II Corinthians 6:11-7:1

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Text: II Corinthians 6:11-7:1

BE YE SEPARATE

INTRODUCTION:

As Christians we are expected to be serving the Lord. Each of us needs some form of service in and through the local church, but not everyone is willing, nor is everyone qualified spiritually. We need either to be ministering in some way, or we need to be ministered to by someone else.

In II Corinthians 6:11-7:1 we see that we as the Lord's servants need to be so devoted to Him and His service that we have no desire whatsoever to be contaminated by any sort of sin whether in our personal lives or in our local church.

Unfortunately sin has a way of creeping into our lives, and it can damage our relations with one another and interfere with our serving the Lord.

The remedy is not that difficult or complicated. What we must do is keep studying our Bibles and submit our hearts and minds to its teaching. As we do, God the Holy Spirit will bring conviction into our hearts regarding sin while at the same time producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we are convicted of sin, we need to confess it and forsake it.

Unfortunately, the Biblical teaching on separation is viewed as terribly offensive by some. Remember, this is the Word of God. If He told us in His Word that we need to be separated unto Him and separated from sin, we had better adopt the attitude that He knew what He was doing and not resist it. Remember that separation is also not a matter of legalistic codes. It is a matter of attitude based on love that we would not want to defile our own personal lives or our church in any way, and we would not want to do anything which might possibly result in another believer committing sin.

Separation is illustrated Biblically in I Thessalonians 1:9 .

I Thessalonians 1:9 - For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

Separation is also illustrated in the marriage vows.

"I take thee only unto me so long as we both shall live"

We see -

I. PAUL'S APPEAL - 6:11-13

II Corinthians 6:11-13 - (11) O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. (12) Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. (13) Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

In verse 11 Paul appeals to the Corinthian believers as their loving friend. He addresses them by O ye Corinthians.

Our mouth, where our is Paul, refers to Paul's speech.

Is wide open is has been opened and has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action. It pictures a mouth that was opened in the past and remains open.

Unto you is to you (the Corinthian believers).

Our mouth is wide open unto you means that Paul is speaking openly to the people.

Our heart, where our refers to Paul, speaks of Paul in his innermost being.

Is enlarged is has been enlarged or has been made broad. Its tense indicates an action completed in past time whose result continues to the present time. It has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

Our heart is enlarged suggests that Paul is speaking to them from his heart.

II Corinthians 6:12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.

In verse 12 Paul indicates that there is no problem between him and the Corinthian believers and that any perceived problem is on their part.

Ye are . . . straitened suggests you (Corinthian believers) are narrowed or you are restricted in the sense of you are limited and it's negated by not. The tense of straitened is used to describe what is occurring at the time Paul is writing this epistle. It describes their present attitude toward Paul.

In us refers to Paul. Paul's meaning is that the Corinthian believers were not restricted in Paul's affections for them.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to ye are not straitened in us.

Ye are straitened means that you Corinthian believers are narrowed or restricted in the sense you are limited, and its tense is used to describe what is occurring at the time Paul is writing this epistle. It is their present

In your own bowels refers to the seat of the emotions, and is equivalent in modern English usage to in your own heart or in your own affections.

Although Paul was not restricted or limited in his affections toward the Corinthian believers, their affections toward him were limited.

II Corinthians 6:13 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

In verse 13 Paul urges the Corinthian believers to reward him by having the same affection toward him that he has toward them and not to be restricted or limited in their affections toward him.

Now introduces a slight change of direction from the previous verse.

For a recompense in the same is with reference to (i.e. with respect to or with regard to) the same reward.

A recompense suggests a payment based upon what one deserves in the sense of an exchange. In a positive sense it speaks of a reward; whereas, in a negative sense it speaks of a penalty.

I speak as unto my children is a parenthetical statement in which Paul explains his manner of speaking.

I speak is I am speaking; and he is speaking this by writing it in this letter.

As introduces the perspective from which he is addressing the Corinthian believers.

Unto my children refers to the Corinthian believers as Paul's spiritual children.

What Paul urges is be ye also enlarged. Be . . . enlarged is be made broad, and its tense indicates that this is to be done at once and without delay.

Also implies that the Corinthians believers should act toward him in the same way he has acted toward them. Paul is urging them to be more affectionate toward him and not to be restricted or limited in their affections toward him, i.e. to love him more.

We also see -

II. THE NEGATIVE ASPECT OF SEPARATION - 6:14-16

II Corinthians 6:14-16 - (14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (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.

In verse 14 Paul advises the believers to stop being (or becoming) partners with unbelievers.

Be ye not is a present imperative or command with a negative, which indicates that an action is already taking place and needs to be stopped. It is understood in the sense of stop being or stop becoming.

Unequally yoked together, which means mismated. It is also applicable in principle to all believers everywhere.

