PART 4 PERSONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Knowing When to Maintain Them and Knowing When to Avoid Them ●Improper Alliances ●Generally Known Egregious Sin CHAPTER 5 Improper Alliances On what basis should a believer separate themselves from an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, The apostle Paul begins by instructing thKnowing When to Maintain Them and Knowing When to Avoid Them ●Improper Alliances ●Generally Known Egregious Sin CHAPTER 5 Improper Alliances On what basis should a believer separate themselves from an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, The apostle Paul begins by instructing the Corinthian believers to not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. The words “Be ye not unequally yoked” is a metaphor taken from oxen or horses, which require them to walk at the same pace and to act together in the same work, when fastened under one yoke. In Deuteronomy 22:10, we read: "Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together." The ox was a clean animal to the Jews, but the ass was not (Deuteronomy 14:1-8); and it would be wrong to yoke them together. 14 …for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?... He goes on to say, for what fellowship (sharing with; to have in common with) has righteousness (the state of the believer justified by faith) with unrighteousness (the state of the unbeliever, the fruit of unbelief). The believer in his spiritual state can have no fellowship with the unbeliever in his sinful state. 14 …and what communion hath light with darkness? He proceeds to provide another analogy; and what communion (partnership) has light (the emblem of truth, virtue, holiness) with darkness (the emblem of sin, corruption, and ignorance)? There can be nothing in common with holiness and sin. Holiness refers to being filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit. In order to be filled, the person must have received the Holy Spirit. The unbeliever has not received the Holy Spirit. Therefore, his/her holiness simply means they are religious, devoid of God’s person and power. 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? He doesn’t stop there, but adds another analogy; and what concord (harmony or agreement) is there between Christ and Belial (those who are wicked and abandoned to iniquity)? Or what part has he that believes with an infidel (an unconverted Gentile)? The word “concord” speaks of beautiful music that comes when the players are reading the same score and obeying the same leader. However, Christ and Belial are not on the same page of music obeying the same leader. 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. He decides to provides one more analogy; and what agreement (unity) has the temple of God (you believers) with idols (gods worshipped by pagans)? These believers had ceased to reckon the profession of idolatry to be a sin. An idolater never worships the true God; a Christian should never worship an idol. Just as God may be said to live in a temple, so here it is stated what that temple is where he lives, which is "in" the Christian community, God's temple. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, Based on all that he just said, he gives them two commands, “come out” and “be ye separate”. Come out (leave) from among the unbelievers and be ye separate (return to your own land; suggests devotion to God for a special purpose). You might ask, how does this apply to me? Can what Paul said be made clearer? I will provide for you my understanding as to what God’s instructions are to us in respect to our association with unbelievers? We should: Be ye not unequally yoked (to walk at the same pace and act together in the same work) with them. Don’t participate with them in their religious influences (all forms of ungodly intimacy). Not have fellowship (something in common) with them in regard to their spiritual state. Responding to the gospel is the only way for a person to become justified (made righteous). Do not become in agreement with their suggested alternatives. Have no communion (partnership) with them in respect to light (holiness) and darkness (sin). Holiness occurs when a believer confesses known sin, recovers the filling of the Spirit, and puts on the mind of Christ (newness of thought). There can be no partnership with those who try to please God by what they do whether moral (e.g. good works, observing rituals and ceremonies, etc.) or immoral. Have no concord (agreement) with them in respect to Christ and Belial (a different leader). A Christian who follows Christ and another person who follows someone else (e.g. Buddah, Allah, etc.) are not following the same protocols for salvation and sanctification. They are not on the same page of music. There is no agreement with the body of Christ and with those who are followers of other faiths. Have no agreement (unity) with their idols (gods worshiped by pagans). This would include not being involved with any of their practices, which would bring association with idolatry. Touch not (not associate with) the unclean thing (with that which will compromise our testimony or lead us into disobedience). Come out (leave) from among the unbelievers, and be ye separate (from their religious influences and/or immoral behavior). What are some of those religious influences that will inhibit the unbeliever from becoming born again or the believer from growing spiritually? ● Water baptism is the basis for salvation (the bundle of benefits received such as the Holy Spirit, the gifts, eternal life, etc.) instead of responding to the gospel (repenting to God the Father and believing in His Son). ● The partaking of the communion elements as the basis for partaking in Christ’s literal body and blood, which causes a believer to grow in Christ instead of confessing known sin, recovering the filling of the Spirit, and putting on the mind of Christ (newness of thought). ● Adherence of obedience to any aspect of the Mosaic Law, which serves as the basis for salvation and sanctification (walking in the Holy Spirit in order to grow to spiritual adulthood) instead of responding to the gospel and subsequently being filled with the Spirit. These are just some of the religious influences, which distort the gospel and deceive the believer into thinking they are growing spiritually. It is inevitable that we will come into contact with unbelievers, some of whom are religious and some of whom are not. Our attitude toward them should be like the example exhibited by Christ. