Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 7:3 responding
Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
The first verse of today’s reading tells us that 1st Corinthians is the answer to a letter from believers in the church there. Paul is responding, not dogmatically, not claiming every word is from God, but as a caring counselor. We may want to reread verses 6,12, 25, and 40. Notice statements such as, “I say this as a concession,” and, “But to the rest I, not the Lord say:” “Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord.” “I think I also have the Spirit of God.” This letter is “The Word of God,” not in the sense that God spoke directly here, but in the sense that it is an accurate record of Paul’s best advice as the one who had led many of these very people to Christ in the first place. In the city of Corinth there were approximately 800,000 precious souls. Many of them may have messed up in their marriages. Those tabloids with horror stories of messed up marriages found at the checkout counter would’ve had big sales there. To all, Jesus says, “Come to Me” (Matthew 11:25-30).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Jesus, I come to You, as the old invitation song says, “Without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou bidst me come to Thee. O Lamb of God, I come.” I’d love to hear those words sung again (click here). Help me to pay attention to Paul’s advice, even if he does not claim it’s directly from You. Help me to listen carefully to my Pastor also. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I must not make the mistake of thinking all Paul writes is in the personal thoughts category. Almost all he writes is distilled from the Word of God Himself in the book that Paul knows so well, the scrolls of his Hebrew Bible. Paul was educated in the most prestigious rabbinical school of his time. He writes 99.9% of the time with the full apostolic authority of God, Himself. No doubt he had memorized huge portions of God’s Word. Paul’s main teacher was Gamaliel, grandson of Hillel. Hillel is, to this day, perhaps the most respected teacher in all of Judaism.
Some may remember that after I stepped aside as leader of the Crossroads ministry, I was given the title by the Board, “Minister of Social Concerns.” Paul was obviously carrying the “Social Concerns” portfolio here in chapter seven. In this role, I’ve participated in debates, appeared before government committees, etc. I’ve also sought to encourage the strengthening of Canada’s social safety net. I’ve tried to stay above politics and concentrate on the moral principles that should guide us to a better, more caring society. I’ve tried to avoid stepping into the quicksand of situational ethics, keeping my feet firmly planted on what the former British P.M. Gladstone (who negotiated with Canadians on our non-violent separation from Great Britain) called, “The impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture.” In fact, Gladstone sponsored three tours of his country by the American Evangelist D.L.Moody.
Yours from someone who aims at 100 words, but rarely succeeds,