Unequally Yoked

2 Cor 6:14 - 7:1


Intro: If I were to ask you what is the hardest aspect of being a Christian living in this world

A)I know that we would get many different answers to that question: Our lives & challenges are Different { Temptations are different


B) But I think the more that we talked – the more that we would find there is a commonality to our struggle

1)   It is this: We are constantly Bombarded & surrounded by the Flesh

 Fleshly attitudes / Perspectives / Styles


C) This is an extremely fleshly world that we live in – Staying focused / staying Pure in our thought life / actions / attitudes{ is Challenging

1)   It is a Constant battle – that all of us face in one area or another


Well Corinth was also such a Place – Corinth was a large city - 700,000 people { Pop of N. County

A)The city was also a wealthy city - It was called the VANITY FAIR Of the Roman Empire !     


B) And Because Corinth was a Resort type of city it attracted those seeking pleasure from all over the region. But Corinth was a wicked city !


C) It was a  Port city which made Corinth a convenient & popular stopping place for sailors - looking to get drunk & indulge in one night stands


D) The city of Corinth was also filled w/ shrines & pagan temples the most popular was the Temple of Aphrodite " Goddess of love"

1) Employed 1000 temple prostitutes who went out every night soliciting business in the name of worship


E) In Fact in Rome at the time they had a saying to describe those who lives were Characterized by living Loose / immorality & drunkenness

1)   They said you are behaving like a Corinthian.

So it was to these believers living in that type of environment that Paul Wrote these words – v.14-7:1

A)Now most of us are familiar w/ this idea of being unequally yoked – it is often talked about in the context of dating / Marriage / Business/ Friendships


B) And although I will touch on those aspects today – I also want to broaden the scope a bit

1)   By talking about not Yoking ourselves to the Mindset of this world


C) I want to address that idea from 4 different perspectives

1)   1st – Our Definitions of Success / 2nd Our Approach toward marriage / 3rd our Dress & Style / 4th – How we approach our Professions


D) Because I think that these are 4 areas where we can Yoke ourselves to the mentality & approaches of Unbelievers w/ out even Knowing it

1) Although we might not be Dating an unbeliever or considering marrying an unbeliever / or in Partnership w/ an unbeliever / or close friends


E) We can be just as guilty of being Yoked to an unbelieving world – by our mindset/ attitudes & perspectives in any one of those areas

1) Because Holiness is not just defined by what we do / Mistake do’s & don’ts / But Holiness is defined by who we are { Honesty & integrity


Now this idea of being yoked comes from the idea of farming – Farmer would take to oxen & attach them together w/ a Yoke

A)Device that went around the neck – Allowed those 2 animals to Plow & walk & work together


B) They were partnered together in a Job / or a Journey – It was a close Union that they shared –

1) Paul is talking about a close union here & he shares 4 reasons why we shouldn’t link ourselves w/ Unbelievers


C) Taking note: Reason #1 – It is not fitting: v. 14-15


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?

A)Paul is contrasting the mindset or life of the believer & the Unbeliever – and uses 4 words to do it {Fellowship, Communion, accord, part}


B) All words that speak of sharing in common/ having  a close connection / being unified together

1)   Paul’s point is this – there is no unity, no communion – between Righteousness & Lawlessness or wickedness


C) No unity – nothing in common: Light & darkness / Jesus & the Devil

1)   They are complete opposites


D) The same thing is true about believers & non believers – Don’t fit together – opposites


See the moment you gave your life to Christ – 2 things happened –

1st – 2 Cur 5:17 You became a New Creation

A)You were given a new nature / Mind of Christ {His  Spirit in You} After the Lord / the things of the Lord { Opposite for unbeliever [focus is self]


B) 2ndly – Received a plan from God – that is fitting for you Matt 11

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29 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.  30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." 


