Biblical Separation from Sin

Vos – The Bible Doctrine of the Separated Life

Vos presents a short article on the Separated Life, that is being separated from Sin, Occasions of Temptation to Sin, from the World, The Separated Life and the Use of Things Indifferent, V. The Separated Life and the Sufficiency of Scripture, VI. The Separated Life and the Nature and Extent of the Authority of the Christian Church, VII. The Work of the Holy Spirit vs. the Doctrines and Commandments of Men, and Conclusion: The True vs. the False Doctrine

The Bible Doctrine of the Separated Life

By Johannes G. Vos
Vos presents a short article on the Separated Life, that is being separated from Sin, Occasions of Temptation to Sin, from the World, The Separated Life and the Use of Things Indifferent, V. The Separated Life and the Sufficiency of Scripture, VI. The Separated Life and the Nature and Extent of the Authority of the Christian Church, VII. The Work of the Holy Spirit vs. the Doctrines and Commandments of Men, and Conclusion: The True vs. the False Doctrine

The question of the separated life is a very important one, not only because it is a practical question which must be faced by every thoughtful Christian, but also because of the doctrinal ramifications that it has. Insistence upon the obligation to live what is called “the separated life” is very prevalent in some circles of earnest Christians today. The details of the separation demanded vary greatly; practices which are tolerated by some groups are denounced by others as inconsistent with Christian duty and fellowship, and vice versa. In general, “the separated life,” as the term is commonly used, may be understood to be a life which is separated not only from what can be proved by Scripture to be sinful, but also from various other practices which may be indifferent in themselves; and this separation is regarded as binding on the conscience of the Christian, and is sometimes made a term or condition of ecclesiastical or even of Christian fellowship.
This problem is far more important than is at first apparent. It is far more important than the mere question whether Christians ought to participate in or to abstain from certain particular kinds of conduct. Other problems of the greatest importance are involved. If we give a wrong answer to the question, “What is the Bible doctrine of the separated life?” we are certain to fall into serious errors in other doctrines. Using the term “separated life” in the Biblical, not the popular, sense, we may say that the separated life is an ethical implication of the covenant of grace and is related to the doctrine of sanctification as the latter deals with the nature and place of good works in the Christian life. The other doctrines which are involved in the question of the separated life are: (1) Christian liberty in the use of things indifferent; (2) liberty of conscience from the commandments of men; (3) the sufficiency of Scripture as the standard of faith and conduct; (4) the nature and limits of the authority of the Christian church. The purpose of the present paper is to set forth the teaching of Scripture concerning the separated life, and then to show how erroneous teaching about the separated life affects the four doctrines enumerated above.

Contents of the Bible Doctrine of the Separated Life

Vos presents a short article on the Separated Life, that is being separated from Sin,

I. Separation from Sin
II. Separation from Occasions of Temptation to Sin
III. Separation from the World
IV. The Separated Life and the Use of Things Indifferent
V. The Separated Life and the Sufficiency of Scripture
VI. The Separated Life and the Nature and Extent of the Authority of the Christian Church
VII. The Work of the Holy Spirit vs. the Doctrines and Commandments of Men
Conclusion: The True vs. the False Doctrine

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Vos - The Bible Doctrine Of The Separated Life
Vos - The Bible Doctrine Of The Separated Life
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