Separated and Brought Near
Context of v11-22: The unity of the corporate body of the Church
v11-13 all are brought near through the blood of Christ and not by any effort of man.
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Audience: All the Saints
Content: Both Jew and Gentile are brought near by the blood of Jesus
Context: We are a unified church, not separated by nationality
Comparison: 1 Peter 2:1-12 We are separate from the nations and called to holiness.
11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision”
The Gentiles/uncircumcision do not keep God’s law, but instead live according to the desires of the flesh.
Keeping any other legal standard than the Holy Scriptures is to gratify the flesh.
by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands-
The circumcision and holiness
To be circumcised is to be cut apart in the flesh and dedicated to God and His law
To be holy is to be set apart from the flesh-nature and dedicated to God and His law
remember that you were at that time separated from Christ,
Separated from Christ by our sin
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
alienated from the commonwealth of Israel,
no citizenship in the theocratic state of Israel. This is not referring to the Israelites of the first century or a past or present political nation called Israel, but the heirs of the promise.
and strangers to the covenants of promise,
Strangers to the covenants made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. 4 I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,
10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.”
having no hope
no hope for eternal life
no hope of redemption
no hope in judgement
and without God in the world.
Still under common grace and common judgement, but no communion with the Creator
It is a hopeless situation, but there is good news in verse 13
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
The crux of the passage:
We were once separated from God.
Under a false salvation
We are now separated for God.
If you have been separated for God, you will:
Continually repent of your sins (by the conviction of the scriptures)
Walk in Holiness (according to the standard of the scriptures)
Christ’s holiness imparted upon us
Christ’s holiness practiced among us
Christ’s holiness heralded from us
make disciples (following the pattern of scriptures)
If you have been separated for God, you will be BIBLICAL.
If our lives do not reflect the scriptures, we gaze into the scripture as a mirror for correction.
If our church follows self-indulgent tradition rather than humble obedience we must wholly repent or eventually become a whitewashed tombs, beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones.
Not only on the micro, but on the macro
I truly believe the SBC has many wonderful, God-fearing churches that seek the Lord, but there are many that have installed a string of pastors with moral failures (embezzelers, adulturers, child abusers) and if you think some of those reprobates haven’t gained position and influence within the convention, you’re fooling yourself. Paul told us to “watch for fierce wolves that come among you, not sparing the flock” and “from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things” (ACTS 20).
Even on a national level: we’re incredibly blessed to have a voice within our government, but the republic is falling every day to mob mentality and majority rule. But when you involve yourself in the politics of our federal, state, or local government, you stand on the convictions of scripture alone. Where a party platform deviates from scripture, we deviate from that party.
If you have been separated for God, you will not:
Continue in your sins, add new sins (Taking the counsel of the world)
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Walk in the flesh
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
Dilute the Church
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
SET APART FOR CHRIST starting Wednesday nights