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1 Corinthians 7-10

11/11/2019

A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
 
                These chapters relate to a number of important issues, the first being marriage.  Paul make clear that marriage is an exclusive relationship and that immoral activity is unacceptable.  His concern that Christ is coming soon and that Christians should spend as much time as possible witnessing to Him and sharing God’s grace with the world, causes him to suggest that remaining single is the most desirable course.  However, he makes it clear that this is his own opinion and not God’s instruction, and that, in any case, it is better to be married and experience sexual fulfillment in that context, than to be defeated by sexual urges and give in to immoral practices outside of marriage.  It is clear in his letter to the Ephesians (chapter 5), that he has a much higher regard for marriage than might be imagined from reading just this chapter!
 
                Paul insists that believers are doors to the salvation of their unbelieving spouses  as well as of their children.  If a Christian is married to an unbeliever and s/he wants to stay married, then this should be done.  If a Christian is married to an unbeliever and s/he leaves, the believer is free to accept this divorce and move on with his/her life.  This is not a rule book for marriage, but rather an explanation of how Christians should see marriage and how they may need to behave in certain situations.
 
                Chapters  8-9 deals with the issue of whether to eat food sacrificed to idols.  The basic point in Paul’s argument is that Christians should have a regard for each other and that it is easier for a person without scruples about something to abstain, than it is for someone with scruples about something to participate or watch contentedly while someone else participates.  For the sake of unity, Christians should give up their rights  in many situations.  This is not a statement that those who may be extreme in their positions should always be humored; rather that at any point there is no real issue for one believer it is reasonable and commendable to yield to the concerns of another believer.  The argument is applied by Paul in chapter 9 to himself and all other church leaders.
 
                Chapter 10 grows out of the discussion of food sacrificed to idols and Paul argues that Christians should take seriously the fact that to involve oneself in anyway with idols is an affront to the significance of worshiping God:  how the one who eats at the table of the devil than move to the table of the Lord and eat there as well.  As Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters.”
 
                Do you ever try to serve two masters?  Do you ever find yourself trying to appease non-Christians by abandoning your principles or values as a Christian?  Today, think of a way your society puts pressure on you to fit in in ways contrary to the standards and values you know God has given in the Bible.  What might you do to make things different?  If you are uncertain, give your pastor (or some other mature Christian) a call and ask their help.
 
                It is amazing how many different ways our faithfulness to God can be challenged.  It is even more amazing how easily, honorably and effectively we can put in a good word for God and not have to offend any one at all!.      

© A.  Eugene Pearson