Living Without Carefulness
“But I would have you without carefulness.”
I Corinthians 7:32
- David’s life verse – Psalm 27:4 – can only be considered or achieved by strictly ruling your priorities.
- How can you possibly have time to sit before the Lord unless you rid your life of time wasters (I Chr 17:16)?
- David thought it more desirable and important to be an usher in God’s house than anything else (Ps 84:10).
- How much did David exert in dancing (II Sam 6:14)? How much in preparing for the temple (I Chron 29:2)?
- In order to be as single minded as David, you must dedicate yourself to the one goal (Prov 18:1; James 1:8).
- Agur the prophet taught the great prayer of convenient meat between poverty and riches (Proverbs 30:7-9).
- Paul gave a warning to the church at Ephesus about buying back the time during evil days (Eph 5:14-17).
- We can read of a woman named Anna, who made choices to give herself wholly to the Lord (Luke 2:36-38).
I Corinthians 7
7:29 Due to necessity of redeeming the short time they had, saints should use all things wisely.
- He pressed them with a sense of commitment and urgency due to the shortness of time.
- The apostles spoke of the lateness of time, given the last times of Christ (Rom 13:11).
- The Bible speaks often of the brevity of life and the shortness of a man’s age to serve.
- Paul’s manner included exhorting saints to redeem the time with wisdom (Eph 5:15-17).
- History indicates that horrible persecutions did arrive shortly upon saints under Rome.
- To use the shortness of time in any sense requires a wise and prudent use of all things.
- Marriage, which is a commitment for the future, should be ruled in light of little time.
- Even boasting of tomorrow is sin in light of the brevity and uncertainty of life (Pr 27:1).
- To understand this and the following verses (7:29-33), carefully note Paul’s use of “be.”
- “It remaineth,” is Paul’s application of the shortness of time to the right use of marriage.
- This is an imperative verb from Paul for married saints to act as if they were not married.
- Of course, Paul does not mean to defraud or divorce a wife (7:5,27), but to serve Christ.
- A man’s priorities and affections, no matter his situation, must be directed toward Christ.
- The lesson is to set affections above and not be consumed by allowed pleasures (Col 3:2).
- Here is the heart of the spiritually minded – even those things allowed should be limited.
- Those that are married should live for Jesus Christ as if they were not married. Hear it!
- “Both” connects the exhortation for marriage to weeping and the other cares following it.
- This is an acceptable use of the word “both” to connect more than two objects (OED).
- The KJB gives us some examples (Rom 14:9; I Cor 4:11; II Cor 9:10; Phil 4:9; Heb 2:4).
7:30 Due to the shortness of time, weeping, rejoicing, and finances should be governed wisely.
- You must understand Paul’s imperative “be” from the previous verse to grasp this verse.
- Those married were to act as if they were not married as far as keeping love of Christ first.
- Those plagued with sorrow in this life should not allow it to cost them service to Jesus Christ.
- Those blessed abundantly in this life cannot allow it to distract them from service to Christ.
- Those engaged in commerce in this life should not allow economic ambition to cheat Christ.
- In each case, the language is an imperative command to live as if the situation did not exist.
7:31 The saints’ use of the world is never to include abusing it, for it is very temporal in nature.
- You must understand Paul’s imperative “be” from the previous two verses to get this verse.
- Any use of this world, economic or educational or social, cannot exceed God’s allowed use.
- Abusing this world is allowing the use of it to encroach on our call out of it (Matthew 6:24; Romans 12:1-2; James 4:4; I John 2:15-17).
- Everything in this world, fame, estates, clothing, or transportation is all temporary and vain.
- All that is in the world you desire is going away, but godly saints endure forever (I Jn 2:17).
7:32 The spiritual need to be without carefulness commends even further against marriage.
- Three verses argued against marriage by the short time and vanity of temporal things (29-31).
- Now the apostle exhorts to another general rule for Christians – make choices against care.
- This is one of the governing principles of a Christian’s life to be consulted in decisions.
- “Care” here is the worry, fear, and distress coming from excessive duties and obligations.
- For example, being an employee for another is less care than owning your own business.
- For example, having three children to properly train is less care than having ten children.
- But the argument in this chapter and immediate context is marriage, not jobs or children.
- The power of this rule is Paul warning against something as noble and good as marriage.
- A single man who has chosen to remain single for the Lord can dedicate himself to the Lord.
- He can dedicate his thoughts day and night much more to the Lord than can any husband.
- A married man must be preoccupied with loving and providing for his wife and children.
- This free man will have more time for reading, prayer, meditation, service, and teaching.
7:33 A married man is preoccupied with loving and providing for his wife and children.
- Domestic security and tranquility require substantial worldly effort by a man toward his wife.
- A married man must maintain a comfortable home, and that for two persons, not just one.
- The married man is driven to more care in the world in order to properly support his wife.
7:34 The lesson being taught about carefulness in marriage applies to women as well as to men.
- There is a difference between a virgin and a wife – a different amount of care in her life.
- A virgin, an unmarried woman, with a spiritual mind may dedicate herself to Jesus Christ.
- She can concentrate more fully on keeping her body and spirit pure for her beloved Lord.
- But the married woman, like the married man, is preoccupied with rightly loving a husband.
- She is forced to great involvement in the world in order to be a better wife for her husband.
7:35 Paul’s plan in commending the single state was not to cause trouble but show a better way.
- The reason for reviewing three reasons against marriage was for their own spiritual profit.
- First was the persecution at Corinth for believers, which marriage complicated (25-28).
- Second was the shortness of the time, which should be used as expeditiously as possible.
- Third was the carefulness required in marriage, which took away from serving Christ.
- His intent was not a sexual snare, for he had already commended marriage for such (6-9).
- His purpose was not negativism about marriage at all, but rather exalting serving Christ.
- His purpose was not to create unnecessary or excessive burdens, but to promote spirituality.
- A person, man or woman, committed to serving Christ without marriage is a comely thing, for they do not have the distractions of soul and body required to rightly keep up a marriage.
- The difference between Paul and Rome is great – they require it as law (I Timothy 4:1-3).
- Every decision in life must be made strictly to serve the overall goal of David’s life verse – Psalm 27:4.
- The world is selling you its list of priorities, which has absolutely no time or place for walking with the Lord.
- The devil is warring against your mind with every possible distraction and diversion to keep you from it.
- And your flesh has no interest in walking with God, so your preferences unless ruled will always be against it.
- We must simplify. Godly decisions may cost us financially or in carnal pleasure, but they must be made.