Q9:1 QUESTION (1907)—1—And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh and the affections thereof.” Does this include unnecessary affections between consecrated brothers and sisters? Is this not part of our sacrifice?
ANSWER.—In taking such a passage as this, we must be careful to take other passages of Scripture with it, so we may be sure we are within the proper limit. If one passage of Scripture could contain the whole message of God, we would not have the entire Bible. Therefore the importance of the matter, if we would understand the way of the Lord, and the will of the Lord in many things, that we should have a comprehensive view of all the Scriptures that might bear on the subject.
Now the apostle in his letter to the Corinthians lays down certain relations that should obtain between husbands and wives. He there specifies that the one should not defraud the other, and then he gives an intimation of certain limitations both ways in respect to relationship between husband and wife in the Lord. But I think that it is a proper enough thought to say that while it does not signify the entire elimination of everything that might belong to the natural man and the natural woman, it would mean that, having crucified these, having given up the affections and the lusts of the flesh, they are seeking to live on a higher plane, and should spend their time and energy in that which would be most profitable to themselves and most to the glory of the Lord, and for the greatest good to others with whom they may have contact. Therefore, to have thus given up our affections, and ourselves to the Lord, would mean that according to our limitations—and these are not the same with any two persons, but each one according to the limitations of his own flesh—each shall seek to bring himself into that degree of subjection so that the very thoughts of his mind may be in harmony with the Lord, as well as all the acts of life. It is a general principle. It is not a principle that you could apply to another brother or to another sister; they must apply that for themselves, and you must apply it to yourself; and let each to the best of his ability do what he believes will be to the glory of the Lord and for the good of himself and others. And this is the moderation of which the Scriptures speak.