An Even Yoke (Philippians 2: 12, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Paul commands you to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” (Philippians 2: 12 – 13)

God works in you because His Holy Spirit dwells within you as within a temple. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because your body is God’s dwelling place, how can you unite yourself with those who hate God? You can’t. For what you love, that person despises.

Paul says not to be yoked with unbelievers for it is an uneven bonding. “Don’t you know,” says Paul, “that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you are bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6: 19 – 20)

Seek someone within the body of Christ to join with you, knowing that God is your primary focus, that He strengthens your relationship and literally makes it holy.

Yoked with a believer, you know that both of you have God at work within “to desire and to work out His good purpose” for your lives. You both must continue to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” lest you fall away from one another, fall into lust for another, and dishonorably into unfaithfulness and adultery.

But thanks be to God, you are not one to fall away. You are the Lord’s and His power is at work within you. Rely upon Him; He takes you to the prize — a holy relationship with another Christian.

“The Old Is Gone” (2 Corinthians 5: 17, ESV) by Carley Evans


“The new has come,” writes Paul to the Corinthians. “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciles us to Himself.” (2 Corinthians 5: 18)

Paul declares that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” As a new creation, the old is gone, passed away.

Jesus says that “no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” (Matthew 9: 16 – 17)

When the Holy Spirit enters our lives, we are fundamentally changed. God does not put Himself into an old creature; instead He transforms us so that we are fit temples for His Holy Spirit.

“Do you not know,” writes Paul, “that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3: 16 – 17)

And, Paul continues, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6: 19 – 20)

Peter writes, “As He who calls you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I Am holy.’ ” (1 Peter 1: 15 – 16)

The new is come! Glorify God in your body, His temple.