II Cor -7:1 The Spirit of Compromise 1/11/2015
#1. Be Ye Not Unequally Yoked Together (II Cor -7-1)
#2. Our Partnerships (II Cor , I John , John -44, -19)
#3. I Will Dwell in Them (II Cor , Ezek 43:7, Rom 9:6, John )
Please open your Bibles to Genesis chapter 6:1 (2X). Genesis is the first Scroll in your Bible. As you know, Gen 6 is the chapter where God introduces us to Noah and to the worldwide flood in Noah's days. But do you know what was the catalyst that caused this great outpouring of the wrath of God on all mankind? Well, God begins to talk about that here in Gen 6:1. Let us read here about:
Genesis 6:1 ¶ And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Genesis 6:3 ¶ And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Who were these "sons of God"? The OT does not give a clear answer to this question, but the NT is very clear about it. For example we read in Romans 8:14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God". But those that are led by the Spirit of God are those that have become saved. The Spirit of God does not lead the unsaved; they are in rebellion against the Spirit of God. Who then are the "sons of God"? The NT clearly teaches that all those throughout time who have become saved have become sons of God. Who then are the "daughters of men"? Well, in verse 2 God states a contrast. Obviously these daughters of men were unsaved individuals. When boys or girls are born into the world they are born as unsaved individuals. Not one baby comes into this world as a saved person, because God says in Rom 3:10, "There is NONE righteous, NO NOT ONE". This includes babies. That is why every human being is in need of salvation. Therefore, in Gen 6:2 we have the first record of mixed marriages. Saved men were taking for wife unsaved women. Did God approve of that? No! The men may have thought that they could evangelize their wives, but the opposite was true, and is true today. The unsaved women were influencing their households much more than the men were. As a result wickedness was multiplying in the earth. We read in Gen 6:6,
Ge 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Genesis 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
The result was that all mankind became so wicked and rebellious in the sight of God, that God destroyed mankind from the face of the earth, and saved only Noah and his family alive. Such was the result of these mixed marriages. These men had compromised the liberty of their salvation. That is why the title of this sermon is "The Spirit of Compromise" (2X). How bad is it in the sight of God when Christians choose to marry unsaved spouses? It is very bad. Please turn to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians 6:14 (2X). There we read:
#1. Be Ye Not Unequally Yoked Together (II Cor 6:14-7-1)
In II Cor chapter 6 the Apostle beseeches the Corinthians not to receive the grace of God in vain. That sounds very strange from this man, who is teaching that God's grace is irresistable. But what he means is this: It was by the grace of God that the Apostle Paul had come to Corinth and preached there. The Apostle Paul now describes his labors of love for the church at Corinth. The only reward he asks from them for all his labors is that they should live worthily as Christians should live. And then beginning in verse 14 he speaks about the danger of compromise. Now carefully read II Cor 6:14ff.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 7:1 ¶ Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
What is God saying through the Apostle Paul in this passage? Clearly, it is a "Call to Separation"! Since we all come into this world as sinners, and as rebels against God, NONE of us would have a natural disposition that is friendly to God. Therefore, if anyone is to be saved, God has to change us from within, and give us a new soul. The Bible calls this being "born again". This is entirely a gift from God, and it is not given based on anything we do, nor is it given based on any qualifications we might have. The Bible says that the Father has chosen us unto salvation and has placed us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Those the Father has chosen He also makes them "born again" at a certain point in their life, and He also gives them faith to believe the Gospel of the Bible. Those who have the faith can count themselves as one of the Elect of God. But God also shows us HOW we must live as the Elect of God. We must live in a way that is separate from the unsaved people of this world. No, we cannot bodily separate ourselves from the people of the world, because then we would have to step out of this world. But especially in verse 17 this passage tells us clearly that we must not be partners in their lives, and we must not be participating in the things of this world. In this passage God tells us that those who belong to Christ must separate themselves from all intimate associations with the unsaved people of the world. God forbids us to make alliances with unconverted people. This is a command that is touching on every phase and department of our lives. Today we are living in a society that is marked by "The Spirit of Compromise". We are told to be tolerant of every kind of religion, and be tolerant of homosexuals and adulterers and fornicators, and be tolerant of those who are parasites of our society, and so on. But this is what the world says; this is not what God says. God says: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers". And why? It is because:
This is a rule of God that has been in existence all throughout time, as we have seen in Gen 6:2. Please turn with me to the 5th Scroll of the Bible, to Deuteronomy 7:2 (2X). The father of Abraham, named Terah, died in Haran, which was in Assyria. God had a reason for causing Terah to die in Haran, because now God could say to Abraham: "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house" (Gen 12:1), because his father's house was worshipping idols. Abraham had to separate himself from them, and then God showed him the Promised Land.
