Epistles of Thomas

November 5, 2008

1 Corinthians 7-9

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 16:42
Tags: ,

Sorry for the delay in posting these chapters. I was away at our district new workers retreat. It was a great time at Stillwood Conference Centre in Chilliwack. My wife and I got to meet the district staff and lots of other new-to-the-district pastors.

Chapter seven is the (in)famous passage about marriage and sex within marriage. I was interested to see that the TNIV adds a word that was not in the NIV. Can you spot it? “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer” (7:5). To my mind it makes Paul’s statement even more of an option (concession) rather than an expectation or a command. Paul makes it clear that living in the expectation of the Kingdom is more important than living according to the societal norms of being born, marrying, giving birth, dying. Everything should be done in expectation of God’s working in time and history. During our retreat, Dr. Paul Spilsbury lectured on being a luminal people living between the times. The Kingdom of God has been inaugurated but not fulfilled. We thus live as sojourners in this period, as travellers passing through on our way. That is the background to Paul’s concern.

Chapter eight deals with food sacrificed to idols, not something that most of us deal with today. However, his concern should be ours: “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” May I live with as much love for my fellow Christians!

In the next chapter he makes his famous statement about being all thing to all people that he might win as many as possible (9:19). He makes two caveats that we should remember. First, “I myself am not under the law” and secondly, “though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law.” He is neither under the law nor free from all law. That is a very profound distinction and I think one that the emergent/postmodern church needs to consider well.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: