7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. He isn’t putting a leash on anyone; he merely shares from his own heart and experience. But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, 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, and those who use this world as not misusing it. Translate, "separateth himself": offended with her Christianity, and refusing to live with her unless she renounce it. i. (1 Corinthians 7:6-7 RSV) In other words, what Paul is saying is that sex in marriage manifests a special gift of God. . Do not seek a wife. So ALFORD after CALVIN, BENGEL, and others. Even, Are you bound to a wife? If the children of non-Christian parents are saved, and do go to heaven – even some of them – it is important to understand that it is not because they are, But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart. 1:16. These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features. How could Paul claim it as a benefit for a Christian parent to be in the home, if the same benefit automatically applies to the children of non-Christians also? We can say this because we know Paul was an extremely observant Jew and an example among his people (Philippians 3:4-6). At the same time, if someone has a problem with lust or sexual sin, they should not think that getting married itself solves their problems. . b. I, not the Lord, say: We should not think Paul is any less inspired by the Holy Spirit on this point. I prefer this latter view, as more according to the tenor of the Gospel, and fully justified by the Greek. They should know that with faith and patience, they can look for God to work in their present circumstances, difficult as they might be. . . c. It is good for a man to remain as he is: Paul, in speaking to the never-married man, recommends that he remain as he is – that is, either remaining single or remaining married. i. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 7. : Paul’s recommendation to marry is not based on marriage being more or less spiritual, but on very practical concerns, especially relevant to his day (as explained in 1 Corinthians 7:26, 29, 32). It is wrong for him to withhold affection from his wife. ii. only in the Lord--Let her marry only a Christian ( 2 Corinthians 6:14 ). d. Do not deprive one another: Paul rejects their idea that husband and wife could be more holy by sexual abstinence. Render to his wife: The emphasis is on giving, on “I owe you” instead of “you owe me.” In God’s heart, sex is put on a much higher level than merely the husband’s privilege and the wife’s duty. But God has called us to peace. not . We are never to put ourselves under the inappropriate control or influence of others. Joy may become a distraction, or commerce, or the world. The wife had the power of effecting a divorce by Greek and Roman law. This advice (if this translation be right) is not absolute, as the spirit of the Gospel is against slavery. Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:3–5. Check to enable permanent hiding of message bar and refuse all cookies if you do not opt in. ii. Do not seek a wife: Paul echoes the same principle laid down in 1 Corinthians 7:17-24. She hath not power over her body, and yet it is her own. be reconciled--by appeasing her husband's displeasure, and recovering his good will. That’s a sticky verse. They should know that with faith and patience, they can look for God to work in their present circumstances, difficult as they might be. But if any man thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, if she is past the flower of youth, and thus it must be, let him do what he wishes. Paul strongly puts forth the idea that there is a. : The emphasis is on giving, on “I owe you” instead of “you owe me.” In God’s heart, sex is put on a much higher level than merely the husband’s privilege and the wife’s duty. Concerning virgins: Paul now will deal with the unmarried, whom he refers to as virgins, even though they all might not have been technically virgins — though in Christian homes, they certainly should be. f. And a husband is not to divorce his wife: Paul applies the same principle to husbands as to wives, and makes the important distinction between one who might depart (separation while still honoring the marriage covenant) and one who might divorce. : Of course, this doesn’t mean that we are to continue in a sinful course or occupation once we are saved. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. Indeed a woman undergoes a greater change of condition than a man in contracting marriage. The married must live faithfully to their spouse, and the unmarried must live celibate. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord: Here, Paul simply recognizes that when a person doesn’t have family responsibilities, they are more “free” to serve God. Paul doesn’t think only the young or pretty or submissive wives are due affection; every wife is due affection because she is a wife of a Christian man. So, every man should have his own wife and every woman should have her own husband. ii. The Greek, "But if even thou mayest be made free, use it," and the context ( 1 Corinthians 7:20 1 Corinthians 7:22 ) favors this view [CHRYSOSTOM, BENGEL, and ALFORD]. How could Paul claim it as a, – clearly giving the sense that apart from the presence of a Christian parent, the child is not regarded as, iii. John Piper Apr 29, 2009 50 Shares Sermon. It is all according to an individual’s gifting. Others for shame after they were gained to the knowledge of Christ, as here. . The Apostle Paul spent 18 months there on his Second Missionary Journey and … This was an important topic; the Christian concept of marriage was one that needed to be established in the early church. Why would the Corinthian Christians suggest complete celibacy – which is what they mean by. The wife does not have authority over her own body, : In fact, these obligations are so concrete, it could be said that the wife’s body does not even, i. To be single or married is a special gifting from God. For I wish that all men were even as I myself. He has already dealt with the questions about the relative merits of being married or single, and if it is more spiritual to abstain from sex in a marriage relationship. Directions concerning virgins, and single persons in general, 1 Corinthians 7:25-28. Let each one remain with God in that calling in which he was called. Click to enable/disable essential site cookies. decreed--determined. Or else ( 1 Corinthians 7:15 ), if thy unbelieving consort wishes to depart, let him go, so that thou mayest live "in peace": for thou canst not be sure of converting him, so as to make it obligatory on thee at all costs to stay with him against his will [MENOCHIUS and ALFORD]. Yet, he will give inspired advice and principles. If a husband has sexual relations with his wife, but without true affection to her, he is not giving his wife what she is due. “Some Jews, for fear of Antiochus, made themselves uncircumcised, 1 Maccab. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his w… ii. When he says. Christ specifies as the condemning sin of the men of Sodom not merely their open profligacy, but that "they bought, they sold," &c., as men whose all was in this world ( Luke 17:28 ). 5. b. Compare Psalms 39:6 , "vain show"; Psalms 73:20 , "a dream"; James 4:14 , "a vapor." Paul doesn’t think only the young or pretty or submissive wives are. If you were not circumcised when you became a Christian, fine also. It means that we will not live as if our earthly family was all that mattered, but also live with an eye to eternity. b. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing: Paul’s point isn’t really about circumcision; that is just an example. i. The precept ( 1 Corinthians 7:23 ), "Become not (so the Greek) the servants of men," implies plainly that slavery is abnormal (compare Leviticus 25:42 ). But if you can be made free, rather use it, : In saying that a slave can please God, Paul does not want any slave to think God does not. Here the general rule is given to avoid fornication--More literally, "on account of fornications," to which as being very prevalent at Corinth, and not even counted sins among the heathen, unmarried persons might be tempted. 4. Even those who have wives should be as though they had none: Paul is not encouraging the neglect of proper family duties, but encouraging living as if the time is short. 1 Corinthians 7:15 “But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. “These persecutions and distresses are at the door, and life itself will soon be run out. This was the big error of the Corinthian Christians. Click on the different category headings to find out more. Caution that believers should not make this direction ( 1 Corinthians 7:16 ; as ALFORD explains it) a ground for separating "of themselves" ( 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 ). . He does not sin; let them marry. He has already dealt with the questions about the relative merits of being married or single, and if it is more spiritual to abstain from sex in a marriage relationship. A mother who is driving her children to school turns her attention for just a moment to arbitrate a squabble between her children or to fasten a child’s seat belt, and fails to heed a stop sign. If you were not circumcised when you became a Christian, fine also. The important thing is what gift one has from God, either being gifted to singleness or marriage. He could just as easily say, and is saying by analogy, Married is nothing and unmarried is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. Now to the… indicates he is moving to another question, and these questions and answers have to do with marriage and divorce. 3. Essentially, Paul wants the widow not to remarry without carefully considering that God might be calling her to celibacy. come together--The oldest manuscripts read, "be together," namely, in the regular state of the married. Chapter 7 deals with the idea of Christian Liberty in the area of marital relations. 5. : God does not command or even recommend abstaining from sex within marriage, but it can be done for a brief time for a specific spiritual reason. But and if she depart--or "be separated." My motive in advising you so is, to "spare you" such trouble in the flesh. A Christian husband and wife must not accept a poor sexual relationship. a. . 35. for your own profit--not to display my apostolic authority. “Among the Jews marriage was not held a thing indifferent, or at their own liberty to choose or refuse, but a binding command.” (Trapp) Clarke quotes from an ancient Jewish writing known as the Gemara: “It is forbidden a man to be without a wife; because it is written, It is not good for man to be alone. use it rather--Continue rather in thy state as a servant ( 1 Corinthians 7:20 , Galatians 3:28 , 1 Timothy 6:2 ). 