The first line of verse 14 is
astounding in its implications!
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers"
The verb "be" is a present
middle imperative of "ginomai" and means to become. Here
the Corinthians specifically and all believers generally are
being commanded not to
be something! And whatever it is that we are NOT TO
BE, we are NOT TO BE that constantly! Ongoing action,
habitual living is here required!
"Unequally yoked" translates "heterozugeo"
and means "linked together with another person or thing of a
different kind than you!"
"Unbelievers" are those who
are "apistos," individuals with no faith! No belief!
"A" means without and "pistos" means faith!
When one is saved ... a
"break" occurs! A drastic "change!" He or she is no longer
to be intimately associated with the things of the past, the
wicked things of by-gone days! Things "unlike" what he or she,
the new Christian, is becoming!
This verse introduces a pretty
"rough" section of Scripture. Paul spares no punches here!
We all probably know preachers who would not "touch" this Text
any more! It's too "controversial!" But here goes
Paul, under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit too!
But do notice this. Just
before beginning our "touch not" paragraph here, Paul has laid
the foundation by being kind and gentle to the Corinthians,
showing them his love. These words, "O ye
Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged,"
simply mean "I love you" in our language today. They are
taken from 2nd Corinthians 6:11, our immediate context!
Then, immediately after Paul
explodes this "separation" sermon on them, he says "Receive
us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we
have defrauded no man." That means he is coming to visit
them soon ... and expects a kind welcome! 2nd Corinthians
Wise preaching, Paul!
The best way the Corinthians
could "show their love" to Paul and "widen their hearts" to this
Man of God ... was to separate themselves from sin!
"Be ye also enlarged" Paul
says in 2nd Corinthians 6:13, "open your hearts to us!"
Love us as we love you!
By the way, when Paul says "do
not" here, it likely means they were already doing it,
associating with heathen practices!
But Paul's command not to be
unequally yoked here isn't original with him! No!
Read with me Leviticus 19:19. "Thou shalt not let thy
cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field
with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and
woollen come upon thee." There's the principle of
Then note Deuteronomy 22:10.
"Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together." Now
that's an unequal yoke!
The worldly crowd,
unbelievers, are a different "kind" than the saints of God!
You would be mixing saved with
lost ... clean with dirty ... right with wrong ... heaven with
hell! It just will not work!
Mind you, these people are
religious, but lost!
"Stay away from them" thunders
I would not advise a Christian
to enter business partnership with a lost man ... or a
backslider either for that matter!
Nor would I ever counsel a
saved man or woman to marry a lost mate!
I would not recommend a saved
person join some ungodly club or society either!
Amos asked "Can two walk
together, except they be agreed?"
Folks, walk with God!
Not with unbelievers!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The Apostle has just issued a
blunt command: "Be ye not unequally
yoked together with unbelievers."
Now he follows that command
with a series of five supporting questions!
fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?"
communion hath light with darkness?"
hath Christ with Belial?"
hath he that believeth with an infidel?"
agreement hath the temple of God with idols?"
Look at those nouns of
"Fellowship," in Greek "metoche,"
is interesting. It means being a "partaker" in something.
A partner! "Meta" can mean "in the midst of" and "echo"
means "to have or to hold!"
"Communion" is that which one
shares in "common" with another! "Koinonia" is derived from the
root that means "one who shares."
"Concord" gives us an English
word, borrowed from Greek of course, "symphony!" Giving
the "same sound" or the "same voice!"
And "part" ("meris") means
one's portion or share or allotment in a matter! If you have a
share in something ... you're part of it! (Does this
include wicked stocks on Wall Street? I mean something
like the liquor industry?)
Then "agreement" enters the
picture. "Sugkatathesis" means "to place or put" ("tithemi")
... "down" ("kata") which intensifies the term ... and "with"
Sounds pretty involved,
We Christians are beyond doubt
here forbidden to associate in any way with unrighteousness, "anomia"
meaning lawlessness! Literally, no law! Breaking the Law
of God, His Commandments!
The saints of God, being the
"light of the earth" according to Jesus, must not be linked to
"darkness" ... "skotos," meaning shadiness!
And "Belial," used only here
in the New Testament, means "worthless," a code name for wicked
idol worship! Who would mix Christ and this?
And the Believer ("pistos")
just can't worship with an unbeliever ("apistos")! See Paul's
"play on words?" In such a bond the Holy Spirit would not
"Idols," in Greek "eidolon,"
means an image one adores!
