A Difference Maker

 “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.”  II Corinthians 6: 17

Commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior calls for and enables there to be a radical, miraculous “new birth” that begins a lifetime of sweeping moral renewal and transformation.

Our text issues a clarion call for followers of Jesus to be different. Yet studies indicate there is little difference in the conduct of Christians and non-Christians.

When a person is truly saved, they have a new nature. Spiritually they are “born again.” Yet, they still reside in a body with the same glands and appetites that has forged old habits. Habits, good or bad, are hard to break. Most new Christians are not made aware of the spiritual conflict that prevails between the old sin nature and the new spiritual nature. The same old allures exist, but now there is a call to new life with its fulfilling new pleasures.

To enable more moral victories it is imperative for the new Christian to assess the pattern leading to their former indulgence in sin. Know what is the initial instinctive invitation to sinful indulgence. That is, what leads to a sin. Then this thought should be forged  into your mind: “If you are not going into the house stay off the porch.” That is, take counter efforts to avoid sin by avoiding the allure before it becomes a desire. In a different context a favorite saying of Barney Fife is appropriate, “Nip it, just nip it.”

To avoid snake bites don’t play with snakes. To avoid sin don’t play with it.

Don’t be surprised by the thought of sinning. Some persons are concerned that because they have the temptation they are guilty of sin. Only when the thought becomes consensual is it sin. Luther, the reformer said, “You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building their nest in your hair.”

A currently popular concept that was prevalent when the Book of Romans was written was that since God’s forgiveness of sin made Him look good, let’s really make Him look good by sinning all the more. Scripture addresses that concept: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6: 1, 2) 

English versions are kind in translating it, “God forbid.” The Greek word so translated is “meginomai.” With the transliteration being “from haven to earth NO.” This calls for us to come out from among them and become a people separated in mind and motive, separated in action and attitude – separated unto God. We are to have a mind-set that is from God, with a heart that is for God, and severed from the corrupt thinking of today. Believers are therefore a peculiar people, peculiarly the children of God.

We will always be among non-believers, but are never to be of non-believers.

The gospel of grace says “come as you are,” however it demands that you do not remain as you were. You are a new creature in Christ. Not only is a butterfly different in form from a caterpillar, but in conduct also. Butterflies unite.

Stay off the porch. If you are on it, get off of it, now. Enjoy the victory.