One defiled. Can these two forces co-exist?
Do you think that the devil and God share living quarters, talking about their differences of opinion? Do you think they share conversation about how they "agree to disagree" regarding their lifestyle choices? No. They are in opposition to eachother. They are not equals, God is far superior. God is Creator and the devil is created. They will not both exist ad infinitum for God will throw the devil and hell into the lake of fire. Light will prevail, darkness will die. Holiness will triumph and evil will vanish.
This is why Jesus says to His people:
"This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous."
(Matthew 13:49 NIV84) But what is righteousness? It is following Jesus. What is following Jesus?
Following Jesus means that you enter into two separation agreements.
Agreement #1: Separated FOR Holiness.
Whatever is "Yes" and "Amen" in Jesus is now "Yes" and "Amen" in you. Everything in Jesus is holy in all matters of the heart, the mind, the thinking, behavior, attitude, affection, desire, action, language, inclination, etc. Perfected in purity and holiness. Jesus in the exact representation of the Father, and we are to be the exact representation of Christ. The beauty of this is that all power needed to be separated for Jesus comes from the gift of the Holy Spirit. Holiness is power and power and holiness. Love is holiness and holiness is love. To be Christian without holiness is not Christianity at all. To be in Jesus without being entirely separated apart for Him is to not be in Him at all. Jesus and the Father are one. When we are one with Jesus we are one in the same way, or not in any way.
Agreement #2: Separated FROM Sin and the World.
Jesus never participated in sin although He conversed with sinners. His purpose was to show Light in the darkness and holiness in the midst of worldliness. Being in the presence of the messiness of sin while maintaining a separation from participating in the mess is the essence of Jesus. Holiness in the midst of the darkness is what Jesus is all about and if we are in Him, it must be what we are all about as well. Separated out from the world's ways even while we are yet in the world.
Do you follow Jesus?
Have you signed agreement #1 to be set apart commpletely for Christ and Christ Alone? Is everything in you in alignment with the Yes and Amen of Jesus?
Have you signed agreement #2 to be separate from the world's ways? Have you shunned sin and all of its devastating effects?
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
(Hebrews 12:14 NIV84)
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.