Friday, July 22, 2011


I began this series by expressing the importance of Christian unity as a powerful witness to the authenticity of the message of the Gospel (Jn. 17:21-23). I then mentioned the necessity of separation in order to spread the Word throughout "Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). I also said that the Church must break fellowship with an unrepentant brother (Matt. 18:15; 1 Cor. 5:1-13, etc.). And then, for the rest of the eight posts in the series, I tried to show the importance of "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). Today, I would like to give another example of when division is a necessary thing.

Just as the Church is to "excommunicate" unrepentant sinners from its fellowship, it is also important to remember that the Church is to be a light unto the world, and is to have no fellowship with darkness (Matt. 5:14; Eph 5:3-14). We are to be in the world, but not of the world:

"And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth" (John 17:13-19).

The Greek word translated, "sanctified," is ἁγιάζω (hagiazō), which means "to be set apart for God's service." The Apostle Paul had this to say in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 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. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will share a few more ways the Bible says division is necessary.

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