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! (Luke 7:34) For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (Hebrews 7:26) He was a friend (friendly; sociable, in order to do them good) of sinners and yet he was separate (an entire separation from their feelings, principles, and views of a sinful world) from them. His contact with them did not defile His character or His conduct. There was contact without contamination. In like manner, we should engage in contact without contamination. CHAPTER 6 Generally Known Egregious Sin What would be a reason for a believer being instructed to not have any contact or fellowship with another believer? Suggested Reading: 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. (1 Corinthians 5:1) Paul has received a report concerning someone in the church, who was involved in an illicit sexual relationship with his step mother. The sin is so public that it cannot be concealed and it is so certain that it cannot be denied. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. He told them that they, the believers in Corinth, were living in pride, because they were afflicted and troubled in taking the proper means for removing the offender. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, If he was present, he would know what judgment to administer to him that has committed this sin. 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: A single egregious sin corrupts the whole church. Therefore, they were to remove this person from their company. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? It is our business to judge [used of the disciplinary judgment to which Christians subject the conduct of their fellows, passing censure (to find fault with, to criticize harshly) upon them as the facts require] fellow believers, when the sin committed is commonly known by the church assembly. 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. Evidently there were plenty of witnesses (one who can or does state as the truth what he himself has seen, heard, or knows)to the egregious sin. Those who are in authority (e.g. pastors; anyone appointed to handle such matters) to address egregious sins would ask the sinner and the witnesses to come before them to discuss the matter without the congregation being present. If a Christian brother or sister, including someone in leadership, was found guilty of committing the alleged sin, then a public statement of the nature of the offence would be made before the entire church, and such a censure as the case demands. If the offender admitted guilt, then in all likelihood the censure imposed would be for a fixed period of time. If they were found guilty and refused to admit guilt, then they would be removed from the assembly indefinitely. Public sin must be judged and condemned. The sin was not to be "swept under the rug"; for, after all, it was known far and wide even among the unsaved who were outside the church. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. What do you think the response should be by any member of the assembly toward any believer who has been removed from fellowship? Should we console him/her? Should we invite him/her over to our house for dinner? Should we hang out with him/her? But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (1 Corinthians 5:11) The believers in the assembly were instructed to not have any contact or fellowship with the offending believer in any way, shape, or form. I’m sure that many would protest this type of action. They might also say that the church should have never addressed this believer’s sinful action, because this is considered as meddling in their affairs. Are there any biblical reasons which support this censure and the instruction as to how the assembly should respond? The censure was imposed for two reasons. To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:5) The first has to do with God permitting Satan to attack the offender’s body so that he might be corrected, humbled, and reformed by these sufferings, and recalled to the paths of piety and virtue. Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: (1 Corinthians 5:7) The second was so that the whole church would not be contaminated. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. (2 Corinthians 2:6-7) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (1 Corinthians 5:11) As to this particular situation, the apostle Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians that the estimated time concerning this believer’s removal from their rights and privileges in the assembly was up. Therefore, he instructed the assembly to forgive (restore) the excommunicated brother. He also recommended that a public declaration be made before the church assembly that love be shown to him, lest Satan would have gained an advantage. Follow this series: on-line at Weekly Messages: https://www.blockislandtimes.com/affiliate/block-island-christian-fellowship/12074 Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/James-Rondinone-560602797425740/ Website: http://www.makingtheonerightchoice.com/

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