The Fading World

1 Corinthians 7:29-31

From the Reformer

Now, he draws his argument from the shortness of human life: “This life,” says he, “which we are now spending is frail, and of short duration. Let us not therefore be held entangled by it. Let those accordingly who have wives, be as though they had none.” Every one, it is true, has this philosophy in his mouth, but few have it truly and in good earnest impressed upon their minds. In my first translation, I had followed a manuscript, to which (as I afterwards discovered) not one of the many others gave any countenance. I have accordingly deemed it proper to insert the particle because, to make the meaning more apparent, and in accordance also with the reading in some ancient copies. For as in those cases in which we are deliberating as to anything, we look to the future rather than to the past, he admonishes us as to the shortness of the time that is to come.

—John Calvin, Commentary on Corinthians

Pulling It Together

Everyone has been asked the question, If you found out you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do with your today? Luther said he would do exactly what he was doing at that moment, plant an apple tree, as dying tomorrow changed nothing for him today. His heart had already been changed by the gospel and thus, his affairs were in order. When one has truly died, what affairs of the world are there to tend to? Christians then, live altogether differently than all the others of the earth for Christians have already died and they are thus no longer of this world. They do not fear death since they have already died. The world no longer has the same effect on their hearts, for their hearts have been changed by he who overcame the world. The result is that the Christian should be able to live without being entangled with the world, because this world is fading away.

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