CHALK AND CHEESE
God, my Father, this day is yours. I ask for your watchfulness over me. Help me to find you throughout the day.
Read 2 CORINTHIANS 6:14 - 7:2
Warning Against Idolatry
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[a]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? 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.”[b]
“Come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”[c]
“I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”[d]
7 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Paul’s Joy Over the Church’s Repentance
2 Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does the word ‘holiness’ conjure up in your mind?
Day by day the challenge of discipleship is to become more like what we are – sons and daughters of God (v 18). And we are a new creation in Christ in which our old life of self-reliance is a past and fading memory (2 Corinthians 5:17). Paul lists a number of chalk- and-cheese scenarios (vs 14–16) which mark the newness of our life in Christ.
So, it makes no sense to keep reverting to the way of life we have left behind. Instead, we should be offering a lasting alternative to the secular dream world that so many inhabit. We are to be separated from all that opposes God’s will and be set apart for God’s service (v 17). We are to be holy before God, not holier-than-thou before other people (v 1). As we come closer to God, so we are also drawn deeper into the world he died to redeem.
These verses conclude the section of the letter that began at 2:14: ‘Thanks be to God…’ It’s been a humbling but triumphant journey as God has led Paul, and us, into closer fellowship with his Son, and deeper communion with the world he died to reconcile. Thank you for joining me on the ride!
If you can, take time to read these six chapters again and marvel at the sheer wonder of our reconciliation to God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Merciful Lord, it is so easy to go along to get along. Keep me alert to subtle compromises I may be tempted to make. Let me be a light for you in dark places.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.