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Gaurding Your Heart

As we continue through Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church, we see that he has been very transparent about himself and his ministry.  His desire is that those he’s writing to feel the same affection towards him.

We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.  We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.  As a fair exchange — I speak as to my children — open wide your hearts also.
2 Corinthians 6:11-13

He’s telling them this because it’s very important to guard our hearts.  We have to be asking; who do we open our hearts to?  Sometimes we set ourselves up for problems and setbacks in this area.

Look at how Paul warns the church.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?  What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
2 Corinthians 6:14-15

Most of the teaching that I hear about this passage has to do with marriage.  They teach that a Christian should never marry a non-Christian.

While I believe that this is true.  There’s more to it than just the marriage issue.  It refers to any contractual partnership arrangement.  We have to be careful with how closely we attach ourselves to the world system.

Of course, we can have non-Christian friends.  How else will they see the Gospel message lived out?  That’s not a problem.

To understand this we need to look at the words Paul uses to describe this attachment.

The word, yoked, is a Greek word that actually means yoked differently.  It’s like yoking a bull and a horse together.  No work will get done.  They’re too different.

Also, you can’t yoke two animals together that are facing opposite directions.  I’ve seen the spiritual equivalent of this in a marriage.

There were two Christian individuals.  They were both at about the same level in their Christian walk.  They, unfortunately, didn’t do any pre-marital counseling.

If they had they would have discovered that even though they were at the same spiritual level, she was heading toward Christ while he was heading away from Him.  The marriage ended in divorce.

We have to be careful who we attach ourselves to, either in romantic relationships or business partnerships.  They can either drag us down or lift us up to our full potential.

In my next post, I’ll look at the other words in this passage that Paul uses to describe these relationships.  It’s important that we guard ourselves against this spiritual minefield.

Question: How have you seen this concept of unequal yoking played out?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2020 in Spiritual Walk

 

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Marriage Between Light and Dark

In my last post, we saw the Apostle Paul’s teaching on divorce between Christian couples.  Now he goes on to talk about marriages between a Christian and a non-Christian.

To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.  And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.
1 Corinthians 7:12-13

In this case, there’s a special set of circumstances.  You have two vastly different kingdoms living under the same roof.

It’s the problem of light and darkness coming together.  They don’t mix very well.  In many cases, the unbelieving spouse finds it very convicting as they live with a believer.  This is true even when the Christian isn’t actively trying to win them to Christ.

Because of this, Paul says that the decision should be left in the hands of the unbeliever.  If they’re willing to remain in the relationship, then the marriage should stay intact.

The reason it works this way is because of the influence of the Holy Spirit.  The Christian spouse brings a covenant blessing into the home because of their faith.

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband.  Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
1 Corinthians 7:14

Please understand what Paul’s saying here.  The unbeliever is made clean in a ceremonial sense.  They’re not saved by the spouse.  A clean rock is still a rock.

God gives the unbeliever a position of cleanness.  This is so that the children can come under the covenant blessing.  Because of the believer, they’re covered by God’s promises.

God will always desire for the marriage to remain together.  That’s because the Holy Spirit has a chance to work on the heart of the unbeliever.

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so.  A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.  How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband?  Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
1 Corinthians 7:15-16

As in all things, the rule is peace.  God wants our homes to be a refuge of peace.  That’s why He will not keep a believer and an unbeliever bound together.  A battleground between light and dark is no place to live.

God’s desire is for our best.  He wants our homes to be a place of blessing for both parents and children.

Question: How can God work on the unbeliever even if they decide to leave the marriage?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2019 in Relationships, Spiritual Walk

 

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