Date: June 14, 2020 (Sunday AM)
Bible Text: Ezra 9 | Steve Damron
I would like to expand on a couple of points that we stressed last week in the area of separation. Our text passage last week in Ezra 9 and 10 dealt with the concept of separation for the nation of Israel. They were God’s chosen people, and in Exodus 34 and Leviticus 7, they were given very specific instructions about intermarriage with heathen nations.
There are three Scriptural distinctions that I would like to expand upon in this area of separation. I believe this will help you in your study of Scripture. You must then define the people that God is talking to and make application.
There is a separation that exists for the nation of Israel, for the New Testament church, and then for the individual Christian.
- The Nation of Israel was supposed to be: - Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 14:2; 26:18-19
- Peculiar people
- Holy nation
- The Church f God is supposed to be : - Ephesians 5:27
- Without blemish
- The Christian is to be - Titus 2:14; I Peter 2:9
Now compare three Scriptures that reference each of the three distinct types of classes of separation. List out the common phrase that is found between the texts.
- Isaiah 42:6-7 "for a light of the Gentiles"
- Acts 13:47 "for a light of the Gentiles"
- Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men"
Therefore, the job description for Israel, the church, and the individual Christian is to be a light to a lost world. In order to do this job, each must be a holy and a peculiar people.
When separation or standards are discussed in our modern culture, many Bible believers offer excuses that seem to hold some merit at a very shallow level. I would like to consider a few ideas to help you to see their shallowness when it comes to separation. The shallow excuses start to fall apart considering a more thorough study of Scripture.
- Excuse 1: “That was Old Testament.” - 2 Timothy 3:16; Malachi 3:6
- Biblical Response: Christ only quoted Old Testament
- Excuse 2: “We are not under the law; separation was under the law.”
- Biblical Response: Moral law still remains the same
- Excuse 3: “Standards promote legalism.”
- Biblical Response: "Legalism" is never found in the Bible
- Excuse 4: “Separation is mean-spirited.”
- Biblical Response: It may sound harsh, but holds the Biblical line
- Excuse 5: “Most separation issues are non-essential.”
- Biblical Response: While separation is not essential to salvation, it is important for a God-pleasing life.
I have included a lot of additional study material under each issue to help clarify some of the position of why we should have standards and forms of separation in our lives as believers. Hopefully, you can take the time to advance your Biblical stance and understanding of why separation from the world and separation to the Lord is an essential part of our sanctification here on this earth.