1 Corinthians 7 & 8
Today’s reading is truly difficult to break down in a quick blog. Chapter 7 deals with marriage and chapter 8 deals with monitoring “freedoms”. Both topics stir up emotions and doubts. Both topics cause division within the body of the church. The biggest problem seems to be a person knowing where the line is drawn between complying with God’s will vs. their own wants. Whether if it is the privileges or restrictions that pertain to these scriptures, one must remember that the Lord’s will supercedes our desires. Paul points out, in both of these chapters that our obedience to God has a direct effect on those around us whether if we are aware of it or not.
The question to ask from this reading is, How is my behavior or situation leading others towards Christ?
In chapter 7, Paul switched his attention to responding to particular questions that were asked in a letter. In first focusing on marriage, Paul addressed the need for some to get married in order to avoid sexual immorality and lust. Paul proceeded to discuss the permanence of this institution by stating certain behaviors were a command from God. This gives reference from Genesis 2, Malachi 2:14-16 and Matthew 19:4-6. The apostle noted that Christians were to remain in the marriage in order to assist those in the family in knowing Christ. He did however state that divorce was acceptable if the non-believer left. In continuing to address the matter, Paul urged for people to remain single if possible. Some reasons may have been do to the threatening times ahead and Jesus’ triumphant return. Throughout the chapter, Paul’s wish is for everyone, regardless of marriage or single life, to establish a focused relationship with the LORD.
In chap 8, Paul addressed the issue of eating food used in idol worship. He quickly broadens the issue to illustrate Christians responsibility towards loving others. Paul wanted them to understand, as he often mentioned, that being obedient to God is not solely in knowing the law but rather expressing love for brothers in Christ, Mark (12:29-31). The apostle first, minimized the other deities by pointing out the one true LORD Jesus Christ and how God created everything. He next emphasized that believers are responsible for monitoring their freedoms and how they impact others. So often in our life we engage in behaviors that we deem harmless and fun. We should take note that these behaviors do not cause young believers to be “destroyed” or made confused. Often conflict comes when we know things we enjoy do not lift Christ up.
What freedom should you take note of today?