650 years later, after God had delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt, God told them that they were to inherit the Promised Land, but they had to separate themselves from the heathen of the land. And God specified that in very graphic language. God says here in Deut 7:2-6,
Deuteronomy 7:2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
Deuteronomy 7:3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
Deuteronomy 7:4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
Deuteronomy 7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
Deut 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
They were a holy people, which means they were a separated people. The word "holy" does not mean "saved", but it means "separate", or "set apart". In other words, they had to exterminate the Canaanites, because their children would draw away the children of Israel from Jehovah to worship the idols of the land. In this period of time of the Mosaic Covenant, for about 1500 years, the children of Israel were forbidden to take Canaanite wives, because they would turn them away to idolatry. And is that not also true today? If your son marries someone outside the faith, then your grandchildren will be worshippers of idols, and they will be in sects and cults that are so prevalent in the world today. Let me give a more specific example. If your pastor approves of your son or your daughter marrying a Roman Catholic boy or girl, and your pastor even performs a joint wedding service with the RC priest, watch out! Flee that church, because you are about to be snared by The Spirit of Compromise. This is not God's way. God says, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?" This applies first of all to
How many Christians are members of a so-called "church" where much is going on that is directly opposed by God in His Word? It is either the teaching from the pulpit, or the entertainment that is used to draw the ungodly into the church, or the worldly methods that are used to finance their programs, or they receive into their membership those who show no evidence of being "born again", or they allow men who are divorced and remarried in the office of elders and deacons, or they appoint women in the office of elders and deacons, or they hold a Halloween party, or they let homosexuals into their membership, or they have no evangelism efforts at all, and so on. And the list of errors preached from the pulpit is much longer. All these errors add up until we can clearly see that the gospel these churches bring is no longer the Gospel of the Bible. There are many "churches" today that match this description. Believers in Christ are commanded in the Bible to leave such "churches". The Lord Jesus said, "He calleth His own sheep by name and leadeth them out" (John 10:3), with the emphasis on OUT. On the day of Pentecost God's Word to the believers was: "Save yourselves from this untoward generation" (Acts 2:40). In other words, "Separate yourselves from this perverse generation". God says in Hebrews, "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp" (Heb 13:13), with emphasis on GO FORTH. Like Jesus suffered outside the city of Jerusalem, so we should go outside the Jerusalem that now is. God's call to His people near the end of time is, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Rev 18:4). Believers in Christ who remain in such "churches" are dishonoring their Lord Jesus Christ. Most of them stay in such "churches" because, they say: "Practically all churches are the same today. If we would quit this church where would we go? We must go somewhere on Sundays." But such language shows an attitude of resignation, and it shows that they have not explored all avenues. It is better to stay at home and read God's Word than it is to fellowship with congregations that are under God's wrath. But it is still better to form a new congregation and work through the difficulties of new church formation than it is to stay at home.
Do not confuse my words with the new "Depart Out Theology". These days a new cult is born, which declares that all churches are dead. Thus it is quite understandable that people, who put their trust in this cult-leader, would leave a Christ-honoring church and follow their leader. That is why with the new theology of "The Church is Dead" people are leaving good conservative churches by the droves. They are trying to be consistent. They do not want to associate with members who they claim are unbelievers. But unfortunately, their trust is not in the Bible, but their trust is in a man who tells them that he knows it all. Moreover, in judging that all those people who stay in the churches are destined for Hell, they have put themselves in the judgment seat of Christ. But Christ said: "Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again"(Matt 7:1-2) We tremble when we think of their future. We do not want to focus on cults from which we surely must separate, but we do want to focus on the Bible. The second point is that God addresses our partnerships. Please turn again to II Cor 6:14.
