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I Corinthians Chp. 7 Vs. 18-40

I Corinthians

By Joyce Webb 2016

Chapter 7 Vs. 18-40

Vs. 18 Paul says, If any man who is circumcised feels called of the Lord to follow Jesus, let him stay circumcised. If any man who is uncircumcised feels called of the Lord to follow Jesus, let him stay uncircumcised.

In a way, Paul is saying, If any man is a Jew and has been circumcised and decides to follow Jesus, let him stay circumcised, And if any man, who is not a Jew and is uncircumcised, and decides to follow Jesus, let him stay uncircumcised.

During this time, there was an argument about circumcision. Some of the Jewish believers in Jesus, were saying, that if a man who was uncircumcised a Gentile, decided to follow Jesus, he had to be circumcised.

Paul and some other leaders of the new “Christian” church, were saying that it was not a requirement for the men to be circumcised. That was Jewish custom and law from the Old Testament, but it was not a “law” for the new Christian believers.

Of course, if the man wanted to be circumcised he could be. But it was not to be a requirement for being a believer in Christ.

Vs. 19 Paul goes on to say, circumcision or no circumcision is not the important thing. Keeping the commandments of God and obeying Jesus’ teachings was the important thing.

Vs. 20 Paul says you should continue on as you were when God called you to become a believer.

Vs. 21 Paul says, If you are a servant or a slave, when you become a believer in Jesus. Then do not worry about that. Continue in being a servant or slave. If you get a chance to be free, then take it.

Vs. 22 If you are a servant when the Lord calls you to believe and follow Him, he will make you “free” in spirit and give you peace. If you are a free man when the Lord calls you to believe and follow Him, then think of yourself as Christ’s “servant” and work for God.

Vs. 23 Paul reminds them that as believers followers of Jesus they were bought by the price of Jesus’ blood to make them free from sin.

They should not put themselves in a place where they would become slaves to men.

I think this means both their spirits and their bodies. They are not to start sinning again and become “slaves” to sin, and they are not to get into debt again so that they have to sell themselves to be someone’s slave.

I think this also means that we should not join groups that have leaders who dominate and rule over other people.

There are some “church” groups, where the leader decides everything about the people, what they should do. They are like little “kings”. Everyone must obey or they will be told they will lose their salvation and will not go to heaven.

Some are told if they get “thrown out of the church group” they will have no salvation.

These kinds of groups we call “cults”. They say they are believers in Jesus, or God.,

But the rule like a king over all the people in the group.

This is not God’s way. Church groups have a pastor and a group of men who are elders or board members who establish rules of some kind for the group, but they do not

rule over every part of a person’s life.

Before God through Jesus we are “free”. How we live our life is between us and God and the Bible. A church leader does not have the right to tell us to do this or that.

If we choose to be part of a group and sign a paper of membership to live by certain standards of holy living, fine. Then we should do that. And if we choose, to leave that group, fine.

Our salvation has nothing to do with a church group. Our salvation is between us God, and Jesus. How we live each day is between us God, Jesus and the Bible.

No one else has the right to tell us to do this or that. The Holy Spirit will teach us.

Vs. 24 Paul says Whether you are slave, or free, circumcised or not once you have decided to be a follower of Jesus then keep on being what you were when you first believed in Jesus.

Vs. 25 Paul now talks about virgins or the young women not yet married.. Paul says that he does not have any commandment from the Lord about this. But as a faithful follower of Christ, he will give his opinion and thoughts about it.

Vs. 26 All of the disciples felt that Jesus was coming back to the earth very soon. Paul also felt that way. Because of this thinking, Paul feels that if a person was not married, it would be a good thing not to get married.

It was a time of trouble for Christians then, and Paul felt that because of all the trouble against Christians and since he believed that Jesus was coming back soon it would be better to not marry.

Vs. 27 If you are married do not get unmarried. If you are not married stay single.

Vs. 28. If you are married that is not wrong or a sin. If you have not married, you are not doing wrong.

For some not being married may be hard for them because of temptation to sexual sin.

Vs. 29 Paul says that because our time on earth is short before Jesus comes back again then those who are married should be like those who are not married.

In other words, Do not let all your thoughts be about getting married.

There was much to do to tell others about Jesus and help them believe. Paul felt that Jesus would come back to earth so soon, that there was only a very short time to tell others about Jesus.

We know now that it has been over 2000 years and Jesus has not come back to earth the second time.

I am sure Paul never thought that it would be that long a time. He was thinking in terms of a few years.

Vs. 30 A person’s happiness or sadness should not stop them from telling others about Jesus and doing God’s work.

Buying things earning money to buy more things should not be at the top of our list of things to do. Doing God’s work should come first.

We should not be thinking about having more and more things, house, lands, etc.,

We need some of these things to live but this should not be our main goal.

We should not allow ourselves to love these things so much that it becomes first before doing God’s work. Making money to get things should not use all our time and energy.

Vs. 31 Having some things are necessary but that is not what we should live for.

As believers, our first love our first goal in life is to do God’s work.

We should not be gathering things and more things spending money to get bigger and better things but we need to remember earthly things are for a short time. Life here on earth will be over. Only what we do for God and Christ will last forever. We should spend our money, time, and love on the things that last forever.

Vs. 32 Paul says If you are not married you do not have so many things to think about and worry about. You have more time to think about the things of the Lord.

Vs. 33 If you are married, you have to think about how to please a husband or wife, and often there are children to think about.

Vs. 34 The person who is not married can give their time and energy to doing the things of the Lord’s work. If you are married, you have to give time, and energy to taking care of the family.

Vs. 35. Paul says I say these things for your own good. Not to make life hard for you but to make it easier for you to give time to the Lord’s work.

Vs. 36 If a man is interested in a woman, let them marry. Especially if she is older, and they want to have children, let them marry. He would not be sinning.

Vs. 37 For the person that feels strong in his heart that he can go without marriage and can live without doing sexual sin, let him do so.

Vs. 38 So the one who get married does well, and the one who does not marry does better.

Vs. 39 As long as the woman’s husband is alive, the woman is to stay married to him.

When he dies, she can marry whoever she wants, but only a person who is a believer.

(This would be true for the husband as well.)

Paul seems to be talking here about those married people who questioned if they should “break-up” the marriage and do the Lord’s work.

Paul is telling them if they are married they need to stay married until their mate dies. Then if they want to marry again fine but they should marry only a believer.

Part of the marriage problem was the talk from those who became believers but their mates were not believers. And they were wondering if they should leave the marriage.

Remember, long ago, and even still today in many countries, marriages were not “love matches”. Parents arranged the marriage. Some of these couples talking to Paul about leaving their marriage were not deeply “in love” with their mate.

Vs. 40 Paul says again that if the person is willing to stay single then in Paul’s opinion that is a better choice.

(Paul was single. He never married. He felt God wanted him to travel all around and preach. That would have been much harder for him if he had been married. It is from this experience of his own that Paul is giving this advice.)

 

 

 

 

 

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