SUMMARY.--An Exhortation to Believers. The Blameless Ministry of Paul and His Fellow-Workers. Their Endurance of Trials. Their Unselfish Self-Denial. An Appeal for Greater Love. The Intimate Association With Unbelievers Forbidden. Saints the Temple of God.
11-13. Our mouth is open to you. I speak freely to you, my Corinthian brethren. Our heart is enlarged. Filled with affection for you. 12. Ye are not straitened in us. Our heart is large enough to embrace you all. It is you who are straitened; your hearts are confined so that you do not give me free admission. After the noble portraiture of what he suffered for them, he proceeds to affectionate entreaty. 13. Now for a recompense. In return for his openness and tender affection, let there be a reciprocation of his love for them. He speaks as their spiritual father in paternal tenderness.
14-18. Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers. The figure is drawn from the prohibition of Deut. 22:10 and Lev. 19:19 Deut. 22:10 and Lev. 19:19 . The meaning is that Christians are not to pair off with unbelievers. All intimate associations are forbidden. The primary reference is to intermarriage and to association in heathen festivals. All close fellowship with unbelievers is included. Saints should choose Christian alliances and associations. 15. What concord hath Christ with Belial? Belial, a heathen god like Beelzebub, is used as a synonym for Satan. See Matt. 12:24 . As Christ has nothing in common with Satan, how can a believer in him have a close intimacy with one who is still under the dominion of the prince of this world? 16. What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? As God's temple has nothing in common with the idol temple, so the saints are to be separated from idolators. For ye are the temple of the living God. The Christian is himself the sanctuary of the Lord, as is proved by the passage quoted from Lev. 26:12 . God dwells in his people as the Shekinah dwelt between the cherubim. 17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, etc. Quoted from Isa. 52:11 . A call to Israel to cleanse itself from pagan pollutions. 18. And I will be a Father unto you. Quoted from Jeremiah 31:1 Jeremiah 31:9 Isa. 43:6 , and other passages. It is a free combination of the spirit of several passages. The two passages teach that it is the Divine will that his worshipers should be separate from the world; that if they are thus separate he will receive them, and will accept them as his own children. Compare Rom. 12:2 and James 1:27 .
NOTE ON MIXED MARRIAGES.--"The unequal yoking" covers the question of marriage between Christians and irreligious persons. The whole spirit of the Bible is against the practice. Marriages of the "sons of God" with the "daughters of men" caused the sins which brought on the Flood ( Gen. 6:1-7 ). Alien marriages were forbidden to Israel ( Exod. 34:16 Deuteronomy 7:3 Deuteronomy 7:4 ); this was the pit into which Samson fell ( Judges 14:3 ); to this cause was due the fall of Solomon ( 1 Kings 11:1-10 ); Ezra made the Jews put away alien wives ( Ezra 9:10 ), and in the discussion of the subject in /Commentaries/PeoplesNewTestament/pnt.cgi?book=re&chapter=002#" the whole implication is that intermarriage with unbelievers was out of the question. The widow is only allowed to marry a Christian ( 1 Cor. 7:39 ).