November 29

Read 2 Corinthians 5

In Today's Reading:

Living by faith; ministry of reconciliation; believers not to be unequally joined with unbelievers; Paul's ministry; the grace of giving

No one would deny that we are living in a day of deception and compromise; and, unfortunately, Christians are often tempted to search for satisfaction through questionable worldly activities. To provide a solution to this complexity, the Holy Spirit presents five very important questions to consider. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers (a principle we should never violate): for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord (harmony) hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever)? And what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? for ye are the Temple of the Living God (II Corinthians 6:14-16).

Since there is a real danger of being caught up with deceptive world views that daily tempt us, James was also led to warn that whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (James 4:4). This is important to remember since the believer and the unbeliever each have different masters. Paul was also led to write: If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (love, heart) on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2).

A Christian has the responsibility to come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean (unfit) thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (II Corinthians 6:17-18).

We are called to love all people as God does. At the same time we are to come out from among them. This means, among other things, that we should avoid becoming involved with unbelieving friends or joining in any of their activities that would keep us from being our best for Christ and His Church.

We also need to consider that the Word of God warns of the danger of being aloof and unwilling to witness to unbelievers. Our goal should always be that of Jesus: I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth (Luke 15:1-2,7).

As we are led by the Holy Spirit, we will cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (II Corinthians 7:1; see also 6:16-17).

Word Studies:

5:5 wrought = prepared; 5:13 beside ourselves = insane; sober = of sound mind; 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin = Christ was without sin but took the guilt of our sins upon Himself; 6:5 In stripes = Having been beaten; tumults = riots; 6:6 unfeigned = genuine; 6:11 our heart is enlarged = we love you with all our heart; 6:12 Ye are not straitened in us = our love toward you is not restrained; bowels = emotions; 6:13 a recompence in the same = in return for our love; be ye also enlarged = open your hearts to us; 7:9 that ye might receive damage by us in nothing = that you not be offended in what we did or did not say; 7:10 not to be repented of = without regret; 7:11 carefulness = diligence, seriousness; 8:1 we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on = we want you to know what the grace of God has accomplished in; 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty = they urged us to allow them the privilege; 8:7 abound = excel; 8:8 forwardness = earnestness.

Cross References:

For II Corinthians 6:2: See Isaiah 49:8. II Corinthians 6:16: See Leviticus 26:12; Ezekiel 37:27. II Corinthians 6:17: See Isaiah 52:11. II Corinthians 8:15: See Exodus 16:18.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by James M. Eicher · Staff: Kenneth Roy Roberts III · Government Officials: Rep. Rahm Emanuel (IL), Rep. William Jenkins (TN), and Gov. Janet Napolitano (AZ) · Country: Algeria (31 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and French · Authorities have virtually ended all open mission work · 99% Muslim; .5% Roman Catholic/Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Magnify the Lord; exalt His Name (Psalm 34:3).

Memory Verse for the Week: James 2:26