King's Business - 1917-10



the earth, and it also holds at any time of great persecution. For example, when there was great persecution in China at the time of the Boxer troubles, marrying would have been foolish business for the Chinese believers. There are' also other forms of “present distress” that make marriage “for the time” unwise, but Paul guards care­ fully against a mistake on the other side. Some might say, if “because of the present distress” it is good for a virgin not to marry, then “because of the present dis­ tress” it would be a good thing- for us who are married to get loose from marriage. “No,” says Paul, “art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. But if thou art loosed from a wife, seek not a wife.” But even this is only a recommendation of what is expedient under the then existing circumstances. If one did marry it was no sin, but they would under the then exist­ ing circumstances (“the present distress”) have trouble in the flesh (physical dis­ tress), and Paul sought to spare them this (R.V.), bùt whether they decided to marry or not to marry, the time was shortened (cf. Rom, 13:11; Luke 2:8; Mark 3:33), the “Lord’s coming was hastening on ; therefore those that had wives should not be occupied with them, and those who wept should not be occupied with their sorrow, and those who rejoiced should- not be occupied with their joy, and those who bought should not be occupied with their worldly goods that they become possessors of. What deep significance there is in these words for us all. Thé question is not so much are we married or single, but are we living for the things that are found in the married life or are we living for the Lord? Are we occupied with our sorrow and joy, or are we occu­ pied with the glory of Christ and the estab­ lishing of His reign among men? Are we interested in the things we buy and sell or are we interested in the salvation of men and the coming of Christ? Are we willing to give up anything we possess and everything we possess if Christ thereby would be-glorified? If we do possess

who get in bondage to men, sometimes to religious teachers, sometimes to others by whom they are overawed (Matt. 26:8-10; Prov. 29:25). Realizing that we were bought out of bondage by Christ, let us refuse to be enslaved by any man, no mat­ ter how good, how holy, how wise. Call no man master, Christ only. There is one limitation of the principle “let' each man abide in the calling wherein he is called.”. That limitation is found in verse 24 in the two words “with God.” If the calling is one in which we cannot “abide with God” we must give it up; but the positions and callings in which one may have the fellow­ ship of God are far more numerous and varied than most people think. Wednesday, October 24 . 1 Corinthians 7 : 25 - 31 . Paul here speaks upon a matter upon which the Lord had not declared Himself as he had upon the matter taken up in verse 10, but, we must not suppose for a moment that Paul’s opinion upon this mat­ ter was not authoritative. He gave his judgment as one who “had obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful”—i. e., one whom God had so endowed that His word was worthy of absolute confidence; so what Paul says is the Lord’s judgment though He had not uttered this judgment with His own voice when he was here upon earth. Paul in his expression of judgment upon this matter had “the Spirit of God” (v. 40). What the Spirit of God says is just as authoritative as what Jesus Christ him­ self said when He was here on earth. What Paul wrote were “the commandments of the Lord” just as much as if the Lord Him­ self had commanded it (ch. 14:37; cf. 1 Thess. 4:15). “By reason of the present distress”—i. e., because of the persecutions and distresses that were then being visited upon the believers (and which according to Christ’s prophecy would prevail through­ out the world before the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 24:8-21) it was good for one who was unmarried to remain so. This recommendation of Paul will also hold “when the great tribulation” sets in upon

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