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Ephesians 5:7

ESV Therefore do not become partners with them;
NIV Therefore do not be partners with them.
NASB Therefore do not become partners with them;
CSB Therefore, do not become their partners.
NLT Don’t participate in the things these people do.
KJV Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

What does Ephesians 5:7 mean?

Paul's words in this verse offer brief yet powerful instruction. "Partners" are those who work together in some kind of connected relationship. Believers and unbelievers are not to be closely connected. The sinful actions of the unbeliever can be associated with the believer as well, causing damage to the reputation of the church (Ephesians 5:3–4).

Of course, this does not mean Christians are to avoid all contact or association with non-Christians. Jesus was a friend of sinners (Matthew 11:19). Imitating Him requires us to show love and a good example to the unsaved (Matthew 5:16), as we evangelize them (Matthew 28:19). However, certain limitations do exist. There comes a point where the line is crossed, and we can give the impression that we approve of what God has called sin.

Believers are to be known for holy lives (Ephesians 5:3–4) that are distinct from the world (Ephesians 5:5–6). The church, including all believers in Christ, is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25–33) and the pillar of truth (1 Timothy 3:15–16). Believers can no longer live like they did before knowing Christ (Ephesians 5:8), but are to do what pleases God (Ephesians 5:9). Paul's instructions in Ephesians 5:8–21 continue to emphasize these themes, contrasting the lives of believers and unbelievers.

The life of the believer should look distinctly different from the unbeliever. In many cases, this means maintaining some level of distance between those who are saved and unsaved.
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