Thursday, 31 July 2014
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. 1 Corinthians 7:25
Based on the opening words “Now concerning virgins,” we can infer that this begins another section of answers to questions addressed to Paul by those in Corinth. This is based on his opening line of chapter 7, which said “Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me…” The question which begins in verse 25 is about virgins. What is it that a family with young virgin daughters who are coming of age should do with them? Should they keep them in an unmarried state? Should they allow them to be married? And so forth.
His response begins with, “I have no commandment from the Lord.” There is nothing that was spoken about concerning this issue by the Lord during His earthly ministry, nor did Paul receive anything specific from Him during his time of direct instruction from Him. He is careful to note this so that his words are not intended to be taken as such. Instead, he is giving his personal opinion on the matter for their consideration. Because of this he says, “yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy.”
In other words, the Lord demonstrated confidence in Paul to reason out an issue and to make a right, sound judgment on it. What he writes has the full force and authority of that bestowed upon him by the Lord. Being considered “trustworthy” also implies that he will render a judgment which has no self-seeking motivations or biases, but rather will be with the intent of bringing glory to Christ and also building up those who receive his instruction.
Life application: Paul wrote his letters to the Corinthians who received them and kept them for sound counsel. Eventually, these letters became a part of the Bible. They are the inspired words of God, spoken through Paul, as doctrine for the church age. Let us consider them with that in mind, never deviating from the precepts he has laid down under this state of inspiration.
Lord, help me to stand fast on Your word, even when tested by those who “pick and choose” what they want to accept from it. Help my doctrine to be pure and my understanding of Your word to be kept in proper context and with the intent that You have given. Be with me in this, because so many refuse to submit to its precepts and it takes fortitude to stand up and proclaim what is correct and right. Without Your hand of help, it is a battle which seems overwhelming. So be with me in this daily fight. Amen.