What does a Believer have in Common with an Unbeliever


I have a few questions about the verse “what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever.”

…Quite a lot. For example, my unbelieving culinary classmate and I both like to draw cartoons. My unbelieving neighbor and I both like sugar cookies. And my unbelieving teacher and I both have two eyes (to name a few).

What, then, is the meaning of this verse?


Where does this verse come from?


2 Corinthians 6:15 I believe.

Anyway, it seems Paul is referring to what a believer has “in common with an unbeliever” with respect to faith, or things concerning faith. For example, your faith affects certain areas of your life in important ways, and so you will differ in those areas from a person who does not share that faith. He isn’t saying human persons don’t have other things in common – of course we all have human dignity, we may have interests in common as you say, etc.

But when it comes to worship, or maybe morality, there are going to be important differences. So you wouldn’t worship the gods of other religions, take part in immoral behaviour (that an unbeliever may see as acceptable), etc.


2 Corinthians 6:15


One thing I, an unbeliever, have in common with believers here is that we are members of CAF! St Paul, however was probably not thinking of unbelievers like me, but of Jews and believers in other Gods.


@ChristinaAH , you ask " What does a Believer have in Common with an Unbeliever ?"

Well we are all fellow human beings , and for me that’s pretty important .


Haydock commentary states:

Verse 14

Bear not the yoke together with unbelievers. He does not mean, that they must wholly avoid their company, which could not be done, but not to have too intimate a friendship with them, not to marry with them, to avoid their vices. Be ye separate…touch not the unclean thing. He does not speak of meats, clean and unclean, according to the law of Moses, nor of legal uncleannesses, but what is sinful under the new law of Christ, and would defile the soul, as idolatry, fornication, &c. (Witham)

Verse 15

as have cast off the yoke of God are called children of Belial. (John viii. 44.) Belial, in its radical signification, means without yoke. (Bible de Vence)


See also the “head” psalm, psalm 1. Don’t be influenced by non-believers or skeptics, etc. Faith is a gift. No one can come to Christ unless the Father calls him (her).

As in the parable of the sower and the seed, some of the seed (God’s word) is trampled on by unbelievers. Don’t be surprised by those who don’t believe.


In the context of 2 Corinthians Paul is writing to the Church in Corinth because he had previously chastised them for their immoral behavior to include licentiousness and idolatry. Some of them repented but it appears that certain teachers who were teaching doctrines of licentiousness and mixing of Christianity with Pagan practices were making accusations against him. Paul was urging the Church to have no fellowship with these people because they do not share the same, faith, values, etc. While we are called to vocations in the world we are not called to adopt the world’s ways of thinking and acting. Christians should be very different than the world around them. If we aren’t we are doing something wrong.


Thank you all for your answers! But I have one more question.

Clearly, we are not to avoid unbelievers. St. Paul even comes outright and states that we are allowed to associate with the sinners of the world. But we are not to have fellowship with them… What does that mean? The dictionary definition of “fellowship” is “friendly association,” but clearly it’s not wrong to associate with unbelievers, and I assume that it’s not wrong to be friendly to them!


Not to directly address the question, but rather to make a related point… St Paul expresses a lot of things which draw more questions!

He says so many things that appear to contradict each other! So it’s so important to take his teachings in context and also in conformity with the whole message of Scripture.

His writings have often been used as doctrinal division from the Catholic faith. But when balanced with the rest of Scripture, we can see where he is coming from.


It depends how far along you are on your Walk with God. The farther along, the less you’ll find you’ll have in common with unbelievers. This is because one who is strongly, deeply committed to Faith is gradually transformed by God’s Living Presence working in him/her. One is made into a new person. This isn’t some sort of fancy metaphore – it is quite literally true. Push on along your spiritual journey and it will get to the point where you realize that unbelievers do not and cannot understand you anymore; and also that you would rather not understand them anymore.

Unbelievers, on the other hand, stay the same, more or less, throughout their lives. They may change a little simply due to aging and more experience, but nothing as fundamental as the change that a sincere believer will go through in his/her life.


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