This sermon is going to concentrate on the real meaning of being unequally yoked in the bible.
In order to discover the meaning of being unequally yoked in the bible, we will try to apply the main method we use to interpret the bible.
That is to say, we are going to review the context of the scriptural text to discover why the writer, the apostle Paul wrote it.
So without much ado, let’s get into the sermon proper.
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?2 Corinthians 6:14.
In the above passage, the writer, Paul clearly warns Christians never to associate with unbelievers.
And if we carefully study the context of that scripture, that is 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; we will realize that the unbelievers he was making reference to were the Jews and Pagans; because of the issue of touching what is unclean during sacrifice.
Animal sacrifice in Judaism and Paganism.
Judaism and Paganism are a form of religion; that shares a feature which involved animal sacrifice.
Though the Jews were offering their sacrifice to God for atonement of sins as Moses instructed them, the Pagans were offering theirs to idols.
Now after the animals were sacrificed, the remains were cooked and eaten by the worshippers.
Consequently, Christianity itself was birthed from one of the above religions; Judaism.
But since Christ had just sacrificed himself to take away the sins of the world; and in so doing put an end to animal sacrifice.
It was therefore forbidden for the early Christians to participate in it; nor even eat any meat that came from it.
So if a Christian should sit down to a meal with a Pagan and another Christian or even Pagan sees it, they are going to condemn or pass judgement on such Christian.
And that was the very reason Paul warned Christians to keep away from the Pagans as we can see in 1 Corinthians 10:27-32.
Paul’s advice on eating what is ritually unclean.
In that passage, Paul warns if any unbeliever invites a believer to a dinner; and he desires to go, he should eat what is set before him.
And fo the sake of conscience avoid asking questions.
But incase someone alerts him that what he is eating has been sacrificed to idol; he should not eat it, for the sake of the one who told him and his conscience.
He concludes that, whether you eat or drink, or whateve you do; you should do it all to the glory of God.
Who was Paul writing the issue of being unequally yoked in the bible to?
The 2 passages above were written by Paul to the people of Corinth.
And realizing that the latter precedes the former, we can then come to the understanding that Paul was still concerned about the Jews or Pagans or any other so-called unbeliever; influencing the Christian into committing any form of sin.
But was he ever mindful of the Christians who were still living in sin, or the fact that we will always have the unbelievers around us as long as we are still alive?
The unbelieving Christians.
In 1 Cointhians 5:9-11, Paul told the people of Corinth that he wrote in his previous epistle that the s3xual immoral, covetous, extortioners, idolaters etc he told them not to associate with were the believers who were indulging in such acts.
He even adviced them not to eat with these kinds.
This means that there were unbelieving Christians in the church of God.
Therefore, being mindful of the fact that there were other Christians who were still living in sin, and to even disassociate from unbelievers will mean exiting the world; Paul finally instructs them not to be unequally yoked with the Christian unbelievers.
How Paul advices the believers to behave towards unbelievers.
Walk in wisdom towards those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with Grace, seasoned with salt, the you may know how you ought to answer each one.Colossians 4:5-6.
The Goodnews translation makes it more understandable:
Be wise in the way you act towards those who are not believers, making good use of every opportunity you have.
Your speech should always be pleasant and interesting, and you should know how to give the right answer to everyone.
The meaning of being unequally yoked in the bible.
Havinf g now understood why Paul wrote about the issue of being unequally yoked, we can now go on to understand the following about being unequally yoked in the bible:
- Unequally yoked in the bible means that we should not join the unbelievers to do what they are doing. This includes the unbelievers both in the church and outside.
- In the case of eating what is offered to idols; we can do so if a believer who is weak in faith is not around. But if such a one shows up to comment on it, we should withdraw from eating it.
- We should be mindful of the way we behave with unbelievers, especially in our speech. What we say must tend to show that they are not condemned; unless they know the tuth and fail to do it.
So in conclusion, our attitude towards unbelievers should be centered in the way we communicate with them.
Which means we must seek for God’s wisdom anytime the opportunity to relate with them presents itself.
And the only place to get that wisdom is the Bible.
Because, once they realize the truth or perhaps sense in what we say to them, their eyes will be opened to know the truth.
Remember that the reason they cannot accept the truth is because the prince of this world, Satan has blinded their minds so that the light that comes from the scriptures is unable to deliver them.
Aside from our speech we must also use our character or attitude to convince the unbelievers. Which means we should not do those things that will cause them to criticize us, and even end up vowing never to be like us.
But if we are guided by God’s wisdom to properly explain the truth in God’s word to them, we will then be able to convince and convert them.