Today we come across yet another commonly misconstrued passage of the bible that in its misinterpretation, we actually behave contrary to what God teaches us in His word instead of in accordance to it.
2 Corinthians 6:14 – 7:1
14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
“And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
18 “And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty. 7 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Is Paul saying that believers should have nothing to do with unbelievers? If he were, that would be contrary to what he said in his previous letter, to how Jesus behaved, and to the overall commission of the Gospel. He is not talking about not associating with unbelievers, rather that they shouldn’t be the ones you go to for advice and consolation. The King James version uses “unequally yoked” here; the point is that believers and unbelievers have different world perspectives. The funny thing is, if you are really following God in your life and being transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will find you have less and less in common with your unbelieving friends.
Now, does this mean that once we believe, we should stop communicating and hanging out with our unbelieving friends and family? Not at all! Let us remember that Church at Corinth had a huge problem of being lukewarm believers. They believed the gospel, they believed in the scriptures, but yet they continued to live as if they had not been adopted as sons and daughters into the family of God. Would a football player go to a basketball player for advice about how to better throw a football? No, but it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have dinner together and talk about their perspective sports.
Verse 1 of chapter 7 is an important reminder. This needs to be our main focus. We have been deemed holy and righteous by God our Father and should act accordingly. We have the freedom to cleanse ourselves from the burdens of this world and its sinfulness through the gift of the Holy Spirit. This doesn’t mean to look down upon unbelievers or disassociate yourself from them as if you are too good for them. Instead, be an example as to how free God has made us in Him and show them how free they can be as well.