(1 Corinthians 8:1-3)
Every so often you come up against a scripture you have to spend some time meditating upon. You mull it over and pray over it seeking the fullness of the meaning and asking the Lord to provide insight.
Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up
Such was the case for me with this set of verses today. I have been thinking about this section of scripture for the past week trying to understand the significance of the words, and seeking to know all there is to know about this section.
I'm still not sure I've got it, but I have seen some things in a different light and will share what I can. Please also, if you see something more that I have missed, then add it into the comments section below. It will be greatly appreciated by me and all those who read this blog.
(1 Corinthians 7:36-40)
Most of this section of scripture talks about the unmarried being able to remain in control of their natural desires of a man for a woman, and it says that if they cannot be in control they should marry.
But there is a principle that is snuck into the end of this section that is worth investigating for it pertains to how we are set free from the law by the death of Jesus Christ. The verse I am referring to is:
A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. – (1 Corinthians 7:39)
(1 Corinthians 7:32-35)
As Christians we have been called to have peace. We are being trained by the Lord through the working of the Holy Spirit to be able to find peace and to hold onto it.
Jesus wants us to be free from anxiety
The ways of the Lord lead to peace when we apply His teachings in our lives. When we learn how to walk in the spirit we gain the ability to walk in the peace of the Lord. This is despite the trials, tribulations and troubles that will beset us, along with persecutions from the forces of evil that surround us.
When we learn these lessons and apply them, then we can indeed live without anxiety. And Paul here encourages us to be free from anxiety by making decisions that will take us down more peaceful paths rather than having to deal with all forms of anxiety.
(1 Corinthians 7:25-31)
This is an interesting section of scripture for although Paul spends a significant amount of time in this whole chapter speaking about issues of marriage and those who are married or seeking to be married, in this section of scripture he is teaching a principle that extends to all parts of our life.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure
All aspects of life in this world are fraught with anxiety. Opportunities to be worried and anxious abound for the people in this world, Christians as well as non-believers. There are climatic events that can affect livelihoods and wreak disasters upon people’s lives on a large scale. Then there are the interpersonal problems that affect relationships, business acquaintances, friendships, marriages and so on that are causes for concern.
And in my opinion it is the latter that are the hardest to deal with because they affect the inner person. The interpersonal conflicts get into the heart, mind and soul of a person and deeply affect their whole manner of life. And it is this that Paul is providing a principle of life to overcome. That principle can be summed up as the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”
(1 Corinthians 7:17-24)
What changes when you are called to the Lord? Or what is it that SHOULD change when the Lord calls a person to Himself to become a Christian?
To change or not to change?
There are many different thoughts and ideas on this matter and some people presume or even expect that there will be a huge change in their lives. But there does not have to be or need to be a lot of change in how you live or where you live.
Certainly there will be some changes but not as many as people may think. This particular section of scripture shows us that the amount of change is not necessarily as great as people might presume, and it is worth considering because knowing it can relieve a lot of pressure on you as a Christian.
(1 Corinthians 7:8-16)
This section of scripture gives some great advice to those who are married or contemplating marriage. It also talks to issues of divorce, and unlike the views of some churches, divorce and separation are permitted. They are not steps a married couple should take lightly, but there is a reason why in some circumstances it may be the best option.
This section also provides advice to Christian couples as to courses of action in their marriage under different situations, and it looks at situations where both partners in the marriage are not Christians.
(1 Corinthians 7:6-7)
These two verses sit amidst Paul's discussions about marinate and sexual immorality. However they have a wider implication than just those two areas of concern for all people, and it is worth exploring.
We are called to live in harmony
There is an aspect of this that can help us understand both ourselves and other people and when understood it will assist us to find balance and harmony with each other.
Some of the problems in the nature of humanity are things like jealousy, envy and covetousness. Often these things are baseless and are built up in our own minds. But if we consider these few lines of scripture, they can help alleviate such human passions that are destructive and instead of being opposed through such feelings towards another, we can come together to rejoice, up build and lift one another up.
(1 Corinthians 7:1-5)
This whole chapter is devoted to matters of marriage and principles that should guide certain aspects of married life. This first part focuses upon temptations to immorality and overcoming them in marriage, but I do not want to specifically look at those issues.
What I noted as I read these first few verses, as well as most of the rest of the chapter, is the level of equality Paul shows exists, or should exist in a marriage.
Too often we see marriages depicted where the husband stands supreme and the wife is subservient. Even in many of the old laws the wife in a marriage was considered more as a chattel than an equal partner in the marriage, and under many of the old laws of the land all that the wife owned belonged to the husband, but the reverse was not true.
The subtext of Paul's message here is quite different for it does not differentiate the roles of men and women in marriage but makes them equal partners in the marriage, as it should be.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Two of the most important factors in the Christian life are covered in this section of scripture. It also gives us two excellent reasons why we must do as the final few words in this section tells us; “Glorify God in your body.”
You were bought with a price
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
It also teaches us a few other things that are worth reviewing and taking note of. It is a tremendous work the Lord is doing in us and these few verses show us just how deeply and how much God has done and is continuing to do to bring us into His kingdom and presence.
(1 Corinthians 6:13-18)
This section of scripture goes into great detail about warning us not to go down the path of sexual immorality. It is perhaps more relevant today than when it was written with the moral decline in this world where one night stands and all kinds of sexual perversions are the norm.
We cannot be joined to Christ and Sexual Immorality together
But hidden in this section is a verse that explains why it is so important to shun and flee from sexual immorality. The particular verse says,
But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. – (1 Corinthians 6:17)
Thus we have a dilemma that can only be resolved by following the advice of Paul by rejecting all forms of sexual immorality.