Separation" is most often associated with Thomas Jefferson’s phrase "separation of church and state," (which by the way, is NO

     Separation is most often associated with Thomas Jefferson’s phrase "separation of church and state," (which by the way, is NOT found in the Constitution of the United States of America). This is referred to as Political Separation and is not the topic of this lesson.  The doctrine we are addressing here is Personal Separation, and it is a Christian’s devoted response of gratitude for that which God has done for him.  The Scriptures say, "We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).  Separation is a distinctive that has been historically held by Baptists.  Separation has to do with the way we live, the way we conduct ourselves as a people of God.  Its emphasis is on holiness because God has said, "Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16).  Perhaps the most important element of this study is attitude. Desire holiness because God wants it for you; it is the fruit of your life in communion with God.  A spiritual Christian will become a holy Christian, but not a "holier-than-thou" Christian.  Holiness is God’s righteousness in you; "holier-than-thou" is self righteousness – the antithesis of God’s desire.  We are living in a world of rapidly declining moral and spiritual values.  This decay is seriously affecting Christians and churches to the point that it is often difficult to tell Christians and non-Christians apart.

 

I.      EXACTLY WHAT IS MEANT BY "SEPARATION?"

A.     Four Scriptural Words of Similar Meaning

1.     When the Bible says that God is holy, it means He is "set apart" from all His creation in righteousness.

2.     When we say the Bible is holy, we mean it is "set apart" from all other books.

Sanctification, separation, holiness, and saints all have the basic meaning of being "set apart".

3.     When we are taught to sanctify the Lord in our hearts, this means we are to set God apart from other gods.

 

 

 

B.     Two Aspects to Separation in Our Lives

                POSITIONAL SEPARATION

In Christ, I have been set apart unto God.  (Hebrews 10:10) "…we are S__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ O__ __ __ for A__ __."

PRACTICAL SEPARATION

As a Christian, I am to live as set apart unto God. (1 Peter 1:15) "But as he which hath called you is

H__ __ __, so be ye holy in A__ __ manner of conversation;"

C.     Two Important Directions of Separation

Separation Is Two Sides of One Coin

(Romans 12:1) "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

(Romans 12:2) "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

It Is Separation To THE LORD And Separation From UNGODLINESS!

 

II.     WHAT IS THE BASIS OF PRACTICAL SEPARATION?

A.     The Basis of God's Nature

1 Peter 1:16 says "Be ye __ __ __ __; for I am

__ __ __ __."

B.     The Basis of Redemption

Read 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 and complete the following:

1.     "Ye are not Y__ __ __ O__ __."

2.     " Ye are B__ __ __ __ __ with a P__ __ __ __ ."

3.     "Therefore G__ __ __ __ __ __ God in your

B__ __ __ and in your S__ __ __ __ __ which are G__ __ ' __.”

 

 

C.     The Basis of Regeneration

According to 2 Corinthians 5:17…

1.     Christians are described as being N__ __ creatures.

2.     Old things have P__ __ __ __ __ A__ __ __, that is, the former way of living, the way you used to act, react, think, former sinful patterns of living.

D.     The Basis of God's Word

Scriptures such as 2 Corinthians 6:17 plainly instruct us to "come out from among them and be ye

S__ __ __ __ __ __ __.”

 

III.     SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD

A.     According to John 15:19, the believer is IN the world, but ought not to be __ __ the world because the Lord has chosen us O__ __ O __ the world.

Separation is not Detachment and Isolation –

Practical separation does not mean we are to enter into a secluded life and have nothing to do with unsaved people.  Jesus interacted with lost people daily and was censored for it by religious hypocrites.

(Matthew 9:10-13) And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. {11} And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? {12} But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. {13} But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

B.     According to 1 John 2:15, the believer is to

"L__ __ __ N__ __ the world, neither the

T__ __ __ __ __ that are in the world."