C) Yoke is easy = Well fitting God has a general plan for each of us – Well fitting We were created to bring God pleasure

1)   To live a life that is pleasing to Him - Once we come to the Lord – we are supplied w/ the necessary ingredient s to life that kind of Life


D) Also a specific plan that is Well fitting – Life & ministry

So if I try to yoke myself to an unbeliever in close relationship – friendship / dating / marriage / Business partnership

A)Not going to be fitting w/ God’s plan and purpose for my life

I am going one direction – that person going in another


B) In fact Paul is borrowing an idea here from Duet. 22:9 where the Lord instructed Israel not to Yoke and OX & Donkey together

1)   Two different types of animals – don’t go together – Conflicts it doesn’t fit


C) Yoking a Believer w/ an unbeliever isn’t going to fit

1)   The Believers goal & priority is going to be to Honor the Lord in all things / to seek the Lord / to be led by the Lord


D) The Unbeliever is not going to share that same heart – So there is Potential for Conflict & struggle

1) Business Partnerships different views toward: Ethics, goals, ideas on how to get ahead, How to treat employees – [ Scripture ] worlds manual


E) Marriage: Potential conflicts concerning: Interest – Family Priorities

1)   How we raise the kids – drinking / Movies


F) Friendships : Potential conflicts views of entertainment { right & wrong

1)   No matter how many things you have in common or ideas you share you will run into something that will challenge you to compromise


So first of all Paul says Don’t be unequally Yoked because it doesn’t fit – Not fitting – different natures / Different goals –

A)Venture to say – that probably most of us here are not involved in being Yoked in one of those type of relationships


B) But now lets broaden the Brush – what about in our mindset and attitudes – Have we Yoked Ourselves to the mentality of the World

1) Have we bought into some of their views: Views of Success approach toward Business/  Views on Fashion or  Family Life

C) For instance: One researcher did a study of American self help Literature covering a 200 yr span

1) He observed that Literature written during the first 150 yrs focused on what he called developing Character ethic as the foundation for success


D) In essence success was defined according to virtues such as honesty, integrity & the golden rule


Now in Sharp contrast to that: Literature written in the last 50yrs focusing on what he called the personality ethic

A)Which simply stated means – success is defined by a person’s ability to achieve,  improve their performance & simply get ahead


B) That subtle change in definitions & shift in mentality has carried w/ it some devastating consequences to our nations perception of Character

1)   See if honesty & integrity are no longer sought after values, a shift occurs in our moral & ethical framework


C) If Virtue is no longer the objective – then what you are isn’t nearly as important as what you do

1)   And what you think means nothing in comparison to how you feel.


Result is a shift in Priorities & Pursuits – The ultimate goals become Positions & achievements

A)The first Priority is personal Fulfillment – And right & wrong is determined by what helps or hinders our progress


B) And if we are honest: right is defined in terms of what moves us toward our goal

1) And Wrong is determined by anything that gets in the way!!!


C) See When achievements take precedent over Character a new code of ethics has been introduced: Which says

·       If the family stands in the way of someone’s career, then the family is sacrificed

·       If honesty impedes the accumulation of wealth, then deceit becomes the norm

·       It is right to steal if stealing means progress

·       If cheating means winning then cheating is right


D) And when personal fulfillment takes precedence over Character, a new moral standard is introduced : Which says

·       If it fulfills me, it is moral

·       If it doesn’t meet my needs, it’s immoral

·       Self control is renamed self denial and is considered Unhealthy

·       If cheating on my spouse makes me happy, then unfaithfulness is moral

·       If an unexpected pregnancy threatens my career or social goals then abortion is not only an option / but is a necessity


Those are the ideas that this world has adopted – Is it fitting if we as believers Adopt that Yoke & live our lives by that same standard ?

A)When the world says – do whatever it takes to get ahead is that a fitting attitude for a believer in JC { Does that Fit w/ God’s plan


B) When the boss says – I am sacrificing my family for the Company so you should work 60 or 70 hrs a week { Is that Fitting for a believer

1)   Some argue that is just the way it is today – So they Yoke themselves to that Mentality


C) Personally I believe believers should follow the example of Daniel Shad. Mesh. Abendego – when they were taken to Babylon { Daniel 1

1)   They were ordered to eat the kings delicacies/ but that was against God’s law – some of the food was unclean { They resisted – test


D) Test us for 10 days eat only vegetables and water – see if not healthy

1) After 10 days – More fit -   I think that is what men should do – test me 30 days more productive – trust God to help you do that { Families importance


Is it fitting ladies when the World says – When Vogue Mag or Cosmo says that you should dress Seductively { Skin is in

A)Is it fitting for a Christian woman – or young lady to dress in that way – drawing attention to things – only their husbands should be seeing


B) Listen ladies if you want to dress in a seductive type of way – do it at home w/ your husband – { Preach it Brother –

1)   There is a place for that in marriage –read Song of Solomon


C) I think we ought to look at ourselves in the mirror when we getting ready to go out & say – Jesus would be pleased w/ what I am wearing

1) Uniforms -





So the first reason that Paul mentions – don’t be unequally yoked because it is not fitting – No fellowship /unity Light & darkness

A)Reason #2 not unequally yoked is because of the affect it has on others


V16 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."  


