CONFIDENT IN GOD: The Basis of Real Ministry
Stay Away from the Ways of the World
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
Jerry A Collins
v What does it mean to be unequally yoked?
v What qualifies as being separate from the world?
v What is the meaning of holiness?
While our children were growing up together, we would spend summer vacations with a number of friends on the shores of Piatt Lake. One of these families had three girls about the ages of our children and we have many good memories together. Dan was an entrepreneur and one summer he had boxes of sand disks made so we could skip them across the water. As each summer passed Dan spent less time with his family on these vacations opting instead to study and read Ayn Rand philosophy of Objectivism which values the virtue of selfishness. This philosophy is anti-Christian, anti-god, anti- revelation, and anti-faith. Only what is rational and based on reason is valuable and virtuous. Dan came under the sway of this philosophy and gradually alienated his family, his marriage, and his children. Dan became unequally yoked with false teaching of an unbeliever. God warns us not to engage in unholy alliances. We often apply this to marriage but it is especially applied to false teachers and their teaching. Tolerance of false teachers takes affection from true and genuine teachers and teaching. Once emotionally yoked with unbelievers it makes separation from the partnership impossible. Emotional yoking, unlike contractual yoking in business or other endeavors, occurs day-by-day, inch-by-inch. Paul warns the Corinthians not to become yoked with unbelievers—especially the false apostles making claims upon them.
DON’T BE MISMATED vs 14-16
Do not be bound together with unbelievers: Bound Together comes from the vs that says to not breed together 2 different kinds of animals (Lev 19:19). This does not mean that believers are to have nothing to do with unbelievers because to do that we would have to go out of the world. The idea is any action, which causes us to link up or mate with the world in thot, or act must be avoided. So it is about close relationships and partnerships. In business you may accommodate a partnership with unbelievers immoral business practices. In philosophy you may partner with and adopt an unbelievers worldview. In marriage the companionship blends righteousness with unrighteousness. Stop the yoking you have started in business or philosophy. In marriage if the unbelieving spouse agrees to stay married then do so since this is best opportunity for spouse to become a believer (1 Cor 7:13-16).
For: Reasons why we must not mismate are given in 5 rhetorical questions each answer being ‘none’! Here is a clear demand for distinction between believer and unbeliever.
1. Partnership: what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? There is no collaboration between one committed to keep the Law and one not keeping the law.
2. Fellowship: or what fellowship has lite with darkness? There is no shared interest or aim since we have polar opposites. The aim of lite is to see and darkness is to not see.
3. Harmony: or what harmony has Christ with Belial? There can be no agreement or peace or oneness with opposing viewpoints. Christ and Satan cannot be in agreement.
4. Standard: or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? One who has faith in Christ cannot share a common quality or standard with one who does not.
5. Agreement: or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? The presence of anything with idols causes defilement and is incompatible with who we are.
For (the reason why the Christian has no agreement with idols) we (who have faith in Jesus Christ) are the temple (dwelling place) of the living God: This is a new idea for believers in Corinth. They are used to gods being in physical temples, made with human hands. The idea that their bodies are the temple of the living God is something they are still learning. PT: Actually many xians still have the idea that God lives in buildings. Someone says ‘This is the Lord’s house’ ‘or we are standing on holy ground’—there is no such thing as a building, which is the Lord’s house. We are the Lord’s house. Everywhere we go is holy ground.
Significance: Paul is connecting being bound with an unbeliever to being bound with idols. In Eze 8 the Jews still worshipped God in the Temple but they also brot idols into the temple. James calls a believer who does that a double-minded man unstable in all his ways. The danger is not that we abandon xianity—but that we blend the two things together. Practicing eastern mysticism or reading horoscopes or using crystals or participating in occultism is bringing something unholy into the temple—your body—of God.
WE BELONG TO GOD 16-18
The following series of quotes from the OT clarify our relationship with God explain why we cannot profane or defile ourselves with unbelievers. Just as in the OT the people of God had to keep themselves clean so also the Corinthians have to be different from the non-xian environment. 3 times God is referred to here underscoring the ethical implications of God’s relationship with us
1. God dwells in us 16. God dwelled in the OT Jews in that He dwelled in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle at the center of the people. And walk among them his presence is among us carrying implications of omnipresence and omniscience. He is our God and they shall be my people so this presence of God comes with conditions—we are to be holy and not bound with evil. If God is your God then He wants to be God. He does not want evil in his presence.
2. God calls us away from partnership with unbelievers 17. Come out from their midst and be separate is a command. Do it now! A good example of this is Joseph when tempted by Potiphar’s wife could nit sin against God and fled. Falsely accused he went to jail but as he obeyed God, God never left him as God had for instance, with Samson. Sometimes you will pay a price for obeying God but His reward in heaven is great. So for the Israelites in Egypt they were like vermin or vomit to the Egyptians Gen 43:32; 46:34. They were not bound to the Egyptians. So as we approach end times xians are becoming like vermin and vomit to the people of the world. Unbelievers used conventional sinful options but we do not and so are insulted, or a threat to be removed or angry against us. Choosing a holy life, pleasing to God, you will increasingly be morally separate from the world and suffer for it.
And do not touch what is unclean for the Corinthians had to do with food offered to idols and God says I will welcome you give you the thumb’s up! I approve of you.
3. God is our Father 18. ‘Daughters’ is inserted here meaning all of us male and female have God as Father. Says the Lord Almighty, which is stressing the fact that what he is saying, is from God not himself.
KEEP YOURSELF CLEAN vs 7:1
Having these promises (ones just noted above)
Beloved let us cleanse ourselves not strive for holiness but demonstrate it is the result of salvation. Cleansing does not make us holy it shows we are holy which is why we want this.
From all defilement of flesh and spirit cleanse ourselves form everything that will ruin or contaminate our bodies or our spirits (secret sins).
Perfecting holiness in the fear of God bring about further holiness motivated by the fear of God which is motivation to not compromise!
1. Take stock daily of your commitments and be sure you own your lifestyle and not other way.
2. Do not set your self up for compromise by secretly contaminating yourself with sinful attitudes, thinking.
3. Determine to be separate from unbelievers ideas, worldviews, priorities or standards.