Caution to students of God's Word - Please remember two things when using our studies: #1. Our commentary is not God's Word. It is only our interpretation or understanding of "His Word" and even though we try our best to be accurate we may or may not be correct. #2. The King James translation, or any other translation, of the original Hebrew text has some words which were given different translations at different places probably because of the interpreters preconceived ideas of what they think God meant to say. For example: According to the notes in the "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible" the Hebrew word hayah in the KJV is Trans. (became) 67 times, (becamest or came to pass) 505 times, (become) 66 times, and (come to pass) 131 times, but for some reason in Genesis 1:2 it is translated (was)! That sure changes the way a person perceives the original creation of the earth, doesn't it? Gen. 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, ... Having said that, let us continue with our "Key Knowledge" lessons. These are pamphlets containing knowledge, we believe, you must have to fully and accurately unlock and understand the Word of God.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
This Bible Study was originally written by Roger
published at http://www.theseason.org/
Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.
Now here is our revised study of:
"The Unmarried [1-9]."
"The Married [10-17]."
"Circumcision and Servitude [18-24]."
I Corinthians 7:1 "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman."
Paul is now drawing attention to the letters that the Christians of Corinth had written to him. This is one of those times when the King James version really lets us down in its translation. The subject here is in the word "touch", and we must take this word back into the manuscripts in the Greek. In the Strong's Greek dictionary it is number 680; "Haptomai, hap'-tom-ahee; reflective of # 681, properly to attach one self to, i.e., to touch (in many applied relations): touch." So we see to understand the word "Haptomai" we have to go to the prime word, # 681.
# 681; "Hapto, hap'-to; a prime verb; proper to fasten to, i.e., specifically to set afire, to kindle, light." So now lets go back to what Paul is telling these Corinthians in his instruction on the matter of touching a woman. Paul is saying in very common terms that a man should not kindle or set afire the sexual desires with a woman. This answer is in response to a letter that some Corinthians had written to Paul. When this happens things can get out of control; and Paul is telling the men folk that it is not right for a man to raise the sexual desires between a man and a woman.
I Corinthians 7:2 "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."
However, Paul is saying that if this burning desire for a woman is there and you simply cannot control it then to avoid fornication, get married to that one you have the sexual desire for. When your sexual drive overcomes your better judgment, then it is better that you do marry.
I Corinthians 7:3 "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband."
This is done to fill each other sexual needs. "Benevolence" in all other places of the bible is; "in payment for something owed," however this "due benevolence" in the Greek is # 2133 "eunoia, an act of good will, and a conjugal duty." and comes from # 2132 in the Greek dictionary. # 2132; "Eunike, ynoo-no-ah'-o; to be well minded, reconciled, agree." Not forced but an act mutually agreed upon between a husband and his wife.
Touching, or setting on fire is not involved here, because it is done as a conjugal duty to your mate. The fire of sexual desire that kindled before the marriage took place is not addressed in this verse, but it has now become the duty of each mate, once you have committed in marriage to your loved one.
I Corinthians 7:4 "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."
This not only means that each of the partners belong to each other, but it also means that the wife has the power of raising or controlling the sexual drive within the husband's body, and of course the husband also has the power of raising, or controlling the sexual drives within his wife. Christian sex is the best sex for nothing is forbidden between the Christian husband and wife. This is a matter of building each other up emotionally to take part in the sexual act, or to suppress it when the time is not ready.
I Corinthians 7:5 "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency."
The word "defraud" is better translated "deprive". It's best not to deprive the husband of the wife, or the wife of her husband. This is unless it is agreed with both parties that one or both of them have given themselves over to fasting and prayer. However, when that time of fasting is over, the husband and wife are to come together and reunite.
We must evaluate the times that Paul lived and the times which we live in today as to; "That which is convenient and that which is not." In other words, Paul chose to remain single for a very special reason, so he would be free to travel and preach the gospel of Christ. If Paul had been married then he would have been obligated to fulfill the duties of the husband, and give proper attention to his wife. However, when Paul was back in Jerusalem it was for only a few days, and He was gone again on another journey. It was not convenient for Paul to marry, and he remained single.
Paul faced many hardships, even beatings and jailing for the sake of the gospel, and that is not a life to place a wife and family under. This is the reason Paul states that to some it would deprive their mate, should they marry and continue in what they are doing. Paul also took the vow of a Nazarite, that he would not be with a woman for five months, or a certain period of time, that would be depriving a wife of her rights in a marriage.
So what Paul is saying is if you know that you are going to be gone for a year of separated for a very long time, don't make that agreement of marriage when you can't keep the marriage vows that you give to each other. If however after you have talked it over with your mate, and you both agree to the separation, then it is proper to go ahead with the marriage. It is very dangerous to withhold the knowledge of a separation from a mate before the marriage takes place, for out of that marriage there can be much trouble.
Sex is good and natural and wholesome when it is enjoyed within the bonds of marriage. It is essential that you communicate your desires with your mate so there will be no misunderstanding.
