Separation from…

Separation from Worldliness

According to John 15:19, the believer is IN the world, but ought not to be OF the world, because the Lord has chosen us OUT of the world. Separation does not mean we must move into a compound or hide from everyone who is unsaved! The Lord has set us free from our old masters (the world, the flesh, and the devil) and has given us the power to live a life of righteousness that honors and pleases Him. So why should we desire to remain attached to the world system from which we have been delivered? John commands us, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…” (1 John 2:15). The “world” is the ungodly world system in which we live. As citizens of heaven, we must not become attached to the things of the world nor gain affinity for the world’s ideas, philosophies, and programs that oppose God’s Word. John goes on to give three reasons for our separation from the world in 1 John 2:15-17. Continue Reading “Separation from…”

People of the Light

As believers, we are called to fellowship with God who “is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we separate from whatever is “darkness,” that is, whatever is in direct opposition to His nature and will for our lives. Separation from error and those walking in error is essential for our spiritual well-being and our usefulness in service for our Lord. “…Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:19b-22)

Although the doctrine of separation is prominent throughout the Scripture, difficulty arises when actually attempting practice this truth. In some cases, it is very easy. For example, to reject the false doctrines of the cults is not too difficult and does not usually involve any great sacrifice. However, many believers have difficulty understanding and obeying God’s command to separate from churches or ministries that have compromised or failed to follow God’s Word. Yet God’s directive concerning evil is the same whether the sin is found outside or inside the church. Continue Reading “People of the Light”

What is the Function of the Church?

The Bible clearly reveals the purpose of the local church through precept as well as example in the New Testament. As members of the church, the body of Christ, we need to understand what God desires concerning the purpose and ministry of the church. To fail to understand this has led many local churches into programs and practices that are not in accordance with the Word of God. We find from the Bible four basic purposes for the church today. Continue Reading “What is the Function of the Church?”

How Does God Give Direction in the Details of Life?

When we come to the New Testament searching for how God would have us make decisions, what categories do we find?  Rather than directions on how to discern the individual will of God we are given principles of decision making.  Rather than pointing us to hunches, inner voices and promptings, we are pointed to scriptural guidelines that enable us to make wise choices to the glory of God.  The New Testament paints a picture of a believer who knows and obeys Scripture, indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit, and who has been given a mind whereby he is able to think, reason, discern and choose.  He is an individual who is quite capable (due to regeneration, the Scriptures and the renewing of his mind) of making wise decisions which please God.  It is for these reasons that God does not call for Christians to make subjective choices based upon what they “feel” God might be telling them.  Rather we are to be students of the Word, knowing how God wants us to reason and choose based upon principles He has given us.  Continue Reading “How Does God Give Direction in the Details of Life?”

The Blessings of Suffering

Whatever happens to us, we can be confident that it is for our ultimate good and God’s glory. At times, this may be hard to see or understand, but it is reality. Notice a number of blessings from suffering in the Scriptures:

  • Suffering softens your heart towards God’s Word
    “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” Psalm 119:67
  • Suffering opens your heart to make you more teachable
    “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Psalm 119:71
  • Suffering teaches you to be compassionate
    “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  • Suffering strengthens your heart to make you more mature
    “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4
  • Suffering humbles your heart
    “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” 2 Corinthians 12:7
  • Suffering shows our weakness so we can rely on Christ’s strength
    “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Suffering makes you desire eternal things
    “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18