We talked yesterday about the importance of not being unequally yoked with people. And the main point I made was that if a person is influencing you in ways that cause you to compromise your purity or compromise your life as a person set apart for God, you need to put a distance between you and them.
Paul tells us,
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. (14-16a)
In short, there is a fundamental difference between unbelievers and us, and it cannot be reconciled. Ultimately it comes down to the fact of who we belong to.
We are the temple of God. God lives in us. They are a temple of idols. Oh, they may not be worshiping literal idols such as Buddha. But in their hearts, they have displaced God from the throne of their hearts and have put other things there. Their own happiness. Money. Possessions. Or whatever it may be. And whenever these things come into conflict with what God has taught us are true and right, they thrust God aside and simply live as they please.
How can we possibly yoke ourselves to these people and put ourselves under their influence? They have bought the lie of Satan, “You shall be like God.” (Genesis 3:5)
Satan tells them as he did Eve. “You don’t need God’s advice. You are wise enough. You don’t need to look to God for happiness. Look at these other things that can bring you happiness. You don’t need to live for God. Just live for yourself.”
And by following the lies of Satan, they effectively live for him and influence all others they touch to do the same.
But we are called by God himself to be his children. To be different. To be holy.
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.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (16b-18)
Paul then concludes,
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. (7:1)
We are called into a wonderful relationship with God. But if we want that kind of relationship, God calls us to purify ourselves from sin. And sometimes that means separating ourselves from those that are pulling us away from him.
How about you? Out of your love and reverence for God, are you living holy lives? Lives that are pure before him? Lives set apart for him?
Or are you letting yourselves be influenced by the unbelievers around you to the point that you just blend in with them?