Whenever we discuss the concept of holiness in Christian lifestyle, the obvious cannot be overstated. True holiness is NOT a human accomplishment. We understand that our righteousness efforts are as “filthy rags” unless God extends HIS righteousness to us as New Testament believers. - Isa 64:6
That said, we also recognize that to assume we have no responsibility to clean up our lives as a result of God’s work of grace, would be foolhardy as best. While trying to avoid running off the “right side” of the road into legalism, the modern American religious community over corrected and instead, veered to the “far left” side of the road, into a “cheap grace” sort of mindset that has all but abandoned the idea of needing to change anything. The result has been devastating. Once strong congregations, have now become weak and are closing their doors or merging almost weekly. Most of the remaining have watered down their message until they have become more like fellowship lodges, rather then the true counter cultural agencies God intended the church to be. The devil doesn't care which side of the road you run off… there are dangerous trees on either side!
The Apostle Paul asked 5 penetrating questions when discussing how to strike the balance of interacting with the world of unbelievers. He kept asking the same question from different angles. After stating we should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, he asked; “What fellowship, What Communion, What Concord, What Part, What Agreement, does the church have with unbelievers?”
2 Cor 6: 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And 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. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Paul concluded that the world and the church cannot be inter mingled in lifestyle simply because they are headed in two different directions. His summation was COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE. So whatever that means, we need to figure it out.
We do not implement separation practices in order to gain God’s favor, (we already have that)
But rather, we do these things BECAUSE we are HIS! Because of the grace we experienced in the new birth, we now desire to live our lives based on things we believe please Him.
The video series below is a 8 part series taught over 12 Wednesday nights in 2014 from the pulpit of Norfolk Apostolic Church. (some sessions were 2 weeks) I encourage you to watch them in order, if possible, due to the progressive nature of the series. I pray you will be challenged to grow deeper in your walk with God by this teaching. And remember, a few decades ago, these issues were commonly taught, but culture has changed so drastically that these ideas seem archaic to some. But we DO have a reason of the hope that is within us. In the end, you may or may not agree with the positions we have taken… but I believe you will respect how we arrived at them. =) ENJOY!