Wednesday, January 26, 2005

IS HE OR ISN'T HE? PART 3. Anonymous also had a good comment to the sovereignty post. Here is that comment and my response, again in italics.

I am not questioning the sovereignty of God. However, I believe the Bible teaches that God does not necessarily have one particular person that we should (or must) marry. Paul, in I Corinthians 7:39, says that a widow is free to remarry "to whom she wishes" as long as he is "in the Lord." And in verse 40, I believe he says that she is free not to remarry. Now, what is even more interesting, is the fact that Paul uses a word in verse 39 that is translated "wishes". It can also be translated as "wills." That means that Paul used "free" and "will" in the same sentence. ;-) (I notice that Calvin did not comment on those verses in Institutes.)

This is a very interesting comment, Anonymous. The point of the passage is that a widow is released from the bond of marriage to her dead husband and may remarry. Some tried to hold the widow to her status forever even though they allowed men to remarry. Paul refuted that. She is “free” of the bond of marriage (but, good catch on the use of both words in one sentence!).

Although I see your point in the wording, Paul is not addressing the issue of God’s will, so I don’t think we can apply it beyond its context. In addition, he immediately restricts her to marrying a believer. Regardless, God could still direct her steps while she searches for a second husband. If he did not, it would mean he did not care whom she married.

As to the Institutes, they are not verse by verse expositions of the Scripture. It is a topical arrangement of his theology and practice. He did comment on this verse in his commentary on Corinthians.

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