Separation from the world will always remain a key component of Apostolic life and identity (I Peter 2:9). We serve a holy God, who expects His people to be holy (I Peter 1:15–160. Even the dogs knew there was a distinct difference between the children of Israel and the Egyptians (Exodus 11:7)! But separation does not occur automatically without effort and determination on our part. As James put it, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this . . . to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). While the Lord washes our sins away at baptism (Acts 22:16), it is our ongoing responsibility to walk by faith, repent of our sins, and shun the evil ways of this world.
Why must we be so diligent to protect ourselves and our families? Peter warned the church to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8, NKJV). Having experienced failure firsthand (Matthew 26:69–75), Peter certainly understood human weakness and vulnerability. Jesus told him, “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee” (Luke 22:31–32). We must resist and outwit our wily, unrelenting enemy with godly wisdom, perseverance, and prayer (Psalm 141:8–10; James 4:7).
How to Be Victorious
The Bible teaches, therefore:
- Be transformed.
While worldly influence constantly beckons and entices, the church must not be “conformed to this world.” Rather, we must be “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind[s] (Romans 12:2).
- Be aware of sin.
When left unchecked, sin and its destructive effects can spread quickly like yeast (I Corinthians 5:6).
- Don God’s armor.
Believers must don God’s armor, pray, and be on guard (Ephesians 6:10–18).
Jeffry E. Brickle is a professor of Biblical Studies at Urshan Graduate School of Theology.
Resources and Links
A version of this content originally appeared in Reflections. To see more content or subscribe, visit Reflections.