What does 1 Corinthians 7:30 mean?
ESV: and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods,
NIV: those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep;
NASB: and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess;
CSB: those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they didn't own anything,
NLT: Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions.
KJV: And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
NKJV: those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess,
Verse Commentary:
Paul is urging Christians to live as if our eternal future with God is more important than temporary lives and relationships in this mortal life. He has written in the previous verse that time is short, most likely referring to the events that will trigger the return of Christ, which could happen at any moment (1 Corinthians 7:28–29).

Paul has written about how an eternal perspective should influence our view of marriage. Now he builds on this idea in other ways. Believers should mourn as if we are not mourning and rejoice as though we are not rejoicing. We should buy products as if we had no products or, maybe better, as if we had received nothing for our purchase.

Just as with his remark about marriage, Paul does not literally mean a Christian should not experience the emotions of mourning and rejoicing. Paul writes elsewhere about his own mourning and weeping (2 Corinthians 2:4) and joy (Philippians 4:10). In fact, believers are commanded to share in these emotions with each other (Romans 12:15).

Instead, he is asking Christians to experience both pain and joy for what they are: quickly passing moments in our quickly passing lives on this side of eternity. We must not allow emotions, tied to things which are passing away, to keep us from serving Christ. We must not base our decisions about how to live on fear of mourning, or desire for rejoicing. We serve Christ first, even above our own emotions.

Next, Paul instructs us to shop as if it does not matter what we have purchased. We must still go about the necessary functions of life. Christians, however, must not be so tied to their possessions or desire to acquire temporary goods that we miss the opportunity to serve our eternal Lord.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 7:25–40 explores Paul's response to a question about those who are engaged to be married. Should they go through with it, considering his teaching that singleness provides opportunity to serve Christ undivided? Both are permitted, Paul insists, and you do well in either case. Paul's unique, personal view is that unmarried Christians can serve without the troubles that come with even the best marriages; they can remain fully focused on living for Christ. That is neither a command nor a judgment binding on anyone.
Chapter Summary:
Paul rejects an idea concerning the Corinthian believers: that married Christians should not have sex. Perhaps some even thought marriages should be dissolved and avoided. On the contrary, Scripture says married Christians should have regular sex in order to avoid temptation. Those who are married ought to remain married. Unmarried believers with the gift of celibacy, however, should consider remaining single in order to avoid the troubles of marriage. That is Paul's personal preference, though that gift is not given to all others. Single believers can devote themselves to serving Christ without distraction. The time is short. All believers should live and serve Christ now as if this world is passing away.
Chapter Context:
First Corinthians 7 follows Paul's teaching in the previous chapter, which focused mostly on avoiding sexual immorality. Here he commands married husbands and wives not to deprive each other of sex, or get divorced, in a misguided attempt to be more spiritual. Unmarried people who can live contentedly without sex, however, should consider remaining single in order to serve Christ undivided. Getting married is good, but the time is short. The form of this world is passing away. Unmarried people should think about the opportunities to avoid trouble and serve Christ that come with staying single.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 5/28/2024 6:50:26 PM
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