Just as in Old Testament days
it would have been an abomination to bring a filthy old idol
into the Temple of God, a deadly abomination ... so in New
Testament days it would be unacceptable to bring the Temple of
God (a believer's body, filled with the Holy Spirit) into a
heathen place of worship!
What exposition Paul here
supplies to further illuminate his opening command!
Here it all is again:
"Be ye not unequally yoked together
with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with
unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he
that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the
temple of God with idols?" 2nd Corinthians 6:14-16a
So ... why do professing
believers still maintain membership in dead liberal churches
that long ago quit preaching the Word of God in power?
Why do so-called Christians
mix with others who drink liquor and talk filthy and question
So why do many maintain
partnerships in worldly organizations, those with
blatantly unsaved rebels?
Why do we all not "break"
allegiance with that which opposes our Lord and Saviour?
I think such action is called
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
With five powerful piercing
questions, Paul has prodded the people to "turn from idols!"
To be "separated" from the
corrupt world system in which they lived.
This is not a strange theme
for Paul either. He preached it often. He remembered
to the Thessalonians: "Ye turned to God from idols to
serve the living and true God." 1st Thessalonians 1:9
Or, earlier, to the
Corinthians: "But now I have written unto you not to keep
company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or
covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an
extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." (1st
Corinthians 5:11) Now, that's separation! Don't even eat
Then Paul introduces a
glorious truth! "For ye are the
temple of the living God." 2nd Corinthians 6:16
That was never individually
said of Old Testament Believers!
They had to go to the Temple
to properly worship the Lord! God did not live IN
them! True, the Holy Spirit could come upon them
... but just as easily depart from them too!
(There's a big difference between the Holy Spirit being "upon"
you and "within" you!)
But now ... since Jesus has
come and shed His precious Blood, being physically buried and
raised again the third day ... things are different!
Since Pentecost the Holy
Spirit has come ... in a new and special way!
He indwells each
saint of God!
Listen to Paul write these
same Corinthians: "What? know ye not that your body is the
temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have
of God, and ye are not your own?" 1st Corinthians 6:19
Our verse again:
"For ye are the temple of the
living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in
them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my
The noun used here for
"temple" is "naos" and means the most sacred part of the House
of God! The very sanctuary!
Wow, that's amazing!
The Paul quotes Leviticus
26:11-12, where God says: "And I will set my tabernacle among
you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk
among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people."
What God wanted to do for a
nation (Israel) corporately in the Old Testament days, He now
does for a body (the Church) corporately and for an individual
(the believer in Jesus Christ, one saved by Grace) personally in
these last days!
God promises to
"dwell" with us! The verb "enoikeo"
means to make one's "house" ("oikos") inside ("in") a person!
God, through His Holy Spirit, abides within each truly
And the Lord will furthermore
"walk" ("emperipateo") ... to make
a path ("pateo") within ("em") and all around ("peri") a person
... He walks within us!
He, the Creator and Redeemer
and Sustainer and All Sufficient One, will be our God! Our
personal Saviour! Our Deliverer! Our Protector!
Our Guide! Our Provider!
And we shall be His "people!"
The noun "laos" here does not mean some exclusive wealthy elite
element of society, but people from every tribe and every nation
and every corner of earth! Common people, old sinners ...
saved by Grace!
What a verse!
God living within a Believer!
Talking to him and walking
with him and caring for Him ...with the added blessing of
reciprocation! We can respond! We can love Him in
BUT ... do notice that this
blessing of such sweet fellowship and communion is only
mentioned in its fullest extent ... to those who have broken any
unequal yokes and have separated from past idols and have parted
from the filth of the world!
For, you see, to remain
contaminated ... to practice iniquity will surely spoil such
intimate sweetness with the Lord!
The Holy Spirit is easily
grieved and quenched!
Yes, the Lord definitely asks
us to give up some things!
But, in their place, He comes
with precious harmony and peace!
Remember the words to the
"And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known"
This is especially true of
those who have broken the "unequal yokes" of the world it seems!
What a challenge!
What an inspiration!
What a reward!
How, in the face of such
wonder, can the world any longer have any "pull" in a Believer's
Dear friend, separate thyself!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The Lord here makes a promise
to His "separated" people!
Three times He says "I will!"
If we are NOT unequally yoked
with unbelievers ... God guarantees:
"I will dwell in them!"
