Ephesians 5: 1-16 says, Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore, He says: Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
In England we have a state church called the Church of England. For many years the state has imposed its will on the Church of England and watered down the gospel of Jesus Christ. The problem with a country having a state church is that the governing bodies of the state can force and put pressure on the church to change. We see that in England today. The gospel preached in the Anglican Church is a politically correct message that does not call sinners to repentance, to be set free from eternal Hell. Over the years the established church in England has changed to fit the age we live in and thus fallen away from true biblical doctrine. The Church of England has accepted women bishops and other ungodly doctrines. The Church of England has no biblical grounds for accepting female bishops or women in position of leadership. The Bible clearly states in 1 Timothy 3 that a Bishop must be “the husband of one wife.” This means that a Bishop must be a male who is married only once. A Bishop does not have to be married, but if he is married, he is only to marry once.
The reason I bring this up is this. Firstly, is that in this country people view the Church of England as a Christian church. This is a very dangerous view in England as the power of the state has impacted greatly on our citizens. In order to have a belief that is Christian it must come from the Word of God. If our view comes from anything outside of the Bible, it does not have the approval of God.
2 Corinthians 6: 11-18 says, O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Therefore, Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.
Biblical separation is the believer realizing that God has called us out of the world and into His purity in the midst of a sinful world. God has ordained that His children should not involve themselves in ungodly acts but rather they are to retain a godly standard of behavior and virtue. Daniel is a good example of this. Daniel 1: 8 says, But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. A modern example of the separation that Daniel showed us would be to decline an invitation to a party where drunkenness and sin is promoted and to avoid areas were ungodliness prevails. This wise decision would be to the glory of God as you would abstaining from the appearance of evil as commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:22. We ought to put on Christ and not to fulfil the lusts of the flesh. Romans 13: 13 teaches us, But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
In 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 the Lord gives us the command to be separate and to not touch the unclean thing. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are to separate from evil and evil doers. Paul begins by saying to Christians be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers this applies to all parts of life such as marriage, friendship and other fellowships. There can be no righteousness in unrighteous company and there is no light in the darkness of sinfulness. There is no agreement with Christ and the Devil. The Apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians said Evil company corrupts good habits. Paul begins with the words, Do not be deceived. This clearly indicates that there are many that are deceived about this matter.
The church is a called-out assembly of God’s chosen ones. The true church of Christ must also be separate from false teachers and false man-made religion. The Church must rebuke falsehood and not compromise to suit the modern politically correct world. We must separate from cults and those who promote unbiblical doctrine, such as the Church of Rome. The true Church of God should separate from those who deny fundamental doctrines of Holy Scripture. Such as the deity of Christ, the finished atonement of Christ, salvation by faith through grace, and other doctrines that are not supported in Holy Writ. The true Church is made up of everyone who trusts in Christ alone for their salvation and is wholly depending on Christ’s sinless blood as the only payment for their sin. Those who are of the true Church must also display fruits of the spirit such as repentance.
Obeying the biblical teaching of separation does not mean we do not have any contact with unbelievers. We should befriend them without taking part of their sinfulness. Jesus was called a friend of publicans and sinners in Luke 7: 34. Followers of Christ are to be in the world but not of the world. The book of Proverbs has some wise words of wisdom on this subject. Read Proverbs 12:26, 13: 20, 22:24 and 24: 21.
The Word of God warns against those who call good evil and evil good. There is many woes unto those who partake in sinful deeds against God. The believer will do well to remember Titus 3: 9-11, But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.
Being separate from the world and evil is both God honouring and for our own good. We ought to live as followers of Christ and not followers of the world. Romans 12: 1-2 says, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”