Sep 20 — 1 Corinthians 7-8

1 Cor 7:1-16 — Principles of Marriage
1 Cor 7:17-40 — Live as You Are Called, The Unmarried and the Widow
1 Cor 8 — Food Offered to Idols

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One Reply to “Sep 20 — 1 Corinthians 7-8”

  1. Paul addresses sexual relations and provides a concession for those who are married: “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer” (1 Corinthians 7:5). Paul is perhaps the most clear teacher of the special partnership that marriage (one man, one woman) requires. For those who are not married, he encourages them to stay that way. However, “if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (7:9).

    Paul also provides guidance for couples where one is a believer while the other is not (7:10-16). Evidently, as Christianity is spreading, there are couples who are divided in their beliefs; after all, Christianity is a new thing at this point. This remains a challenge to this day, but the conclusion is this: “Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them” (7:17). Then with great clarity, just in case we missed it: “Keeping God’s commands is what counts” (7:19b).

    Present Crisis.
    “Because of the present crisis” (7:26), Paul provides great wisdom. The present crisis is still the present crisis! There are many who feel pressured into sexual immorality these days, and probably will feel more pressure as Christians continue to separate themselves from mainstream beliefs regarding sex. Verses 25-40, the second half of chapter 7, provide great discussion for this matter.

    Chapter 8 is a short chapter titled, “Concerning Food Sacrificed to Idols” in the NIV Study Bible. That is the certainly an important matter for the church in Corinth, but I think it’s fair to extend the notion beyond pagan rituals to an important principle for us today: beware of worldly habits that are stumbling blocks to non-Christians coming to the faith or new Christians becoming confused. “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak” (8:9). Paul emphasizes this key concept by saying, “When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.” (8:12). Lord help me to hear these words clearly and keep me from becoming a stumbling block for anyone! Rather, help me to be the stepping stool that lifts people up one step at a time, showing the path to Jesus Christ through simple acts of kindness and consideration. Help me do this with love and compassion and without compromise. That’s only possible with the constant help of the Holy Spirit.

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