#2. Our Partnerships (II Cor 6:14, I John 3:10, John 8:43-44, Rev 22:18-19)
When God says in II Cor 6:14, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers", in the first place God refers to our religious connections, but secondly God refers to our partners in marriage. If we have already been married before we were saved, and our spouse remains unsaved, we have to live with this handicap until death do us part. But if we became saved before marriage, then God says that we may choose only a mate, or a partner, who is also a child of God. This follows from the words that follow, "For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?" That word "fellowship" also means "partnership". Our spouse is our partner for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part. Is that not true? So then, at this point in the sermon, let me especially address our young people here. It is not commonly known that there are only two kinds of people in this world: The children of God, and the children of the Devil. God says in I John 3:10, "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother". There might be some of you who would object to this statement, and say, "Does the Bible not teach that God created us all, and therefore that God is the Father of us all?" Indeed God created us all, but in the Bible God is not called the Father of us all. God created your dog, but God is not called the Father of your dog. The Lord Jesus said in John 8:43-44, listen carefully as I read, "Why do ye not understand my speech? (Even) because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it". So we see that people are either called children of God, or they are called children of the Devil. If then a daughter of God marries a son of the Devil, she becomes a daughter in law to Satan. If a son of God marries a daughter of Satan, he becomes a son in law to the Devil. I suppose that you do not look forward to be a son in law or a daughter in law to the Devil. But by such a wicked step a bond is formed between one who belongs to the Most High and one who belongs to the archenemy of God. Is that an unholy alliance? Most definitely it is. Would God bless such a wicked step that has been crafted deliberately by one of His own soldiers of Christ? Absolutely not! Such a step in the armies of this world would be called treason. Indeed it is an act of treacherous treason. And oh, what a bitter reaping from such a sowing there will be. In every case it is the Christian who suffers. And what excuse does the Christian offer for his or her evil deed? It is The Spirit of Compromise, because the young man is so handsome, or the girl is so beautiful. What does this actually mean? It means that you have not fallen in love, but you have fallen for their beautiful flesh. That is all there is. Young people, think about that when you start dating someone. Check out your date before you even start to go out with him or her. Perhaps you remember HOW to check them out. My advice is to use immediately the sharp edge of the sword of God. Ask him or her what their opinion is of Rev 22:18-19, and how they thought it might apply. Don't be afraid to ask this before the first date, because it will be more difficult later when the relationship is older. God is watching you as you recite for yourself the plain teachings of this passage. And look at the 5 contrasts God is painting before our eyes:
"For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial (or Satan)? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" Look at how explicit these contrasts are. There is no way in the world for us to miss the meaning of these verses. No one could invent an excuse for failing to understand the plain teaching of this passage, and to understand the reasons with which it is supported. The words fellowship, communion, concord, part, agreement, are all so plain that they need no interpreter. All unions, alliances, partnerships and entanglements with unbelievers are strictly forbidden to the Christian. It is impossible to find in all of Scripture plainer language on any subject than we have here. Look at these contrasts and what have they in common? What bond is there between them? Righteousness is doing right in God's eyes. Unrighteousness is doing wrong in God's eyes. The only infallible standard of right doing is the Word of Righteousness, which is the Word of God. This is the only Book that regulates the Christian's spiritual life and the Christian's walk in this world. But the children of Satan will ignore it or fight against it. What fellowship then can there be between one who is in subjection to the Word of God with one who is never in subjection to it. Look at the words "light" and "darkness". God is light (I John 1:5) and His saints are called the children of light (Luke 16:8). But the children of the Wicked One are called "darkness" in Eph 5:8. What communion then can there be between members of families that are so opposed to each other? Look at the words "Christ" and "Belial". What agreement can there be between one to whom Christ is everything and one who despises and rejects Him?
And did you know that this command to "be not unequally yoked together" also applies to our business partnerships? If we are ignoring God's command in our secular life, then we will there also experience that our life is pierced through with many sorrows, and our testimony as a Christian is destroyed. Whatever may be gained of this world by seeking its wealth and social prestige through smart alliances with key individuals, it will only lead to the loss of fellowship with the Father and with His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. We constantly need to remember that we are on the narrow path, which is the difficult path; it is the path to eternal life. If we try to compromise and for a while try to walk the broad road, then at best, if we are children of God, we will experience chastenings and heart-breaking losses. Now, why is it that God is so strict with us? Why do we have to live by these rules? It is because God says in verse 16,
Is that really true? Are we the temple of the living God? We know that the Bible talks about that, but how can we know that this really applies to us? Please turn about 20 pages to your left, to the First Epistle to the Corinthians 6:19 (2X). First of all we know that we were born with a body and soul that were at enmity against God. But God had mercy on us from the foundation of the world, and God chose to save us by sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, into the world to bear the guilt of all the sins of all those whom the Father had chosen to save. Then Christ paid for these sins on the cross, and He had to suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell in His body and in His Soul. All those who were represented in Christ from the foundation of the world, were also in Him when He was nailed to the cross, because the Bible says, "We were crucified with Christ". When Christ died on the cross His Soul went to heaven to be with the Father, and His body went into the grave. The Bible says, "We were buried with Christ", which means that we were represented by His dead body. But when He rose from the grave that first Easter morning, "We were raised with Christ", by the glory of God the Father. Therefore, since we were bought by Christ both body and soul, we will also experience in our lifetime, or have already experienced in our lifetime, that God gave us a new soul and gave us the faith to believe all that the Bible says. This faith, which has been given to us by grace, is the evidence that Christ suffered and died and rose for us, in our place, as our representative, and it is the evidence that God the Holy Spirit has come to take up residence in our soul, in a special way. Now I Cor 6:19,
