I enjoy reading 2 Corinthians 6 in the light of 1 Corinthians 5:
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ESV
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then 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.”
We aren’t to be UNEQUALLY YOKED. This doesn’t mean that we abandon or judge the unbelievers around us in our lives:
1 Corinthians 5:9-13 ESV
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
Because we are to be the light of the world. We are supposed to love and help unbelievers have an opportunity to find their way to this love and salvation. We are to “go out” to the lost with this Good News. We aren’t to separate ourselves physically from the lost, nor are we supposed to love them less or treat them badly because they are unbelievers. We are to hold fellow believers accountable, not kick a lost man while he is down. Our enemies are not flesh and blood. So even if our true enemies are using a person against us, aren’t we instructed to behave in this manner towards even those being used against us –
Luke 6:27-36 ESV
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
But that does not mean that we become yoked, tied together, with unbelievers and their worldly ways. That does not mean that we should be actively participating in those things we know that we should not be doing. We are supposed to share light, but resist any temptation to sin. If we love Christ, if He is our Lord and Savior, we seek His Kingdom –
Matthew 5:13-16 ESV
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
So if someone is lost and does not yet have Christ, it benefits them greatly to remove themselves from the worldly ways and people around them that are influencing them. It benefits them greatly to surround themselves with others that are believers that love God, and love others, and who are actively seeking and serving God in their lives.
And if someone is saved and has Christ alive in their life, it benefits them greatly to yoke themselves with other believers – the more faithful the better, because even they will stumble at times. Because we work together to build each other up – so that we are filled with His strength, and His Truth, and His Way – so that when unbelievers come to join us, we can help bear their burdens – and the Christ inside us (this Holy Spirit) will be strong in lifting and bearing this cross through both ourselves and our brothers and sisters.
We should each through Christ bear the share of these burdens – and when we are working together in the unity of Christ, we find that the burden is light, because we are yoked to Christ, and they are yoked to Christ, and He is the foundation that bins us together.
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Philippians 2:1-3 ESV
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Amos 3:3 ESV
“Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?
Ephesians 4:3 ESV
Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
If we yoke ourselves to Christ (trust in Him), then through Him we will be yoked to our true brothers and sisters. We place our trust the Lord, not in men of flesh and blood.
Psalm 146:1-10 ESV
Praise the Lord ! Praise the Lord , O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord !
Psalm 118:6-9 ESV
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.