2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
The Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul gave the Christians at Corinth a truth about holiness they needed to practice. Holiness is developed by practicing separation from all that defiles and contaminates His holiness. Separation is: from something (whatever is contrary to God) and unto something (God, His Word, and His ways). Separation doesn’t mean from total contact with evil in the world. It means separate by not conforming or complying with its influence. Separate in desire, motive, and acts. Jesus was separate, but He still was in contact with the evil of this world. The word “separate (v.17),”according to Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament means to set apart; to mark off by bounds; to determine a limit; to sever. The word “touch not” means to not fasten to; cling to; lay hold of; or kindle a fire. We’re not to let the things of this world and evil fasten, cling or get a hold of us or warm anything in us.
He then adds clarity as to how totally separate by asking a series of questions?
What fellowship (partnership/sharing of/partaking of) hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
What communion (participation/having in common/common sharing in) hath light with darkness?
What concord (harmony/sounding together) hath Christ with Belial?
What part (portion, lot, and destiny) hath he that believeth with an infidel?
What agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
The answer to all is NONE. There is a clear-cut distinction and separation.
The fact that there is a Heaven and a Hell and the vast differences between them speaks to the fact of what God thinks of separation. Having the facts stated in these promises, “…ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people… and I will receive you.., and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters,” it was their responsibility (not God or the preacher) to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.
Do you realize that everybody practices separation and separates from something? Everybody sets themselves apart from something and unto something. People who don’t separate from what God says to separate from are making a choice to separate from people who do. The only difference is what and who they separate from. Everyone separates from something.