LIVING DIFFERENT BECAUSE . . .
2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-18 NKJ
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”
It is not uncommon for Christianity to be portrayed as a long list of do's and don'ts. This perception has been strengthened by legalistic believers who stress rules above a relationship with God. Add to that, people who have never received Christ looking at the Bible through spiritually darkened eyes. They see a loss of freedom rather than the true freedom we have in Christ.
In our passage for today, Paul is making a distinction between believers and unbelievers. And this is more than a philosophical difference. This is a major spiritual distinction.
Paul warns the church not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Unequally yoked indicates a close partnership type of relationship. Paul is not advocating avoiding all unbelievers, but he is urging caution because of the spiritual difference. He likens believers to righteous, light, and Christ. Unbelievers are likened to lawlessness, darkness, and Belial. Then he calls believers the temple of the living God and unbelievers the temple of idols. Talk about not mincing words. Paul's message is that the spiritual differences are so significant that the relationships need to be in the right order. This would especially include marriage, close friends, and business partnerships.
Paul goes on to quote scripture to the believers that all believers are temples of the living God. This is why we are to live different. Because we are different.
Our admonishment to be different from the world that does not know God is not to make us weird. It is to help us walk in fellowship with our Heavenly Father, who has done so much for us. The world has so many actions and attitudes that are not clean in God's sight. We are His children. He lives in us by His Holy Spirit, so we are encouraged to stay away from the unclean and be separate, different. The more we recognize who we are and what God has done in us, the more this charge to be and live different makes sense. We are not saying we are superior. We are saying we are changed, and our goal is to live out these wonderful changes that God has done in us. God, our Father, wants His kids to live like His kids. That's a better life now and better in the life to come.
Dear Father, I appreciate what You have done in me. And by Your grace and help of the Holy Spirit who indwells me, I will live differently and bring honor to You and Your Kingdom.