Read II Corinthians 5 - 8
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 what the world has to offer. To provide answers for this problem, Paul asked five very important questions for us to consider since they have eternal consequences. Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord (harmony) has Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part has he that believes with an infidel (unbeliever)? And what agreement has the Temple of God with idols? for you 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 also was 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 a different master. Paul was also led to write: If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind and emotion) on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2).
A Christian has a responsibility to come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean (unfit) thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says 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 their activities that 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 associate with others. This is illustrated when all the publicans and sinners drew near to hear Jesus. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them. Our goal should be that of Jesus, who replied: I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents (Luke 15:1-2,7).
When our motives are that of Jesus, 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).
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 = fair return, fair exchange; be ye also enlarged = be bighearted; 7:9 that ye might receive damage by us in nothing = that you not suffer loss in what we had said; 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 = we want you to know what the grace of God has accomplished; 8:4 much intreaty = most urgently; 8:7 abound = excel; 8:8 forwardness = earnestness.
For II Corinthians 6:2: See Isaiah 49:8. II Corinthians 6:16: See Leviticus 26:11; Ezekiel 37:27. II Corinthians 6:17: See Isaiah 52:11. II Corinthians 8:15: See Exodus 16:18.
Pray for BP Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Government Officials: Rep. Rahm Emanuel (IL), Rep. William Jenkins (TN), and Gov. Janet Napolitano (AZ) · Country: Burkina Faso (11 million) in western Africa · Major languages: French and Sudanic tribal languages · Religious freedom · 48% Muslim; 33% belief in false gods, idolatry, and heathenism; 14% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to deliver you from willful sins (Psalm 19:13).
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 5:10