I Corinthians 7:6 "But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment."
Paul is saying that this is not necessarily Biblical law in what he is relating here, but it is best to follow these instructions so that Satan will not have the opportunity to gain a foothold in your home and life.
I Corinthians 7:7 "For I would not all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that."
Paul is not against marriage, and he is addressing those that have made a life out of traveling and spreading the gospel as he is. Remember in I Timothy 4:1-3 Paul warned us not to let some preacher with a false seducing spirit, and the doctrines of devils come to you and tell you that you are forbidden to marry.
I Timothy 4:1 "Now the Spirit speaketh
expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving
heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
I Timothy 4:2 "Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"
Don't let some false teacher come around and tell you it is forbidden to marry, However if God gave you some gift that would deprive your mate of a natural life in the marriage, it would be better off that you would not marry.
I Timothy 4:3 "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."
The hardships of the time of this writing by Paul does not necessarily fit our generation. There might be hardship in the missionary work, but it is quite common for husband and wife teams serving on the foreign field together. However, it is up to the two that are considering marriage to weigh the pros and cons. Again, this is not a commandment from God, but just plain common sense by Paul to those are in the same position that Paul was in. Paul is trying to instruct you as to how to fulfill your life both sexually and otherwise living here in the flesh, and to live with peace of mind.
I Corinthians 7:8 "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, I is good for them if they abide even as I."
Paul is telling the widows and the unmarried people that if they are working in a church and trying to serve God as Paul was, that it would probably be better for them if they stayed single. They would then be able to keep their focus one hundred percent on serving God.
I Corinthians 7:9 "But if they cannot, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn."
However, if one cannot retain self-restraint from their sexual desires, then it is better that they do marry. Many times the false preachers have taken this verse and said that "it is better to marry than to burn in hell", and that statement is not what Paul said here. Look out for those that would explain it this way and keep away from them. Learn to use the tools that God has given us for your study, and learn the truth. That is why you must get a Strong's bible Concordance that is numbered to the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek dictionary, so that you can take it back the original languages and check it out for yourself. This method brings much understanding in God's Word.
The subject is that you are not to over-excite yourself or a woman sexually, and if you can not constrain yourself in your flesh body, then marry the woman so that you will not burn with passion for her. Marry her and get back to your work in the ministry or whatever your life's duties may be. There is nothing wrong with the sexual fire that rises within you for your love for a woman, it is a natural thing in life. God created you and put that desire within you for the purpose of binding you to your mate, and continuing the next generation. That is life.
It is better to marry then to burn up with desire for the relations with the other sex.
"Burn" in the Greek is # 4448; "Puroo, from the prime # 4442 [fire], to be ignited, glow, to be inflamed (with anger, lust, or grief), to burn, fiery." Now you should see what Paul meant when he said "it is better to marry then to be inflamed with lust of some woman," for you will not be able to get any of the work done for the Lord while you are in such a mood. It is far better to marry than to be eaten up with passion. This is just plain common sense.
Today many young people are just not taught correctly from the Word of God, and they get false ideas of what God's Word says. God intended man and woman to join together and have sex, for that is the only way that family life goes on. It is a beautiful thing, and one of the most precious gifts that God has given to mankind. There is nothing wrong in desiring God creation, however it is in the lusting after her that Paul is saying that we should watch our for.
The people that molest children and commit rape are people that have not listened to the advice Paul gives here. They have lost control over their minds, and mentally they have no limitations to their passions. There are many other reasons for child abuse and molestation, but this is one of the main causes. Mixed up and confused passions have caused many to become off balance, and commit things that they would have never done otherwise.
So Paul is simply saying here, "I am talking now to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they can live like I am, and fulfill their life, However, if they cannot live with self-restraint without it being a pressure or burden that you cannot handle, then let them marry. For it is better to marry then to be burned up with desire and have immorality take hold. The key to this verse is keeping yourself under sexual self-control.
I Corinthians 7:10 "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:"
In the verses above, Paul said it was he that gave you the advice concerning the unmarried man or woman, but now Paul is speaking what the Lord has said about those that do marry.
I Corinthians 7:11 "But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife."
God as well as every living human being hates divorce, however it does happen. God even divorced the house of Israel, when they went chasing after harlot religions. Even in the law of Moses, in Numbers 22 that God gave Moses the reasons that one could put away His wife, or the wife put away her husband. This is not a pleasing time, but some times it must be done for the sake of both parties. It is best not to seek divorce, but sometimes sin enters into lives and causes these things to happen.
Remember that the sins that cause divorce are not the unforgivable sins, and when the divorce is over, it is time to pick up your life and continue on. To the Christian this is the time for repentance, and getting right with the Father. It is time to confess all sins to our Heavenly Father "in Jesus name", and those sins will be put far from you. God will wipe them from before His eyes, and wipe the books clean of those acts that caused the divorce in the first place. When sins are forgiven then leave them alone, and don't allow others to throw them back into your face, for when they do, they are fulfilling the works of Satan. There is no way that the Spirit of God will place any part of a forgiven and repented sin back into the face of one of His children when they come to Him in repentance.
