Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 7, 1951

"I Think I Have The Spirit"

Floyd Thompson, Santa Ana, California

I have a letter on my desk asking some questions about 1 Corinthians 7:40. The verse reads "But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.' Here are the questions.

(1) "Did Paul know whether he was inspired or not?'

(2) "If Paul was uncertain as to whether he 'had the Spirit' in this passage, how can we know but what there are other passages where he might not have had inspiration?"

(3) "What was he giving his 'judgment' for?'

(4) "Why didn't he say yea or nay?'

Answer to (1) and (2). Paul knew he was inspired. Paul was not uncertain about his inspiration, in this passage or any other. Proof: "But I certify you, brethren that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.' (Gal. 1:11, 12) More proof: The apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit and could confer gifts of the Spirit on other men. (Acts 2 and Acts 5) But this Holy Spirit would ...teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.' (John 14:26) "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.' (Matt. 10:20) But Paul had the power to confer gifts of the Spirit. "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.' (2 Tim. 1:6) Since no one had this power except the apostles who were baptized with the Holy Spirit, and since Paul had that power, it follows that Paul was baptized with the Holy Spirit. That being true, Paul had all the above-mentioned blessings of the Spirit. Paul knew he had the power to confer gifts. Therefore he knew the Spirit spoke through him. Hence, Paul was not "uncertain' and we need not be!

Answer to (3) and (4). Paul gave his "judgment' because the question he was dealing with was not a "yea or nay" question. Some questions demand a "judgment' answer and would be wrong if answered 'yea or nay.' Note: "So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well: but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.' (1 Cor. 7:38) Think on that! Can't you see that a "yea or nay' answer in some cases would be wrong?

So also, Paul giving instructions to widows could not give a "yea or nay' answer on whether or not they should "so abide.' Hear Paul: "For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn." 1Cor. 7:7-9)

When a question demands a "yea or nay' answer the Spirit gave it. If you want a case, get it in this same setting. "...she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.' "Only in the Lord' certainly means no other place; so you have a "yea-nay' answer when it is a "yea-nay' question, given by the same Spirit that gave a "judgment' answer when it was a "judgment' question.