When the Bible speaks of "the world" in this sense, it

 

 

does not mean the creation of God, His material provisions, and so on.  It refers to the "world system," which is the dominion of Satan.  1 John 2:16 defines the world (in its bad sense) as:

1.     The L__ __ __ of the F__ __ __ __.

2.     The L__ __ __ of the E__ __ __.

3.     The P__ __ __ __ of L__ __ __.

C.     1 John 2:17 teaches that doing the W__ __ __ of God is the most important and most enduring thing we can do.

D.     According to James 4:4, worldliness is spiritual

A __ __ __ __ __ __ __.

In James 4:4, what does God call a friend of the world?

                                                                                       

It is not logical that one can love two opposing systems – good and evil, God’s and the world’s.

E.     Romans 12:2 instructs us to be "not

C__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ to this world."

F.     How does James 1:27 define pure religion?

(James 1:27) "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself

U__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ from the world."

G.    A worldly Christian is one given over to pleasing the "flesh," the old sinful nature.  The works of the flesh are listed in Galatians 5:19-21. Make a note of them below:

                                                                                               

                                                                               

                                                                               

                                                                               

                                                                               

                                                                               

                                                                               

                                                                               

                                       

 

(After making the list above using your Bible, look at the end of this lesson for a short definition of each of these sins.)

 

IV.    SOME AREAS OF PERSONAL SEPARATION

Separation governs personal behaviors, and affects such areas as what I see, where I go, what I do, how I look, what I say, whom I run with, and so on.  Does your personal behavior conform to the precepts and principles of God’s Word?  You will notice that this lesson does not attempt to give you a list of do’s and don’ts; rather to give you a spiritual outlook from which you govern your own life.

A.     Things I Will Allow My Eyes to See

The Principles

1.     Psalm 101:3 says, "I will set N__ W__ __ __ __ __ T__ __ __ __ before mine eyes."

2.     Job 31:1,7. In these verses we learn that Job made a C__ __ __ __ __ __ __ with his eyes never to look upon evil.

3.     Why should we guard what goes in our "eye gate?"  Consider what Lamentations 3:51 says, "Mine eye A__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ mine

H__ __ __ __ …."

The Application

This area of personal separation will make a difference in your life in the areas of:

·                   Reading Material (Books & Magazines)

Filthy and pornographic publications (whether printed or in cyberspace) violate Christian purity.  Magazines that promote or major on horoscopes, fashions, and romance do not edify.

·                   Television Programming (and videos)

The most important TV control is the "OFF" switch.  The garbage that can be brought into your home, the laziness it promotes, and the influence it exerts

 

 

over young minds requires one to have firm parental control and wisdom.  Select your entertainment wisely.

·                   Worldly Amusements

Amusements such as Hollywood movies (with arousing marquees, large sensual posters of upcoming attractions, intermission highlights from other movies), and more, do little to foster spiritual growth; in fact, they actually draw one away from having a pure heart and mind.

B.     Places I Will Allow Myself to Go

The Lord Jesus may come at any moment, and we should never be embarrassed to meet him.  In 1 John 2:28 God says, "And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be A__ __ __ __ __ __ before him at his coming."

There are places where Christians ought not to go, such as, nightclubs, adult bookstores and entertainment centers, dances, discos, casinos, and so on.

C.     Things I Wear

Fashion is a difficult issue because it goes through cycles of extremes – from crazy to conservative, from short-short to ankle length, from modest to mini, from appropriate to provocative.  The Bible gives instruction in this area, however, attitude and desire for spirituality determines whether or not a Christian will judge himself or herself and submit accordingly.

1.     Clothing makes a statement regarding the kind of person you are, what is in your heart, what your philosophy of life is.  Read John T. Molloy’s secular book, Dress for Success, for ample proof that your clothes reveal who you are.

(Proverbs 7:10) "And, behold, there met him a woman with the A__ __ __ __ __ of an

 

 

H__ __ __ __ __, and subtle of heart."  Her clothing identified the nature of her heart.