If someone does, then they are doing the work of Satan and his fallen angels [demonic], and not of God. This even goes to those behind the pulpit, that when anyone has place a divorced person who has placed their sins of divorcement under the shed blood of Christ, and he or she makes that person a second class citizen to be ridiculed in the eyes of the congregation, that pastor is doing the work of the devil, for the Holy Spirit will not go against the Holy Word of God.
I Corinthians 7:12 "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away."
Now Paul is giving advice of his own, and not from the law of the Old Testament. If a man marries a non-believer, and she is happy living with him, then let that marriage stand. The point that Paul is stressing here is the marriage is alright as long as she does not interfere with your serving God. The other part is that she does not prevent you from following your beliefs, and using the gifts that God has given to you.
I Corinthians 7:13 "And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him."
What applied to the man that takes a unbelieving wife, also applies to the woman that marries a unbelieving husband. If there is not conflict in the marriage the let it along and let them be married. However if the unbelieving wife or husband would absolutely prohibit your worshipping God, and doing what God leads you to do, then that is another matter that will be covered later.
I Corinthians 7:14 "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean; but now are they holy."
When one of the parties is a Christian and the other non-believers will allow the children to be raised a Christian then the children will be made holy through the actions of their parents. The parent will set the example for the children to follow. The child will be raised up in the ways of the Lord, to respect and love our heavenly Father. The key here is that the husband or wife that is the unbeliever does not interfere in the raising of the child, and the ways of the Lord. The children are then Christian born and Christian raised.
I Corinthians 7:15 "But if the unbelieving depart, let them depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace."
God called us to free us from evil and bondage, and He desires us to be pleased in all avenues of life. However if an unbelieving husband or wife puts pressure on you to place you under the bondage that would take you from your duties to Christ, then you are free to seek divorce and separate from that partner. If she [he] interferes with your rights to worship or heavenly Father, then it is time to consider your position within your marriage. This is where the use of a Christian marriage counselor is helpful, for it helps put the whole perspective of your relationship in place, and puts you back on course.
The counselor must know both sides of the issue before he or she can rightfully instruct you, and both parties must be willing to reconcile. This then is in reference to when one party says "good by", and there is no effort for the spouse to get him or her back.
I Corinthians 7:16 "For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband: or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
The implication here is that if the partner wants to go, and their is interference in their departing, there is really no knowledge as to whether you could have ever brought them to salvation or not. If they are not willing to keep their commitment of the wedding vows to you in the flesh, then there is a greater chance that they would never keep any vows that they would make to God. God will not hold you responsible for their soul, so let that unbeliever go.
As counselors know that love does not operate in this manner most of the time. In your heart and in your inner feelings, if you love that person you are willing to overlook and forgive many sins. Love can hurt when it is trampled upon. Love is the strongest bonding force in the world, and many police officers have come to settle domestic fights, and found themselves all bound up in a fight with the little lady that they were there to protect. When that man that beat her is taking a verbal scolding from the officer, the little lady turns on him for no reason at all, except for the bonding force of love that continues even through the thick of troubles.
Love is very difficult to control, and it has a free flow of its own. You can't just turn it on, and shut it off when the time is right, for many times that love will remain many years after the marriage has ended, and the kids have grown and left the home. Paul's advice is still good, if the person is interfering in your life, and is a non-believer, deep in a cult, stretched out on drugs, and cursing and abusing the children, these are reasons to over come that love and let that person go.
If you do it God's way, God will replace that confusion with His peace and He will fill your life with something else. If you are both Christians then it is time to communicate with each other, and work out your difference together. If you don't think that she understands your desires then talk to her about it, and listen to her side also. Be tender to one another, just as you were on those nights that you first dated. You thought nothing to opening the door for her, and going across town to get her flowers. What has happened to where you will not give the same attention to those crazy things that you held dear on those dates that brought you together. Give her the same respect that you gave her on those first dates, and watch those problems disappear. For each short coming you overlook, she will over look two of yours, for each smile you give, she will give back. Watch that spark of love come back to life, and give God a chance to work in your life.
If you let that love of yours go, just what do you think you will do differently to find another decent woman, as good as the one you let go. If you pull the things on the new woman in your life as you did to your last wife, that marriage will not last either. The best thing is to fess up to the mess that has been created, and the role that you played in making it the way that it ended, and make an effort to make things right. If sins are mixed up in it, then as a Christian, repent of those sins and get them off of your conscience. If she loves you she wants you to be happy, and don't be afraid to give a little bit on those things that cut into your pride for her sake. She is the precious gift that God gave you, and God expects you to take care of her.
When you have sinned in your handling of affairs in your marriage, then that is the time to repent for those sins in Jesus name, for that is why Jesus became our sacrifice. Then once you have repented and He has forgiven you, it is as if those sins have never happened. When God forgives you of something, He doesn't want to hear about it ever again. It is over and done with forever. Friend, that means that God has given you a fresh start to begin your lives all over again, and pick up where you left off in your marriage. So that is the time that you and your wife must also forgive and leave those things of the past alone. Don't bring them up or play word games with them.
Divorce is not the unpardonable sin, for that sin cannot be committed until Satan the false christ is here on earth in his role as the spurious messiah. Then it can only be committed by the Elect of God. That sin is when an elect of God refuses to allow the Holy Spirit to speak through them when they are delivered up, during that time known as the great deception or tribulation.
It is one thing to lose a mate on earth in the flesh, but it is still another thing to allow your soul to be lost, simply because you would not draw the line to keep an evil mate from destroying your home and mind. There should not be even an item to consider when an unbelieving mate tries to destroy your spiritual life, your soul and your relationship with our Heavenly Father. Every case is different, and the law applies in each case because of all the actions of the parties involved. This is why we must study God's Word and grow skilled in His Word.
I Corinthians 7:17 "But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches."
God has distributed to every person certain gifts that He expects us to use. He has called every one, and He expects us to walk accordingly. If your gift is in one thing, say teaching, and another man's gift is in something else, don't try to change his gift to yours, nor you follow after his gift. Learn what gifts God has given you, and learn to use them for the glory of God. Rise above the things that set you apart. Learn to use each man's gift to the glory of God for the advancing of the gospel of Christ.
Learn to study in both the New and the Old Testament, for it is almost impossible to understand the New Testament without a working knowledge of the Old Testament. They all go to make up the whole plan of God, and the keys of our generation are mostly given in the Old Testament. When some church tries to separate part of the Word, and exclude others, they are forming divisions or denominations, and they will never pass beyond the milk stage of the Word of God. Paul is telling us to rise above these petty little things that would cause divisions within the body of Christ. Let Christ free you from the chains of organized religion, for Paul told us not to study Apollos, or himself, or Peter but focus your life on Christ only for He is the Word of God.
Jesus Christ is the one that was crucified, and he paid the price for our sins. Jesus is the only one that can intercede on our behalf before the Father in heaven, and His name is our only credentials that we can have to approach the throne of God and ask forgiveness. When you or any man claiming to be of Christ walks here on earth, we walk only to please Christ who is our only Savior. There is no man in this entire world that is the authority of God, for only God's Word is the authority for man in the flesh. Friend, if you put your trust in any man in the flesh today, I guarantee you that he will let you down. There is not a living being that has the perfection that Christ had, when He walked this earth, and He only is the Living Word.
Paul himself is stating that I have no specific commandment from God, but I am giving you some of my advise. This is why we must search the Scriptures to understand what God did say to us. Paul is carefully calling the things that God has already said, and calling them to our attention.
I Corinthians 7:18 "Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised."
Paul is now changing the subject in this chapter from marriage relationships to Circumcision. "Circumcision" is a "blood offering", and Christ became our blood offering. Circumcision in the New Testament has no gender, for it is of the heart. Circumcision is no longer necessary as it was in the Old Testament. Paul is telling us that are part of the body of Christ not to quibble over small petty things that don't mean much. If you have a gift that God gave you, your going out and becoming circumcised will not increase that gift one bit.
If you are of the uncircumcision and not of Christ, and you then go out and become circumcised, that will not make you part of the circumcision of the body of Christ, for the circumcision of Christ is of the heart, and demands a circumcision or cutting away of those evil things in your heart or mind. It demands that there be a change in your mind, which is only done through your belief, and faith in Jesus Christ, which brings a repenting heart and your confession in Jesus name.
Jesus name is the only credentials that you can have when repenting before the Father, for when you say "in Jesus name", you are saying that you believe Jesus Christ is the only Begotten Son of God, and that you accept the shed blood of Christ on the cross for the payment of all your sins. So Paul is telling us that those little things that we do to impress man will not help you one iota. The little hang-up of denominationalism will not get you through the gates of heaven, for it is a real problem that our society can be so divided over such trivial things, compared to Christ crucified.
There are four items that are important for us to understand regarding "Christ crucified" and they are: Why was Christ crucified? Where was He crucified? Who crucified Jesus Christ? and What is the significance within Christ's crucifixion? If your congregation can answer these four items, they can understand the entire Word of God, and His eternal Plan.
We are to rise above the divisions that are taking place, and seek the truths of these four items, for their answers go way back to the first earth age, and include what happened in the garden of Eden. The results are eternal, and you and I had better have the answers. We are not saying to stay out of a denominational church, but while you are there seek out the truth whether it is taught there or not.
I Corinthians 7:19 "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God."
Whether or not you are circumcised or not means nothing, but what does matter is that you learn to keep the commandments of God that He has placed within your mind. An example of this is when a man has the gift of an evangelist, and he goes to a city far away and he preaches with the gift that God has given him. He is telling the people of the love and saving power of Jesus Christ. Now ask yourself, if the man is truly gifted, what difference does it make if the man is circumcised or uncircumcised? It makes no difference at all. This is what Paul is saying, when a gifted man is using the gifts that God has placed within him, circumcision means nothing.
