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By Curtis Pugh


            Humans dislike being different from their peers. Whatever group we identify with we tend to be in most every way like them. We want to be accepted by them. But God calls upon His people to come out. Second Corinthians 6:17-18 says: “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.” The “them” are those who do not serve God.

            This passage is clear: the relationship of God as a Father to His “sons and daughters” - His receiving of them – hinges upon their coming out. Notice that in the Bible God either receives individuals or He does not. Today people emphasize trying to get spiritually dead sinners to “receive Christ” as if they have the ability to do so. Those who received (welcomed) Christ when He was here on earth did so because something had previously happened to them. John 1:12-13 explains it: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” If men and women were made willing and able to receive (welcome) Christ by the new birth when He was present bodily upon the earth, how much more now that a relationship with Him is a purely spiritual matter? Clearly the new birth is not brought about by anything the creature does. His will is not the cause. It is God who wills to birth sinners into His family.

            Paul wrote to a congregation these words: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” (Philippians 2:12-13). Some folk latch onto the first part of this passage and do not realize that the only way a person's inner spiritual experience bears outward fruit is because the Holy Spirit is working within the child of God causing him to “will and to do” what God tells us to do.

            And we are told to “come out from among them and be ye separate.” We are not even to “touch” the unclean thing: that which is sinful in God's eyes. After all, God is, “...of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity...” (Habakkuk 1:13). How can we then think that God will have anything to do with those who do not “come out, but continue to walk in harmony with the world? Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,” (John 10:27). Are you following the Good Shepherd?

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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