(2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
This scripture clearly tells us that this whole world has been and continues to be polarised by Jesus Christ.
It was because Jesus came that a line in the sand was drawn separating people clearly into two camps: the good and the evil. No other person ever had such an impact on the world as He did.
And we must learn and understand why this polarisation exists. Jesus explained in Matthew 5:48 that, “You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” It is because the power of the teachings of Jesus and the working of the new covenant are aimed at bringing man into perfection that the whole world has been polarised. In Christ we learn the difference between good and evil, and we learn to discern what is good and what is evil and unfortunately in this world there are things that are evil that the world calls good and vice versa.
Partners In Christ
When we look at the scripture today, we see Paul focus on showing the church at Corinth that there is no compromise. In Christ we cannot compromise what we believe by allowing false teachings and the philosophies of the world to permeate our minds and our beliefs. Consider these first few words.
14 Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Be’lial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)
Paul is telling us to separate ourselves from the people of the world. He is saying we should not be unequally yoked with people who do not believe in God or Jesus Christ.
The simple explanation for this position is that there is no way that these two extremes can exist together. Good cannot co-exist with evil, just as light and darkness cannot exist in the same space. In a dark room, the darkness ceases to exist when a light is switched on.
And it is the same with Jesus Christ and the teachings of the new covenant. They cannot exist in the same place as the works of the devil and the darkness of sin. There is no partnership between Jesus Christ and the devil.
A believer does not have anything in common with a non-believer as their goals in life are quite different. A believer wants to please Christ, knowing that in Him ther eis the hope of eternity. But an unbeliever seeks only the material things of this world because they do not believe there is a spiritual realm or a hope after death. They consider that what can be seen and felt in this life is all that exists and so you have to get it all and do it all now.
The fundamental difference between a Christian and a non-believer can be boiled down to hope. The Christian lives a life in the hope of redemption, the hope of salvation and the hope of a better life after this one. By contrast the non-believer has no hope because the things they hope on are the things of this world that do not offer hope at all. They look to material things or the instruments of government or the goodness of people to provide answers. But these things constantly fail and fall down because they are controlled and managed by men and women who do not see the fullness of the Creation and what the ultimate plan of God is for mankind. They can never offer hope because they do not know what to do that will provide hope.
What is even worse, and it has happened many times over the past two thousand years, is the way that the word of God has been compromised for wrong purposes.
In the centuries after the early disciples passed away, the church was compromised as they modified the truth and accepted the teachings of the many pagan and false religions to bring people into the church. And to make it worse, the bible was translated into a language that the common man did not have access to and so he could not learn for himself.
The truth was compromised and so the fullness of the truth was lost in a swamp of lies, half-truths and false teachings. It was exactly what Paul was writing about in this section of scripture in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. He was warning the church and showing them that there is no middle ground or partnership between Jesus Christ and the works of the devil. He was showing that in order to walk in Christ and to find the perfection that we all must find to come into the presence of God, then there can be no compromise.
So the warning carries down to us today. We are in the same place today and need to understand that there can be no pollution of the truth by allowing even a shadow of false teaching into what we believe.
In another way our situation is both more difficult and worse than that of the church at Corinth. The challenge the church faces today is different to the early church.
The early church started with the perfect message as delivered by Jesus Christ and then preached to the known world by those who learned it from Him. The problems the early church faced, as Paul is writing about here and in many other places, is that they were drifting away from the truth and sliding into unrighteousness. They were turning to the darkness or turning back into the law, even though they knew that they had been set free from all of those things.
Our challenge today is the reverse of that in the early church. The modern church has been compromised with centuries of false teachings and wrong thinking and now has to find it’s way back to the truth of the gospel and the freedom that is offered through grace and by faith in Jesus Christ. We have to sift through the teachings, without the direct assistance of a Paul, Peter, James or John or any of the other early disciples, to try and find the truth. We still have their words written and saved for us by God in the bible, and they are sufficient to teach us all we need to know. And we have the Holy Spirit as a gift from God to enlighten us and open our eyes. But it is a difficult path because so many teachings that are incorrect and have no bearing in the truth of the scripture have becomes so deeply ingrained in the church, that to even speak against them is to be labelled an heretic.
It is and will be a hard journey for all Christians, especially as they are not just finding opposition from the world, but also between the various sects of the church as well. It is not until we truly yield ourselves to Jesus Christ and are prepared to listen to Him that we have a hope of finding the truth.
And so we are polarised by Jesus Christ. We are separated, and must be separated, so that the truth can be found and known. If we are to come into the perfection that is essential to know the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, then we will be cut off from the world for the ways of God are alien to this world and the ways of the world are foreign to the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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