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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 7 - Verse 31

Verse 31. And they that use this world. That make a necessary and proper use of it to furnish raiment, food, clothing, medicine, protection, etc. It is right so to use the world, for it was made for these purposes. The word using here refers to the lawful use of it, (crwmenoi.)

As not abusing it. katacrwmenoi. The preposition kata, in composition, here has the sense of too much, too freely, and is taken not merely in an intensive sense, but to denote evil, the abuse of the world. It means that we are not to use it to excess; we are not to make it a mere matter of indulgences, or to make that the main object and purpose of our living. We are not to give our appetites to indulgence our bodies to riot; our days and nights to feasting and revelry.

For the fashion of this world. to schma. The form, the appearance. In 1 Jo 2:17, it is said that "the world passeth away and the lust thereof." The word "fashion" here is probably taken from the shifting scenes of the drama; where, when the scene changes, the imposing and splendid pageantry passes off. The form, the fashion of the world is like a splendid, gilded pageant. It is unreal and illusive. It continues but a little time; and soon the scene changes, and the fashion that allured and enticed us now passes away, and we pass to other scenes.

Passeth away. paragei. Passes off like the splendid, gaudy, shifting scenes of the stage. What a striking description of the changing, unstable, and unreal pageantry of this world! Now it is gay, splendid, gorgeous, lovely; tomorrow it is gone, and is succeeded by new actors and new scenes. Now all is busy with one set of actors; tomorrow a new company appears, and again they are succeeded by another, and all are engaged in scenes that are equally changing, vain, gorgeous, and delusive. A similar idea is presented in the wellknown and beautiful description of the great British dramatist:

"All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players.

They have their exits and their entrances.

And one man in his time plays many parts."

 

If such be the character of the scenes in which we are engaged, how little should we fix our affections on them, and how anxious should we be to be prepared for the real and unchanging scenes of another world!

{b} "fashion" Ps 39:6; Jas 4:14; 1 Pe 4:7; 1 Jo 2:17

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