Daily Reading: Psalms 111-117; 1 Cor.7:1-24
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. (1 Corinthians 7:19, NASB95)
Since God gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision, why does Paul say that circumcision is nothing? The old sign of the covenant people (circumcision) has given way to the circumcision of the heart effected by Christ (the first part of Paul’s statement is reflected in Gal. 6:15 and Gal. 5:6). Being in Christ means a new orientation, a new life that pleases God and obeys His commandments. In a context where Paul writes about being under the Lordship of Christ, and that our bodies are not our own (1 Cor. 6:13, 20), the place of marriage is an important question.
- Paul reminds the Corinthians that although our situation is profoundly changed in Christ, we are in an era of “already, not yet.”
- We are joined with Christ, but marriage is still going to be the norm for most.
- We don’t seek to obey God in merely an outward fashion, but from the heart.
- In regard to qualifications to be single or married, we are accountable to God for our decisions, convictions based on God’s gifting and calling (1 Cor. 7:7, 20).
- While the unmarried have a choice whether or not to marry, the married are to remain so if at all possible (1 Cor. 7:27).
Regardless of the choices one makes, or the situations one finds themselves in, Paul advocates obedience to God’s commandments, or as he will say in 1 Corinthians 7:35, “undistracted devotion to the Lord.” Are you committed, first and foremost, to Christ, who is the groom of the Church? How does your devotion to Christ influence the relationship you have with your spouse, as well as others?