1 Corinthians 6:19, What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:20, For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
We were bought with a price. It was the price of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Since the life is in the blood, we were bought with the life of Jesus Christ; meaning not only the life of His body, but also the life of His Soul, for He suffered in His Soul the second death in our place. He bought us body and soul. Since our soul resides in our body, and since God the Holy Spirit resides in our soul, it also means that our body is the temple of God the Holy Spirit. Therefore we glorify God in body and soul while we live out our life here on this earth. Therefore we live a life that is separate from that of those who are still in the world, who are unsaved and still in the clutches of Satan. Please turn again to II Cor 6:14-16. Remember the title of this sermon is, "The Spirit of Compromise". We may not compromise on this principle that our body is the temple of God the Holy Spirit. Therefore God says to us in II Cor 6:14-16, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, …… for ye are the temple of the living God". We must witness to unbelievers, but we must at the same time live separate from them because they are the temples of demons. We are to hate their habits and ways, symbolized by "their garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 23), and we are to keep ourselves "unspotted from the world" (Jam 1:27). Therefore God says in II Cor 6:17 and 7:1,
2 Corinthians 6:17, Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2 Corinthians 7:1, Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Do we understand where we stand? Do we believe what God said? And do we obey His Word? If we do not obey His Word, it is clear evidence that we do not believe it either. Buy this we know if we really believe. Therefore, anything in my habits or ways that would hinder a happy fellowship with our fellow laborers in Christ has to go. This is not a sacrifice. This is the normal Christian life. We do this not because we have to, but because we want to. But now look at the wonderful promises God gives us, not as a prize for serving Him, but as the condition of all those who are in Christ. God says:
#3. I Will Dwell in Them (II Cor 6:16, Ezek 43:7, Rom 9:6, John 14:23). Look here in II Cor 6:16,
2 Corinthians 6:16, As God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
As God has said, I will dwell in them. This is a reference to the OT. Where in the OT has God said this? Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Ezekiel 43:7 (2X). It is not often that I will direct you to these chapters in Ezekiel, which remain a closed book to most Christians. In Ezekiel chapter 40 through chapter 43 God described a temple that cannot be built according to the specifications given. But it refers to the NT temple, which is the body of believers. So it is entirely a spiritual temple. In chapter 43 the glory of the Lord filled the temple, and then God said in verse 7,
Ezekiel 43:7 ¶ And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.
God says here that He will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel. But which Israel does God have in view? Could it be that God has an Israel in view that will reign with Christ for a thousand years from Jerusalem? Absolutely not! That is not possible! Look at the words of this verse carefully. God says that He will dwell in their midst "for ever". "For ever" means forever. A thousand year reign of Christ from Jerusalem is not forever. Thus it means that this dwelling of God is entirely a spiritual dwelling in the souls of the spiritual Israel, which consists of all those who are God's Elect. God says in Rom 9:6, "For they are not all Israel which are of Israel". God defines His own terms. They who are the physical descendants of Jacob are not all "Israel" in God's sight, but those for whom Christ suffered and died they are the Israel of God. And God will indwell them.
In the NT we find a clearer statement that God will dwell within us. We know already that God the Holy Spirit takes up residence within our new soul. But now we read in John 14:23,
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Therefore, not only the Holy Spirit indwells us, but also the Father and the Son. Almighty God dwells within us in a special way. What a wonderful gift this is. And then we read in II Cor 6:16, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people".
What comes to our mind when God says that? It reminds us of Rev 21. By this we know that God will finish the work He has begun in us. Please turn in your Bibles to Revelation 21:1 (2X). You are now about three pages from he end of your Bible, and you can feel the end of the sermon coming. You know that this refers to the Last Day. By God's mercy we shall continue to grow in grace until the end. His irresistable grace will keep us safe, and will make us persevere until we finally stand before Him as perfect personalities. God says in Rev 21:1,
Revelation 21:1 ¶ And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
We shall be His people, and He shall be our God for all eternity. Can you imagine that? No! We cannot imagine that. The concept is too wonderful to be understood by human beings. We cannot understand how our God, who is greater than this universe, can dwell with us in the NH&NE and calls us His sons. But that is His promise, and we believe it. God says in I John 3:1,
1 John 3:1 ¶ Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
O, what a wonderful promise this is. We shall be like Him. We believe it, because it is in the Bible. All the unsaved do not believe it. They do not realize what they are missing. Through their unbelief they have declared God a liar. They shall reap the fruits of their attitude toward God. But that is all the more reason for us to keep ourselves separate from those who are in the world. We will face difficulties and hostilities about our stand. However, we do not seek the approval by men, but we seek the approval by God. Amen. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.