I Corinthians 7:20 "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called."
If you are gifted in singing and have a beautiful voice, it would be impossible for me to steal your gift of singing and use it like you are capable of. If one is a gifted teacher in the Word of God, and he understands the ages, the hidden meanings in the languages by the prophets, and how the entire Word of God fits like a glove, and one comes along without spending the time and studies to gain that wisdom, it is foolish to expect anything but confusion to come from the teaching of that teacher. Do you get the point? God gave you a talent for something, and if it is in your work as a servant for Him then that is the service that our Father expects of you. That is what your rewards will be based upon, and that is what God expects you to do.
The eye of the body is just as important as the big toe, for with the eye the body sees, and with the big toe the body gets around walking. We are all of the body of Christ, and only Christ gets the full credit for what ever is done in His service. There are no heroes, only members of the body. One body, with many members or parts, and you either become a working part of that body in some way, or you are like a wart that must be cut away. Each part needs the other, and leans on the other part for its well being. When one pastor is nailed by the press for some stupid thing that he might have done, the entire body feels the pain. If you do not feel that pain then something is wrong, and I would be concerned.
It takes a gift to take what appears to be complicated, and make it understandable in the minds of those that hear in terms of everyday life. Just like an evangelist could not become a teacher, so likewise in most cases the teacher could not become an evangelist. Why? God has prepared each for the mission that is theirs. The evangelist is to feed only the milk of the Word, to draw the unbeliever to Christ, and show him or her the love of God which brings that person to repentance. The good teacher knows the levels of the Word of God, and can teach to each person on the level that they are on. Once the Evangelist is through with bringing the babe to Christ in repentance, then it is up to the teacher to take hold and bring that person up to where they have the spiritual stamina to stand against the fiery darts of Satan.
God's gifts are given without repentance, and it is not up to any denomination or group of people to limit any gift that God has given a person, for that is up to the Father and the individual. Let every man abide in the same calling that he was called because it is not going to change. God is the only one that can make the change.
I Corinthians 7:21 "Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather."
If you are a slave to someone or something, that position doesn't matter for you can still serve God. However, if you can be free from that which is holding you in bondage, it is all the better. Paul is saying that you become free to serve God all the more.
I Corinthians 7:22 "For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant."
Though you do become a free man, when you are in the Lord you are still God's servant. Even if you are free, being free you can serve Christ all the more.
I Corinthians 7:23 "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."
Even though you may be a slave of some man, when you become a Christian you become a servant of Christ also, for you are bought and paid for from with the price of the blood of Christ. That price has already been paid, and the outcome shall never change. This doesn't mean that when you accept Christ, you are to just walk off and leave what you were doing, and the obligations that you are under. However as a servant of God and under the bonds to our Lord Jesus Christ, the most important ministries are done when a person uses their gifts that God gave them in their everyday lives of serving. Living the life as Christ has taught us to live is one of the most important ministries that there is.
Today there are ministries that reach into millions of homes and affect many people. However, the ministry that shows the unsaved what being a Christian is all about, is the Christian that lives for Christ in his or her everyday life, whether on their job, or in the way that they treat their neighbors. That is the candle of light that combined with all the other candles make a difference within the whole body of Christ.
I Corinthians 7:24 "Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God."
What ever the condition that God has placed you in, or that you have caused yourself to be placed in you can abide in God right there. You can be handicapped, or in prison and be an effective witness for God to those around you. Whether you are a slave, servant, or the CEO of a large corporation, God has His place for you to be his minister right where you live, work and do your everyday living. When you are saved by the blood of Christ and in the body of Christ, you have a ministry within that body, and God will lead you to where you belong in your ministry. Our Father will give you the words that you are to speak to the mind of the person that only His Spirit, the Holy Spirit can prepare that mind to receive what you would tell him of Christ.
I Corinthians 7:25 "Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful."
Paul is now changing the subject matter again from circumcision and serving Him, to the lives of Christian virgins, the unmarried. Paul is telling them that what ever the situation is, I have no direct order or commandments from God, but what I am about to tell you is from my own mind and thoughts. So what is going to be given now is Paul's judgment on the matter. This matter deals with being trustworthy before God.
The guidelines that Paul is going to give these single maidens is the same message that pertains to the male counterparts that claim the name of Christ and are faithful to His Word.
I Corinthians 7:26 "I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be."
Paul's writing in these verses to virgins, male and female alike is in answer to a letter that he received from someone at Corinth. Paul does not tell us specifically what that distress is, but what he is saying here in the Greek is; "I say that it is good for a man to be as I am." So what is necessary is to look a Paul's life in word and deed to see how these virgins should live.
In the Greek language the subject and the object must be strictly followed or another subject must be introduced. This "distress" was named in chapter five and it was an incestuous affair between a young man and his mother or step mother, and Paul has already answered that point of distress. Paul also pointed out earlier that there was another point of "distress" when the congregation had divided themselves into division, by tagging names of Apollos, Peter and Paul on to their groups and this created division within their church. So the distress has to do with serving God, and their following through with their methods of serving God. Their problem gets right back to denominationalism, and the factions that are created by their dividing up the many membered body of Christ.
