In 2 Cor 6: 14 to 7:1, Paul next issues a command, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” The command seems even more pointed at “Stop yoking yourselves to unbelievers.” Use of the present imperative shows that Paul is not merely warning the Corinthians about a potential danger, i.e.”do not start” but instructing them to stop an action already in progress. What exactly is Paul prohibiting with his command?
Marriage between a believer and unbeliever would certainly be a legitimate application of the command but it may not even be the primary application, since the focus throughout is on the church, not the individual believer. This is especially clear from the Old Testament passages Paul invokes to support his prohibition. In each case they deal with God’s covenantal relationship with Israel, which Paul reapplies to the church as the temple of the living God (v 16-18).It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture precepts as to marriages clearly appear. Instead of a help meet, the union brings a snare. Those whose cross it is to be unequally united, without their willful fault, may expect consolation under it; but when believers enter into such unions, against the express warnings of God’s word, they probably expect much distress. The caution also extends to common conversation. We should not join in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing and hearing, and being with such, yet we should never choose them for friends. We must not defile ourselves by converse with those who defile themselves with sin. Come out from the workers of iniquity, and separate from their vain and sinful pleasures and pursuits, from all conformity to the corruptions of this present evil world. How can we really live by this theology in this present world?
Father, let us be able to live our lives to be the temple of the living God, to belong exclusively to You and to forsake all associations that would be incompatible with Your ownership.