There are stark differences between Christians and non- Christians. This is spelled out in the contrasting descriptions given in (14-16). Believers and unbelievers belong to different kingdoms; vastly differing worlds. They don’t speak the same language. Therefore there are certain close relationships (what Paul refers to as being ”yoked together’’) that Christians should not enter into. Paul does not state precisely which he has in mind, but it has long been believed that marriage is a major example. How can you become one with someone who is ”darkness” when you are ”light in the Lord.’’? (Eph.5:8). The Christian in such a situation will usually reason/argue that he or she will win their partner over. Of course it can happen. But the normal flow of events is in the other direction. I heard that Spurgeon was in conversation with a girl from his church who proposed to enter such an unequal partnership. ‘But I’ll pull him up’, she protested. Spurgeon had her stand on a chair in the middle of the room. ‘You pull me up from there,’ he said. She couldn’t, of course. ‘Now let me show you how easy it is for me to pull you down!!’ It is not the case that we are to avoid friendships with people who do not share our faith. But any tying together of our lives is to be avoided. In such a relationship we will constantly pull apart and want to go off in different directions. There will have to be compromise to keep moving forward together, and the disciple of Christ must not compromise his beliefs or commitment to holiness (17 -7:1). The central truth here is that God lives in His church (16), among His people. He also lives in each of us (see 1 Corinthians chapters 3 and 6). We belong to God; we are not our own. Therefore we must put separation between ourselves and anything that would prevent us from fully living out the implications of this relationship. It is a privilege to be God’s people, but it also carries responsibilities.
”Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil?…Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself…With promises like this to pull us on, dear friends, let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.” The Message.
When you are wearing your best clothes you will do everything you can to avoid staining them or getting them dirty. As a Christian you have a responsibility to be even keener to avoid contact with moral filth. Remember always who you are and whose you are.
Prayer: Lord, if I am going to make a ‘’clean break’’ with everything that would stain my life – and I do want to – I will need your strength. I look to you to help me keep my clothes unstained this day.
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