This would lay the seed bed of the duties of each member of the body of Christ. Remember it was Paul that planted, Apollos that water, and so on, for each has their duties within that body of Christ. Each person has a different calling and each has a responsibility to his or her calling. So with this in mind, concerning virgins, at the first of this chapter Paul gave us that instruction when he stated "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." Remember that the word "touch" was very specific and mean that a man should not work a woman into sexual heat or desire. The Greek is very specific and it mean "over heat her with sexual desires." It is not good for these passions to go on when you are out of wedlock.
However, Paul then instructed that if you cannot keep your passion under control, and it over rides you, then take her for your wife. Paul stated that it is better to marry then to burn, which means to suffer because of your passion. If you can't bring yourself under control of your sexual desires then get a mate. It does not mean that you are to burn in hell. The subject of this entire discussion must be followed through, with the thought of your serving God. Remember that at the time of Paul's writings, if you took on the job of teaching the gospel you would not be home but once every three years.
It also was too dangerous to have a wife at this time accompanying you in the missionary work, for Christians were beaten, jailed and whipped to within a breath of their life. There were barbarians along the roads, and even the Christians had their swords along with them. Even Peter and the disciples had their swords with them to defend themselves during the time that Christ was delivered up. This is given in Matthew 26:50-52.
Matthew 26:50 "And Jesus said unto him, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took Him."
During all other times when Jesus and His disciples had traveled from town to town, they had their swords for protection. However, earlier in this chapter of Matthew Jesus had His last supper with these disciples. He revealed to them that this time of His crucifixion was at hand and that He would soon be delivered up. It was in the entire plan of God that Jesus be delivered up, and that His life be sacrificed, or there would be no salvation for mankind, and all his teaching would have been in vain. Peter lost sight of this when he drew his sword, and was going to defend Jesus on that night of Judas' betrayal of Jesus.
Matthew 26:51 "And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's and smote off his ear."
At any other day or time, Peter and the rest would have drew their swords during such an attack on them, but Jesus again had to remind Peter that this was the time that He had prepared them for over that past three years. Jesus never said, get rid of the sword, but put it back into the sheath where it belongs. The sword is for defensive purposes, and Jesus and His disciples were not being attacked, per say. Every thing happening at that time was part of God's plan prophesied throughout the entire Old Testament, and there was no use for protection.
Matthew 26:52 "Then said Jesus unto him, "Put up again they sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
Put the sword away Peter before you do something that will cause harm to you. Peter was not about to stop this event from happening, for he had lost sight of everything that had happened earlier that evening.
Naturally God protects His own, but at the time of Paul missionary work was not a good environment of home life, and the bringing up of children. Paul said it would be better off if you stayed like me in missionary work, but if this distress of passion comes upon you, then this is what you would be better off doing. We are not second guessing Paul, but we are trying to stay within the specifics of the subject matter that Paul had up to this point.
I Corinthians 7:27 "Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife."
Paul is asking first of all, are you engaged to marry that woman? Paul is telling us that if you are going to seek to serve God then stay as you are. If you are married then stay married, and if you are single then serve God in that capacity. Don't get a divorce for the sake of serving God, and don't break a marriage commitment just because you intend to be a minister.
Any man that would run from his wife for the sake of becoming a super preacher is not serving God but their own vanity. He is one stupid individual, and he is not following the instruction of Paul or God's Word. There is no place in God's Word that says you should leave your family and neglect your family obligations for the sake of serving Him, but as was written above in verse twenty four, we are to serve Him in the place that we are in. If a person says that he is a teacher of God's Word then you expect him to act in accordance with that Word, However if a person is a lay person, seeking the directs for his life, to serve God, than that is another matter, and it takes patience to assist that person in the ways of God's Word.
Friend, if you are a Christian and desire to serve God, then you have to first study His Word to know what is expected of you, then learn discipline in your life to where you can be a servant for Christ. Learn the obligation that you are binding yourself to before you charge out in any direction. If you are married then learn what God says about what He expects of you in that position, then do it. How can you be a successful witness in a community when you have left your wife destitute, and your children without the direction of their father. The community will look at you as a common criminal, as you would be, completely without responsibility, and with no sense of good judgment. How in the world would you expect them to take one thing that you have said as being truthful if you can't even live up to your duties to your own family.
Just because a man says he is a "reverend" doesn't make him a "reverend". No man is to be reverenced but only Christ. All men have their shortcomings so how can they be reverenced? However they can become pastors and evangelists, and fill the human aspect of service to our Father. The point that Paul is making here is to be as free as you can to serve God, and do it right where you are.
I Corinthians 7:28 "But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you."
