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#3.

Fellowship is not Possible Between a Believer and an Unbeliever


2 Corinthians 6:1415 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? We are continuing the process of defining what true fellowship is. We have seen that it is an experience that we have that flows from our union as believers with the Lord, Jesus Christ. Last time, we confirmed that true fellowship can only happen between believers. This being the case, if believers get together and simply do things that those in the world can do when they meet, this cannot be fellowship. What Scripture presents to us as fellowship is exalted far above anything that the world can know or even imagine, and it is nothing less than tragic that we in the church have allowed the idea to be dragged down to the realm of the routine or the commonplace. This week, Paul further helps to prove what we have been contending, by asserting that there is no fellowship between believers and unbelievers. It is possible that we have had, or even have now, friends in the world with whom we are close. Perhaps there is a chemistry in the relationship, shared interests in terms of hobbies and pastimes, similar tastes in food, fashion and so on. But however enjoyable this may be, it is not fellowship! Paul cautions us here about having unbelievers as partners (and although this is usually taken to mean marriage partners, it can just as easily apply to business partners or any relationship that involves a binding together). The same caution is implicit regarding any very close relationship, and it applies for a very good reason - in regard to the critical issue of love for God and for the Lord Jesus, a believer and an unbeliever have absolutely nothing in common. They are like oil and water, which cannot mix together. They are as different as chalk and cheese. What's more, the result of mixing something righteous with something lawless is never an increase in righteousness. The result of mixing light with darkness is never an increase in light. In other words, the believer will inevitably be drawn away from Christ, the One Who should be his first and greatest love, by maintaining relationships with unbelievers that are too close. The same is not true when believers come together with each other, because they share an interest in the most important things - they are all partakers in the Lord Jesus. They are able to build each other up, comfort each other, love each other with a love that is impossible for the unbeliever to know or express. See, then, once again, how special fellowship is. Born out of our union with Jesus, it is impossible for us to experience it with those who are not joined to Him, and it is not an automatic outcome of putting believers together in the same room if all they do is what unbelievers are capable of doing. Christian, dismiss from your thinking all the sentimental, foolish and inadequate ideas about "fellowship" that are so often the perceived wisdom in the 21st century church. There is a richness and a depth to the real thing that you will rarely appreciate if you content yourself with such scraps from the table!

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