A yoke was a device or frame placed around the neck of a working animal to control the animal and to enable it to pull a load. A word meaning other (or another) of a different kind is joined with a verb meaning to yoke in order to form a compound word. Two animals were yoked together so that they might share the load they were pulling. It will not work, however, for two different kinds of animals to be yoked together to pull or draw a load, such as in plowing or pulling a wagon. The animals need to be of the same kind. Different yokes are needed for different animals, such as oxen or donkeys, because they are of differing sizes and have differing strides. As a result, they will not work well together in the same yoke trying to pull the same load.

Deuteronomy 22:10 - Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.

The unequal yoking Paul has in mind is believers with unbelievers, i.e. saved people with unsaved people. It means that believers and unbelievers should not be joined together in partnerships.

Be ye not unequally yoked together implies that they were already unequally yoked together and needed to stop this practice. This includes, but is not limited to, marriage. It also includes business and ecclesiastical relationships with false teachers. Believers are bound to act in accordance with what is taught in the Scriptures, but unbelievers have other standards and interests which will contradict the Scriptures.

For introduces an explanation of why believers should stop being (or becoming) unequally yoked together with unbelievers. This explanation continues through verse 16.

What fellowship hath? suggests what sharing is there? or what participation is there?

Righteousness (i.e. uprightness) with unrighteousness (i.e. lawlessness)

The answer to the question is none. Righteousness and unrighteousness can have no fellowship. They are opposites. They are mutually exclusive and cannot be mixed.

Another and continues the thought by introducing a similar question designed to show that believers should stop becoming unequally yoked with unbelievers: what communion hath light with darkness?

What communion hath? is, What communion is there?

Communion speaks of a close association involving mutual interests and sharing, in the sense of association, fellowship, or close relationship.

Light speaks of spiritual illumination.

With darkness suggests with a state of spiritual (or moral) darkness.

Again, the answer to the question is, None. Light and darkness are opposites and have nothing in common. There is no fellowship between spiritual light and spiritual darkness.

II Corinthians 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

Verse 15 continues the explanation of why believers should stop being (or becoming) unequally yoked together with unbelievers.

What concord hath? means what agreement is there? It speaks of a state of shared interests.

Christ with Belial (Belial is a name for the devil, i.e. for Satan). It speaks of concord or agreement of Christ with Satan. They have nothing in common, and there is no concord or agreement between them.

Or introduces another question designed to show that believers should stop becoming unequally yoked with unbelievers: What part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

What part hath? means what share is there? or what portion is there?

He that believeth (i.e. a believer) with an infidel (i.e. with an unbeliever). Someone who has faith in Christ has nothing in common with someone else who has no faith in Christ.

II Corinthians 6:16 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.

Verse 16 concludes the explanation of why believers should stop being (or becoming) unequally yoked together with unbelievers. This explanation began in verse 14.

And continues the series of questions with one final one: what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?

What agreement hath? means what union is there?.

The temple speaks of a place or structure specifically associated with or set apart for a deity, who is frequently perceived to be using it as a dwelling. Here, it is not a temple of some pagan deity but a temple of God, i.e. of God the Father.

The temple of God is God's temple.

With idols completes the contrast. Idols have no business dwelling in God's temple. It is unthinkable.

For introduces a further explanation of why believers should stop being unequally yoked with unbelievers: for (i.e. because) ye are the temple of the living God.

Ye are indicates the present state of being for the Corinthian believers. These believers comprise the local church in Corinth, and this local church is God's temple. This is also true of all Scriptural local congregations including Central Baptist Church in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

The temple is the same word used earlier in this verse and refers to the dwelling place of God.

Of the living God refers to God the Father Who inhabits the temple, i.e. Who inhabits the believers comprising the local congregation or church. It is not referring to the church building which houses the congregation.

Living is used to describe God and is in contrast to idols who do not have life and cannot give life.

As is just as and introduces a comparison: 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.

God is God the Father.

Hath said is said and has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

What God has said is, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people and is quoted from Leviticus 23:11-12 and Ezekiel 37:26-27 .

Leviticus 26:11-12 - (11) And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.

(12) And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

Ezekiel 37:26-27 - (26) Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

(27) My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Paul has taken words used in relation to Israel and applied them to the local church. This does not mean that Israel and the church are the same. It means instead that the words are applicable to the church just as they are to Israel.

I will dwell, where I is God the Father, is I will live. Its tense and mood indicate that it is predictive of something which will definitely occur in the future.

In them, where them refers to believers, is among them.

And introduces a second thing God the Father will do: walk in them, i.e. walk about (them) or move among (them).

The tense and mood of (I will) walk among them indicates that it is predictive of something which will definitely happen in the future.

And introduces a second commitment God the Father has made: I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The tense and mood of I will be, where I is God the Father, is predictive of something which will definitely occur in the future.

Their God, where their refers to believers, indicates the personal relationship of God to believers.

And introduces the relationship of believers to God: they shall be my people. They (i.e. believers) shall be my people indicates something which will definitely occur in the future. The believers are God's people.

