2 Corinthians 6:18


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:18

Paul closes out this chapter with one more set of thoughts which is derived from several verses of the Old Testament. These include 2 Samuel 7:14; Isaiah 43:6; and Jeremiah 31:9. The term “Lord Almighty” would be from the Greek version of 2 Samuel 7:8.

This word, “Lord Almighty” is pantokrator. Paul uses it here and then it is only used again in Revelation by John. There he uses it nine times. It is a title which means “ruler of all, ruler of the universe, the almighty.”

Paul’s words touch at the heart of what Jesus came to do for fallen man. Through Christ, we are adopted. Our Creator becomes our Father through His work. And to ensure that this term “Father” isn’t misunderstood as merely a title without the true meaning of the bonds of family, he restates the thought from the opposite angle by saying, “And you shall be My sons and daughters.”

This verse brings us to the complete assurance that our adoption has taken place because of Christ, and it is one which bears the full honor of having been accepted into a personal, family relationship by the Ruler of the universe. He has become our adopted Father. If nothing else should stir our souls to gratitude for what Christ did, this certainly should do it! How marvelous is God’s plan of salvation that we should be called sons and daughters of God!

Life application: The bonds of family hold us to the Creator. Be assured that if you have been saved by the blood of Christ, that you will continue to be saved by the blood of Christ. Nothing in all of heaven or earth can separate you from the love of God which is found in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lord, Your word says that because of what You have done for me, I am now a child of God. I have been adopted into a family with the strongest bond in the universe. I know that nothing can ever separate me from my heavenly Father again because of what You have done. How can such love be? How immense is the heart of God that He would allow me to once again stand in His presence! Thank You Lord Jesus for this honor which came at such a high cost. Thank You for Calvary and the shedding of the blood of the Lamb! Amen.



2 Corinthians 6:17


Monday, 7 September 2015

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
 2 Corinthians 6:17

Again in this verse Paul uses a composite quoting of Scripture. Much of the quote is from Isaiah 52:11, 12, but it also draws on Leviticus 11:8, and the ending “I will receive you” resembles the Greek version of Ezekiel 11:17 and Jeremiah 24:5.

He begins with “therefore” to show a sequence of thought. In essence, the words of verses 14-18 will lead naturally to the result found in this verse. If we “come out from among them,” meaning the associations warned against in those verses; if we are separate from such things; and if we refrain from touching that which is unclean – if we do these things – then the Lord says, “I will receive you.”

It is through coming near to Christ, trusting in Him, and receiving His forgiveness that we draw near to God. In doing this, we naturally have separated ourselves from the ways of the world and thus God draws near to us. God is holy and we are to draw near to Him in holiness. This is done through faith in Christ. If we fail to make this step, then God will not draw near to us and we will remain un-adopted and forever separated from Him.

Life application: Sometimes after calling on Christ we fall back into our old ways. When this happens, we may feel we have fallen out of favor with God. However, once we are “in” Christ we can never be separated from the love of God again. We have become children by adoption. Let us endeavor to live our lives in holiness, but when we stumble and fall, let us pick ourselves up and press on in His loving salvation.

Lord God, when I heard the good new of Jesus, I was overjoyed with receiving Him and knowing that I had been saved! However, since that day I have fallen short so many times. I haven’t lived for Him as I should, I’ve done so many things that have proven me to be a faithless child, and I have certainly disappointed You. But I know that none of this has separated me from You. Through Christ, I am once and forever saved. Thank You for this wonderful reassurance. I love You my God! Amen.


2 Corinthians 6:16


Sunday, 6 September 2015

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
 2 Corinthians 6:16

Paul asks his fifth rhetorical question here with the words, “And what agreement has the temple of God with idols.” The word for “agreement” is sugkatathesis, and is only used here in the New Testament. It has a kindred verb which is found in Luke 23:51 and it literally means “…a putting down or depositing along with one. Hence of voting the same way with another, and so agreeing” (Vincent’s Word Studies).