B) We are the temple of the living God – the Church is made up of a body of believers – A little leaven leavens the whole lump

1) So when one person Yokes themselves to the World – it affects the Rest


C) Ask Achan Joshua 7 – The nation was defeated because of His Sin


D) When we choose to ignore the way of the Lord, to rebel & disobey, it affects our sons, daughters, the church corporately/ the believing community.

1)Think about how the Church has been marred as a whole by the Christian leaders who have been exposed as frauds – or adulterers

So reason #2 The Affect on others – The third reason we are not to be unequally yoked is due to the command of the Scriptures. V.17

17 Therefore  "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."  


A) Does this mean we shouldn’t have conversations with sinners? Of course not. Jesus was called the Friend of sinners (Luke 7:34).

1)   But the important thing to note is that wherever Jesus went, sinners were permanently and radically impacted by Him.


B) That really is the Key – Who is making the greater impact ?

1)   Sometimes especially for new believers -  a time of Coming out & being Separated from those people & temptations is necessary


C) Getting built up so that when you do go back around those people – You are the one making the impact, not them impacting you to sin & compromise

1)   Blake –


D) Having said that we always need to remember to take heed lest we fall  1 Cor 10 { Not think I can handle this – no problem


That is what happened to one of the greatest men of history . . .

A)Jehoshaphat was a uniquely blessed man. Revival happened around him; blessings flowed from him; good things came to him.


B) And then, as his life is coming to an end, there’s a P.S. in his story . . .

II Chronicles 20:35-36 And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly: And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish . . .


C) Problem : A godly Jehoshaphat joined with an ungodly & Wicked Ahaziah in the shipping business. But the venture sunk.

37 But Eliezer prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works." Then the ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.

Listen You might have walked with the Lord for 20 years or more. A)Don’t be like Jehoshaphat, saying, ‘This might not be God’s best for me — but I it seems like a good deal.


B) A person might become rich financially by joining w/ an unbeliever, but what does it profit him if he gain the whole world and lose his soul (Mk 8:36 ) 1) What good is it if it causes him to be only a shell of what he once was spiritually?


C) What’s your legacy, Dad? At one time, you were about the things of the Kingdom; you were a servant, a leader, a worker.

1)   But now you’re known as a business whiz. How tragic.


D) Let me Challenge you: Don’t be yoked with unbelievers in any endeavor which will cause you to sink spiritually.

1)   Don’t Yoke yourself to the mindset of the world – if it is going to weaken your spiritual walk –


The fourth reason we are not to be unequally yoked is because of the desire of the Father. V.18 I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."  


A) Sometimes Christians have a hard time really believing that God has their best interest at heart -

1)   For that reason some Christians really struggle w/ fully surrendering to the Lord – So they try to live in both worlds


B) Some of the Lord & some of the World !!!   That was Israel’s problem throughout most of their history

1)   King after King – returning to Idolatrous practices / Or the ones who would tear down the big idols would keep the High Places


C) But For most of their Idolatry – it wasn’t like they quit offering sacrifices to Jehovah – they just worshipped other idols too

D) They basically followed the practices of the world around them to worship many gods – instead of the One true God


Now that reached an all time high during the days of Elijah in 1 Kings Ch.18 – Israel was involved in the Worship of Baal

A)Result was 3 yrs of Drought – 3yrs of no rain{ Now the Lord wanted to bless them be a Father to them – but not on those terms{ Not Compete


B) Question: Feel dry spiritually – tap has closed – examine – have I Yoked myself to the world in some way


C) Well Elijah issued a Challenge to Israel – 1 Kings 18:21

"How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him."


 D) Show down:  Elijah against the 450 Prophets of Baal – Bring down fire


Note the People killed the 450 Prophets of Baal – sometimes drastic measures are needed – Samuel w/ Agag 1 Samuel 15

A)Sometimes Drastic Active measures are needed = Paul’s pt in Ch.7:1


2 Cor 7:1

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.