Summary: God has designed His believers to be distinctive without being stuck up. The lesson learned from this Scripture is how to be in the world but not of the world.
What is This Thing Called Separation?
Griffith Baptist Church – 12/21/08
Text: Nehemiah 13:1-6
Key verse: Nehemiah 13:3 - Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
Premise: God has designed His believers to be distinctive without being stuck up. The lesson learned from this Scripture is how to be in the world but not of the world.
Vance Haver said “We are not to be isolated but insulated, moving in the midst of evil but untouched by it. Separation is contact without contamination. Jesus was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26), yet He was “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34).”
Not to many preachers or people want to touch the subject of separation.
Most of it comes from a misunderstanding of what separation actually is.
Sometimes we can take separation too far and remove ourselves, and consequently our influence from the world.
o These kind of people won’t even associate with other Christians who believe the same doctrines of the Word and preach the same Christ
Most people go to the other extreme, not being separated at all
o They look like the world
o They act like the world
o Sometimes they will even use the worlds language and philosophy
Is there a proper perspective? Yes.
God has one, and Jesus demonstrated it.
Discuss the text
Let’s see what we can get from the Scripture concerning the proper view of separation so we find ourselves where God intended us to be:
1. The People of Separation - 1
A. God’s chosen people
i. The redeemed
ii. 1 Peter 2:9 - But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
a. We are distinct – different from the world
b. We are designed – to show God and what He can do in one’s life
B. God’s children
i. We are a part of God’s family and a such are His children
ii. Galatians 3:26 – For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
iii. The responsibility of the children:
a. To obey
b. To learn
c. To grow
d. To honor
2. The Purpose of Separation - 2
A. It is the way of wisdom
i. Maybe you think about my preaching sometimes like this minister I heard about. He gave an unusual sermon one day, using a peanut to make several important points about the wisdom of God in nature. One of his members greeted him at the door and said, "Very interesting, Pastor. I never expected to learn so much from a nut."...
ii. Proverbs 9:6 – Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
B. Because we should have nothing in common with the world - 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 - 14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
C. Because we are holy – 1 Peter 1:14-16 – 14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
D. Because we represent God as Ambassadors - 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 - 16Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.