Tag: be separate
Scripture reading for August 5th: 2nd Corinthians 6, Psalm 5, Proverbs 1
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 6:14-16 “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God has said, “I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
The new ‘temple’ in the new covenant is the individual believer and then the corporate gathering, the church. Paul explained their need for separation to God and from the world and its unrighteousness. He did this by asking questions to be answered by the church members. Thinking critically is a big part of repentance. Since God lives within us now and walks with us through this life, we who trust Christ are able separate ourselves from the things and people of this world and give ourselves fully to God.
Faith Confession: I am the temple of the Living God, who lives and dwells within me. I freely give my body, soul, and spirit to God for His exclusive dwelling place. Help me to separate from worldly influences that hinder God’s use of my life.
Psalm 5:7-8 “But I, through the abundance of Your steadfast love, will enter Your house. I will bow down toward Your holy temple in the fear of You. Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before me.”
Scripture reading for September 3rd: 2nd Corinthians 6:14-7:7
When one is reconciled to God and is filled with God’s love, the things of this world lose their attraction. The Holy Spirit begins the work of sanctification. This word ‘sanctification’ means being ‘made holy’ or ‘set apart’ for God. The Holy Spirit helps us to separate ourselves from the worldly influences and ways that we had before salvation. When we become a ‘new creation’, the old things pass away and new things come that are from God. (2nd Corinthians 5:17-18)
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” (2nd Corinthians 6:14-16a) Paul urged the Corinthians to not be yoked with unbelievers. He asked them questions with an obvious answer of ‘none’ or ‘nothing’ to emphasize their need to maintain separation and cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
They were now the temple of the living God. God lived in them and called them to be a holy and separated people! God wanted to be their Father and they would be called ‘sons’ and ‘daughter’s’ of God the Father. They would be known as the people of God. These promises of God were “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ Jesus! (2nd Corinthians 1:18) These promises should motivate believers at Corinth and everywhere to perfect holiness in reverence for God.
This process of holy separation is initiated by the Holy Spirit living in us. He is the Spirit of Truth who reveals Christ to us. He convicts of sin, righteousness, and the coming judgment. He reveals to us all that we are and have through our relationship with God in Christ. (1st Corinthians 2:10-12) As we study the word of God, we are also required to do our part in a response of faith. We put off the old ways of the world and put on the new ways of the Spirit.
“Do not be yoked with unbelievers!” Paul’s instruction and questions were for self-examination. Take a moment today and ask yourself the questions Paul asked. Are there unbelievers who are influencing you because of close associations? Take Paul’s advice today!
Scripture reading for November 29th: 2nd Corinthians 6-9
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” “Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you.” (2nd Corinthians 6:14-17)
This passage has been used for a variety of applications over the years. It is used to tell those getting married not to join themselves to an unbeliever. All of these questions are designed to help a person think through their relationship and make sure that they are marrying a believer who is spiritually compatible with them. That is a good and proper use of this passage and may be a proper interpretation.
Another application that I have heard of is using this to tell Christians not to have anything to do with non-Christians. The idea is taught that non-believers are full of the devil and may contaminate believers who go near them. God won’t bless us if we get too close to unbelievers and we will live a miserable life. The problem with this argument is that it is not exactly what this passage is talking about. Being yoked with someone has to do with making a covenant or business agreement. It does not mean having just casual contact with someone. How can we reach unbelievers if we separate ourselves from them completely? Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be kept safe in the world, not that we would be taken out of the world. Jesus sent us into the world as the Father sent Him into the world, to reach lost people.
We must not love the world or become entangled in close relationships with unbelievers. There will be inevitable conflict between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. They will not mix! We must be wise and heed the advice of Scripture rather than trying to defy it. God is your loving Father and His will is best!