The Christian is not to be Unequally Yoked


     Introduction:  The prohibition against being unequally yoked is found in Paul's teaching to the Corinthians. Paul wrote: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…" (2 Cor. 6: 14). Unequally yoked in 2 Corinthians 6: 14 is translated from the Greek heterozugountes. Heterozugountes is a compound word made up of heteros, another of a different sort and zugos, a yoke, serving to couple two things.

I. The unequal yoke, an application.

  A. The text in which the unequal yoke prohibition is found is generally discussing a yoking of opposites, such as the temple of God and idols; righteousness and unrighteousness; light and darkness (vs. 16, 14).

  B. Notice that Paul is not simply forbidding a yoking together, but the yoking of two things that are severely opposite and incongruous.

  C. It is important to notice that the "unbeliever" of the First Century was usually a pagan who aggressively worshipped idols and sought to convert others to his idols. a.Many Christians have learned too late as to why they should not form business yokes with the dishonest and morally deprived.

II. The unequal yoke and marriage.

  A. One common view of 2 Corinthians 6: 14 is that Paul is teaching that it is inherently a sin for a Christian to be married to a non-Christian. However, the passage does not mention marriage.

  B. In addressing marriages between the Christian and the content unbeliever, Paul instructed the marriage to continue (I Cor. 7: 12-16).

    a. If such a union had automatically been a sin, Paul would have required the dissolution of all such marriages. Nonetheless, it is not recommended for the Christian to marry a non-Christian.

III. The paramount lesson of the prohibition against the unequal yoke is that God must be put first in the life of the Christian (Matt. 6: 33).

  A. Regarding the yoking together of extremely dissimilar animals, the Law of Moses condemned such (Deut. 22: 10).

  B. One cannot serve two dissimilar masters (Matt. 6: 24).

    Conclusion:  The kingdom of God and his righteousness must constantly be on the mind of the Christian. All relationships that place the Christian in sin must be avoided.