Characteristics of Christianity
1 Corinthians 7:32-40
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried cares for the things that belong to the Lord…

The apostle here specifies in dealing with one particular subject some of the grand features which commend the Christian life. The expansion of the text is not unwarrantable, for religion is —

I. TRUE PROFIT. "This I speak for your profit" might preface nearly every Biblical injunction; for godliness in its widest scope and minutest details is "profitable unto all things." This fact appeals to the practical side of our nature, and should have some force in this utilitarian age.

II. PERFECT FREEDOM. The last thing Paul had in view was to cast a noose over the Corinthians, or to lay a restraint on them. The very key note of his teaching, as of the whole gospel, is "liberty." This appeals to the volitional side of our nature, and should arrest the attention of an age one of whose loudest watchwords is "freedom" — of thought, trade, &c. Religion fetters us in nothing, but in that which would restrict our true liberty. Hence it is "a perfect law of liberty."

III. REAL BEAUTY. "That which is comely." Much which goes by the name is unreal because unsubstantial and fading. One of the synonyms of Christianity is "grace" — what is becoming the uncreated beauty of 'God, and what becomes the creature made in His image. By the common consent of all who are entitled to judge, the most beautiful characters are those who are formed on the model of Him who is "the altogether lovely." Religion thus appeals to the aesthetic side of nature, and should gain an hearing in an age which has witnessed a wonderful revival of art.

IV. HAPPY SERVICE. "That ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction." To attend upon anything with- out distraction is a desideratum in this busy age. The lowest and simplest services bring their cares, and men and women are overwhelmed with them. Religion sanctifies these and would have us at home, and in the world, "without carefulness." But in the highest and most difficult service — work for God, and for the eternal interests of man — here anxiety is often the acutest. Paul's contention is that this should not, must not be. And when we consider the nature of the work, its issues, and its helps, we shall say with our Master "I delight to do Thy will, O My God." Conclusion: What more can be added to commend religion? Seemingly two things. The great questions yet remain — Is it reasonable? Is it right? But these are answered already practically. A thing that is profitable, liberating, beautiful, useful and blessed cannot be irrational and wrong.

(J. W. Burn.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

WEB: But I desire to have you to be free from cares. He who is unmarried is concerned for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;

Against Carefulness
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