves pure for the Lord. There is great spiritual reward for them that do so.

THOUGHT: Compromise never pays.
PRAYER: Lord, let me be devoted to a life of holiness.

Text: 2 Corinthians 7:1; James 1:27

Paul brings a fitting conclusion to his grand treatise on separation. Firstly, he directs the mind of the readers to the great spiritual blessings installed for those who are committed to separation. Those who obey God will experience sweet fellowship with Christ. They will also experience the care and guidance of God the Father which is reserved for His children. Surely the theological basis of separation and the blessing attached to the command ought to grip the hearts of God’s children to pursue after purity!

Paul then proceeds to exhort the Corinthians to “cleanse” themselves “from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit”. This cleansing brings in mind the ceremonial cleansing in the Old Testament from ritual impurity. Whenever God’s people were ceremonially unclean, they had to confess their sins and purify themselves before entering his presence. The terms “flesh and spirit” would indicate how ceremonial purity alone would not suffice for the Old Testament worshippers – they must also be pure of heart and conduct. Thus, they must come before the Lord with a humble spirit, confessing their sins. It is only in purity that they can meet with the Lord. Similarly, the Christian who must also be of clean hands and pure heart if he desires to approach God.

Paul then concludes that every Christian should be “perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord”. “For if the fear of God influences us, we will not be so much disposed to indulge ourselves, nor will there be a bursting forth of that audacity of wantonness, which showed itself among the Corinthians. For how does it happen, that many delight themselves so much in outward idolatry, and haughtily defend so gross a vice, unless it be, that they think that they mock God with impunity? If the fear of God had dominion over them, they would immediately, on the first moment, leave off all cavils, without requiring to be constrained to it by any disputations.” (Calvin) Let us then be committed to a life of holiness, for the Lord saith, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16)

THOUGHT: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15-17)
PRAYER: Lord, gr ant me a pure and sincere hear t for Christ.