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Yoking With Unbelievers
Bible Passage 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2022 & books 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Deuteronomy.

Yoking With Unbelievers

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached December 21, 2022

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness?

15 And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?

16 And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols? For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said: “I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

17 Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you;

18 And I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty.


Apparently the Corinthians still misunderstood what Paul was trying to teach them about relationships with unbelievers (see 1 Cor 5:9-11). Previously they thought it meant cutting themselves off from unbelievers completely. Now they go to the other extreme and think their relationships can be as close as they like, even to marriage. Not so, says Paul. There must be no permanent and binding relations with unbelievers. The new life of Christians is as different from the life of non-Christians as light is from darkness or as Christ is from Satan (Belial) (verse 14-15).

The concept of ‘kpodzi’ or ‘salem’ is a fallout from this instruction given by Paul to the Corinthians. That concept required that new converts move out of the township to join believers around the premises of the Church. The idea was to prevent the converts from following idol worship patterns and activities. That concept might have served its purpose in the past. But today, it requires more than physical separation to the rendering of one’s heart and living according to the demands of a believer.

Paul says that the believers cannot work together with unbelievers. He is referring to Deuteronomy 22:10. ‘Do not plough with ox and ass together.’ The ox and the ass are different farm animals.

But Christians should not separate from other Christians just because they do not agree about everything. Neither should they separate completely from people who do not believe. He writes about this in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11. If they tried to do that, they would have to leave the world! But he means that they could not have close friendship with unbelievers. All the cultural activities of the Greek people centred round the worship of idols. Some people would invite them to a meal to give honour to a false god. During the meal, people would pray to the false god. Christians must not do this.

The church is the temple of God, and so is the individual Christian (see 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19 ). God dwells within His people, and His dwelling place must be holy. Being united with idol worshippers is the same as bringing a heathen idol into God’s temple (verse 16).

A man who is truly pious, marrying with an unconverted woman, will either draw back to perdition, or have many difficulties. The same may be said of a pious woman marrying an unconverted man. Such persons cannot say this petition of the Lord’s prayer, Lead us not into temptation. They plunge into temptation of their own accord.

Christians can have no part in the ungodliness of the sinful society in which they live. They are now members of the family of God, and their relationship with their heavenly Father is more important than all their physical and earthly relationships (verse 17-18).

Christians should therefore not marry unbelievers. But if someone is already married to an unbeliever, they should not separate. Instead, the Christian should try to help the unbeliever to understand God’s message.

🔷 Beware of your relationship with unbelievers. Even in the same Church, not everyone can be your friend. You must befriend those who yearn to live like Christ and be true Christian partners at all times.

💥 Pray for your neighbours, mates, colleagues who are unbelievers
💥 Ask God to give you the wisdom and power to evangelise unbelievers

Since Christians do not live in the world alone, they cannot have separate social facilities. However love they show to others and unbelievers, they must have no intimate relations or engage in acts that would undermine their belief or denigrate Christ. We must evangelise all people of the world but not through unnecessary partnership with unbelievers that can find trouble for us.

In series Bright Morning Reflections