The Apostle Paul was very opinionated on what are right and wrong actions. He told certain people they were in sin and his judgment on them was strong. As we encounter people like Paul, we have to ask, “What gives them the authority to say the things they do?”
If Paul were to speak from his own convictions we should question what he said, for Paul was just a man like you and me. The same applies to those pastors who preach from the pulpit. What makes them right?
No matter who the teacher is, their supporting material makes them right or wrong. Some college professors teach conjecture as truth and there are students accepting their teachings as absolute truth. Colleges becomes a mental conditioning factory, as one professor influences generations of students; who in turn teach others. These create paradigms of what is truth.
So what gave Paul the authority to teach about spiritual matters concerning others? What knowledge did he have and where did it come from? Was Paul teaching absolute truth or a concoction of philosophy in an attempt to control others? The answer is in our passage today.
Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy. I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress–that it is good for a man to remain as he is: 1 Corinthians 7:25-26 (NKJV)
When the Apostle encountered Jesus Christ himself, all of his knowledge of the scriptures and his education were not lost, but broken. He had knowledge of Old Testament scriptures; but it was through the Holy Spirit, using the disciples of Jesus, Paul was taught how Jesus became the fulfillment of the scriptures.
Everything Paul previously knew was given great light and Paul became a theologian of great stature. Yet, Paul’s godly knowledge does not end there. Consistent to the revelation which caused Paul’s conversion, Paul continued to have revelation visits which Luke wrote about and Paul mentions in his writings. Paul had a direct line to the will of God.
However, Paul did not know everything and there were some subjects he could not address.
When you do not know what to say on a subject, say so. Paul did not know how to answer inquiries about being a virgin. Yet this passage is not to be taken that Paul is indorsing pre-marital sex. It is a sinful heart that would read into this that Paul had no stand on per-marital sex. What he was talking about was weather a man should get married or stay a virgin and how this effects his ability to serve the Lord.
Sexual conduct and God’s desires for people are evident throughout the scriptures. God made man and woman to leave their families and become one. To unite in a marriage bond unbreakable; they were to become one. Never do the scriptures endorse couples living together or having sexual relations outside of marriage. How be it there are pulpits that are creating doctrines that endorse such actions and more?
There is a perception in our society that since an action or lifestyle is accepted by the masses, it is acceptable for churches to implement changes in their doctrines. Yet God or God’s will is never changing; He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is society which changes and this change is based not on knowledge, but on desensitizing of the perception of sin.
What was sinful to our society twenty years ago are now accepted practices.
Obscenities, drug use, adultery, and homosexuality have been stretched to a point of acceptance. In fact, the opposite of having standards has become true; if you do not accept change, you are ridiculed for having standards.
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 1 Corinthians 7:27 (NKJV)
Divorce was a precept which changed drastically since the teaching were established not to divorce. Now many see divorce as acceptable and is now a simple process to get a judge to grant it.
Paul says that couples should not seek divorce and if you stop to think about why it makes sense. If a person seeks divorce they are giving up on God’s ability to work in their life.
The divorcés are not endorsing the scriptures which teach us all things work together for good and they are admitting defeat. This is not victorious Christian Living.
However, in this part of the passage, Paul’s concern is for the furtherance of the gospel and less about divorce.
Paul felt as if the building the Kingdom of God was the most important part of our existence. Paul felt the urgency of the coming of the Lord and wanted those in Corinth to get their eyes off of their physical existence and focus on building the Kingdom of God.
It is not known when the day of the Lord will be and so every generation has looked for the second coming in their lifetime. Paul felt so strongly about this that he wanted to limit distractions and he viewed married life as able to add many distractions.
Having a family, and even heading a family, can cause so many commitments and responsibilities it becomes tough to be able to serve the Lord to our fullest. Paul says it’s okay to be married, yet we should not act as if we are.
But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.1 Corinthians 7:28-31 (NKJV)
You might think this is taking the concept of church and living godly too far. Some would even describe the concept as being like a monk. Yet monastery living was not what Paul was referring to. Paul was encouraging people to adjust their perception of what our existence is for. He wanted us to see our relationship to God as having a dedication.
Our attitude toward distractions which keep us from serving God should be a serious consideration to us. He also would have us put our service before our own happiness.
We live only a short time considered to our existence in eternity. This earth is not our home; we are only passing through. Our home and our future is with God in heaven.
We are to be servants of the most high God and yet this world is pulling on our perceptions to be more concern about pleasing our physical condition, than about our God’s desires for mankind.
Paul was cautioning the Corinthian men and women about letting their responsibilities in this world overshadow the need to build the Kingdom of God.