19.
Separating from Unbelievers

2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1


Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (6:14–7:1)

Saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ produces a radical transformation of every aspect of a person’s being. Christians are “new creature[s],” for whom “the old things [have] passed away; behold, new things have come” (5:17). They have been “born again” (John 3:3, 7; 1 Peter 1:3, 23); “rescued . . . from the domain of darkness, and transferred . . . to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13); and have turned “from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18).

Believers and unbelievers inhabit two opposing worlds. Christians are in Christ’s kingdom, which is characterized by righteousness, light, and eternal life. Unbelievers are in Satan’s kingdom, characterized by lawlessness, darkness, and spiritual death. The saved and the unsaved have different affections, beliefs, principles, motives, goals, attitudes, and hopes. In short, they view life from opposing perspectives.

Consequently, relationships between believers and unbelievers are at best limited to the temporal and external. They may enjoy family ties, work at the same job, share in business relationships, live in the same community, experience the same hobbies and pastimes, and even agree on certain political and social issues. But on the spiritual level, believers and unbelievers live in two completely different worlds.