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But that freedom does not mean, Paul contends, that we are not compelled by love of both God and neighbor.So, it might, indeed, have some practical ethical application in the case of a Christian dating or marrying a non-Christian. But it is a matter of allowing God to be God, and recognizing that when we are his people, his sons and daughters (2 Cor ), that means we are in a relationship of love that constrains our freedom for the sake of that love (1 Cor 13).The idea of separating and setting boundaries, even among plants and animals ("each after its kind"), expresses the idea that there is a certain way God's world should work, that there are certain boundaries and limits within which creation can exist (see God and Boundaries).
17 Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, 18 and I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." The background of this verse comes from an Old Testament instruction in Deuteronomy: You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
Of course, the next question will be, "But what does that mean today?
" We want a single answer to this question, a list of rules to follow.
The reference to temples and idols suggests that Paul is still addressing the Corinthians' tendency to try to blend the worship of God with the activities that went on the pagan temples.
In other words, the people wanted to be Christian while still partaking of all the activities that marked the worship of the Greek gods.
Using the OT principle of preserving boundaries between things that should not be mixed, Paul simply says that being Christian means that the Corinthians can no longer practice the activities of pagan worship or pagan ethics, since those are things that should not be mixed with the worship of God.