LINK: 2 Corinthians 6
The Corinthian believers were not to receive the grace of God "in vain." They were tossing aside God's message and doubting Paul's words because they were confused by the message of the false teachers among them. He quoted from Isaiah 49:8 and implored them to receive God's grace.
In 6:3-11, Paul returned to the defense of his ministry that he had started in 5:11-14. The biggest proof of his ministry and apostleship was his sufferings.
The chapter concludes with an exhortation to not be unequally yoked (in a binding relationship) with unbelievers. The typical application here involves not being married to an unbeliever. It can also be applied to business associations, but the primary association Paul was getting at here was probably the Corinthians' association with the false teachers (1 Corinthians 11:2-4) who were vying for their affection. Paul wanted them to separate from them and used five rhetorical questions and Old Testament verses on personal holiness to make his point (Isaiah 52:11 and Ezekiel 20:41). Do you see them?
Paul is not saying that we should not associate with unbelievers (1 Corinthians 5:9, 10), but that we should not be locked into binding personal and business associations that would cause us to compromise our faith. We need to associate with unbeliever but maintain our distinction from them in our life and conduct. Chuck Swindoll says it best: "If you put on white gloves and start working in the mud, the gloves get muddy; never does the mud get glovey."
Are you living a life that demands an explanation among your nonbelieving friends? Journal with God about this.
Lord, help us to be set apart for Your work and to walk in holiness in our lives. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.