Sunday 14 May, 2017

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

14 Do not be joined to unbelievers. What do right and wrong have in common? Can light and darkness be friends? 15 How can Christ and Satan agree? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 How can the temple of the true God and the statues of other gods agree? We are the temple of the living God. God has said, “I will live with them. I will walk among them. I will be their God. And they will be my people.” (Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27) 17 So, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch anything that is not pure and ‘clean.’ Then I will receive you.” (Isaiah 52:11; Ezekiel 20:34,41) 18 And, “I will be your Father. You will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord who rules over all.” (2 Samuel 7:14; 7:8) 7 Dear friends, we have these promises from God. So let us make ourselves pure from everything that makes our bodies and spirits impure. Let us be completely holy. We want to honor God.

The notion that there is an intrinsic problem with any partnership between a believing, faith-filled Christian and a non-believer, whether they be atheist, agnostic or some other religion, is easy to understand in theory (2 Cor 6:14-16). My belief in Christ is so central to who I am, it is unlikely to be healthy for me to take up any form of partnership in romance or business or building or anything with someone who believes differently to me, because they will have different values and ideals and we will run into a major conflict.

In practice, however it is complex! We live in a secular society and there are so many good reasons to develop business relationships and projects and friendships with other people and organisations that share a similar set of goals or ideals, even if their core beliefs are not Christ centred.

Similarly, I need to develop some level of relationship with people if I am to be able to connect them to Christ. Maintaining a segregational approach will not be effective in seeing people saved.

But the Bible is true and real so the truth is there. The principle is a good one and the outworking of it needs to be worked out…

For me, I wonder if it is perhaps most important to uphold the principle that this passage refers to in my intimate friendships and my spousal relationship. Without the unity of the Holy Spirit to hold these relationships together and the Blood of Christ to enable forgiveness and restoration, I am likely to be seriously hurt in this story of relationship.

Lord, your word is powerful and true as well as being filled with principles that lead to life. Help me to rightly handle your word and apply it to my life well.

Written by Ps. Justin Ware

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