Text: 2 Corinthians 6:14
Paul is trying to right the “ship,” get the church at Corinth back on course.
He wants them to reclaim what they previously had.
The Corinthian church had fallen from grace.
This same church had flourished while Paul was their presence, but faded when he was away.
The church which had been growing and vibrant, was falling into disrepair during Paul’s absence.
They had been a wealthy and warn church, moving in the Spirit in the midst of a bustling hub of commerce.
Plutarch says that Corinth was one of three economic centers in the Hellenic world.
The congregation was made up of well-off people.
So, in the midst of a thriving community, we see a hurting church; a church that is failing.
Several weeks ago, we spoke about favor,
Favor falls on the folk that God wants to partner with.
Favor means you have the focused attention of God in your life because He wants to use you.
Favor is focused on a few.
The church in Rome had been walking in favor because they became willing workers for God.
The Corinthians, we are told in the text have yoked themselves to unbelievers. This is the reason they had fallen from favor.
Church work is not hard work, it is right work.
The church should be a place of joy, happiness, moving in one accord; but too often the work is hard, stressful and frustrating.
It should be a place of faith, not frustration.
Paul is trying to help them get back to right work ethic- ethos.
Yoking with unbelievers will cause favor to leave your life.
Paul's metaphor is usually attributed to marriage, but that is not what he is talking about.
Paul is referring to church relationship, community relations.
The Corinthian church had allowed their worldly workers to mix with the holy workers.
They had yoked with people of affluence and influence; people who had agendas other than to glorify God. They worked for other things.
Be careful who you align yourself with.
The Corinthian church had become a faith-sick church.
Paul was explaining to the church, and us, that we must allow Jesus to be yoked with us. He is the one person who must be yoked with us, so that He can lead us "all the way."
Stop trying to worship and work with the weight of the world on us.
A yoke is a harness which is attached to a plow for the purpose of doing work.
When you're trying to get your work done, you need to be hooked up with someone who is moving forward.
Plow the good ground that God has laid before you in your life.
Get out of those rocking chairs and loungers and do something for the Lord.
A yoke is not built for one person, but for two.
Who have you yoked yourself up with today?
Separate from those who are dragging you down.
Matthew 11:29 "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
Yoke with someone who will walk with you, work with you.
Jesus will be in the yoke with you, so you can work, walk and move together.
When you fall, He will lift you up.
He will lead you along the path.
"Yoke of life is not made for one, it is made for Jesus and you."
We, as the church in Corinth need to get back to faith of trusting in Jesus.
Many of us have too many rocks in our wagon. We drag these rocks with us as we try to do the work of the Lord. Jesus (yoked to you) came to lift and lead.
Personal commentary: Unlike the church at Corinth, we don't have the Apostle Paul to come rushing in to help us right our ship, the church. We need to take a step back and see who and what we have yoked ourselves to. We must continually remind ourselves about Who our ship truly belongs to, and get back to the work we have been sent to do. Ultimately what happens is in God's hands, but we need to be serious about doing our part to get back on the path.
The fact that we are to be yoked to the Lord does not mean that He is going to drag us along.
So...stand up, speak up, take your responsibility, and help right the ship!
[This week's lesson starts tomorrow]