Relationships And Associations
When we become Christians our attitude toward other Christians and to unbelievers ought to change.
John 13:35: By this shall all men know that ye are my (Jesus) disciples, if ye have love one to another.
When we were unbelievers we probably were cautious in dealing with Christians. We may have avoided them, argued with them, insulted them or even persecuted them. Since I have become a Christian I definitely enjoy Christians more than unbelievers. If you have not experienced an attitude change toward Christians and an enjoyment of their fellowship, you may not be a genuine Christian at all. Or you may be a Christian but not be sure of it at all times.
James T. Dyet has come up with a wonderful compilation of how we ought to deal with other believers:
Prefer one another -- Romans 12:10
The Bible also tells us to love unbelievers, even to love our enemies. The most loving things we can do for them are to share God*s Word with them which might lead them to faith in Him, live a moral life before them and be willing to give them testimony of what God has done for us. The Bible gives us a lot of strong advice about our associations with unbelievers:
Psalm 1:1-3: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalm 26:4-5: I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evildoers; and will not sit with the wicked.
Proverbs 1:10: My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
Proverbs 10:15: When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:
Proverbs 4:11-18: I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Proverbs 12:11: He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
Proverbs 13:20: He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Proverbs 14:7: The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
Proverbs 24:19-22: Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out. My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?
Proverbs 29:24: Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not.
Romans 1:32: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
1 Corinthians 5:9-11: I wrote unto you in an epistle not to keep company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
I Corinthians 15:33: Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
2 Corinthians 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Ephesians 5:7: Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15: And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
J. Vernon McGee:
My old companions fare you well. I cannot go with you to Hell. I mean with Jesus Christ to dwell. I will go with Him and tell.
Care to discuss Relationships And Associations with Ron?