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.