Posted by: missionventureministries | September 20, 2010

COME OUT AND BE SEPARATE – 2 Corinthians 6:17

Here the caution or exhortation itself, which is not to mingle with unbelievers, not to be unequally yoked with them, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”  Corinthians 6:14

 A. In stated relations. It is wrong for good people to join in with the wicked and profane; because these walk in different ways which will produce trouble and grief. Relations that are our choice must be chosen carefully; and it is good for those who are children of God to join with those who are so likewise; because there is more danger that the bad will damage the good than hope that the good will benefit the bad.

B. What Paul is saying, is: That we should not yoke ourselves in religious friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Though we cannot completely avoid seeing, hearing and being with such people, yet we should never choose them as friends.

C. Much less should we join in religious communion with them. We must not join with them in their idolatrous services, nor concur with them in their false worship, nor any abominations; we must not interconnect the table of the Lord and the table of devils, the house of God and the house of Rimmon.

The apostle gives several good reasons against this corrupt mixture.

1. It is an absurdity, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-15. It is an unequal yoking of things together that will not agree together; it is was just as bad as for the Jews to have ploughed with an ox and an ass or to have sown different sorts of grain intermixed. What an absurdity is it to think of joining righteousness and unrighteousness, or mingling light and darkness, fire and water, together!

Believers are, and should be, righteous; but unbelievers are unrighteous. Believers are made light in the Lord, but unbelievers are in darkness; and what comfortable communion can these have together?

Christ and Satan are contrary one to the other; they have opposite interests and designs, so it is impossible that there be any agreement between them. It is absurd, therefore, to think of enlisting under both; and, if the believer has part with an unbeliever, he is bringing Christ and Belial together.

2. It is a dishonor to the Christian’s profession. “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” – 2 Corinthians 6:16. Christians should be in reality, the temples of the living God, dedicated to, and employed for, the service of God, who has promised to reside in them, to dwell and walk in them, to stand in a special relation to them, and take special care of them, that he will be their God and they shall be His people. Now there can be no agreement between the temple of God and idols. There is not to be real fellowship between true believers and false teachers.

Idols are rivals with God for his honor, and God is a jealous God, and will not give His glory to another.

3. There is a great deal of danger in communicating with false religions and idolaters, danger of being defiled and of being rejected; so the exhortation is: “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; and I will welcome you”-  2 Corinthians 6:17. Here Paul is saying to come out from among them, and keep at a distance, to be separate, as one would avoid those who have leprosy or the plague, for fear of getting infected, and not to touch the unclean thing, lest we be defiled.

Who can touch tar, and not be tarnished by it? We must take care not to defile ourselves by speaking with those who corrupt themselves with sin; this is the will of God, as we hope to be received, and not rejected, by Him.

4. It is total ingratitude to God for all the favors he has bestowed upon believers and promised to them, “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty” – 2 Corinthians 6:18. God has promised to be a Father to them, and that they shall be his sons and his daughters; and is there a greater honor or happiness than this?

How ungrateful is it of those who have been granted to be “sons and daughters”, who have joy and dignity, that they should degrade and shame themselves by mingling with wicked religious unbelievers!

“If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.” 1Timothy 6:3-5

“Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.” – 2 John 1:7-11

The nature of the deceivers is that are willing to “go beyond” or “go ahead” of the doctrine of Christ. To be a disciple of Christ, one must “abide” – “continue to be present” – in the teaching of the Father. Those who are false teachers will not continue in the teachings of the Father but make for themselves their own law. Jesus made mention of this in Mark 7:7 – “And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

We must not permit false teachers and members of the cults: Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, Catholics the Emergent Church or any false teacher to influence us, or our families and friends.

“Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.” – Leviticus 20:26

Some thoughts taken from Matthew Henry’s commentary




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