Don’t Team Up With Unbelievers? – 2 Corinthians 6

Today is the day of salvation!

1 As God’s partners, we beg you not to reject this marvelous message of God’s great kindness. 2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.

I heard these verses used hundreds of times – and have used it myself – when witnessing. How powerful they are.

Don’t Team Up With Unbelievers - 2 Corinthians 6The verses dealing with “teaming up with unbelievers” really caught my attention:

4 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.

So what is Paul trying to say here? Isn’t this a contradiction? Didn’t Paul tell us many times before about carrying out Christ’s command to tell people about salvation. How can we do this if we aren’t even allowed to associate with unbelievers? What about in 1 Corinthians 5, where he tells us that he wasn’t talking about disassociating ourselves with unbelievers who commit sins, but from believers. In 1 Corinthians 7, he urges Christians to stay with their spouses, even if they are unbelievers.

Confused? It struck me kind of odd, too, so I took a closer look. Here, I think Paul is warning of business relationships with unbelievers – and marriages that have yet to take place. He is warning us that faith compromises may occur for the success of the business – and Paul warns against putting ourselves in that position.

Have you ever had to face the choice to compromise your faith to “get the job done” or “go along with the crowd”? Perhaps the potential rewards of “teaming up” with unbelievers is not worth the risks.

Continue to show us, God, where there are situations that might cause compromise. Help us to avoid such situations with Your guidance and Your Holy Spirit. Give us discernment – make us wise as serpents. Help us to stop and listen for Your voice – call out to You before any decisions are made – so we can live in harmony with the plan You have for us. And, may You get the glory,Lord!


  1. #1 by Gimly on August 11, 2007 - 10:59 am

    sometimes you’ll find that those you call unbelievers will be a better partner than those you consider closest to you.

  2. #2 by Jaqua (Jāy 'Quāy) on August 11, 2007 - 11:32 am

    That may be true, Gimly. It sounds as though you may know of a partnership between believers that went bad. I know of a few of those, too.

    However, I can also think of several “unequally yoked” business partnerships that went sour either because one partner decided to compromise on their morals or one simply got greedy and took advantage of the other. It happens all the time. The temptation of money can easily corrupt.

    Still, I think this is good advice from the apostle Paul.

    That’s certainly not to say that even believers won’t succumb to the love of money and compromise what they believe in. I’ve seen money corrupt even the most staunch believers. However, the hope is that with the Holy Spirit inside, believers would be partners who would stick to their beliefs.

    I checked out my old standard, the “Matthew Henry Bible Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible” and found this:

    “The apostle gives several good reasons against this corrupt mixture.

    (1.) It is a very great absurdity, v. 14, 15. It is an unequal yoking of things together that will not agree together; as bad as for the Jews to have ploughed with an ox and an ass or to have sown divers sorts of grain intermixed. What an absurdity is it to think of joining righteousness and unrighteousness, or mingling light and darkness, fire and water, together! Believers are, and should be, righteous; but unbelievers are unrighteous. Believers are made light in the Lord, but unbelievers are in darkness; and what comfortable communion can these have together? Christ and Belial are contrary one to the other; they have opposite interests and designs, so that it is impossible there should be any concord or agreement between them. It is absurd, therefore, to think of enlisting under both; and, if the believer has part with an infidel, he does what in him lies to bring Christ and Belial together.

    (2.) It is a dishonour to the Christian’s profession (v. 16); for Christians are by profession, and should be in reality, the temples of the living God —dedicated to, and employed for, the service of God, who has promised to reside in them, to dwell and walk in them, to stand in a special relation to them, and take a special care of them, that he will be their God and they shall be his people. Now there can be no agreement between the temple of God and idols. Idols are rivals with God for his honour, and God is a jealous God, and will not give his glory to another.

    (3.) There is a great deal of danger in communicating with unbelievers and idolators, danger of being defiled and of being rejected; therefore the exhortation is (v. 17) to come out from among them, and keep at a due distance, to be separate, as one would avoid the society of those who have the leprosy or the plague, for fear of taking infection, and not to touch the unclean thing, lest we be defiled. Who can touch pitch, and not be defiled by it? We must take care not to defile ourselves by converse with those who defile themselves with sin; so is the will of God, as we ever hope to be received, and not rejected, by him.”

    This teaching certainly sounds strange today, but with all the compromise it’s easy to see how we’ve gotten to the weak condition as believers we are experiencing today. Difficult teaching – but that doesn’t make it obsolete or errant.

    Thanks for stopping by, Gimly. Good food for thought.


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