“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,”
Many people will separate themselves from many things because of something they want to do. An athlete will stop eating certain foods because they want to perform at their peak ability. A young couple will separate from friends because they love each other and want to get married. In both of these instances, the purpose of separating was so that they could do something better.
In the verse above, Paul said that he was “separated unto the gospel of God.” In other words, he purposely lived a separated life so that he could spread the Gospel better. There were certainly things that he could have done that would not have been bad, but for the sake of the Gospel he separated himself from those things so that more people would get saved.
Many Christians are afraid to talk about the doctrine of separation. So many worldly preachers have shamed people into being silent about separation. The fact is that the Scriptures teach the importance of separation. Anyone who avoids this doctrine is only shunning part of the Scriptures and not helping others to do what God wants them to do. Let me point out several observations about separation.
First, separation is not a dirty word. Everyone lives a separated life, but they just live it to different levels. Anyone who says that they don’t believe we should talk about separation is only showing their hypocrisy, because everyone practices separation to some level.
Second, separation of itself doesn’t make you a superior person. The purpose of separation is to do what the LORD wants you to do better. A Christian separates from the world because worldly living will keep you from performing God’s will to the ability that you can perform it. Separation isn’t a badge to wear on your chest to show everyone how great you are, but it is done because you have a cause that is worthy of you separating from the world.
Third, you will never obey God’s will without living a separated life. God demands that you separate from things so that His will can be done in your life. For instance, God’s will for my life is to be a preacher of the Gospel. Some things are not exactly wrong for me to do, but they would keep me from doing His will to the best of my ability. Likewise, God has a will for you, and you will never be able to perform it to the best of your ability without separating from the world. The whole reason you must come out of the world is so that you can do God’s will for your life.
Fourth, separation will keep you from sin. The purpose of separation is to do God’s will, but the result is that it will keep you from sin. You come out of the world so that you can serve the LORD, but coming out of the world keeps you from the world’s temptations. Yes, living a separated life will keep you from sin, but the purpose is so that you can do God’s will for your life.
Fifth, separation will bring greater attention to the Gospel. Paul was separated “unto the gospel of God.” When you live a separated life, it will not point people to you, but it allows people to see you so that you can point them to Christ. Don’t let the purpose of your separation be so that people look at you; rather, use it to show people the Gospel of Jesus Christ.