The Second Letter to Corinth | Equally Yoked | 2 Corinthians 6.11-16 |

by | Nov 28, 2019

“We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.: 2 Corinthians 6.11-16

Apparently there were already some dissenting voices among the early church in Corinth. Where human nature is involved, so sin will creep in. Paul starts by addressing this and how some in the church are “withholding their affection” from Paul and the elders. But he says “open wide your hearts” — start loving like Christ called you to love.

In the NIV there’s a break here with a new heading, but in the original, it all ran together. Which leads me to believe these thoughts flow together. The idea of some of the Corinthians withholding their love and affection from Paul and their being yoked with unbelievers.

Paul specifically says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” Now certainly we are to minister to unbelievers, but to be “yoked” with one implies a much deeper connection where ideas, hearts and souls are joined and shared. Being yoked with someone implies becoming one with that person. Therefore, if we are yoked with someone who does not have the mind of Christ then whose mind do they have?

Paul goes as far to say “what harmony is there between Christ and Belial (i.e. the Devil.) How can believers within the church be so connected with unbelievers? It’s impossible for one not to rub off on the other. It’s hard enough to be holy when surrounded with believers, but to be yoked with unbelievers will result in becoming distant from God.

Might I suggest a few solutions to those who are yoked to unbelievers? Pray for the unbeliever. Pray for their salvation. Invite a small accountability group to pray for them and to encourage you as you remain yoked to that person (I.e. in the case of a marriage or close friendship.) Or, get unyoked if unmarried. Allow only those seeking the Lord to have a say into your life.

Paul knew that being yoked to unbelievers would lead to sin and sees that first hand in the Corinthian church. Let’s learn from Pauls‘ experience and not make the same mistake twice.

“O Lord, today is thanksgiving and I am giving thanks for those to whom I am yoked — people who love and serve your name. I thank you that I have the influence and love of those who love you, serve you and worship you. Come now, Holy Spirt, fill me with grace and love. Help me remain connected to the vine so I might bear fruit that will last. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen