I HAVE NO COMMANDMENT
1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 10 ¶ And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 25 ¶ Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. 40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.
We have listed for your consideration the various verses in this chapter of the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church which seem to put forth some uncertainties regarding the authority of his word. Hopefully, upon your reading of this complete article, you will be satisfied that this is certainly not the case! For he will also relate to his spiritual son, Timothy, that all scripture is profitable. 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Let us go back to the Person of the Word Himself! The Person of the Word is God! He has always been with God! And He is that Person of God who became flesh and tabernacled among us! (See John 1:1-3, 14.) He speaks of his word as being the word of the Father. John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
And he speaks of his word as being spiritual and life giving. John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. He therefore encourages these Jewish disciples, whose religion has been under Moses’ law for thousands of years, to now believe him in the same way that their ancestors believed in God the Father! John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
And this transference from believing the invisible Father, to reliance upon the visible Christ would be completed upon his resurrection and sending of the Holy Spirit. John 2:22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. Therefore they came to believe that what the Lord said, and the words that they read from the scriptures were one and the same revelation!
And not only that, but his entire life was but the acting out and fulfilling of the entirety of the revealed scriptures! Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
But now we come to the fact that even the Person of the Word, without the coming of the Holy Spirit could not set forth all that would complete the scriptures which we know as our Bibles! John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
The power of his word, which brought forth all things created, had to be silenced in order that the powers of spiritual darkness could encroach upon him for his crucifixion. Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Therefore, in our 1 Corinthian seven passage, the Apostle Paul was but instructing as to whether he had received his truth through a specific word spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ, or whether he received it inwardly by the Holy Spirit. Consider this verse in his teaching concerning the Lord’s supper. 1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
Therefore the things which the apostle speaks of as being by permission, and not of commandment, are just as much the revelation from God as all else revealed! For what he means is, that it has come to be as the Lord instructed, that he would cease to give words that they could not bear, at that time, until the Holy Spirit came to teach them from within their hearts. And then they would know all things. They would even come to know the things to come of the New Testament church age!
For when the apostle uses the word permission, he uses a Greek word with means, fellow knowledge. He is referring to that inner revelation of the Holy Spirit, and not some specific teaching that the Lord Jesus set forth in his earthly ministry! 2 Corinthians 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
But whether it was a revelation by the Person of Truth – the Lord Jesus Christ; or by the Spirit of truth – the Holy Spirit, it is all the word of God! Consider these two verses, as the apostle honestly reveals to us the source of his instructions in these particular places. 2 Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 11:17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
In the second column on this page we quoted the Lord’s word as listed in John 6:63. And that verse instructs us that his words are life to us. And that life is always the life of faith! For faith cometh by the hearing of that word! Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT! For each individual, blood-washed, born-again believer has the gifts of faith and the Holy Spirit within his soul! That is the way the Sovereign Lord devised for every professor of Christ to walk before him down through the ages, within the living organism of the body of Christ! He did not leave a system of moralistic rules in order to form an organization! He placed the Holy Spirit within every single believer, in order that every single believer would have to walk by faith in that Spirit, and not as a legalistic moralist seeking to adhere to religious rules and regulations! John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
It matters not that pastors and church members feel more comfortable with the exacting of emphatic rules upon them, – the just SHALL live by faith! They are to walk in the Spirit in order that they not fulfill the lusts of the flesh! But this brings fear of failure and uncertainty of accomplishment! Yes! It does! But it is THE only way to please the Lord God! Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
For in this way the believer is cast upon the Lord whether there is a church minister involved with him or not! His obedience is not a matter of duty, but devotion! It is love that fulfills the law, not legal determination! Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
But again, this brings a sense of mental uncertainty, forcing the believer out of the comforts of a self-conscious, neatly packaged form of godliness, into spiritual awareness of the individual responsibility to please the Lord Christ! Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
The scriptures teach us that Abraham is the spiritual father of us all. (Romans 4:16). And there were two things the Lord God instructed him, as he began our ancient order of faith. The first was to get away from his father’s house into the uncertainty of finding a location to dwell with God. Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: This is still a needful matter. Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
The other thing was to develop a God-consciousness in his walk. For only in that walk of faith in the consciousness of God would increased spiritual purity be possible! Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
But these matters of working out one’s own salvation brings fear to pastors and rigidly preforming church members. For they who are given to moral conformity cannot bear the thought of anyone having liberty! That very word to them is an offense! But it is an absolute requirement from Christ for the individual to fellowship with the Lord God! For to come into Christ is to come into the liberty of the Spirit! John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
The Apostle Peter was rebuked by Christ upon his melding with the Apostle John’s role in the church. John 21:20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
Instead of looking outwardly towards others, we would be well to redirect our attention inwardly into our own hearts to make certain that the root of the matter is within us! Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
In closing, let us be made clearly aware of two things. First, your individual liberty to walk directly before the Lord Christ by faith will be one of the most assaulted matters of your faith! Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: For the practice of priestcraft, (i.e. the binding of your conscience), among even true churches is always a powerful tool of Satan.
And the second thing is that there are far fewer ministers who will fight for your liberty to be what you are in Christ! Galatians 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. It will take nothing short of God’s predestinating grace and your constant work of renewing your mind from religion’s brain washing for you to be able to attain, and maintain a personal faith which honor’s God and defines you according to his design!
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Pastor Gene Breed
April 15, 2017