Clint Collins quotes Norman Karr of the Men’s Fashion Association who says, "More new fashion ideas come from loose women and gay men than any other place." Why?  "These people are more concerned with the sexual inferences they make with their clothes."

"The tight jeans look that has made Gloria Vanderbilt rich, he (Karr) said, was born when designers noticed that the streetwalkers of Paris had adopted skintight jeans and high heels."

– Today (magazine of the Philadelphia Inquirer)

May 4, 1980, pages 18-22, 39

2.     The standard for Christian women is

M__ __ __ __ __ clothing. 1 Timothy 2:9 says, "…that women adorn themselves in modest

A__ __ __ __ __ __…."

3.     Bare thighs are equated with nakedness.  In Isaiah 47 God is pronouncing judgment upon Babylon for her wickedness.  Though He is using symbolism in this passage He states in Isaiah 47:2-3, "make B__ __ __ the L__ __, uncover the T__ __ __ __ … thy N__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ shall be uncovered…."  Revealing a woman’s legs by uncovering her thighs is tantamount to nakedness.

Caution Ladies:  Men are enticed by the sight of a woman's body (hence the use of scantily clad females in advertising).  When a woman wears short dresses and skirts, or any tight-fitting, shear, or low-cut clothing, the shape of her body is accentuated and is provocative to a man.  Christian women should not stimulate other women’s husbands by such fashions.  See: Matthew 5:28 and 1 Thessalonians 4:4-7.

 

 

 

 

What about pants and slacks on women?

Current fashion dictates that women wear pants as an acceptable means of dress.  Is this the wisest adornment?  Consider the following:

·                   The Bible teaches that from the beginning God intended men and women to be distinctly different. In Deuteronomy 22:5 the Lord forbids "unisex," "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."

·                   "Approximately twenty-five years ago, the female began to adopt the life-styles of men, to demand men’s work-patterns, to participate in masculine activities, and to wear masculine apparel."  Close-Up (a research presentation by the American Broadcasting Company [ABC]), June 25, 1977

·                   "The adoption of clothing of the opposite sex was forbidden because it obscured the distinction of the sexes and thus violated an essential part of the created order of life."  (Genesis 1:27), Walvoord & Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, O.T., page 301

Women should dress like ladies; men should dress like men.  God made men and women sexually different, but mutually attractive.

4.     Boundaries in choosing clothing

·                   Is it morally reflecting that which is pure?  Or is it suggestive and tempting?

·                   Does it reveal my masculinity or femininity?

Clothing Summary

Christians, as imitators of God’s holiness in a world that doesn’t understand Him, must give careful consideration to their clothing. Discernment is greatly needed by God’s people.  God’s people in every culture and generation must carefully apply the principles

 

 

and boundaries listed above.  What is obvious is that during the 1960’s and 70’s a social revolution took place.  A part of it was the throwing off of the yoke of distinction between male and female. That is clear from the quotations referenced above by secular writers speaking of society in general.  Was that revolution of God?  Of course not, it was perpetrated by people who were anti-God and His created order.  Does God approve of it?  Of course not; He indicates in Deuteronomy 22:5 that there ought to be a distinction between the sexes regarding apparel and in 1 Corinthians 11:14-16 He declared that the length of a man and woman’s hair ought to reflect their God-appointed place.

Fundamental Christians in the 1970’s rightly denounced that rebellion for what it was and called upon God’s people to support the maintenance of God’s created order.  Today’s culture is different from the 1960’s.  Pants have lost the image of being distinctively male attire.  Many ladies who include slacks in their wardrobe are not doing so in rebellion against their femininity.

