July 6 Epistle Reading

I Cor. 6:20 – 7:12

[20] For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in
your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.[1] Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is
good for a man not to touch a woman.[2] Nevertheless, to
avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman
have her own husband.[3] Let the husband render unto the wife
due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.[4]
The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise
also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.[5]
Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time,
that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together
again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.[6] But
I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.[7] 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.[8]
I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if
they abide even as I.[9] But if they cannot contain, let them
marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.[10] And unto
the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart
from her husband:[11] But and if she depart, let her remain
unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put
away his wife.[12] But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If
any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell
with him, let him not put her away.

Augustine the Wise said in his Sermon 71 on the New Testament:

"…they are born of God…Wondrous exchange; He made Flesh, they spirit. What is this? What condescension is here, my brethren! Lift up your minds to the hope and comprehension of better things. Give not yourselves up to worldly desires. 'You have been bought with a price;' for your sakes the Word was made Flesh; for your sakes He who was the Son of God, was made the Son of man: that you who were the sons of men, might be made sons of God."

St. John Chrysostom wrote in Instructions to Catechumans:

"…just as we, when we buy slaves, first ask those who are being sold if they are willing to be our servants: So also does Christ. When He is about to receive you into service, He first asks if you wish to leave that cruel and relentless tyrant, and He receives covenants from you. For his service is not forced upon you. And see the lovingkindness of God. For we, before we put down the price, ask those who are being sold, and when we have learned that they are willing, then we put down the price. But Christ is not so, but He even put down the price for us all; his precious blood. For, He says, you were bought with a price…not even then does He compel those who are unwilling, to serve him; but except you have grace, He says, and of your own accord…I do not compel, nor force you…we should not have chosen to buy wicked slaves…if we should at any time have so chosen, we buy them with a perverted choice, and put down a corresponding price for them. But Christ, buying ungrateful and lawless slaves, put down the price of a servant of first quality, nay rather much more, and so much greater that neither speech nor thought can set forth its greatness…neither giving heaven, nor earth, nor sea, but giving up that which is more valuable than all these, his own blood, thus He bought us…he does not require of us witnesses, or registration, but is content with the single word, if you say it from your heart. 'I renounce you, Satan, and your pomp,' has included all…"

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