12. to the rest--the other classes (besides "the married," 1 Corinthians 7:10 , where both husband and wife are believers) about whom the Corinthians had inquired, namely, those involved in mixed marriages with unbelievers. The one complements the other. By proceeding, you consent to our cookie usage. One should not feel they are immature or unspiritual because they desire to get married so they will no longer burn with passion. . However, CYPRIAN and Vulgate support English Version. else . God never recognizes a divorce for such reasons. This is a beautiful assurance that the children of a Christian parent are saved, at least until they come to an age of personal accountability (which may differ for each child). He could just as easily say, and is saying by analogy. But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site. But if you can be made free, rather use it: In saying that a slave can please God, Paul does not want any slave to think God does not want him to be free. So Deuteronomy 13:6 Matthew 10:35-37 Luke 14:26 . 1 Corinthians 7, Coffman Commentaries on the Bible, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, by the leading authority in the Church of Christ, presents a … Be not unduly impatient to cast off "even" thy condition as a servant by unlawful means ( 1 Peter 2:13-18 ); as, for example, Onesimus did by fleeing ( Philemon 1:10-18 ). iv. will--when, owing to his daughter's will not opposing his will, he has power to carry into effect his will or wish. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. ii. Inthat letter, I told you to have nothing to do with men with bad character’ (1Corinthians 5:9). Weeping, rejoicing, and having possessions must not get in the way of following hard after Jesus. Let him not become uncircumcised. d. That you may serve the Lord without distraction: For Paul, being unmarried meant fewer distractions in serving God. let every man have--a positive command to all who have not the gift of continency, in fact to the great majority of the world ( 1 Corinthians 7:5 ). These may seem far away to us, but they were not far away to Christians in the first century. The believer does not lie under the same obligation in the case of a union with an unbeliever, as in the case of one with a believer. (7-9) Paul recognizes the benefits of singleness, but also of marriage; all is according to how God gifts. i. Weeping, rejoicing, and having possessions must not get in the way of following hard after Jesus. But we know that it was likely he was married before, and we know he was not married when writing this letter, and the Book of Acts never shows Paul’s wife. You say, ‘It is a good thing when a man does not marry.’ 2 That may be true, but then people may have sex in wrong ways. let them marry--the daughter and her suitor. ii. 19. Instead of thinking that you can or will walk for the Lord when your station changes, walk for the Lord in the place you are right now. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. burn--with the secret flame of lust, which lays waste the whole inner man. The dignity of marriage is set forth by Paul ( Ephesians 5:25-32 ), in the fact that it signifies the mystical union between Christ and the Church. Don’t abandon your wife and children now! In Galatians 5:6 this "keeping of the commandments of God" is defined to be "faith which worketh by love"; and in Galatians 6:15 , "a new creature." ii. i. You can check these in your browser security settings. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. These problems may – perhaps – justify a separation (depart), but the partners are expected to honor their marriage vows even in their separation, because as far as God is concerned, they are still married – their marriage covenant has not been broken for what God considers to be Biblical reasons. An unmarried man could not be a member of the Sanhedrin, so Paul was probably married at one time. i. Concerning the things of which you wrote to me: 1 Corinthians 7 begins a section where Paul deals with specific questions asked him in a letter by the Corinthian Christians. So the faith of one Christian parent gives to the children a near relationship to the Church, just as if both parents were Christians (compare Romans 11:16 ). Remember that Paul told Timothy that, It is better to marry than to burn with passion, : Paul recognizes marriage as a legitimate refuge from pressures of sexual immorality. 7:1). e. If she does depart: A Christian couple may in fact separate for reasons that do not justify a Biblical divorce. If a man's calling be not favorable to his "abiding with God" (retaining holy fellowship with Him), he may use lawful means to change from it (compare Note. Paul is saying that if you were circumcised when you became a Christian, fine. For him, he could please God better as single, but another may please God better as married, all according to our calling. 1 Corinthians 7:5. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. save--be the instrument of salvation to ( James 5:20 ). c. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband: In light of the danger of sexual immorality (ever present in the Corinthian culture and our own), it is appropriate for husband and wife to have each other in a sexual sense. 9. if they cannot contain--that is, "have not continency." Think does not imply doubt, but often a matter of well-grounded assurance ( John 5:39 ). ii. . Also, because of this, iii. In fact, harm can come when they deprive one another, as they open the door to the tempter (so that Satan does not tempt you). Stedman says here: “…Paul puts his finger on what is one of the most frequent causes for disaster in marriage – a unilateral refusal to grant the gift of enjoyment and pleasure to one’s mate…” 18 Paul obviously regards the sexual act within marriage as extremely important. (36-38) Paul deals with another question from the Corinthians: should I arrange a marriage for my daughter? 