March 15, 2021 – Monday
2 Corinthians 6:14-16a NIV
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 1
5 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
These verses are a warning to unmarried Christians in Corinth not to marry someone who does not believe. It is difficult when a believer is yoked to an unbeliever, there can be little question of this. If you have not observed this, watch the movie, “The Case for Christ” based upon the book with the same title by Lee Strobel. Neither he nor his wife were believers when the got married, but she came to the faith … I won’t give the story away and tell how that happened.
However, after she came to the faith in Jesus as her Lord and Savior their marriage entered very difficult waters. The book The Case for Christ was the result of his attempt to prove her faith was based upon a myth. His efforts led him to a faith in Christ as well. But it might not have ended that way. For many, it ends in divorce.
Paul wants us to avoid any trouble of that sort. To do so, he lays out a series of arguments. First, what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? And we all know the answer to that question: Nothing. Second, what fellowship can light have with darkness? Again the answer is Nothing for darkness is the absence of light. Third, What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? The answer is None; however, a bit of explanation is necessary to explain who or what Belial is.
Ellicott’s Commentary tells us about the use of Belial herein: The passage is remarkable as being the only occurrence of the name in the New Testament, all the more so because it does not appear in the Greek version of the Old. The Hebrew word signifies “vileness, worthlessness;” and the “sons of Belial” (as in Deuteronomy 13:13, 1 Samuel 2:12 and 25:17 KJ21) were therefore the worthless and the vile. The English version, following the Vulgate, translates the phrase as though Belial were a proper name. St. Paul’s use of the word would seem to imply that some such belief was floating among the Jews in his time.
Going to the rest of Paul’s arguments in the verses for today. Fourth, what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? The answer here is again Nothing, but with a caveat – there is nothing in common in the subject of faith, following Jesus, no common participation. And Paul’s last argument: Fifth, What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? The answer is None. God detests idols. To get an idea of just how much He detests idols or finds them detestable, go here and read through a few of the verses provided.
Paul does not leave the argument there. He adds, For we are the temple of the living God. This is not so much an argument, but instruction on living as a Christian, as a part of the temple of God. Guzik writes In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul wrote of individual Christians as being temples of God. Here, he refers to the church as a whole being the temple. Because temples are holy places and should be protected against things that might defile the holy place, we should protect our hearts and minds as holy places before the Lord. I would add we should be ready to help Christians find other Christians to marry. And as well to stand with those who are married to nonbelievers offering support wherever possible.
Prayer: Father God – Please help all those looking to marry find a fellow believer who follows Christ. Also help those who find themselves yoked to someone who does not believe and please help us to help them as well. – In Jesus name. Amen.