Isaiah 52:7-10 declares that God will comfort his people from Israel. He will rescue them from the nations that have dealt so cruelly with them.
Paulís words are similar to the next passage, Isaiah 52:11-12. God urges his people to separate themselves from the nations that are his enemies. They are Godís holy people; in other words, they belong to him. He has separated them for himself; therefore, he himself will bring them back to his holy city, Jerusalem.
People who carry out a holy task must behave in a holy manner. They cannot simply behave in the same way as other people do*. Under the rules of the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible), they could not even touch something that the rules considered unclean *. If they did, the rules would consider them unclean for a certain time. It was not normally wrong to be unclean; sometimes it was necessary. However, an unclean person could not join in the holy acts of public religion.
Although Christians do not follow these rules, the rules have an important meaning for them. They are Godís holy people* and God is living in them*. Therefore, their spirits and their bodies are holy*.
So, it is wrong for Christians to carry out any evil act*. In fact, it is wrong for them even to speak or to think like someone who does not trust God*. Of course we all do wrong things, but God wants to forgive us and to change us*.
We must consider what it means for Godís people to Ďseparateí themselves. Godís judgement is against all that is evil in this world*. At the present time, Godís people still live with evil people in this world, but that will not always be so*. God does not normally want his people to leave those other people now*. Instead, God wants his people to separate themselves by the right attitudes that they have in their hearts, minds and spirits.
Next part: Why Godís people must be different (6:18)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.