The separated life!
“Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
For here we have no continuing city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.”
Jesus, bearing His cross, went forth to suffer outside the gate.
The Christian’s reason for leaving the camp of the world’s sin and the world’s religion, is not because he loves to be singular–but because Jesus did so, and the disciple must follow his Master. Christ was “not of the world”–His life and His teachings were a constant protest against conformity with the world. Never was there such overflowing affection for men as you find in Him; but still He was “separate from sinners.”
In like manner, Christ’s people must “go forth unto Him.” They must take their position “outside the camp,” as witness-bearers for the truth. They must be prepared to tread the straight and narrow path. They must have bold, unflinching, lion-like hearts, loving Christ first, and His truth next–and Christ and His truth beyond all the world!
Jesus would have His people “go forth to Him, outside the camp” for their own sanctification. You cannot grow in grace to any high degree–while you are conformed to the world. The life of separation may be a path of sorrow–but it is the highway of safety. And though the separated life may cost you many pangs, and make every day a battle–yet it is a happy life after all. No joy can excel that of the soldier of Christ; Jesus reveals Himself so graciously, and gives such sweet refreshment, that the warrior feels more calm and peace in his daily strife–than others in their hours of rest!
The highway of holiness is the highway of sweet communion with Jesus. It is thus we shall hope to win the crown, if we are enabled by divine grace faithfully to follow Christ “outside the camp.”
The cross of separation–will be followed by the crown of glory!
A moment’s shame–will be well recompensed by eternal honor when we are “forever with the Lord!”
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