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Set Apart to Succeed, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
June 18, 2024 10:36 am

Set Apart to Succeed, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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June 18, 2024 10:36 am

2 Corinthians 6:14 says, do not be yoked together with unbelievers. Is this a call for Christians to disassociate with those who aren’t Christians? What does “yoked together” mean? What are the dangers of being yoked with an unbeliever? Today Pastor Rich answers these questions, explaining the difference between engaging with unbelievers and buying into unbelief and the behavior that comes with it.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. 2 Corinthians 6, 14 says, Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. Is this a call for Christians to disassociate with those who aren't Christians? What does yoked together mean?

What are the dangers of being yoked with an unbeliever? Today, Pastor Rich answers these questions, explaining the difference between engaging with unbelievers and buying into unbelief and the behavior that comes with it. You're listening to part three of a message titled Set Apart to Succeed.

It was first preached on May 25th, 2014. You see what he's telling us here? Is there anything more important to you than your success, your satisfaction in God and glorifying Him?

That's the question. If there is, you're the monkey with a hand in the jar and you're sabotaging your own success. Do not be unequally yoked together. It's what Peter says, 1 Peter 2, 11, Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles, abstain from sinful desires which wage war against the soul. So whether it's a friend, a potential spouse, a business partner, whatever, a church that invites you to walk in a direction contrary to the character and purpose of God, if you're not willing to stop the relationship at that point, then you find yourself unequally yoked to that other.

It's a mismatch and you're sabotaging your success. And it wages war against the soul. When God desires for your soul to prosper, why would I yoke myself to something that wages war against it?

Matt Chandler said, The most important thing in life is not what you know, but what you love, what you serve, because what you love is what you serve. Well, what did the Lord Jesus say? Speaking of yoke, the Lord Jesus said, Take my yoke upon you. Take my yoke upon you.

What does that mean? The Lord says, Walk with me under my authority, serving my purpose, connected to my power. That's taking his yoke upon us. Means we're not just set apart from things. We are set apart to Christ to walk with him under his authority, serving his purpose and connected to his power. I am a follower of Christ.

That's what it means to be set apart. And I am set apart to succeed as I follow Christ. I find myself more and more satisfied in God and glorifying him.

And I stay away from the things that will sabotage that. And this is what Paul is calling us to. Remember what the Lord said in Matthew 11? Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Wow. What does he mean by that? Let me tell you what he means.

I'm not claiming special revelation here. When he says my yoke is easy and my burden is light, he just simply means this. You're doing what you're designed to do. But when you do contrary to what you were designed and what were you designed to do, you were designed to fellowship with God, to be satisfied in him, glorifying him. That's what you were designed to do.

But when you are working contrary to that, life becomes frustrating. But what does the Lord say in Matthew 11? My yoke is easy and my burden is light and you will find rest unto your souls. You know what that is? Soul prosperity. That's what it is. The Lord invites you to that.

Don't sabotage it. And when you find rest unto your souls and you experience that soul prosperity, then you'll find yourself not chasing after the things that one who is not reconciled to God chases for their satisfaction. And we find that in verses 16 and 18, Paul is appealing to the new covenant that God has for us. Verse 16, you are the temple of the living God. I will dwell in them and walk with them. I will be their God and they shall be my people.

What is that? That is a people satisfied. That is a people doing and experiencing what they were designed for. Verse 18, I will be a father to you and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

That's what we were designed for. And that becomes a reality under the new covenant because of Christ's redemptive work. So if we're in Christ reconciled to Him, then we're set apart to succeed.

I want to address the issue then. What is Paul talking about here? Because some might take this to say, you know, Paul says Christians shouldn't have anything to do with non-Christians.

You know what? I've been in context where people will say that. You know, a Christian should not have non-Christian friends because the non-Christians will just bring them down.

I cannot disagree with that more. We are to engage unbelief without buying into it. We're set apart to do that, to engage unbelief without buying into it. What does that mean?

Let me put that in different terms. We can walk with unbelievers as followers of Christ. I'm walking with an unbeliever, walking next to them, but I'm yoked to Christ.

You see? So that when the unbeliever veers away in a direction that is contrary to the character and purpose of God, they don't drag me down with them. I'm yoked to Christ.

I'm his committed follower. You see, there is a difference between engaging or walking with an unbeliever and buying into unbelief and its behavior. Paul mentioned this himself back in 1 Corinthians chapter 5. He says, I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people yet.

Look at what's in the bold. I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world. Otherwise, you'd have to do what?

Leave the world. That is our context. So we are called as Christians to engage unbelief. We are called to walk with, if you will, unbelievers without buying into unbelief. The Lord Jesus prayed this in his high priestly prayer in John 17.

He asked the Father, he says, I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but keep them from the evil one. We are in the world, but we are not of the world. Matthew chapter 5, the Lord calls us, his followers, he calls us the salt of the earth, the light of the world.

Salt and light operate and are effective by two things, contact and contrast. And if we're yoked together with unbelievers, we lose all contrast. And we become ineffective and we are not successful. We're not satisfied in God. We're not glorifying him. You see, as a believer, you might be in a friendship or a partnership with an unbeliever. I'm not recommending marriage. I believe that is disobedient for a Christian to deliberately marry an unbeliever based on these principles. But you might be in a relationship, a friendship or some kind of a partnership with an unbeliever and you may be walking in the same direction for a while. But when their path veers away from God's character and purpose, you don't follow them because you're not yoked together. You're yoked to Christ.

And when Christ's yoke is on you, when you are walking with him under his authority, serving his purpose, connected to his power, then you will have the same effectiveness that Christ did. Remember when he was on the earth, all the religious elite who thought so highly of themselves, what were their charges against Christ? He hangs out with sinners and tax collectors. He hangs out with them. But what was the difference?

After he hung out with them, who changed? You see, you and I can have that same effect if we're yoked to Christ and yet we find ourselves walking with unbelievers and not unequally yoked to them. With Christ's yoke on you, consider these three points.

Because your gaze is fixed on Jesus Christ, you do not let a relationship take your focus off of him as your objective. If it does, then you are unequally yoked. If Christ's yoke is upon you because you have entrusted yourself to him, you are not enticed to place your trust in someone else, whether that someone is personal or corporate or government.

He remains your object of trust. If Christ's yoke is on you, then because your satisfaction is found in him, you will not be distracted to find satisfaction in some created thing. Take my yoke upon you. Do not be unequally yoked together. Don't be mismatched with those who will drag you away from Christ, but you be yoked to Christ and influence their lives.

That's blessedness. That's what the psalmist says, what David says, Psalm 1. Put this up there. Let's all read this together. Let's stand together in conclusion today and let's read Psalm 1, 1 to 3. Look carefully at the words there.

Let's read it together. How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers. Instead, his delight is in the Lord's instruction and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. That's the biblical prosperity and God invites you to that and he warns us not to sabotage our success. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in him, the one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-18 12:09:24 / 2024-06-18 12:13:53 / 4

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