2 Corinthians 6:17-18 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.
Paul quotes more Scripture to support his key thesis in v. 14 that believers should not compromise with unbelievers. Our call to holiness is related to our mission of reconciliation. Verse 17 is a quote of the idea found in Isaiah 52:11 and Ezek. 20:34, 41. It may seem contradictory that we must separate ourselves from the world in order to engage the world in mission, but that is the best way to fulfill God’s purposes for us. God calls and commands us to be wholly sanctified to him. This will require that we remove ourselves from the control of the world. The world must not influence our morality. The Holy Spirit is our guide and reminds us of Scripture, teaching us the mind of Christ and writing God’s laws upon our hearts. Our inner persons are given fully over to God’s will and design for us.
That will mean that we not touch any unclean thing. There are many things in this world that are unclean. “Touch” may also include watching and listening. There is so much unclean influence upon us today. Every time we turn the TV on or go to the internet, popups and commercials, movies and trailers, seek to compromise our convictions. If we compromise with the world, God will not welcome us. Jesus warned the church of Thyatira in Revelations 2:18-29 about compromise with the world and becoming involved in sexual immorality. We can compromise at many levels. The small compromises may not seem that major but they can add up and cause the devil to get a foothold in our lives.
The key to this is relationship. Paul quotes 2 Samuel 7:14 in v. 18. This verse speaks of the welcoming God will give to those who do not compromise. They are brought into the close relationship of family. Adoption into God’s family is dependent in some degree by our holiness and rejection of sin. The new covenant relationship is about being entirely sanctified by God and to God. This will show up in how we live.
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