How Can We Help Sinners If We Are Separated?

That’s a good question, isn’t it? I mean, if we are to be separated from sin, and not take part in sinful activities, how can we ever reach the sinners?

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Yeshua ate and drank with sinners- all four Gospels write about that, and how it was used as an attack against him. Yet, he said it best when he replied that he came to call the sinner, not the righteous.

We are also commanded to be holy, as God is holy, but how can we be holy, which means separated, if we are in the midst of sinners?

It seems to be a complicated situation, but the answer is really quite simple: the separation we need to maintain is not a physical one, but a spiritual one, which we demonstrate in the real world through our speech, actions, and lifestyle.

In Mark 7, Yeshua said that what makes us unclean is what comes from our hearts. Now, in that case, he was talking of ceremonial uncleanliness with relation to traditionally washing the hands before eating, but I think we can safely take that teaching one step further.

Being in the company of sinners doesn’t make you a sinner, nor does it make you unclean, so long as you, yourself, maintain separation from what is in the hearts of those sinners, and by doing so, you become a symbol and example to them of righteousness.

We need to be separate but not separated- what good is a lamp if it is placed under a bowl, right? We need to let our light shine, but not in the sunlight- that is useless. We aren’t told to preach to the choir, we are told to be a light in the darkest of places.

In other words, we are to work in a fish market for hours at a time, and come out still smelling like a rose. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? But, as Yeshua said, with God, all things are possible.

When we are told to be holy as God is holy, that is a spiritual condition. We are humans, born into and with iniquity and to think that we could ever be really holy, inside and out, is a pipe dream. God told Cain that sin is crouching at his door, and that means we cannot ignore the existence of sin within us. That is what the Enemy wants us to think because that is how he can sneak sin into our lives.

When we are always aware of the potential to sin, we will always be on the alert. There are a number of biblical parables Yeshua gave about always being prepared, and I believe that also means to always recognize the sin within ourselves, which is how we can be in the midst of sinners and stay separated from their sin.

If you want to fulfill the commandment to find new disciples, you will have to go where angels dare not go. You will have to go into the lion’s den, into the fiery furnace, and do so willingly. That doesn’t make you unclean- remember those three guys came out of the furnace without even smelling like smoke, so you, too, can be amongst sinners without getting your clothes stained.

Be the light in the darkness, and always be aware of your own weakness- that, and being guided by the Ruach HaKodesh, is how you can be surrounded by sinners and still be separated from them.

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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

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