Don’t team up2 with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner3 with wickedness? How can light live with4 darkness? What harmony5 can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner6 with an unbeliever? And what union7 can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty. ”2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Remember the first verse of this chapter where Paul says “As God’s partners1, we beg you not to accept this marvellous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.”
Do you think it is coincidence that the concept is repeated and repeated in a series of different synonyms? In this chapter, or actually more to the point in five verses there are 7 uses of the same concept but not one is the same word.
partners1 – συνεργέω [Sunergeō] to be a fellow worker, that is, co-operate: – help (work) with, work (-er) together. be partner in labour.
team up2 – ἑτεροζυγέω [heterozugeō] to come under an unequal or different yoke, to be unequally yoked, to have fellowship with one who is not an equal, to have intercourse with, to associate discordantly.
partner3 – μετοχή [metochē] participation, intercourse, fellowship, a sharing, communion, fellowship.
live with4 – κοινωνία [koinōnia] fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse, intimacy.
harmony5 – συμφόνησις [sumphonēsis] accordance, concord, agreement.
partner6 – μερίς [meris] part, a portion, share, participation.
union7 – συγκατάθεσις [sugkatathesis] a deposition (of sentiment) in company with, accord with, agreement.
It is not by chance that we have a passage filled with different words for the same concept. Paul is deliberately doing it. I also told you yesterday it is necessary for you to connect up the dots first. Let’s do that now.
Paul starts by saying ‘You are God’s partners, working together with God. Don’t throw away His amazing grace and His beautiful exchange.’ What is he talking about? For that we need to return to the difficulties talked about in 1st Corinthians. Remember the culture surrounding them in Corinth [Bible Gem 304]. The issues relating to sexual sin in the congregation, idol worship in the midst of a rampantly sexual religious practice. This is the default life which surrounds them. Into this situation Paul says don’t ignore this amazing gift of His grace once you have accepted it. You are partners with God. Don’t be unequally yoked together with those who don’t believe in Christ. How can righteousness share / have intercourse / partner with unrighteousness? Can light live with dark? Can Christ be in harmony with the devil? How can a believer in Christ partner with one who doesn’t believe in Him? How can there be any union / accord / agreement between God’s temple and that of idols? Paul keeps hammering the point.
Don’t mix your faith in Christ with unbelievers, unrighteousness or wickedness, darkness, things of the devil or idol worship.
You are the temple of the living God and God walks with and indeed lives in you. You are His blood-bought-people. Don’t have anything to do with that stuff. Come out from among them, be separate from them. Don’t touch their filthy things. Paul uses all these examples of partnership or agreement that don’t fit or don’t go together in order to prove to the Corinthians that such combinations or partnerships are not on.
The question now is: How does this verse get applied to marriage by so many? Time for you to do some more thinking before tomorrow.
We Are Always Defined By What We Do, Never By What We Believe.Robb Thompson
If you are not leading by example, you simply aren’t leading.Rick Warren