2Co 6:14-16 “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.”
Paul shared a great deal of insight into the labor and power of the ministry of reconciliation with the church at Corinth. Part of the reason was to show them how much he and others who ministered to them cared for them. Another facet of that reason was so they would hear the admonishment he was about to give them. As ministers to the church of Jesus Christ, it is still important today for the church to know how much we love and care for them so they will be willing to hear when we are blessed by God to declare His truth.
Paul instructed them to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers because they were guilty of being yoked with unbelievers. This was plain in First Corinthians as he instructed them concerning eating meat offered to idols, taking care of weaker brethren, and not falling prey to other ungodly practices and divisions. Being unequally yoked is a great burden because you cannot pull the load equally. You end up not only being burdened by the load but also being hindered by your unequal yoke-fellow.
Simply put, we cannot walk in the righteousness of God and embrace unrighteousness. We grieve the Holy Spirit of God by such action (Eph 4:25-32). There can be no communion between light and darkness, because they cannot abide together. There never has been and never will be any accord between Jesus and Satan. Those who have been blessed to believe that Jesus is the Christ cannot walk with those who deny this fundamental truth.
All of this refers to how we live our lives and not how we treat people. Remember that the scripture tells us, as much as in us is, to do good to every man. Refusing to partake in unbelief with an unbeliever is not the same as refusing to show kindness to the unbeliever. This goes back to Jesus’ instruction for us to love our enemies and pray for them that would abuse us.
The scripture assures us that there is no room for agreement with idols in the temple of God. Now hear this: WE are the temple of the living God. If there is anything in us that takes precedence over our service to Him, then we have a problem with idolatry. If we have a problem with idolatry, then we are unequally yoked with unbelievers. Further, unbelievers do not necessarily have to outwardly deny God.
Beware of those who would distract you from your walk of faith. If you have a friend who is constantly talking about his or her love for Christ, but they are at the same time constantly finding things to involve you in that keep you from study, from prayer, and from worship, you are unequally yoked. If you yield to your love of sports, or money, or being accepted by a certain group, you have an idolatry problem, and when you persuade others to join you in these pursuits rather than encouraging their walk with Christ you propagate that inequality.
God dwells in His temple (which is what we are). God walks in His temple. We are His according to His purpose, and He is ours according to His promise. We have One to be yoked with whose “burden is easy” and His “yoke is light (Mat 11:30).” Any yoke but His is a yoke of bondage, fear, and recurring despair by which we are heavy-laden.
May God give us the courage to throw off every yoke of bondage and rejoice that we are the temple of the living God!