“I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-10 NIV84)
Never does Scripture imply that Christians should join convents and monasteries to avoid spiritual corruption from the sinful world they live in. Paul was right in saying that if that were the goal, then we would have to leave the world entirely. That doesn’t make sense if it is our purpose to assist the kingdom of God to save the lost. We must live in the world if we intend to be a witness to those who live in it. We are called to be lights in a dark world. We are called to be salt in a decaying world. The point is that God wants us in the world, not trying to avoid it.
At the same time, we are called to live transformed lives in the world. We are to live as born again believers in a world that is dying (literally) to have what we have. It is vitally important that we not become like the world around us as we live in it. People need to see the difference in us. They need to see that although we are sinful, we are repentant, grace-filled, loving and caring individuals. Our lives need to attract them, not to us but to the truths we live by and the Lord we serve.
May we boldly let our light shine in the darkness of the world we live in so that some may see and move into the light themselves.