Christian Widows – Only in the Lord, #1
When there is an accepted standard, everyone can know where to stand; and stand together. Where there is no standard; confusion reigns. The church which Paul planted in Corinth (Acts 18) floundered under all the evil influences of their culture and began to divide over many things including sexual immorality. Some of the saints still favored their pagan past. Confusion reigned; they had questions and misunderstandings to which the standard of the Lord must be applied. Paul aimed to unify them and urged them to give themselves fully to God’s standard; the work of the Lord. (1 Cor. 15:58)
Today, our society must be shaped by the standard of morality and ethics that has NOT changed since God gave Eve to Adam. Now days, there is a leaving of that standard with nothing to replace it; except the constantly changing voice of self-declared experts. Yet; the Scriptures say; “I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas.” (1 Cor. 1:19) Confusion sits on the throne because fools; who think themselves wise; are not able to discern light from darkness.
The meaning of marriage is in limbo to some people. Martial fidelity is being outdone by divorce; multiple marriages; and “live-in” relations; not to mention the abomination of same sex relations. Children of today have little chance to grow up in a stable family setting built firmly upon faith in God and his standard; his word.
We must give some at Corinth credit for wanting to know (7:1) about God’s standard. All of chapter 7 deals with marriage and related matters; they had questions. They asked the right man. Paul gave the Lord’s standard to all questions.
Paul spoke about Christian widows marrying again. He tells them that if their husbands die she is free to be married again to who she will; only in the Lord (39-40). The term “only in the Lord” prohibits the widow marrying one not a Christian. To be “in the Lord” can mean nothing else than being in his body; which is the church. (Eph 1:22-23) A Christian widow has no right to marry a man outside the church. That is God’s standard; it is the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
The wisdom in God’s standard is that, in the close and intimate relations of life, they must seek company with servants of God. Why is that? It is so that they may help and encourage each other in their Christian lives. The Christian widow walks in union with Christ; she is “in the Lord.” She must have a husband who walks in union with both her and Christ; he too, must be “in the Lord.” (1 John 1:5-7)