"And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.2 Corinthians 6:18(NASB)
It is sad that Paul had to defend his ministry to the carnal Corinthians, but he had discovered that these believers often resisted his teaching before they would accept it and apply it in their lives. He found it necessary to chasten them for their worldly ways and correct them for some of their ungodly behaviours. Paul was calling them to be reunited back to himself and to be reconciled back to the Lord. He urged them to remember that Paul was God's appointed apostle.
He encouraged them to set their minds on heavenly things while leaving behind the fleshly influences of this fallen world system. Paul was a worker, together with God, and there were many issues in the lives of these fleshly believers that still needed to be addressed. The saints in Corinth had started their Christian walk well, because they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation! However, they refused to grow in their faith. They were reluctant to forego their ungodly ways, and they remained carnal and fleshly in many areas of their lives.
Paul longed for them to grow in the faith, mature spiritually, and live each day honourably and with integrity. He urged them to eschew all kinds of evil, worldly relationships, carnal attitudes, and the fleshly desires that impaired their spiritual development. He urged them to separate themselves from all that is evil in the world and to live a life that is sanctified to the Lord.
He encouraged them to live as he did, by not giving anyone a cause for offense, so that the gospel of Christ would not be discredited. He wanted them all to have a good testimony, that identified them as servants of God. And Paul reminded them that they were eternal beings, who were no longer slaves to Satan and part of this fallen world system. Now, they were ambassadors of heaven, who were sojourning in a foreign land.
"Do not be bound together with unbelievers," he urged them, "for what partnership should there be between the righteousness and the lawless?" And to bring home his point, Paul drew on some quotes from the Old Testament Scriptures. He made reference to Leviticus and Jeremiah, and reminded them that God had said in Ezekiel, "I will dwell among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people."
He quoted Isaiah when he said, "Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you." And he also drew from the books of 2nd Samuel, Isaiah, and Hosea with the enticing words, "'I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,' says the Lord Almighty."
Paul was not trying to place these Corinthians back under the Law. Paul was using Old Testament Scriptures to remind them of the great position and enormous privilege we have as children of God. He has not only provided us with all we need for life and godliness, but has given us the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, to guide us into all truth and to teach us all things.
Just as Israel was called to be God's chosen people during the dispensation of Law, so members of the Body of Christ, the Church, are called and chosen to be God's representatives on earth during this Church dispensation. We have not only been made children of God, but He has clothed us in Christ's righteousness, seated us together with Him in heavenly places, and made us to be joint-heirs with Him.
Fraternising with the world is an affront to the Lord, Who bought us with His own precious blood. And only when we separate ourselves from the influence of this world's system, can we truly enjoy the intimate relationship and sweet communion we have been afforded with our Heavenly Father. Reconciliation with God demands that we renounce the world, the flesh, and all that it stands for.
Reconciliation with God, for an unbeliever, means to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. Reconciliation for the Christian, who has left his first love or has become carnal in his earthly life, is to walk in the light as He is in the light, to separate from the world system, to die to self and to live for Christ, in order to be presented holy, blameless, and above reproach before Him.
The call to separate from the world and dedicate ourselves to God, must flow from a heart that is truly reconciled to the Lord. We can't run with the hare and the hounds. We can't serve God and Satan. Darkness has no fellowship with light and evil has no affiliation with good. May we worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness and present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord, for this should be our spiritual worship and eternal delight.
Heavenly Father, how I praise and thank You that by faith, I have become Your child. Thank You, that You are not only the God Who created me, but my Heavenly Father, Who has promised to be with me and to walk with me, and Who desires to fellowship with me. Thank You for sending Jesus to be my Saviour, and that in Him I have been made a new creation. Keep me from fraternising with the world, and help me to be a living testimony of Your goodness and grace. Help me to live a life that is holy and acceptable to You O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.