“. . .come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord” (II Corinthians 6:17).
World: (Gr. Kosmos, from Komizo): An orderly arrangement
There is a dichotomy to which we must give attention in the vital areas of our lives. The world, the flesh; the Kingdom and the Spirit. We commonly hear said, “we are in the world, but not of it” and the Scripture, “For though we walk in the flesh (our bodies), we do not war (walk) after the flesh” (II Corinthians 10:3). There is a coming out of the natural order (the world) to live in a greater and higher order, (the Kingdom).
This change of order was announced from the beginnings of the Gospel with John the Baptist who shouted, “Repent! the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). This was followed by the coming of Jesus, Who said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Two voices announcing a change, a coming out of the old order into something new.
Living in the world and being comfortable with that cosmos, that orderly arrangement is antithetical to life in the Kingdom and in the Spirit. This is the reason for the imperative “come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord”. This exclamation of the Apostle in his letter to Corinth follows a passage of comparisons he was making in his Epistle: “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? and what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (II Corinthians 6:14-16).
The point of departure from the world to the Kingdom is the Cross of Calvary. The Apostle identified with the Cross so intimately that it became to him his coming out and coming into his new life. As he wrote to the Galatians: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14). In our vernacular we would say, “The world is dead to me, and I am dead to the world.” That is a coming out to the max.
Jesus used the example of the master/servant relationship and declared: “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). The world and the Kingdom fit the same analogy. Which master will you serve?
Coming out gives us our center of being. We place ourselves under the control of the Spirit and release ourselves from the control of the world. This is a powerful deliverance from bondage into the freedom of the sons of God. The Apostle emphasized this in his first Epistle to the Corinthians: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power/authority (control) of any” (I Corinthians 6:12). This world has control and power over so many. Coming out and being separate unto God is true release into liberty, indeed.
Come out! Separate yourself to God. This powerful command comes with a wonderful promise if we are willing to obey: “I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:17b-18). Oh, the glory of it all.
Come out from among them. . .today!