The truth of separation.
Separation in the Scripture is twofold.
1. From whatever is contrary to the mind and will of God.
2. Unto God Himself.
The underlying principle is that it is impossible for God to fully bless and use any of His children who are in compromise or complicity with evil.
1. Separation from evil implies:
a. Separation is desire, motive, and act from the world and the evil world system.
b. Separation from false teachers—vessels of dishonor. (2 Timothy 2:20-21; 2 John 9-11)
2. Separation is not from contact with evil in the world or the church, but from complicity and conformity to it. Verses 16-18, John 17:15, Galatians 6:1.
3. The reward of separation is the full manifestation of the divine
A. Fatherhood of God (verses 17-18)
B. Unhindered communion and worship (Hebrews 13:13-15)
C. Fruitful service (2 Timothy 2:21)
Worldliness brings the loss of these.
As always, the Lord is the model of separation. He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:26). At the same time He was in contact with sinners for their salvation.
See 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Paul exemplified Christ’s example in the matter of commitment to the will of God and separation from the world’s system.
1. He was no man’s slave, yet He made Himself everyone’s slave, that He might win more men to Christ.
2. To the Jews, he became a Jew that he might win Jews to Christ.
3. To the Gentiles he became a Gentile that he might win them.
4. To the weak he became weak that he might win the weak.
5. In conclusion, he says, “I have been all things to all men, so that by every possible means I might win them for Christ.”
While doing all this for God, he never compromised one iota of principle to the evil world of the world’s system.
The effect of the first letter was being felt in the assembly. Things were being rectified. Paul, as God’s co-worker, urges the believers to use the grace of God to continue the cleansing process. Now is the appropriate time, now is the day of deliverance from sin and evil.
V. 3-Paul is doing his part; he is living a blameless life, at great inconvenience, so that his service would not be discredited.
V. 4-In the following ways we commend ourselves to you as true servants of God. Then through verse 10 he tabulates certain experiences which would prove beyond all doubt that he was a servant of God.
Due to the influence of false teachers, there were still some in fellowship who were reticent to receive Paul and his apostolic authority. Many had reservations.
Verses 11-13 are an appeal to such.
“Our mouth is open to you, we are hiding nothing, keeping nothing back; and our heart is wide open to you. There is no lack of room in our hearts for you, but you lack room in your hearts for us. By way of return then do this for me, as my children open wide your hearts to us.”
V. 14-Be ye not unequally yoked etc.
Christians are new creations and therefore must not be united with dead unbelievers.
1. Fellowship = sharing, participation.
2. Communion = close relationship (as in marriage or with God).
3. Concord = what harmony is there between the holiness and purity of Christ and the wickedness and impurity of Satan?
4. What part or portion = suggests a deep sharing of things in common. What can a person who accepts the Faith have in common with one who rejects it?
5. V. 16-What agreement = what common ground can there be between the temple of God and a heathen temple?
Paul reminds the Corinthians that they are God’s temple. Quote 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.
V. 17- Paul now urges the believers to take certain actions.
1. Come out
2. Be ye separate
3. Touch not the unclean thing
The result of such actions:
1. Those who follow will be welcomed and received by the Father
2. Have fellowship with the Father
Chapter 7:1-The conclusion of the matter.
Having these divine promises of blessing, we should cleanse ourselves from everything and everyone who contaminates the body and the spirit.