The Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul gave this instruction to the Corinthian Christians.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And 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 among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty’” (2 Cor. 6:14-18).
God promises to live with us and walk with us, to be our God and we His people – and that is to be our motivation for being separated from the world and unto God. There is a condition attached to Him living in us and walking with us. Come out from the world! Come out from idolatry. Come out from darkness. Come out from all unrighteousness and all that is unclean. Then you will have the promise of His presence. This is not salvation. This is holiness and sanctification. God delivers us from the world and then He expects us to continually cleanse ourselves from the world.
Look at 2 Cor. 7:1:
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Again, the promises of God in 1 Cor. 6 are specifically that He would live in us and walk with us, and because of those precious promises we are to cleanse ourselves. It doesn’t even say that God would cleanse us or that the blood of Jesus would cleanse us. The responsibility is on us. We are to cooperate with the empowering grace of God, which “teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:12).
The grace of God will never teach you to live as you please. It will never teach you to love the world and all that is in the world. It will never teach you to follow the dictates of your flesh and your feelings. It will never lead you into sin. Anything that leads you into sin, loose living, and carnal behavior has nothing to do with the grace of God. But notice the next verse in Titus 2 (v 13), which is attached to verse 12 and still a vital part of the overall meaning.
“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
It is the “looking” that helps us in our walk of holiness and sanctification. It is the “looking” that aids us in overcoming sin and habits of the flesh. This is our responsibility. What are you looking at? Or better yet, who are you looking at? If there are two people standing in front of you and talking to you at the same time you are always going to hear the person who you look at. You can’t look at both of them and hear both of them. As a Christian you can’t have a divided heart. You can’t serve two masters.
We see this principle at work also in the life of Moses.
“By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:24-27).
Moses overcame the pleasures of sin in Egypt and chose to suffer with the people of God primarily because of what he looked to. He not only separated himself from the ungodly ways of Egypt (symbolic of the world), but he also “looked to the reward” and “saw Him who is invisible”. The looking and the seeing prodded Moses ahead and gave him godly incentive to move forward.
What are you looking at? Your sin or the Son?