2 Corinthians 6:14

Verse of the Day Devotion:  2 Corinthians 6:14

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14

Paul here is telling the Church in Corinth they need to ensure they do not become bound to unbelievers.  This term, “bound together” is a military term which has the idea of keeping in your own ranks.  In other words, do not leave the Christian community to join in that of the heathens.  The verb ‘together’ signifies to leave one’s own rank, place, or order, and go into another; and here it must signify not only that they should not associate with the Gentiles in their idolatrous feasts, but that they should not apostatize from Christianity. 

This thought is found in the Old Testament.  In Leviticus we read, “You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.” Leviticus 19:19.  And in Deuteronomy we read,  “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear a material mixed of wool and linen together.” Deuteronomy 22:9-11.  The idea here is that there should be no mixing of different animals, seeds or fabrics, that it is important that purity is maintained.  We see in our focus verse that the purity suggested is true Christians with non-Christians involving activities and lifestyles of the non-believer.  Now, it is important that we understand what is meant by unbeliever.  It is not someone who is a Christian that struggles with belief in certain areas.  In this event, we need to teach him and help him understand that they may grow as a Christian.  In our focus verse, unbelievers are non-Christians and this makes things clearer. 

Now, Paul is not saying we are to ban social interactions with unbelievers.  For how can we be a light in the darkness if we choose not to let unbelievers see our light.  What he is saying is that we must not  participate with them in activities that are sinful.  We should not worship false gods if they do or speak evil of Christ if they do.  However, we can interact with them in such a way that the light of Christ shines forth from us and the unbeliever sees it.  In this, we are showing them what our life is all about and it may open a door to present the gospel message to them.

In the last part of our focus verse he asks two important questions. “for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”  2 Corinthians 6:14b.  The answer to both of these rhetorical questions is ‘none’.  In the next verse he asks, “Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” 2 Corinthians 6:15.  Again, the answer to both are none.  But again, this does not negate any opportunity to share the gospel.  They are referring to the different beliefs and practices which do not mix or there is no unity between.  But that does not say that we should never associate with them for they need to hear the truth.

Paul in his letter to the church at Rome says, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” Romans 10:12-15.  It is important that we preach the gospel to those who do not know Him, for how can they know if no one tells them.  Therefore, Paul is not saying we should ostracize them, but we are not to engage in their sinful practices.  We can fellowship with them without sharing in their sinful activities.  They need to hear the truth and we are the ones called to tell them. “And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”  Mark 16:15

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Acts 2:42

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Acts 2:42  

“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” – Acts 2:42

One of the more important aspects of our Christian walk is the idea of fellowship and supporting each other.  First, I want to present a quote from the Book of Ecclesiastes which points this out so clearly.  “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?  And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.  Solomon, whom many scholars believe is the writer of Ecclesiastes points out the importance of not separating ourselves from others.  Simply put, if you are alone who will help you when you fall, who will help you in times of need, and who will fight for you when danger is imminent?

These ideas are found in our focus verse from Acts.  What Luke is pointing out is that Christians need to be in fellowship with each other in order keep each other accountable, encouraged and strong in the truth.  Back in the first century there was much persecution upon the church.  The Jewish leadership hated them for they considered Christianity as an attempt to usurp their position and the Romans were against them because they considered Christianity as a new religion and this was forbidden in the areas they were in control over.

The first part of our focus verse says, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching.” Act 2:42a.  They were to be always devoted to learning all they could about their new life in Christ.  What did it entail?  What did it not?  This was especially critical for the Jews who were always taught that obedience to the Law of Moses was the critical factor in obeying God, and they needed to understand that it went far beyond that.  Also, as they grew in the faith they would be less likely to walk away and more able to train others they come across.   They would also come together in fellowship, often times in sharing a meal.  This was important in developing strong and Godly relationships which created bonds that were not easily broken.  And lastly, with equal if not more importance with the others, they met to pray together.  They came to God regularly to pray that their faith may be strengthened and increase as they grow in God, and for the extension of the kingdom of Christ via the salvation of more and more people. 

And note the accomplishments that were seen in the first century church.  They were built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, of which Jesus Christ and His teachings were the cornerstone.  And not only were they built up in the faith, but they steadfastly continued in this doctrine received through the leaders from Christ, learning more so as to grow in their relationship with Him.  Thirdly, they were separated from the world and instead lived in holy Christian fellowship and building all up who were with them.  They frequently spent time speaking of those things that God, through Christ, did for them through His sacrifice.  And they continued in prayers, knowing it was through this communion with God that they were now His children and they looked to Him for all things, including the beautiful relationship they had with Him.

 These things were done in order that the church would grow, not only in numbers but in devotion and strength and love for God almighty.  And this is the type of lifestyle we need to live as well.  As the times get more difficult and as the world begins to persecute Christians even more harshly, we need to come together to encourage each other, supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ, and together helping those who do not know Christ to accept the sacrifice He made for them through His death on the cross.  This is why we are here, and through the Holy Spirit, we have the means to live this life.  Let us all make the decision to make the Acts 2 lifestyle ours and show the world the reality of who we are and this life we have taken hold of.  The church in the first century grew incredibly.  Wouldn’t it be great to see the true church grow in the same way in this generation?

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.