Thursday Morning Thankfulness – Epistles of Paul
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)
A Study In Contrast
Christians are different. They have made a commitment of separation. Their lives will become a study in contrast seeking to reflect the glory of God and deflect the influence of the world. It is not an easy task. Many will try to serve God and mammon. It cannot be done. The appeal of the world will overtake the heart and the principles of righteousness will be left by the side of the broad way. Perdition awaits. The solution is offered by the Holy Spirit through the writings of Paul. He explains the need of contrast and how to remove the influence of the world.
The Christian should not allow the lives of unbelievers to choose the direction in life. A yoke burdened with someone who does not believe in Christ will lead in the wrong paths. To partner with those who do not live according to the law of God will influence the child of God to break the law. There can be no blending of light and darkness. The power of darkness only takes over when light is extinguished. Belial is foreign to our knowledge. Belial is a transcript of the Hebrew, meaning worthlessness or wickedness; a synonym for Satan. Jesus Christ and Satan do not sit at the same table. The temple of the Lord God Almighty does not have idols of men. There is only one God and one God alone.
Paul’s use of contrast is striking. The Christian should immediately realize that life is to be a separation from the influence of the world. It should never be considered wise to see how close a person can get to the fire before being burned. The key to separation is to remain separate. If God is to be a part of my life then my life must be fully His. No half-Christian, half-devotion, half-willing heart to serve. It is all or nothing.
Living for Christ means to be separate. Cleansing our lives of the influence of the world will direct our hearts and minds toward the glory of God. First place means only one person can sit on the throne of our hearts. Who sits on that throne?
True godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it; not to hide their candle under a bushel, but to set it upon a table in a candlestick. (William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude, 1693)