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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 7 - Verse 29

Verse 29. But this I say. Whether you are married or not, or in whatever condition of life you may be, I would remind you that life hastens to a close, and that its grand business is to be prepared to die. It matters little in what condition or rank of life we are, if we are ready to depart to another and a better world.

The time is short. The time is contracted, drawn into a narrow space, (sunestalmenov.) The word which is here used is commonly applied to the act of furling a sail, i.e., reducing it into a narrow compass; and is then applied to anything that is reduced within narrow limits. Perhaps there was a reference here to the fact that the time was contracted, or made short, by their impending persecutions and trials. But it is always equally true that time is short. It will soon glide away, and come to a close. The idea of the apostle here is, that the plans of life should all be formed in view of this truth, THAT TIME IS SHORT. No plan should be adopted which does not contemplate this; no engagement of life made when it will not be appropriate to think of it; no connexion entered into when the thought, "time is short," would be an unwelcome intruder. See 1 Pe 4:7; 2 Pe 3:8,9.

 

It remaineth. to loipon. The remainder is; or this is a consequence from this consideration of the shortness of time.

Both they that have wives, etc. This does not mean that they are to treat them with unkindness or neglect, or fail in the duties of love and fidelity. It is to be taken in a general sense, that they were to live above the world; that they were not to be unduly attached to them; that they were to be ready to part with them; and that they should not suffer attachment to them to interfere with any duty which they owed to God. They were in a world of trial; and they were exposed to persecution; and as Christians they were bound to live entirely to God; and they ought not, therefore, to allow attachment to earthly friends to alienate their affections from God, or to interfere with their Christian duty. In one word, they ought to be just as faithful to God, and just as pious, in every respect, as if they had no wife and no earthly friend. Such a consecration to God is difficult, but not impossible. Our earthly attachments and cares draw away our affections from God, but they need not do it. Instead of being the occasion of alienating our affections from God, they should be, and they might be, the means of binding us more firmly and entirely to him and his cause. But alas! how many professing Christians live for their wives and children only, and not for God in these relations! How many suffer these earthly objects of attachment to alienate their minds from God, rather than make them the occasion of uniting them more tenderly to him and his cause!

{a} "time is short" 1 Pe 4:7; 2 Pe 3:8,9

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