Act as unified, sanctified ambassadors of Christ
1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life — is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Immorality, crime and violence in South Africa have hit an all-time high and there is little or no value placed on a lifestyle that is true to God’s commandments, respectful of human life, or is considerate of old people, according to Angus Buchan.
He says divorce has also become accepted as appropriate behaviour, and most young people do not believe that they should remain virgins before marriage.
Perhaps it will shock you, but the straight-talking evangelist asserts that those responsible for this state of immorality in our nation are Christians.
“We cannot blame the world (unbelievers) for the state of immorality in our country, because they have nothing to look to — we, as believers, should be different; we should set the standard,” said Uncle Angus while speaking at the Sacred Assembly in November last year.
Jesus is the standard for our actions
The standard for our actions is the example that Jesus Christ set (His way, truth and life) for He is the Lord of our lives and it is His pattern we should live by.
Uncle Angus says it is essential that Christians lead the world in a way that is true to Jesus’ example and faithful to His gospel instead of compromising and being influenced by the world’s ways.
In reference to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in which the Lord likened believers to salt, the evangelist warns that: “We have to maintain our saltiness to make an impact on this dying world. If we lose our savour we are no good, but to be thrown in the street and trampled on”.
We need to show by our behaviour that we are sanctified ambassadors of Christ who do not broach compromise of the model He set for us to live by and are mindful of his role as the Father’s sacrificial lamb whose blood has washed us clean of our sins as in Hebrews 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
To be sanctified is the act of being made holy, sacred, and set apart for God’s use.
In an article entitled Seeing Him As He Is — The Throne of God is an Active Place! Rick Joyner, Pastor and author, says, the Lord’s sanctification — “His devotion to total obedience and the rejection of sin in any form — are basic to seeing Him as He is.
“The holiness of God, and the holiness we are called to, is rarely taught in these times, but we must see this to see Him as He is,” says Joyner who contends that sanctification will be a major subject of the last great move of God on the earth.
Uncle Angus confirms this perspective; he says God is looking for holy men and women in these last days when it looks like the world is going mad.
“We have to step aside and be separate from the world.
“The thing that concerns me, today, is how close the Church is trying to live to the world in terms of dress codes, lifestyle, and making compromises in order to attract people into congregations, which we cannot do — we have to be different, we have to live up to God’s holy, divine standard and not down to the world’s compromised values.
“The world should know how God wants His people to live by what they observe in us relative to forgiveness, love, and overcoming racism, hatred, divorce, fornication, corruption, and stealing, which are all prevalent in our country today, because Christians are not standing-up and being counted.”
God’s Word confirms concern
The Mighty Men Conferenced founder’s concern is confirmed by God’s Word:
- 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty’ .
- Deuteronomy 14:2 For you are holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth and
- Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues”.
The farmer-evangelist says it is time for us to rise up in faith accepting God’s Word as the absolute truth, the unchangeable, unassailable source and standard for our thoughts, words and actions.
He stresses that it is time do God’s Word; not just read it, speak it or believe it; but to live God’s Word and His purpose for us through our every thought, word and act.
We must consciously choose one of two ways in everything we do, either God’s way or the world’s ways.
Who God designed us to be
The world’s ways are material and many, and will cause us to stray from the singular path of the spirit that leads to who God designed us to be.
To become who God designed us to be it is vital that we walk in the presence of the Lord sanctified by Him and refusing to compromise to the carnal and material attractions of the corrupted world around us.
Uncle Angus emphasised that we (Christians) need to turn aside from the world’s ways and be different; again, he is clearly backed by God’s Word:
- James 4:4-5 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself and enemy of God. Or do you think the scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously’?
- Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Sanctified through God’s grace
However, sanctification, turning aside from the world and the renewal of our minds is only realized by the grace of God, not through any of our own doing (Ephesians 2:8). It is achieved through the Holy Spirit working within us to mortify self, which is conformed to the world. All that is required of us is to accept Christ’s salvation and surrender to the Father’s ways in accordance with His Word.
Sanctification and its direct relationship with unity in God, Christ, and members of His body is central in this process.
The correlation of unity in Christ and sanctification through Christ is evident in Jesus’ prayer to the Father in John 17:16-23 on our behalf: They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word , that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You have gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one. I in them and You in Me that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
This relationship between sanctification and unity is a reason we are told to, be holy in all our conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:16) and to love one another fervently with a pure heart (1 Peter 1:22).
It is crucial that we are not distracted by the world’s unholy, divisive ways, rationale and lies, which though reasonable, many and material, are temporal and tied to death. Instead, we are to stay separate from the world in Christ and united with our brothers and sisters in Christ, focussed on following in His way, truth and life that although singular, narrow, and spirit led, which is beyond the world’s logical comprehension, leads to union and eternal life with our heavenly Father.