Scripture: 2 Cor. 6:11-16
Subject: Characteristics of Christian Life and Service -12
Theme: Uncompromising Life and Service.
· Apostle Paul talks about Christians’ life and service in Chapters. 2 -9.
· What kind of a life we as believers are supposed to live?
· What is the nature of the service we do?
· Paul taught us that:
· We have a victorious life and service.
· Ours is a sincere life and service.
· We have a result-oriented life and service.
· We have a competent life and service.
· Ours is a glorious life and service.
· We carry out a powerful life and ministry.
· We lead a life and service of faith.
· Then Paul said we live out a hopeful life and ministry.
· He further said that ours is a life and ministry of reconciliation.
· Last time we talked about a well-balanced life and ministry.
· In our text today, Paul says that our life and service is uncompromising one.
A. Paul cautions the Corinthians against mingling with unbelievers.
· Paul is a making a plain talk over the issue of believers mingling with unbelievers.
· That’s why he says in v.11 that, “"I'm expressing myself to you. My heart is just enlarged for your sakes."
· He asked them to open wide their hearts also so that they would be able to think about some common issues in life in the
light of God’s Word.
· It is wrong for good people to join in affinity with the wicked and irreligious people.
· Sometimes we may have our own justification that the good will benefit the bad.
· But there is more danger that the bad will damage the good than hoping that the good will benefit the bad.
· As believers we have to be careful in many areas of life:
1. In Marriage Relationship
· Many young people come in and say that they are so in love. Oh, he's the man of their dreams.
· There's only one thing wrong: he isn't a Christian. "But I know that as I live the life of Christ before him and I walk in love and in meekness and all, I know he'll come to Jesus."
· What the Bible says is this: 'Be not unequally yoked with an unbeliever.'"
· They would say, "Oh, but you know, we love each other. And I know he's going to change."
· Finally they are determined to marry in spite of the counsel of the word of God otherwise.
· After one or two years, in many cases, we see the same young lady who is completely torn up. "Oh, I wish I had listened to the counsel. I'm living in a hell. I don't think I ever really loved him. Oh, this is horrible. Do I have to stay in this state?"
· And their lives messed up because they thought that they could go against God's command and win and come out ahead.
· "Be not unequally yoked together with an unbeliever."
· Now, this does not and is not limited to just marriage.
· This goes to many different types of yokes where we are brought together with an unbeliever, and we are always in an unequal situation.
2. In Common Conversation
· We should not yoke ourselves in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers.
· Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing, and hearing, and working with such people, yet we should never choose them for our close friends.
3. In Business Relationship
· Believers in business face the same problem.
· It is that their partner wants to do that which is illegal.
· Their common complaint is this: "They don't want to report all of the profits. They want to keep a double set of books. What shall I do?"
· They've entered into an unequal yoke. "What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion has light with darkness?"
4. In Religious Worship
· We should also be careful in joining with them in religious practices.
· We must not join with them in their idolatrous services, nor be together with them in their false worship, nor any abominations.
· We must not confound together the table of the Lord and the table of devils, the house of God and the temple of idols.
· If you are in a situation where you are caught up and cannot avoid them, we can be there as an observant, but not as a participant.
B. What does it mean to be an uncompromising life and service?
· It is a life that cannot compromise with the standard of this world.
· A service that cannot be done according to the standard of this world.
· We are not against culture.
· We are supposed to know the customs and norms of our society, but we cannot copy everything that is there in the culture.
· When we live in a given culture, we must know three things about it:
· There are negotiable things – Cultural elements that can be negotiated. For example, dress – we can make it modest; food – We can make it our own way; dialects and slangs- give new meaning into it; Festivals & carnivals – understand its cultural significance and remove evil elements; music-remove the evil elements.
· There are non-negotiable things: Things we cannot accept in the light of the gospel. For example, sexual laxity and moral depravity in the society; culturally accepted practices that are against Biblical teachings; etc.
· There are neutral things – Cultural elements that are neither bad nor good. For example, arts, sports, games, music, educational system, etc.
· Watch it, dear people of God. We are always in an unequal situation if we are yoked with an unbeliever.
· We are trying to bring together unequal things. The results are always disastrous.
· You see, they don't follow the same rules that we follow.
· They don't live by the same ethic that we live by.
· They have opposite interests and designs, so that it is impossible there should be any concord or agreement between them.
· And to lie won't bother them. To cheat won't bother them. To fudge won't bother them; but it will bother us.
· Paul concludes this session by saying, “For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
· May the Lord help us to continue to walk with Him and avoid anything that contaminates our life and service!
· Remember, we have an uncompromising life and ministry.