And ... "I will be their God!"
And ... "I will receive them!"
What glorious promises these
Today, as we examine verse 17,
we shall watch Paul masterfully use Old Testament Texts to
strengthen New Testament Truths!
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith
the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will
receive you." 2nd Corinthians 6:17
We have here three commands
... and one great promise!
out" translates "exerchomai" ("ex" or "ek" really means
"out of" and "erchomai" just means "to come) and frames it as an
imperative verb! It's a command from God!
Come out of and away from that
morass called sin!
separate," still an imperative, is derived from one word,
"aphorizo." The verb "horizo" means to mark or limit with a
boundary line! The English word "horizon" is rooted here!
And the prefix "apo" means "off or away from" something!
"Be ye separate" requires our drawing a line and stay away from
it! Keeping oneself apart from iniquity!
not" is "haptomai," meaning "to fasten" to something!
Don't be "stuck" to sin! Don't even touch it! This
one is similar to Paul's "Abstain from all appearance of evil"
in 1st Thessalonians 5:22.
But the result of such "unlikness"
to the world ... to such avoiding of "unclean" things is ... a
specific reward from God!
By the way,
"unclean" translates "akathartos,"
What is the reward God
promises to the non-contaminated person?
To the one who has separated
himself from all known perversion?
"I will receive you!"
This verb, "eisdechomai,"
means "to take in" or "to accept in one's favor!" It usually
suggests delight in the receiving process too! God is
actually thrilled when we abstain from sin!
This is the only time I can
locate this verb in the Bible! It is hapax ... thereby
rendering special significance and uniqueness to the promise God
has just issued!
I suspect God is here saying
that He reserves His Very Best ... for those who live
particularly pure lives. Such living is only empowered of
course by the Holy Spirit of God!
Do YOU want to please your
Heavenly Father today?
Then, stay out of sin!
Don't meddle with it at all!
This was a lesson that many of
the Corinthians still had to learn!
How about us?
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
P. S. --- I told you earlier
that Paul quoted the Old Testament in this great 17th verse.
He did. Read with me Isaiah 52:11. "Depart ye,
depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing;
go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the
vessels of the LORD." Paul sure knew his Bible! And the Holy
Spirit, Who inspired the Text anyway, always links Scripture
If the followers of the Lord
Jesus Christ are willing to separate themselves form the world,
the Lord makes some very specific and encouraging promises to
Among those are: “And
I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and
daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:18
What a privilege this is! God … as my personal Heavenly Father!
Now in one sense He is our Father … because He created us! At
least that’s what Malachi 2:10 suggests. “Have we not all one
father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal
treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the
covenant of our fathers?" No, I am not teaching some kind of
liberal “Fatherhood of God” doctrine concerning all humanity. I
do not believe in “universalism.” Those who die rejecting
Christ will die lost and spend eternity in Hell.
But I can’t change what Malachi said either. Nor do I want to
do so, for that matter!
Then ... in another much deeper sense ... God is our Father
because we are saved! We, at the new birth, became the sons of
God! “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon
us, that we should be called the sons of God,” says 1 John 3:1.
Born into His family!
Yet, according to this 2nd Corinthians verse (6:18), there is
yet an even deeper sense of being a “child” of God!
folks, you know, are “closer” to their Fathers than others.
The most intimate relationships … child with Father … occur when
that son or daughter obeys the Fathers and delights in the
Father and guards himself exclusively from shame or disgrace,
respecting the family name!
That child is one of which the Father might often say, “I am
very well-pleased with him or her!”
I think that’s the kind of relationship Paul is describing here!
This “sons of God” status is rarely found in the Old Testament
at all! It’s primarily a New Testament doctrine! It is
definitely “our Father, Which art in Heaven” ground! Yet Paul
does here in verse 18 seem to be alluding to 2 Samuel 7:14 where
God promises David some things concerning Solomon his son: “I
will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit
iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the
stripes of the children of men.”
And Hebrews 1:5 may apply these very words to Christ too!
“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my
Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him
a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” By the way, if so, we
here have some linkage between Solomon and Jesus! Even the
“daughters” get Old Testament mention too! Isaiah 43:6
thunders: “I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south,
Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the
ends of the earth!”
These promises here to the “separated” ones are made by “the
Lord Almighty!” This is the only time Paul ever uses the term
“Almighty” in reference to God! But John loves this Name! In
the Book of Revelation he uses it eight times! It, “pantokrator,”
means “powerful ruler over all!”