1 Corinthians 7:1-40 . has nothing to do with any kind of improper moral behavior, but with denying his daughter or son the right to marry, based on the way Paul values singleness. Satan--who often thrusts in his temptations to unholy thoughts amidst the holiest exercises. : Here, Paul simply recognizes that when a person doesn’t have family responsibilities, they are more “free” to serve God. 15. if . Except for sexual immorality (as Jesus described in Matthew 19:3-9), two Christians never have a valid reason for divorce. A man may cease to "abide in the calling wherein he was called," and yet not violate the precept here. In I Corinthians 7, Paul is trying to walk a practical and theological tightrope between these excesses, while still speaking to both groups. The term virgin includes the young of both sexes. Timothy, the bearer of this Epistle, is an instance in point ( Acts 16:1 ). NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 7:1-7 1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. . Your Job as Ministry. Articles Sermons Topics Books Podcasts Filter Resources By ... Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:1–7. If he has the opportunity, he should take advantage of it. iv. i. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. f. The principle in this passage is important. If God does not recognize the divorce, then the individual is not free to remarry – they can only be reconciled to their former spouse. 5 D… Not as a commandment: God does not command or even recommend abstaining from sex within marriage, but it can be done for a brief time for a specific spiritual reason. i. Instead, the unmarried state can be superior because it offers a person (if they are so gifted) more opportunity to serve God. Apparently, there was some kind of local persecution or problem in the city of Corinth, and because of this, , Paul says there are definite advantages to remaining single. by the husband--The oldest manuscripts read, "by the brother." Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God. Though Paul insists he does not want his teaching here to be regarded as a noose around anyone’s neck, this has happened in the church. For I wish that all men were even as I myself: Paul, at the time of this writing, was unmarried (putting himself among the unmarried and the widows). Paul also emphasizes what the woman needs: not merely sexual relations, but the affection due her. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. Those things do not matter. Not that by hard injunctions I may entangle you with the fear of committing sin where there is no sin. i. 1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Since Paul meant this to apply to every Christian marriage, it shows that, . 1. It may be because of a misguided sense of spirituality, it may be because of general unhappiness, or conflict, or abuse, or misery, addiction, or poverty. For your lack of self-control: It might be easy to think that self-control is expressed by abstaining from sexual relations in marriage, but Paul says that to deprive one another is to show a lack of self-control, and a lack of self-control that will leave one easily tempted by Satan. the household of Chloe (1 Cor. Many find themselves in the “grass is greener” trap, with single people wishing they were married and married people wishing they were single. In the former case he is not bound not to separate, if the unbeliever separate or "depart," in the latter nothing but "fornication" justifies separation [PHOTIUS in Æcumenius]. 2. It is an awesome obligation: out of the billions of people on the earth, God has chosen one, and one alone, to meet our sexual needs. not the Lord--by any direct command spoken by Him. Apr 29, 2009. ii. having no necessity--arising from the natural inclinations of the daughter. At a time of great distress, your family needs you more than ever. . iii. iii. The Psalmist expressed this attitude in Psalm 39:5: Even those who have wives should be as though they had none, : Paul is not encouraging the neglect of proper family duties, but encouraging living as if. 27. Tragically, to many modern single Christians, singleness is a terrible. Jesus … I will follow anybody if he goes Christ’s way, but I will follow nobody, by the grace of God, if he does not go in that direction.” (Spurgeon). The Lord inspires me in this case to give you only a recommendation, which you are free to adopt or reject--not a positive command. . There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife? Even without considering the return of Jesus, it is worthwhile and accurate for Christians to live as if. Instead of thinking that you can or will walk for the Lord when your station changes, walk for the Lord in the place you are right now. Paul will agree with the statement, but with reservation – the “nevertheless” of verse 2. i. The behaving improperly has nothing to do with any kind of improper moral behavior, but with denying his daughter or son the right to marry, based on the way Paul values singleness. Thoughts on the Application of 1 Corinthians 7:3–5. Solid Joys. a. . We may request cookies to be set on your device. If her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married: Of course, a widow has the right to remarry. The oneness of body in which marriage places husband and wife explains this. Daily devotional with John Piper. Paul recognizes (without at all encouraging) that one might depart in such circumstance, but they cannot consider themselves divorced, with the right to remarry, because their marriage had not split up for reasons that justify a Biblical divorce. 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