I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. John 17:15.
Christians are to stand out distinct from the world as God’s standard bearers, showing in their lives the influence of the transforming grace of Christ. They are raised up together to sit with Christ in heavenly places that they may reveal to the world, to angels, and to men an enduring representation of the eternal world. They are to hold forth the Word of life, warning men of the binding claims of God’s law. God wants His servants to be of a high order. He wants them to obey laws of a higher order than the laws of the world—laws which are the transcript of His character.
God’s work is supreme. He calls for all the powers of the intellect, all the spiritual endowments. They are to be consecrated to Him and to the service of humanity. He calls for workers who are partakers of the divine nature. Those who really believe in Jesus will be co-laborers with Him, showing to the unfallen worlds and to the fallen world a character which is after the divine similitude. They are to show that they have a higher, holier order of enjoyment than the world can bestow. God will bestow the power of the Holy Spirit upon all who will cooperate with Him in the cultivation of all their endowments and talents that they may stand on vantage ground....
Christ’s followers are to seek to improve the moral tone of the world, under the influence of the impartation of the Spirit of God. They are not to come down to the world’s level, thinking that by doing this they will uplift it. In words, in dress, in spirit, in everything, there is to be a marked distinction between Christians and worldlings. This distinction has a convincing influence upon worldlings. They see that the sons and daughters of the Lord do separate themselves from the world, and that the Lord binds them up with Himself.... “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power” (1 Corinthians 6:14). Who is willing to be raised to the highest level?