Paul is telling us, "I think you should look at it this way." If you are in the flesh you will have troubles from time to time. If you are a man trying to do God's work and it is time to go to another location to teach or preach, and serious family matters come up to where it would not be safe to leave his family alone. The family man will have problems ministering because of the duties that man faces while in this flesh body. Paul is telling these married preachers and teachers to plan ahead and be prepared for those difficulties that may arise while in the ministry. If you are a virgin in a ministry, before you get married take all these things into consideration before you seal the bonds of matrimony.
I Corinthians 7:29 "But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as thought they had none;"
Paul is saying that once you are converted, you become aware of just how short life is. Paul is reminding them that when they pass from this life in the flesh, they enter their spiritual life as the angels are in now and there will be no binding in marriage. There will be no husband and wife relationship, and commitment as we have in this second earth age of the flesh. Angels don't marry and wives don't have husband in the Millennium age, nor the eternity. Paul then is reminding those that are considering marriage in this flesh and planning on a life of service in the ministry. Paul is not taking anything away from marriage in this statement, but only drawing to the attention of the single man to the shortness of this life in comparison to the eternity. But if you do plan on marriage then do the planning before you go through with it so that your family can be well taken care of while you are gone.
I Corinthians 7:30 "And they that weep, as thought they wept not; and they that rejoice, as thought they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not:"
Paul again is talking here about the life after death, or in the Millennium age. There will be no tears in the eternity, and those things that caused the tears in this flesh age, will just not be around. Peter talked about this in II Peter 3:10;
II Peter 3:10 "But the day of the Lord will come a a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
The "elements" are the "evil rudiments" that go to make up this age of the flesh, those things that go to make you do the evil things in this flesh life.
II Peter 3:11 "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, "
II Peter 3:12 "Looking for an hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
This "day of God" is after the "day of the Lord" that marks the end of this flesh age, and takes us into the Millennium, and also after the Millennium age and the time of the great white throne judgment, for this is the time spoken of in Revelation 21 when the new heaven and a new earth shall come, for the old heaven and earth is done away with. Hell fire has consumed Satan at this time and all those that chose to follow him, and the second death or death of the souls of those without Christ, has taken place.
Revelation 21:1 "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."
Revelation 21:2 "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
This new heaven and earth will come down right here on earth, and not on some distant location. This planet is rejuvenated and is the place of the new city, New Jerusalem.
Revelation 21:3 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God."
God will dwell with us throughout all eternity, and even the thought of those loved ones that would not receive Christ through repentance will be wiped from all memory. You could have been married to a man or woman for forty years, and that memory of those cherished things will all be gone if that mate is not of Christ.
Revelation 21:4 "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
This then deals with the time after the Millennium age, where as during the Millennium age all souls or people, both the saved and the unsaved, will be in their celestial bodies. However in the Millennium you can go to those loved ones that followed after Satan, in his deceptive role as the false-christ, and you can give them words of encouragement to shape themselves up, during that time. This is given in detail in Ezekiel 44, and throughout the last eight chapters of Ezekiel.
Live Link to-Ezekiel 44
Live Link to-Ezekiel Chapters 40-44 Within The Millennial Temple
Live Link to-Ezekiel Chapters 45-48 Without The Millennial Temple
Paul states that this time of this flesh age, and the lives that we live in the flesh is very short when we consider the massiveness of time that exists for those that love the Lord Jesus Christ. It simply doesn't matter what you own or posses in this flesh age, for at the sounding of the seventh trumpet and Jesus return, you will not own or posses those earthly things that you hold dear today. Whether you are a billionaire today or whether you have nothing, before the Lord on that day it simply will not matter. The things of the flesh won't matter because you will not be in the flesh, nor will any of your loved ones.
I Corinthians 7:31 "And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away."
"Abusing it" would be better translated, "to live full time for this world age". The family farm or business has been tied up in the family for the past three generation, and that business has all the attention of your life in this flesh age. That is what Paul is trying to relate to us here. What is tying up and fashioning your life here in this flesh age? How dedicated are you to those things, to where you would place those things before God and His Word? God has revealed that these things are very short and temporary, and that they will all pass away very shortly, and even in the turn of events the things of this world can disappear from your possession. You have it one day, and the government, or taxes, or a law suit or fire takes it from you. It could even be a death in the family, but the things that man counts on in this flesh life are very temporary.
That family business that great grandfather established is not as important to him today as in seeing his great grandson or granddaughter enter into the gates of heaven. Be careful what you allow to become the controller of your life, and keep your mind on the things that matter eternally.
I Corinthians 7:32 "But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:"
Paul is telling them that he desires that they be free from all anxiety, that they don't get the point of worrying over such matters. When a person is single they are concerned about pleasing the Lord only.
I Corinthians 7:33 "But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife."
But those men and woman that are married are concerned over the things that deal with family life come to the forefront. The husband is concerned with the protection and well being of his wife, and the upbringing of his children. This is a natural thing and God expects us to do so. Paul is only drawing it to the attention here for the sake of those that are considering the ministry. It is another thing to consider in the planning before one has entered into the full time ministry. This is another reason to compare in the planning of the marriage, before the commitment is made to either the ministry or the marriage.