A summary of II Corinthians 6:14-16

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers means "Stop being unequally yoked together with unbelievers"

Because righteousness does not have any fellowship with unrighteousness

Because light does not have any communion with darkness

Because Christ does not have any concord (i.e. harmony) with Satan

Because a believer has no part with an infidel

Because the temple of God has no agreement with idols

You, i.e. the local church, are the temple of the living God

Next we see -

III. THE POSITIVE ASPECT OF SEPARATION - 6:17 - 7:1

II Corinthians 6:17-7:1 - (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. (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (1) Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Verse 17 quotes or refers to Isaiah 52:11

Isaiah 52:11 - (11) Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.

Wherefore introduces an inference in the sense of therefore or for this reason.

The tense of come out indicates that its action is to be undertaken at once and without delay.

From among them, where them is unbelievers, is out of the midst (or middle) of them, or out of their midst.

And introduces a second command: be ye separate, where ye refers to the Corinthian believers. It implies removing themselves from the unbelievers in order to eliminate contact with them. Its tense likewise indicates that this action is to be undertaken at once and without delay.

Saith the Lord is says the Lord. In Isaiah 52:11 the Lord is Yahweh or Jehovah, which emphasizes God's self-existence. In Isaiah it is a reference to God the Father.

And introduces a third command: touch not the unclean thing.

Touch is a present imperative with the negative not, which means that an action already taking place must be stopped. It is understood in the sense of stop touching or stop having contact with.

The unclean thing is the impure thing.

And introduces a promise: I will receive you. The promise continues in verse 18.

I is emphatic and refers to the Lord.

The tense and mood of will receive you (i.e. believers) indicates that it is predictive of something which will definitely happen.

II Corinthians 6:18 - And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Verse 18 continues the Lord's promise begun in verse 17.

And introduces (I) will be, where (I) refers to the Lord.

The tense and mood of will be indicates that it is predictive of something which will definitely happen in the future.

A Father unto you suggests an intimate relationship of believers with God the Father.

And continues the thought with ye shall be my sons and daughters, another expression of an intimate relationship with God.

Ye is you (plural), refers to believers in the church at Corinth, and what is true of the believers in the church in Corinth is also true of other believers as well.

Shall be is predictive of something which will definitely happen in the future.

My (i.e. the Lord's) sons and daughters. This refers to believers. We are the Lord's children.

Saith the Lord Almighty is says the All-Powerful (or Omnipotent) Lord.

II Corinthians 7:1 - Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

In verse 1 Paul urges the Corinthian believers to cleanse themselves from everything sinful and to pursue holiness. Having is understood in the sense of because (i.e. since or inasmuch as) we have, where we refers not only to Paul but also to the Corinthian believers. It is also applicable to all believers everywhere.

Therefore draws an inference from 6:17-18 which says,

(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,

(18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Therefore is understood in the sense of consequently, accordingly, so, or then.

These promises refers to God's promises in 6:17-18.

Paul addresses the Corinthian believers as dearly beloved, i.e. as beloved, loved ones, dear ones, or dear friends.

Let us cleanse means let us purify, we should cleanse, or we should purify.

Ourselves means not only Paul himself but also the Corinthian believers. This is likewise necessary for all believers everywhere. Sometimes believers seem to be more concerned about the need for others to be cleansed, forgetting that they themselves also need to be cleansed.

They are to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.

All is each or every filthiness of the flesh and spirit.

Filthiness is defilement.

Of the flesh and spirit speaks of physical defilement, such as drunkenness and immorality. It also speaks of spiritual defilement from non-physical sins such as pride, hatred, lust, or jealousy.

Flesh and spirit refer to the whole person, in its outer and inner aspects.

Perfecting is understood in the sense of completing, accomplishing, performing, or bringing about. It may be understood as while we perfect or and perfect.

What believers are to perfect is holiness, which suggests that they are to become perfectly holy.

In the fear of God is understood in the sense of in reverence (or respect) of God.

Of God means that God is the One Who is feared, reverenced, or respected.

A summary of II Corinthians 6:17-7:1

Come out from among them

Be ye separate

Touch not the unclean thing

Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit

Tense of cleanse suggests a complete break once and for all

Let us perfect holiness in the fear of God

Tense of perfecting suggests continuous, constant, or habitual advancement in the Lord

Perfecting means = bringing to an end, finishing, completing, accomplishing, performing, or bringing about

Holiness is sanctification, the base of which is separation

CONCLUSION:

Remember, we love the Lord because of all He has done for us, and because of this, we desire to live our lives completely for Him. We wouldn't want anything to be part of our lives which might in any way displease Him, and that is the problem with sin.

Sin in our personal lives displeases the Lord. Sin in our local church displeases Him also.

Let's be careful to seek to please Him and be the best servants we can possibly be. Let's seek to have a local church that is as Scriptural as we can keep it because we love the Lord.

Let's stop being yoked together with unbelievers. Let's live lives that are separated unto the Lord. Let's be bringing about holiness in our lives in everything we are and in everything we do.