2 Cor 6:3-7:2 chiastic structure:
1a) 2 Cor 6:3-10, We give no offense in anything, but we commend ourselves as ministers of God;
1b) 2 Cor 6:11-13, O Corinthians! Our heart is wide open/ you also be open;
1c) 2 Cor 6:14-16a, Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers/ what agreement has the temple of God with idols;
1d) 2 Cor 6:16b, I will dwell in them, walk among them/ I will be their God, they shall be My people;
central axis) 2 Cor 6:17, “Come out from among them + be separate. Do not touch what is unclean + I will receive you;”
2d) 2 Cor 6:18, I will be a Father to you, you shall be My sons + daughters, says the Lord Almighty;
2c) 2 Cor 7:1, Since we have these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from filthiness + perfecting holiness;
2b) 2 Cor 7:2a, Open your hearts to us;
2a) 2 Cor 7:2b, We have wronged + corrupted + cheated no one.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” 2 Cor 6:14-15
I know believers who have used this passage as not only justification, but as commandment to divorce their unbelieving spouses. But this is why we cannot read the Bible just in isolated verses, but need to take the whole Word of God in its entirety when interpreting passages.
“But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.” 1 Cor 7:12-13
Interesting that all of this instruction about believers and unbelievers dwelling together, is found in the letters to the Corinthians. Corinth was a thoroughly pagan Greek city. Corinthians were Gentiles. So when some of them began to get saved, a dilemma was created. A husband and a wife were both unbelievers when they married. They were not unequally yoked. But then one of them changed. One of them was born again and became a believer, and now we have a formerly unified household that is divided.
We just read that it is God’s will that those to whom we are yoked, be believers. If one of the partners in a marriage changed, and became a believer, what does that tell us what God’s will is for the unbelieving partner? Paul stated that the believer should not leave the unbeliever, and the wife should not leave her husband (1 Cor 7:10-11). God’s will, then, is for the unbeliever to become a believer also, because how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity (Psa 133:1), and the house divided against itself cannot stand (Mat 12:25)! We are co-laborers with Him! The first believer in a family is like a seed that God plants into that family. Over time, as the seed grows and bears fruit, and continues to bear witness of Yeshua, that light will cause others, everyone who has ears to hear, to come to that light. And those who don’t, at least will have had no excuse. If it were not so He would have left both in the dark. So don’t give up hope in praying for unbelievers, especially those we are yoked to, because John says,
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 Joh 5:14-15
We have the petitions we have asked of Him, if we have asked in accordance with His will! Read that outloud, the next time the enemy wants to make us think it is hopeless to pray for the unbelievers we are praying for! ♥