Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"I have no command from the Lord"

1 Cor. 7:25-28 (ESV)
Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. [26] I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. [27] Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. [28] But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.

“I have no command from the Lord.” I often ponder what this means for the inspiration of scripture. Paul here explicitly says that the advice he gives here is not from the Holy Spirit, or from Christ. It is his pastoral advice, the best he can give. But it is merely pastoral advice. And in all sincerity I thank God for that! I don’t know what I would do without my wife, Laura, who takes such good care of me. I went long enough without a wife to know that wasn’t good for me. Some people I know are content without a spouse. They get a lot done. They are able to do much for the church. But others I know would get a lot less done if they weren’t married. I believe I fall into that camp. Not being married isn’t quite a guarantee against worldly troubles in every case. There is still that temptation to fornication he talked about at the beginning of the chapter, a temptation that may even be greater for those who for whatever reason were married and are no longer. So Paul merely gives pastoral advice, the best he can here. However, he inadvertently informs us of how we are to take the rest of his letter. By admitting no command from the Lord here, he is saying that in the rest of what he speaks, he does have a command from the Lord. When one ignores Paul, even where he is politically incorrect, one ignores Christ. We may find some of what Paul says to be hard to swallow, but it isn’t any harder to swallow today, it isn’t any more politically incorrect today, then it was when he wrote. But when we listen to Paul, we listen to Christ.

1 comment:

steve martin said...

"When one ignores Paul, even where he is politically incorrect, one ignores Christ. We may find some of what Paul says to be hard to swallow, but it isn’t any harder to swallow today, it isn’t any more politically incorrect today, then it was when he wrote. But when we listen to Paul, we listen to Christ."

Right on, Bror!

I don't know why people place what Paul says on the back burner. That's not true, I do know why...they think they know better, and it's not exactly like Paul has got red ink on his words.

Wrong! You said it rightly. When Paul speaks to us, it is the living God, Jesus Christ Himself, speaking to us.

Thanks Bror!

- Steve M.