2 Corinthians 6:1-18
1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
2 For He says: “IN AN ACCEPTABLE TIME I HAVE HEARD YOU, AND IN THE DAY OF SALVATION I HAVE HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed.
4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings;
6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,
7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true;
9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed;
10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open.
12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.
13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM. I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.”
17 Therefore “COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.”
18 “I WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU, AND YOU SHALL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS, SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY.”
God is always there to listen. I love that I can take any of my troubles to Him. He can help me realign myself with Him. All I have to do is ask. Our body’s our Gods new dwelling place because the Holy Spirit lives in us. We need to remember that we can compromise our values and practices when we give in to doing what unbelievers are doing. It is ok to help, encourage and be there for them. But we must be careful we do not stumble with them.
Paul has been expounding on how much greater our new nature is than the old, temporary one – what an amazing thing the gift of new life in Christ is. Yet, there is a need for responding with affection for this gift as if it really is so much better than those things that used to occupy our affections. Until the treasure provided by grace displaces the old worldly treasures on a continual basis, it is received in vain. It is not meant to be a single reception that extinguishes the need for any further application. The salvation of grace is meant to be a daily work as it makes its way more and more into the affections that drive the heart. Paul gives examples of how this is practically applied in the situations that otherwise could overwhelm and defeat. As the heart is open to the grace of God, entertaining His presence together with the body, there is triumph in every conflict, victory against every adversary. We are not, however, experiencing this effect of grace while allowing the old affections to hang out in the heart. Though grace makes us His temple together with His body, He will not occupy the space that is given to evil entities.
In order for grace to fulfill its potential and purpose, it must receive a heart embrace that excludes its opposition. We have received unmerited favor and power from God over all the works of the enemy. This will all be in vain, though, if the occupants of the heart aren’t displaced by the Father.
The importance of keeping ourselves separated from the world is imperative if we are going to fulfill 2 Cor 5, where it reminds us that we are called to reconcile the lost to God! We don’t win people over by looking and acting like them, we win people over through the love of God and His outward working in our life.
We have a fragrance that is spread, and it will only smell like one thing at a time. Do we smell like the world, or do we smell like Jesus?