Day 70…1 Corinthians 7:29-35
I Corinthians 7:29-35: Divided commitment
After reading this section I don’t believe it is so much about Paul’s council regarding marriage as it is about him being concerned that the believers at Corinth not be divided in their commitment and worship to God.
v.29-31, Paul starts out this passage with “the time that remains is very short” again like yesterday, I believe Paul is talking about impending persecution coming which will lead to less chances to tell their friends about their faith and the Gospel. So he tells “husbands should not let marriage be their major concern” and “happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God’s work.” In other words, Paul is saying that the believers at Corinth should not let anything get in the way of serving the Lord. Even marriage, home, or financial security. These things should not be their ultimate goals in life. They should live unhindered by the cares of this world, anything that would keep them from doing God’s work. Paul continues his thought to tell “those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them” To say, that it’s okay to have material things as long as they are used to further God’s Kingdom. All of their possessions first of all belong to the Lord, second they are temporary…they will “pass away” and Paul didn’t want them to become attached to anything in this life.
v.32-34, Paul continues his point speaking now about marriage “an unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him” and an unmarried “woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be more devoted to the Lord in body and in spirit.” But a married man or woman, their “interests are divided.” The husband has to “think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife” just as the wife has to be also “concerned about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.”
For those of you concerned that Paul was against marriage, later in our study you will see how important he believes the privilege of marriage is (9:3-5).
v.35, Paul gives the advice in these previous verses for their “benefit” and not “place restrictions” on them. These words were not regulations or rules the believers had to follow, no, they were advice to help the believers to “serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.” This would also help them as they lived in the most immoral place on the earth–Corinth and as they anticipated persecution from the Roman government.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? There are two things I think this passage is about for me: 1. to not let anything get in the way of serving God. There is nothing wrong with being married or having other interests other than our faith, but not to let those things be our ultimate goals in life. 2. especially my possession are not ultimately mine, they are God loaned to me while here on earth. I need to be willing to let them all go and to let others use them as long as they are used to do God’s work.
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? My possessions need to be dedicated to God so that whatever I have is his to use. That means that if someone needs to use my car to loan it to them (of course only if my insurance policy allows it and they are trustworthy). My home is God’s so starting in January I am going to open my home to a men’s small group. Everything I have is God so I need to give them back to him in an act of worship–including my family.