Life-Study of 2 Corinthiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We have seen that to be fully reconciled to God is to have the full experience of God’s salvation. We have also seen that to be fully reconciled and saved is to have our hearts enlarged. Now let us go on to consider 6:14—7:1, a frank exhortation of the reconciling ministry.
Verse 14 says, “Do not become unequally yoked with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” This word about not being unequally yoked was spoken by the apostle based upon his mouth being opened and his heart being enlarged to the believers in verse 11. Having established the fact that full reconciliation is full salvation resulting in the enlargement of the heart, Paul exhorts the Corinthian believers not to become unequally yoked with unbelievers.
The word unequally in verse 14 means diversely; it denotes a difference in kind. This refers to Deuteronomy 22:10, which forbids yoking two different animals together. Believers and unbelievers are diverse peoples. They should not be yoked together, because of the believers’ divine nature and holy standing. This should be applied to all manner of intimate relationships between believers and unbelievers, not only to their marriages and businesses.
This word indicates that the Corinthian believers were unequally yoked with unbelievers. They were not separated unto God from worldly people. This indicates that they were not fully reconciled to God. Hence, the apostle exhorted them not to be diversely yoked with unbelievers, but to be separated that they might be fully reconciled, brought back, to God.
According to the Old Testament, cattle were of two categories: the clean and the unclean. Those that were clean chewed the cud and had cloven hooves. Sheep and oxen were clean animals, but donkeys, horses, mules, and pigs were not clean. Thus, Deuteronomy 22:10 says, “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.” Here we see that the law commanded the children of Israel not to yoke together a clean animal with an unclean one, not to put the clean and the unclean under the same yoke. A clean animal, such as an ox, could be offered to God, but an unclean animal could not be offered to Him. Therefore, the clean and the unclean were unequal.
In 6:14 Paul does not care for the teaching of the law; he cares for the spiritual significance of this requirement. Today we, the believers, are the clean ones. We are the oxen and the lambs to be offered to God. Unbelievers, however, are unclean, and we should not be yoked together with them.
To be yoked together with unbelievers is to be distracted from God. To rid ourselves of such an unequal yoke is to come back to God and to be reconciled into Him. For example, a brother should not marry an unbeliever. For him to marry an unbeliever is to be unequally yoked. That kind of unequal yoke would distract him from God. Likewise, to form a partnership in business with an unbeliever is also to be unequally yoked. Suppose a believer and an unbeliever are partners together in a business and have the same interest and goal. They are actually an unequally yoked pair. This kind of pairing, yoking, needs to be terminated. Anyone who engages in a business partnership in this way will be distracted by his business from God. His business will take him farther and farther away from God. Any brother in that situation needs to cast off that unequal yoke in business and be reconciled, brought back, into God.
Furthermore, friendships with unbelievers can cause us to be unequally yoked. The young people especially like to make friends. Young brothers and sisters, if you have close friendships with unbelievers, that will cause you to become an unequally yoked pair. That kind of yoking will distract you from God. Your unbelieving friend will not help you to come closer to God; rather, an unbelieving friend will take you away from Him. As long as you maintain such an unequal friendship, you will be distracted from God more and more and taken gradually farther away from Him. Therefore, Paul charges us not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers for the purpose that we may be kept in God and may be brought back fully into Him.
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