The gospel seeps into every aspect of life, or at least, its intended to. Western Christians are often caught accessorizing their faith, wearing it when it matches or fits, and setting it aside if it feels out of place. In both these chapters Paul is appealing for its everyday inclusion, from marriage decisions to food.
Chapter 7 is interesting for a few reasons, one being Paul is asserting his opinion since he thinks he has the Spirit of God. This is convenient for many to, then sweep aside, as its a very unpopular choice to remain single. It flies in the face of mankind’s first ever command from God: Be fruitful and multiply. Paul was in a very volatile situation and the persecution of believers was ramping up. This made family life and attachments a liability. I will interject, as a long-time single person, that Paul is on to something and God is deeply satisfying and single life with Him roxx. Its something to consider.
There’s also a lot of awesome directives about marriage in there. Like, not with-holding sex from each other, except for maybe seasons of prayer or fasting. That sounds pretty healthy, but what do I know? Just that God’s designs are wise.
Chapter 8 can be unpopular too, but the heart of that, also is the consideration of others and the prioritizing of the gospel. We don’t want anything getting in someone’s way of knowing and experiencing the love and grace of God.
“Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.” (8:13)
That’s very cool of you, Paul. I think we could all take a principle here and apply it to our own lives and spheres of influence. Is there something we want more than this? Could our influence and love for people increase if we would only lay down one of our many “rights”?
Ask the Lord about this today. The gospel is not limited to one area of life. Will we grant it unlimited access?