Throughout the chapter, Paul has demonstrated a mastery over the Greek language with his use of special words to convey his thoughts clearly, accurately, and unambiguously. In this, his question is basically asking, “Why would you throw your lot in with idols?” In chapter 8, he will speak of conscience and how our actions towards idols, and things offered to idols, are to be handled. Now in order to avoid any misperceptions or abuses of what he said, he shows them the folly of being joined to idols. And the reason is explicitly stated, “For you are the temple of the living God.”

We are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Because of this, it would be contrary to unite with idols. It would show a divided loyalty and Jesus Himself said that a man can only serve one master. Even the Old Testament shows us this clearly. Time and again, the true God is set in contrast to the false gods of the surrounding people. A classic example of this is found in 1 Kings 18 –

“And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21

This is not the first time Paul has told them that they are the temple of God. In his first letter to them, he mentioned it also –

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

He repeated the thought in 1 Corinthians 6:19 as well. It is certain that he wanted them to know this and not forget it. Therefore, in his letters to those in Corinth, and throughout his other writings, he warns against mixing with the powers of darkness, with worldly things, and etc.

And in order to show that this was something that had been prophesied about before the coming of Christ, he returns to the Old Testament. The words he selects show that his analogy of us being the temple of God was anticipated long before and that it would apply not only to Jews, but to Gentile believers as well.

His words are a composite of various verses from the Old Testament and convey the idea without being exact quotes. Three of the passages that were surely on his mind were Exodus 29:45, Leviticus 26:12, and Ezekiel 37:27. These are speaking to Israel about the Jewish nation. However, the book of Hosea shows that Gentiles being “My people” also applies. He deals with that concept more fully in Romans 9, citing Hosea at that time.

Life application: Because of Jesus, God has come to live within the people of the world. His Holy Spirit indwells us and has sealed us for the day of redemption. As this is true, why would we again join ourselves to forms of wickedness which are prohibited in Scripture? Paul’s five questions beg us to think on who we are as the redeemed of the Lord and to act in a manner appropriate to that state.

O God, there was a time when I walked in this world without You. I was lost and separate from You. But then I heard the message of peace and reconciliation which told me that Jesus had come to die for me that I might live for You. In receiving Him, I received You – a new birth and a new hope. Now please help me to live for You, honoring that great Name above all names – Jesus! Help me to live out my days in holiness and righteousness, putting away the ways of the world. Amen.






2 Corinthians 6:15


Saturday, 5 September 2015

And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:15

In this verse, Paul will continue with his five rhetorical questions which are based on the statement, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” The first question here contains the argument he is making by asking, “And what accord has Christ with Belial?” The second will support the conclusion by asking, “Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?”

In the first, he uses the term “Belial” and asks what accord Christ has with Belial. The answer is obviously, “None.” There can be no true accord when one in Christ is yoked to one in Belial. The word for “accord” is sumphónésis. It is a word unique to the New Testament and by simply speaking it one can determine that it implies “harmony.” It is the noun form of a verb which is found six times in the New Testament, and it is the root of where our word “symphony” comes from. There can be no harmony between the two. Rather, there can only be discord.

This proper name, Belial (in Greek, Beliar), is not found anywhere else in Scripture. However, Belial is used in the Old Testament as a combination of two words which together mean “without profit” and thus “worthless.” There are several possible reasons for the name being given as Beliar. The first is that the change from an l to an r is based on the Syriac pronunciation of the word where the “l” sounded more like an “r.” Another reason is that the word is derived from Belyar, Lord of the forest. It would then be a synonym for Satan.

The second option seems more likely because the premise of the Bible is that we are either “in Christ” or we belong to the devil. There is no other position that we can be in as human beings. Either way, there can be no harmony between Christ and such a foe.

Paul’s second question is, “Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” The answer is that one has no part with the other. The word “part” indicates the division of a country or an estate. But what belongs to Christ will not be apportioned out to those who don’t believe in Him. The unregenerate have their part in this world and then eternal doom. Those who have called on Christ have a heavenly inheritance. Therefore, the two have no part with one another.

Life application: Paul’s questions continue to put the spotlight on our associations. He is asking us to consider our position in Christ and then to evaluate those associations based on that state. If we are to become yoked to someone who has a different set of priorities and allegiances, then there can be no true harmony with them. They will be working towards one goal while we should be working towards another.