There is always the need to teach people what has happened in history and support the God-ordained principles of morality and gender distinctions.  How does the world distinguish between the male and the female?  Just look at the restroom signs…

 

Pants

 

Dress

 

Woman

 

Man

 

 

It is easy to discern which is the Men’s restroom and the Women’s restroom.  How do you decide which restroom to enter?  The picture of the woman is wearing a dress and the picture of the man is wearing pants.  Can you imagine how difficult it would be to choose if both pictures were wearing pants?

 

5.     Another fashion issue is the style and length of men and women’s hair.

A general biblical guideline is…

(1 Corinthians 11:14) "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a

S__ __ __ __ unto him?"

(1 Corinthians 11:15) "But if a woman have long hair, it is a G__ __ __ __ to her: for her hair is given her for a covering."

How long is long and how short is short?

Rather than pushing the guideline to the limit, out of submission to God exhibit behavior that is beyond question.

6.     The length of hair and the manner in which you dress can be determined by the terms “modesty” and “identity”.

a.     Modesty is dressing in a way that does not draw attention to you.  If a person cannot look you in the eyes while talking to you, but their eyes are drawn to some part of your body because of your clothing, you are not dressing in modesty.  As a Christian, our clothing is to point people to God, not to ourselves.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

(1 Corinthians 10:31)

        To glorify God is to draw attention to Him and not to us.  One of the first questions that a defense attorney will ask a young woman in a rape case is… “What were you wearing?”

b.     Identity is dressing to identify you with a certain group of people.  If a man wears a dress and has long hair, he is identifying himself as a woman.  I approached a person

 

 

in the mall that had long hair and before HE turned around, I had called HIM “Miss”.  I didn’t know that he was a man because his hair was long and in a ponytail.  A lady ought to dress like a lady and a man ought to look like a man, but not according to the world’s standards but according to God’s standards and His Word.

D.     Things I Say

James 3:2-13 is a classic passage on the use of your tongue.  Read it and fill in the blanks.

"And the tongue is a F__ __ __, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body…."

"But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly

E__ __ __, full of deadly poison."

"Out of the same mouth proceedeth

B__ __ __ __ __ __ __ and C__ __ __ __ __ __. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."

Ephesians 4:25 says to put away L__ __ __ __, and verse 29 instructs us against C__ __ __ __ __ __ speech.

Colossians 4:6 says, "Let your speech be alway with G__ __ __ __, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

Don’t be content thinking, "I don’t lie and I don’t curse." A maturing Christian uses speech to edify and encourage others.  The sins of lying and cursing aren’t committed near as often as gossip, slander, exaggeration, and speaking God’s name vainly (such as using it as an exclamatory statement, "O my God!" when scared or excited).

E.     People I Partner With

1.     According to Psalm 1:1, a man is blessed when he "walketh N__ __ in the C__ __ __ __ __ __ of the

U __ __ __ __ __ __ ."

 

2.     According to 1 Corinthians 5:11, we are not to keep C__ __ __ __ __ __ with Christians who are worldly and backslidden.

NOTE: The Bible does not advocate that we completely ostracize our wayward brethren.

3.     According to Proverbs 22:24, we should steer clear of the A__ __ __ __ man.

4.     Read Proverbs 9:6; 13:20; 14:7; 23:9.  We should avoid close associations with F__ __ __ S.  Why? Read Psalm 14:1; Proverbs 1:7; 12:15; 14:9.

5.     We should not listen to a T__ __ __ - bearer (Proverbs 16:27-28; 18:8; 20:19; 26:20-22; 2 Thessalonians 3:11; 1 Timothy 5:13).

How Do I Handle a Gossip?

The best way to control a gossip is to say something like: "Just a moment.  Let's both go to the person you are talking about, and we'll hear what you have to say together!"

F.     What I Think About

This area of personal holiness deals with an inner quality rather than outward behavior.  No one can see what you think about – but God!  Most times the battle in the Christian life is lost or won here.

1.     Read Philippians 4:8 and record the things God says to think about.

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                       

2.     A wise poet wrote,

Sow a thought, reap an action.

Sow an action, reap a habit.