However, as Paul stated earlier, if your passion is such that you cannot get over the passion that is burning you up with desire, then it is better that you get married anyway. It is better to exercise your passion with in the state of marriage, then to let you mind be burned up with sexual passions that you simply cannot control.
I Corinthians 7:34 "There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband."
There is a difference between the woman when she is your wife, as to prior to your marriage, then when you are engaged to her. This is just plain common sense, for of course the young lady is far more concerned for her own well being and her position before the Lord, then after she is married and the things that please her husband become the foremost desires. There is a big difference between the time of Paul's writing this verse, and the days that we live in today. In Paul's day a married man traveling in the service of the Lord could not simply pick up a phone and check in with the wife nightly, but the contact may not be for several years. There is a great difference, and the commitment of marriage were handled much differently.
The method of transportation then was your feet, or the mule, and the postal service took months to deliver, instead of the overnight delivery as we have today. This is why planning was very important to a ministry before a man made a commitment to his wife to be. Then while on the road, there was the matter of self protection that assured that when you went to a place that you would arrive safely. The methods of planning may be entirely different, but reasons for that planning are still the same. But Paul is saying that if you are going out to teach God's Word it is better to stay single if you can.
I Corinthians 7:35 "And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for the which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction."
Paul is telling us this for our own interest, not to put a damper on your plans and way of life, but that you can keep your life in such a way that you will not be drawn away from the Lord. This is one of the reasons that most of the times single men make better soldiers than married men. Their minds are not distracted by what is going on at home, with the wife and the children. This is the same bit of advise that Paul is relating to those that are single and planning on the ministry for their lives.
I Corinthians 7:36 "But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry."
However, if that single man thinks that he cannot behave or carry on in a manner towards his "bride to be" without being burned up with passion, and she is reaching the age of non-child bearing years, then let them marry. It is the man's own conscience that governs whether this is right or not, for when he marries as governed by God's Word it is not a sin. Keep in mind that this is Paul's advise, for in verse twenty five Paul said; "Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful."
I Corinthians 7:37 "Nevertheless he that standeth steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well."
Never the less he that can control his passions and has no constraint, and is well disciplined in matters over his sexual life, and that towards the opposite sex, it is better for him or her to remains single.
I Corinthians 7:38 "So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better."
Paul is not anti-marriage here. He is simply stating that if you are going to be traveling and deep in the Lord's work, it will be a lot easier if you are not married. This is not an excuse for a man to leave his wife to free himself to get off into other areas of ministry. The man that uses divorces to advance his ministry is sinning and is going against God's Word.
I Corinthians 7:39 "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."
In the oldest manuscripts, the "by the law" was not written there. As man's laws changed, the translators have added it to the Word. The original reads: "The wife is bound as long as her husband liveth, but if her husband is dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will, only in the Lord." The only stipulation is that her next husband must be a Christian. Remember that Paul is writing to Christians of the church at Corinth. If the widow is going to remarry it should be to another Christian.
I Corinthians 7:40 "But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God."
Paul is telling these widows that he thinks that the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit is the one that is causing him to give this advise to them. This is not law, but it is my own personal advice given to you for your own well being. Paul did not bring the law into this but it was added by some translator along the way that desired to put the woman under bondage. Today it would be called the traditions of men.
Even in divorce where sin had taken place, Christ died on the cross for all sins, except for one, called "the unpardonable sin". That unpardonable sin simply cannot be committed until Satan is here on earth and the elect are delivered up to allow the Holy Spirit to speak through them. Marriage and divorce is not part of that sin, and when there has been sins that caused a divorce, and they are repented to the Father in Jesus name, it is time to get on with your life. Any man that will abuse his wife is a heathen, and when the heathen husband denies the wife the right to serve God, that is a right for separation.
Any time there is a divorce and the sins of that marriage are repented of, those partners are free to remarry another Christian. This is addressed only to Christians seeking Christ for their lives. However before two Christians are separated, there should be an effort to face those things that made the division, and when repentance is needed then repent. Where one needs to eat some of their pride, then that should be done for the sake of unity. Remember we are talking about a Christian marriage of two people, a man and his wife who both claim to be Christians, and are seeking the ways of the Lord for their lives.
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AMERICAN WISDOM SERIES
Two Sowers of Seed", both
the Good (Adam's sons)
and the Tares (Satan's
one Combined Pamphlet #7000/7007
(Jesus Christ told His disciples (which means you if you are one) that
unless they understood the "Parable of the Sower" they would not be able
to understand any of His parables.) You can't understand "The Parable of
the Tares" until you understand "The Parable of the Sower" and you will
be lost comprehending "The Parable of the Fig Tree" until you know who
both sowers were and their deeds.
You must understand "The Parable of the Sower" Click this link to open Pamphlet 7000
in order to understand "The Parable of the Tares" Click this link to open Pamphlet 7007
in order to understand "The Parable of the Fig Tree" Click this link to open Pamphlet 1031
Jesus said Learn it! Mark 13:28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree;...'
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