Gracious God, You sent Christ the Lord to purchase Your redeemed back from the power of the devil. Why would we want to align ourselves again with others who have not yet called on Christ and who still serve that wicked god of this world? Help Your people to make wise choices concerning their associations and to not become unequally yoked to non-believers in matters of great importance. Instead, help us to keep our allegiance to Christ pure and undefiled. Amen.



2 Corinthians 6:14


Friday, 4 September 2015

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

After speaking to the Corinthians about opening wide their hearts, Paul now seems to take on a completely different line of thought which some scholars find out of place, as if something was later taken out or added. But there is no reason to assume this. His last words prior to this verse said, “Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.”

With that thought in mind, he simply shows them how to be open. He has gone from petition to instruction. The words of instruction are to “not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” The word for “unequally yoked together” is heterozygéō. It is a word only found here and nowhere else in ancient Greek. It was probably made up by Paul for this very verse.

HELPS Word Studies provides the following concerning this word –

heterozygéō – (from /héteros, “another of a different kind” and /zygós, “a yoke, joining two to a single plow”) – properly, different kinds of people joined together but unevenly matched; hence “unequally yoked” (not aptly joined). … heterozygéō (“mis-matched”) is used figuratively of Christians wrongly committed to a partner holding very different values (priorities), i.e. that run contrary to faith (the kingdom of God).

Adding to this, Vincent’s Word Studies shows that the word “unequally” needs to be properly defined – “Unequally gives an ambiguous sense. It is not inequality, but difference in kind, as is shown by the succeeding words.

Paul’s mind was certainly on Old Testament passages which contain this very idea. One from Leviticus and one from Deuteronomy give us a better sense of what he was thinking about –

“You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.” Leviticus 19:19

“You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” Deuteronomy 22:10

In the first example, it is showing the need to keep from corruption of individual kinds. In the second, it was showing that different kinds have different strengths and are thus designed for different purposes. To join a donkey with an ox would wear out the donkey or frustrate the ox, or both.

Thinking on a human level, we can make logical comparisons to both OT references. And so, in order to direct our thoughts in what he means, he will next ask five questions which will provide insights into the precept. The first three will contain the argument he is making and the last two will support the conclusion.

Before entering into the questions, it should be noted that the word for “fellowship” is also found only here in the NT. It is metoché, and it means “sharing, partnership, fellowship.” It represents “a close relation between partners, i.e. people sharing something held in common; joint-activity.”

Paul is saying that an unequal yoking arises because of different goals and priorities based on one’s world view. A Christian will have one world view and a non-Christian will have another. Therefore, for a Christian to marry, start a business partnership, or otherwise closely associate with a non-Christian in an important way can only be considered an unequal yoking. Later Paul gives the opposite of such yoking in Philippians 4:3 –

“And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.”

In support of his argument, Paul next asks the first two of his five questions. He begins with, “For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?” The obvious answer is “none.” Believers are justified by faith and have been imputed the righteousness of Christ. The sin of unbelievers remains and they stand in a state of unrighteousness before God. There can be no true fellowship in such a state.

His next question is, “And what communion has light with darkness?” This is a theme which permeates Scripture – light and darkness. The two are completely incompatible; where there is one, the other cannot exist. As Christians are “light” and the unbelieving world is “darkness,” there can be no true fellowship between the two. A union of the two only causes confusion and breakdown of the intrinsic nature of one or the other.

Life application: When making important life decisions, we must always consider our position in Christ first. If it is difficult for marriages to survive even when both are agreed on their devotion to the Lord, how much more difficult will a marriage be when only one is wholly devoted to Him? The same is true with business partnerships and any other major aspect of our life where we must entrust our lives to an important goal. Let us first and foremost consider ourselves from a Christian perspective and make our alliances based on that.

Lord God, You have asked Your people to not be unequally yoked with non-believers. How often do we fail to heed this advice! And how difficult it is for us when we do! Help us to make right decisions about our lifetime choices which will be based on our allegiance to Jesus first. Help us to be obedient to Your word and to set our eyes, goals, hearts, and affections on Jesus as we live out these lives You have granted us. Amen.