Sow a habit, reap a character.

Sow a character, reap a destiny.

What you think about determines what you do,

 

 

what you become, and how far you go in life. Think righteous thoughts, not impure and lustful thoughts.

3.     Memorizing Scripture greatly helps a thought life.  Reread lesson N (Necessary Food) and start implementing it if you haven’t as yet.

 

V.     SEPARATION IN CLOSE PARTNERSHIPS

A.     2 Corinthians 6:14 warns Christians against being unequally Y__ __ __ __ together with

U__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.

B.     The greatest application of this principle is in the area of marriage.

1.     It is wrong and dangerous for a Christian to date and marry a lost person.

2.     This unequal yoke is predicated on these relationships: (Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

“For what F__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ hath righteousness with unrighteousness?  and what

C__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ hath light with darkness?  And what C__ __ __ __ __ __

(agreement) hath Christ with Belial? or what

 P__ __ __ hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever)?  And what A__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ hath the temple of God with idols?”

C.     Christian men will save themselves much time, heartache, and money by following this biblical principle when seeking business partnerships.

 

VI.    THREE EXCUSES CHRISTIANS USE FOR NOT LIVING SEPARATED LIVES

A.     “Other Christians don't have your standards.”

It is true that some Christians see nothing wrong with rock music, worldly fashions, questionable amusements, etc. – but that doesn't make them right.

 

 

Study the Bible and form Bible-based convictions; then live by them.

James 4:17 says, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do G__ __ __ , and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

B.     “The most important thing is to win souls, and to do this I have to be acceptable to the lost.”

Wrong!  You need to be acceptable to God.  Ephesians 5:10 says, "Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord."

A holy Christian that is filled with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, self-control, and compassion will have NO TROUBLE winning people to Christ!  You don’t evangelize by being like unsaved people, but by being like Christ.

C.     “I have liberty in Christ.”

True, but liberty is not license.  Liberty is the freedom to do right – never the freedom to do anything!

1.     According to Galatians 5:13, we are not to use our "liberty for an occasion to the F__ __ __ __ ."  Our liberty is not to be used as an excuse for enslaving habits.

2.     1 Corinthians 6:12 says we ought not to be brought under the P__ __ __ __ of any.

3.     Our liberty is restricted to the things that

E__ __ __ __ (1 Corinthians 10:23).

4.     Liberty is not an excuse for hiding sin.  It is not to be a "C__ __ __ __ of

M__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __" (1 Peter 2:16).

5.     According to 1 Corinthians 8:9, our liberty is not to be a S__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ - __ __ __ __ __ to a weaker Christian.

 

VII.   HOW DO I TAKE THE QUESTION OUT OF THE QUESTIONABLE?

Here are some biblical principles to consider in determining what acceptable and unacceptable Christian behavior is.

(These principles are applied to a variety of issues in the X lesson.)

A.     Look Up!

(Colossians 3:2) "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

1.     Does the activity violate a direct command from God?

2.     Will God be glorified through my participation in it?

3.     (1 Corinthians 10:31) "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

B.     Look In!

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? {20} For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

1.     What effect will it have on me?

On my body?

On my mind?

2.     How would I feel if Christ returned while I was involved in this activity?

3.     Would I want everyone to know that I did it? (John 3:20)

4.     Can I pray and thank God for it?

C.     Look Out!

(1 Corinthians 8:12) "But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ."

1.     What effect will it have on the unsaved?

2.     Is this activity an appearance of evil?

3.     What effect will it have on the saved?

4.     Will it cause my brother to stumble?

Carefully examine your life in light of God’s Word contained in this booklet.  Don’t create a list of Do’s and

 

 

Don’ts to try to be spiritual.  Spirituality is the condition of and communion of your heart toward God.  Love Him and live above reproach.  Don’t condemn other Christians in the process; they may not see things exactly as you do.  Make sure that your standards are in accordance with the Word of God.