Tag Archives: unbelievers

This Is No Yoking Matter! (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

We’re now working our way through 2 Corinthians. Here’s my outline for several verses in chapter six:

This Is No Yoking Matter! (A Study of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

This is a very famous passage of 2 Corinthians. I remember verse 14 being wielded against me as a teenager when I would even entertain the thought of dating an unsaved person (good advice)! My elders would say, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (KJV)! Their intention — and their advice — were well-grounded in God’s Word. If a Christian dates a non-Christian, they will likely marry a non-Christian! Sometimes they would add the verse from Amos 3:3- “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

The immediate context of this verse has to do with spiritual fellowship. Notice the contrasts:These opposites are well-chosen. The opposite of righteousness is wickedness, the opposite of light darkness. The devil is the opposite of Christ. There is a present (and will be an eternal) difference between a believer and an unbeliever. And the temple of the true God has nothing in common with idols!

When it comes to spiritual fellowship, the believer has nothing in common with those who don’t know Christ! One commentator writes, “Christians should be separate from the wicked world, as Christ was separate from all the feelings, purposes, and plans of Satan.” The term “Belial” (“Satan” in the Syriac; used only here in the New Testament) is the god of this world. The term is used very often in the Old Testament to express men notoriously wicked and scandalous, Deu 13:13 Judges 19:22 1 Samuel 1:16 2:12 25:17 2 Samuel 16:7 2 Chronicles 13:7.

Granted, we are not to cast our lot with the wicked (Psalm 1), but this does not mean that we can’t be a friend of sinners like the Lord Jesus! This passage does not mean that we are to become monks who live in caves and have nothing to do with the world. But we are not to yoke ourselves, bind ourselves, with those who oppose God and the things of God.This would include marriage as well as business ventures.

True, when it comes to spiritual fellowship, we have nothing in common with unbelievers. But when it comes to being human, we have much in common with those not yet in God’s family. And we can befriend them for Christ’s sake!

Today’s Challenge: Don’t seek your spiritual fellowship with those who don’t know Christ! There’s nothing there. Find your spiritual nourishment among the people of God so you can reach those who aren’t yet the people of God!

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Posted by on June 21, 2020 in 2 Corinthians 6


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The Forgotten Third: Developing a Relationship with God the Holy Spirit (Chapter 7)

Chapter 7- His Ministries to the Unbeliever

“Whatever am I going to do, my friend?” Hamil was distraught and ashamed, for he had been caught by his wife with another woman. “You know I’m a Christian, Hamil? I can only help you from my understanding of God’s Word, the Bible.” “Yes, yes. I know. My religion doesn’t really offer me forgiveness. Please help me!”

The Unbeliever and the Holy Spirit

What are the ministries of the Spirit of God to the unbeliever? Of course His primary ministry is that of conviction of sin. We read in John 16: When he [the Spirit of God] comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. (verses 8-11)

The Spirit’s inner ministry of convicting the unbeliever of sin is mysterious, but we need to pray for His work in the hearts of family members, co-workers, and acquaintances who have not yet received the gospel. I have often been impressed as I have read through the book of Acts (especially Acts 16:14) by the co-operation between the Apostles preaching the gospel convincingly and the Spirit of God bringing conviction. Perhaps if we did our job more conscientiously, He would do His work more frequently.

The Spirit of God is also involved in restraining sin in the world. This work of the Holy Spirit seems to be implied in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 where we read, “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.” Although some commentators think this verse is referring to the savoring effect of the church, others suggest it is the Spirit of God who is holding back or restricting or controlling sin in the world (see also Genesis 6:3 concerning the Spirit’s “striving” with man). Every generation of Christians seems to think its own to be the most sinful in history. How easily we can forget this divine work of the Spirit in our lost world.

Study Questions:
1. How might we work with the Holy Spirit in His ministry of convicting our unsaved friends of their need of Christ?
2. Would you agree with the statement that our job is convincing the unbeliever of the truth of the gospel and the Holy Spirit’s job is convicting the unbeliever of his or her sin and need of Christ? How does the book of Acts help answer this question?
3. What are some ways that the Holy Spirit restrains sin in the world?

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Posted by on November 8, 2019 in The Holy Spirit


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Why Believe? (Part 1)

I met my Canadian friend John FirefoxScreenSnapz072while playing online chess.  I have a number of games going — and I lose most of them — but it’s a great way to meet new people.  Occasionally, I get to share a bit of the Good News about Jesus with them.

This is not John’s picture to the right.  But he is a gentleman in his 80’s and comments regularly on my blog.  (You can read his comments if you wish — they are found at the end of several of my blog posts).

John argues against the Christian idea of God, what the Bible has to say about salvation, and, essentially, why we should be religious at all.

Recently John wrote: “In your first reply you stated that we are all sinners and therefore we need a Savior. This has been said so often by so many people nobody seems to question this any more. Is this not also along the line of selfishly trying to make our guilt to be carried by someone else? Shouldn’t we rather be thought that our actions (sins ??) are our own and take responsibility for them, regardless of possible punishments ? Wouldn’t you agree that humanity would be better off with this kind of thinking?”

How would you answer John?  (I’ll post my response in a few days).


Posted by on October 16, 2013 in online chess


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