Think of it!
Being that "close" to the Almighty
God, our Creator and Redeemer and Provider and Protector ... and
so much More!
There are just certain promises that belong to those who give
God their very best!
Philippians 4:19 is one, for example. It is only written to
those who have given sacrificially to help extend the cause of
Christ Jesus! At least that's the "context" in which it is
found! Only then, after such amazing generosity, Paul says … “My
God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory
by Christ Jesus.”
Friend, no vestige of the world is worth the lost of these
promises: “Wherefore come out from
among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not
the unclean thing;
and I will receive you,
and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and
daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
Thank you, Lord!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
In 2nd Corinthians 7:1 Scripture
says: "Having therefore these
promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all
filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the
fear of God."
I realize that we have "skipped"
into a new chapter! We have examined 2nd Corinthians
6:14-18, but I believe 7:1 has "linkage" to our paragraph
"These promises" mentioned by
verse 1 of chapter 7 are enumerated in verses 16 and 17 and 18
of chapter 6.
IF we will be "separate" from the
world, if we will break any "unequal yokes" there, the Lord
will: dwell with us! Walk
in us! And be our God! And
receive us! Then He will be
a Father to us! Also He will make
us His sons and daughters!
Several great promises ... to
those who "come out from the filth of the world!"
When Paul calls the Corinthians,
who have recently been opposing him and giving him trouble,
"dearly beloved" he uses the Greek noun "agape" in his title!
That's the deepest level of love known in Scripture! Even
to those who were unkind to him ... Paul still has love, the
love of God!
To "cleanse" oneself uses the verb
"katharizo." At first the word meant to sweep or wash away
dirt from a floor. Then it came to mean the washing of a
body. Then it came to mean moral cleansing. "Katharizo"
has given us the English word "catharsis" for those of you who
are in the medical field. Here the verb is written as a
subjunctive. That means it is expressing Paul's desire or
longing for the Corinthians! They have not yet necessarily so
cleansed themselves it seems! Paul is preaching to them!
The pronoun "themselves" is
clearly in the Text too. It could have been implied or
supplied in other ways, but here it is written, "eautou."
This is for added emphasis. Paul is talking to the
"Filthiness" translates "molusmos,"
a stain or spot. "Melas" just means black as in a black
spot on a white shirt. This has the same effect as a white
spot on a black shirt! The garment is ruined!
Filthiness of the "flesh" ("sarx")
could mean sexual sins or failure to separate from certain forms
And filthiness of the "spirit" ("pneuma")
could mean sins like anger or bitterness that defile the soul.
These great promises should aid us
in overcoming any "connections" with the world that "yoke" us to
its downward pulls!
"Perfecting" holiness uses the
verb "epiteleo," meaning "to complete or fulfill or reach the
goal or mature" in a process! It is an intensive verb, as
is seen by the addition of the prefix "epi."
And "holiness" is "hagiosune,"
purity in this sense: set apart from iniquity!
Then Paul adds one more incentive
to breaking all those "yokes" with the world ... "the fear of
Many positive blessing await the
one who separates from sin!
But one negative motivation is now
Not to break such unequal yokes
may invoke the chastening hand of God!
Disassociate with sin ... for fear
of displeasing God!
Leave it alone ... lest you grieve
the Holy Spirit!
Come out from among them ... or
face the possibility of many unanswered prayers! Psalm
66:18 says: "If I regard iniquity in
my heart, the Lord will not hear me:"
Distance yourself from the filth of the world ...
so as not to be ashamed when you see Him, the Saviour!
"And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall
appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at
his coming." 1st John 2:28
Paul has said enough!
It these truths do not propel us to separate from
the world ... something is wrong, bad wrong, in our spiritual
I pray that today the Lord will grip someone's
heart and they will have to make a BREAK with some link that's
been maintained with the wicked things of the past!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
IT SEEMS TO ME
THAT THIS PARAGRAPH OF POWERFUL VERSES OUGHT TO PERSUADE ANYBODY
TO SEPARATE THEMSELVES FROM ANYTHING THAT EVEN HAS THE "HINT" OF
APOSTATE CHURCHES, CLUBS OR ORGANIZATIONS, BUSINESS OR FINANCIAL
PARTNERSHIPS, JOBS, SO-CALLED FRIENDS, HABITS OR ANYTHING
ELSE THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS TO MIND!