A Chosen Generation
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people. (1 Peter 2:9)
“You are a holy nation,” a nation separated from this world unto God. New birth means that, oh, that that was made clear to all right there at the beginning how utter this thing is. The Lord Jesus left people in no doubt about this; a cleavage utter and absolute. He would take risks with people, you would probably say: "Oh, why put them off, why run the risk of offending them, why discourage them saying 'except, except, except' all the time?" Ah, He was taking all the risks necessary about this because the reality, the awful reality of this: you CANNOT, you cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven while you cling to this kingdom inimical to God, in any way.... How much the New Testament has to say about this, a walk in holiness that is separate unto God in heart, in spirit, in life, from this world. And if we knew it, a very large degree of our education, our spiritual education and our discipline in the Christian life under the hand of the HOLY Spirit, has to do with those things in us which are mixed up....
The Lord calls for distinctiveness of life and testimony, real distinctiveness of life and testimony. Is our life, dear friends, is your life and my life in this world in our connections and associations and so on, quite distinct, no mistaking to what realm we belong, to Whom we belong? No mistaking it? Or are we mixed in, compromising, keeping on good terms with this world and its people under the devil’s hand? If so, we stand to lose terribly.... Is there something quite distinctive about our lives that says that man, that woman, that young man, that young woman is utter for God, there’s no doubt about it, you see it all the time, they are utter for God; they are not playing at things, there’s no compromise with them. Now this sounds hard, but it’s necessary. Do you see what’s involved? Dear friends, the secret of power is holiness! It is. The secret of power is holiness. If our lives are powerless it may be due to this lack somewhere, somehow, of this utterness for God, this separation unto God, of some kind of compromise somehow, somewhere, with the prince of this world who’s robbing us of our spiritual power and vitality on his own ground. The secret of power is holiness; whatever you forget, remember that!