2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-71
SEPARATION – THE EFFECT OF HOLINESS
Clear, honest direction from the Psalmist. Because evil and good are opposites one cannot do good without departing from evil. This too, assumes that we are responsible for making judgments about what is evil and good. It is not sufficient to say it does not matter, or that is just a gray area. We are to be in the business of discerning evil and good so that we might know what it is we are to be departing from and what it is we are to be doing!
Proverbs 31:12 - She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She cannot do him evil if she is doing him good and she cannot do him good if she is doing him evil. They are forever separated.
Jeremiah 4:22 - For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
Again, evil and good are set in opposition one to another.
Isaiah 5:20 - Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Call evil good and good evil. In doing so we construct a large middle area that we call gray. I am convinced that modern Christianity (Baptists) have been unwittingly led away with postmodern thought. Postmodern thought is basically expressed in the concept that there is no objective standard. What is good for you is good for you, but it is not necessarily good for anyone else. Everyone is their own standard. The greatest offence in such an environment is indicating that someone is wrong or believing you are right. Well, such a philosophy may be acceptable to those walking in darkness but it should have no countenance among those who claim to be children of light. There is an objective standard, a divine standard. It is found in the Holy Bible. If the Bible says it is good, it is good for everyone. It does not matter what you think about it or even whether you understand it. It is not about understanding it is about obeying. If the Bible says it is evil it is evil for everyone. It does not matter what you think about it or even if you understand it. Again, it is not about understanding but obeying! Jesus said, "If ye love me keep my commandments."
Lamentation 3:38 - Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
There is no blurring of the antithesis with God. No evil and good proceeding out of his mouth.
Amos 5:14 - Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.
It is too bad that for most people evil and good is something that is just on the farthest reaches of the fringe, but in the practical areas of our lives it is all just one big gray area. What we wear, our hair lengths, our choices of entertainment, our speech, it just mostly does not matter. Modesty is whatever you think it is. Women cut their hair off as though God never spoke to the matter. We gorge ourselves on a diet of violence, sex, and worldliness in our entertainment all the while supporting an industry that is so totally against God that it should sicken us! Considering most people's choices for entertainment and music it is no wonder they have no discernment. They are so saturated with carnality in their entertainment that they would not know carnal living if it walked up and said, "Hello, my name is Carnal." Carnal? What's that??? I know, I know I am being legalistic and judgmental.
Matthew 7:18 - A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Note the antithesis. Note the strength of the connection. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit. A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit.
Romans 12:21 - Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.They do not coexist. They are at eternal enmity with one another. One must always be overcoming. One always is overcoming. If you have afforded yourself the luxury of living in a spacious no-fire zone (gray area) then you do not have to be overly concerned with which is overcoming. After all with your philosophy it really does not matter. In fact maybe you've become so complacent that you don't even think you philosophy matters. You just want to be in a live and let live world. That is a very comfortable position, at least until judgment day!
Holy and Unholy
Leviticus 10:10 - And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;
Ezekiel 44:23 - And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
Here we are told that not only are we to discern between holy and unholy but that God's leaders are to teach God's people the difference between the holy and the profane and cause them to discern between unclean and clean. That means that the minsters of God are to instruct in righteousness and also the principles of discernment that help us to see clearly what is holy and unholy. We are to deal with the issues and specifics and the principles underlying the issues.
Much of the problem today is a weak pulpit. So much of the preaching today is so shallow, and vauge, and general, and weak, and cowardly that it has no capacity to stop the encroachment of compromise in the churches. Our women dress like men and cut their hair like men. Our church members watched the latest hollywood movie on Saturday evening, and in many cases it is likely that their pastor did too. The people are saturated in contemporary christian music, rock music, country and western music. And no one calls them to account. Thus we continue the slow drift toward spiritual lethargy listening to the siren's song of grace, grace. And this in spite of the fact that the Bible says in:
Titus 2:11-14 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
So, in the end we will learn that the siren's song of grace, grace was in reality the Wicked One lulling us into complacency and turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness.
By the way O, man of God Titus 2:15 says, These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
May God once again visit the pulpits of this land with a fire from heaven that will devour the stubble and that will ignite the flames of piety, passion, and holiness; without which no man shall see the Lord!