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Study to Grow


By Doug Bell


1 Corinthians 7:

6 “Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am.

9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband

11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.”

*****


If you come to the scriptures without a sense of it’s inerrancy, you are doomed to failure. All we have to do is look at this chapter and see how those without this faith are going to have misunderstanding. Throughout Ch. 7, we see Paul making statements such as:

6 “Now as a concession, not a command, I say this…” or

8 “To the unmarried and the widows I say…”and,

10 “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord):” and finally

25 “Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment...”


Now to the ignorant or unlearned, this looks like Paul is merely giving his human opinion. And if that is the case, then his opinion was just cultural and not binding upon Christians today. This is an argument that has already been used.


But is this what the Apostle is really saying? Take the last two statements of vs. 10 and 25. 10 “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord):”

25 “Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment...”

  • In Vs. 10 is Paul saying in essence “I’m telling you this, but hey you better pay attention because it’s not just my opinion, but comes directly from the Lord!” And then in vs. 25 says

  • “Now to you who are married I don’t have a command from the Lord, so I’ll just give you my understanding?”


If we believe all scripture are ‘God Breathed,’ then we know this can’t be the true way to understand it. There can be no opinions, or teachings of truth that are cultural, or any doctrines that change over time. Why? It is because ALL Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit who, like His Scripture, is immutable!


So we begin by believing there is no error in Scripture, and when we come to some section where there seems to be contradiction or error, we immediately understand that the problem is NOT with the Bible, but there must be error in us, or the way we are trying to interpret it.


So how then do we understand the statements that seem to be Paul just giving his opinion? We simply use common sense and let scripture interpret Scripture. When Paul says, “I have no command from the Lord,” He is merely saying ‘I don’t have a direct statement from Jesus while He was on earth.” And when Paul says

or “I give this charge (not I, but the Lord)” Here the Apostle is saying, ‘I do have a statement Jesus spoke on this subject!’


But someone may ask, ‘but what about those statements where it seems Paul is just giving his opinion?’ We go back to our statement that there isn’t any error in the Bible, so it cannot be something that’s only cultural or even an off handed opinion. But here ‘context’ explains it best! Vs. 25 “Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment AS ONE WHO BY THE LORD’S MERCY IS TRUSTWORTHY.” (emphasis mine)


“… AND I THINK I TOO HAVE THE SPIRIT OF GOD” (Vs. 40). Paul isn’t just giving his “own” opinion. It isn’t something he thought was good at the time. Paul realizes, and is telling his readers that He, too is speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit! That is the only reason Peter, years later can write; 2 Peter 3:

15 “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him

16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”



Peter equates Paul’s writings with the “other scriptures.” As they were! Inerrant and True!








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