Saturday 21 February 2015

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

“I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are … For the present form of this world is passing away.” (vv. 26, 31)

1 Corinthians 7:25-31 Saturday 21 February 2015

Psalm: Psalm 114


Paul is offering particular advice to the church at Corinthhaving received a letter asking various questions about howChristians there should be behaving. They can't agree betweenthemselves, so they've asked for his advice, as an apostle (1Corinthians 1:11; 7:1). They clearly want to know what hethinks about single people and marriage.

Paul doesn't have any specific teaching of Jesus to pass onabout virginity. This first letter to the Corinthians is likely tohave been written in the spring of the AD57, at least a decadebefore Matthew's Gospel, and so Paul may have been ignorant of thesaying of Jesus regarding those who choose virginity 'for the sakeof the kingdom of heaven' (Matthew 19:12). So he offers his bestadvice, as someone whom the Lord has called, and in whom the Lordhas placed his trust (verse 25).

Paul's teaching here is not so much concerned with whether ornot a single person should get married, or a divorced person shouldremarry (or even whether a married person should get divorced)(verse 27) … but how long they will have left to enjoy their newstate before the end of the world. This is because the end of theworld will be marked by a time 'great tribulation' (Zephaniah 1:7 - 2:3) and tribulation is alwaysmuch worse for people with family ties (Luke21:23). And Paul expects the end of the world to be any timesoon!

To Ponder

  • What would have happened to the Church if, despite 1Corinthians 7:9, everybody had managed to control their passionand no Christian had married?
  • The Day of the Lord still hasn't come! Should Christians planfor it to be later or sooner? How?
  • How good is the Church at supporting people who have chosen toremain single? Or those who would rather have married but never hadthe opportunity?

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