Charles and Norma Ellis
2 Corinthians 6:11-18; 7:1
11O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
12Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
13Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
1Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Verse 14 of chapter 6 is frequently used to warn young people against marrying outside the faith. As we place it beside other verses of Scripture and the general tenor of God's Word, we see that it is in harmony with a universal teaching against mixed marriages.
If we are going to be honest in our use of Scripture, however, we should be aware that this is not the primary purpose of this particular verse. As we examine the verse in context we see that it has a broader application. This is a plea for separateness from the evil of this world. It is a warning to separate ourselves from unbelief, especially in our fellowship, our communion, our worship. It is chiefly a warning against involvement in situations and organizations in which men are gathered together in a professed worship and service of God.
Jesus ate with sinners and publicans. He is not asking us to build a wall between ourselves and unbelievers. We are the salt of the earth and men must be able to savor us freely. But we are not to enter into a formal connection with unbelievers in a religious context!
The church world in our day needs to re-read these verses. Let not the church hand them freely and carelessly to its young people contemplating marriage and then fail to take this context into consideration in its own affairs! May not our looseness in applying this principle in ecclesiastical affiliations have a bearing on the looseness of our children in applying it to their own marital choice?
We are happy to have obtained permission to post as our current daily devotional Heirs Together of Life: Daily Bible Reading for Husbands and Wives, published by The Banner of Truth Trust. Don't be misled by the subtitle. As the book's "Preface" indicates (see below), although Heirs Together of Life is "especially prepared for couples,"the authors declare, "Since the basis for this guide is God's Word, we believe it would have value for any reader."
Charles and Norma Ellis are husband and wife and the authors not only of Heirs Together of Life (which was first published in 1980 and continues in print today), but also of Wells of Salvation (first published in 1985, and likewise still in print today). The latter contains a series of short studies covering the entire book of Isaiah, while the former contains a series of almost 200 short studies covering the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Both books by the Ellises can be ordered from the publisher, The Banner of Truth Trust. We trust that these daily Bible readings, posted daily on our site, will be helpful to you in your Christian walk before God. Whether married or not, all of us are members of families and members of the family of God.
Charles Ellis was educated at Wheaton College and Westminster Theological Seminary. Upon graduation from Westminster (where he earned not only a Th.B. but also a Th.M.), he was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and pastored a number of OPC churches, including Immanuel OPC in West Collingswood, New Jersey; First OPC in Cincinnati, Ohio; Covenant OPC in East Orange, New Jersey; Knox OPC in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine. Less biographical information is available about his wife, but it is known that they served as parents of seven children. After retiring from the ministry, Charles Ellis went to be with the Lord in 2003, but he and his wife left us with a beautiful legacy in the two books they have given to the world, and we are proud to share the daily Bible readings from Heirs Together of Life here with you.
© 2023 The Orthodox Presbyterian Church