Becoming a biblical Christian is not merely about repeating a prayer or reciting a creed; it is an entirely different worldview that inevitably affects all aspects of your life.
Paul described the new believer as one “for whom the old things have passed away; behold, all things have come new” (2 Cor 5:17). The believer is now in an entirely new realm of reality with new values, beliefs, guidelines for life, purposes, attitudes, motives, and hopes.
Any agreement between believers and nonbelievers can only be temporal and external. We may be in the same family, work together in the marketplace, or be friendly neighbors; however, on the emotional and spiritual level, we live in two different worlds.
Believers are told, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn 2:15). Relationships with unbelievers must be limited, with the hope they can be open to the gospel message.
The Corinthians found it difficult to break with their pagan, idolatrous past, and they brought some of their immoral past experiences into the normal Christian lifestyle. False teachers and pagan associations brought a syncretistic form of Christianity that mixed pagan mysticism, Jewish legalism, and secular morality with the ecumenical church. Separation was the only solution.
The negative present command means to “stop becoming partners with those who do not believe.” Our text is not explicitly discussing marriage, but Paul earlier told widows to marry “only in the Lord” (1 Cor 7:39), so the application to marriage is implicit.
The context focuses on any binding relationship with non–Christian religious groups or individuals, which can open the door for satanic deception or worldly influence.
The redundant questions that follow indicate there is no “partnership” (mutual partaking) nor “fellowship” (sharing or participation) with unbelievers.
Jesus was friendly and helpful to everyone but confronted them all with the truth and challenge to follow Him alone. He must always be the point of separation. Are you willing to make Jesus an issue?
“Loving Lord, guide my life that I may never be bound to a relationship that would not honor You or would harm my relationship with You and keep me from accomplishing Your will.”