Cor. Chapter 7:1-40
verses for this week: 1 Pet 3:7 Likewise, ye
husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto
the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of
the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered...
week in Chapter 6, Paul explained how we should not go to court
against other Christians in the church, but should work out our
problems without any outside influence.
Harmony and the ability to get along one with another should
be the trademark of Christians.
Responsibilities of Marriage
Cor 7:1 Now concerning
the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to
touch a woman.
Cor 7:2 Nevertheless,
to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every
woman have her own husband.
comments to the Corinthian’s concerning marriage need to be
understood in the proper context.
He was dealing with the issue of marriage as it had been
addressed directly to him. Paul
did not mean that for a person to remain unmarried that it made them
of a “higher status” than a married person, but he was
commending those who had totally dedicated themselves to the
ministry and the Lord’s work.
In verse 2, he clearly states “let every man have his own
wife, and let every woman have her own husband” that they might
avoid fornication. So the state of marriage is not something Paul was against.
As a matter of fact, he told young Timothy that if you teach
someone not to marry, it is a “doctrine of the devil.”
Tim 4:1 Now the Spirit
speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from
the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Tim 4:2 Speaking lies
in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Tim 4:3 Forbidding to
marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created
to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the
Tim 4:4 For every
creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be
received with thanksgiving:
know that some religious groups teach these very things today, and
this is not of God. Paul
was saying that if a man did remain unmarried, that it was good
and honorable. If
someone is single, we do not have a Christian responsibility to see
that person become married that they would be just like us.
God may have a very special field of service for that
individual, and marriage may not be good at this time.
Many of the gospel musicians that travel are single, and I
think it would be a difficult thing to travel continuously when you
have a family. But
Paul warns that if we can not contain, and must
seek to satisfy the sexual appetite of the flesh, we should
7:3 Let the husband
render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife
unto the husband.
Cor 7:4 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.
married has a lot of advantages, but it also brings a great deal of
of our highest callings in this life is to raise our children
properly and to be there for them as they grow and mature.
When we marry, we agree to take on responsibility.
Wife and husband are to render to each other due benevolence.
We effectively become one flesh, and our needs are to be met
one with another. Sexual
activity outside the bounds of marriage is sinful and is not
pleasing to God. Society
today teaches that we can do whatever we want as long as consenting
adults agree one with another.
This is a lie from Satan, and we need to recognize this and
honor God by obeying His commandments.
4:9 Two are better than
one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
4:10 For if they fall,
the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when
he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
4:11 Again, if two lie
together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
4:12 And if one prevail
against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not
threefold cord that is not quickly broken speaks of having Christ
wrapped around our marriage. This
is a sound an secure way to live.
Cor 7:5 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.
Cor 7:6 But I speak
this by permission, and not of commandment.
5 says it is permissible for husbands and wives to separate for a
short period for time of prayer and fasting if they wish.
These times should be kept relatively short so that we might
not lose control and be led into sin.
Paul says this is not by commandment, but by permission one
with the other.
Cor 7:7 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.
expresses that he was perfectly satisfied in his unmarried state at
this time, and wished others could also be this way.
I was asked this past week about whether Paul was single or
Rushing used to teach that he was married because only married men
could be members of the Sanhedrin council.
I did some study on this, and I found no record that Paul was
ever a member of the Sanhedrin council.
Surprisingly, the word Sanhedrin is not mentioned in the
bible in the text. However,
when that council gathered together to hear Stephen, Saul (before
having his name changed to Paul) was there and never forgot those
words Stephen spoke before he was stoned to death. (Acts 7:58) So if
he was not a member of the Sanhedrin, he did have access to some of
their meetings. Before
Paul was saved, he was given authority to bind Christians and to
bring them back to Jerusalem by the Chief Priest.
And Paul clearly states that he was a Pharisee and taught by
Gamaliel, one of the great teachers of the law.
One of my studies said that Paul was single at this time,
probably a widower. I
don’t know if this is true or not.
But at this current time, verse 7 (and 8) seems to indicate
that Paul was single.
3:4 Though I might also
have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath
whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
3:5 Circumcised the
eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an
Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
3:6 Concerning zeal,
persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the
22:3 I am verily a man
which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in
this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the
perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward
God, as ye all are this day.
Instructions to the Unmarried and Widows
Cor 7:8 I say therefore
to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even
Cor 7:9 But if they
cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to
Paul makes reference to his single condition in verse 8. The main point Paul is making is that we should learn
to be content in our current state.
So many who are single can not wait to be married, and many
married seek to become single again.
Marriage should be a serious, life-time commitment.
So to rush into a decision without consulting God is a bad
decision. He says
in verse 9 that if they cannot contain, it would be better to marry
than to burn. This does not have reference to eternal punishment as some
have taught, but speaks of the burn of sexual desires and lust.
Marriage is good and honorable, whereas lust is sinful and
dishonoring to God.
13:4 Marriage is
honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and
adulterers God will judge.
5:28 But I say unto
you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath
committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Instructions to the Married
Cor 7:10 And unto the
married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart
from her husband:
Cor 7:11 But and if she
depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband:
and let not the husband put away his wife.
are many more verses of instruction to the married than to the
widows and unmarried, pointing out the importance of marriage and
what God expects of us when we make this commitment.
These were not ideas formulated by Paul for a good marriage,
for in verse 10, he says “I command, yet not I, but the Lord.”
Scripture was written as the Holy Spirit moved men to pen the
very words God would have us to use for answers to life’s
difficult problems. It
is clear that the wife should not depart from her husband.
It is permissible for her to stay away from him for a time
that they might work out their problems and then be reconciled.
But they were neither to put one another away to marry
another person. This
may seem like difficult teaching to you in this day in which we
live, but this is God’s Word, and it needs to be honored and
Cor 7:12 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
Cor 7:13 And the woman
which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to
dwell with her, let her not leave him.
Cor 7:14 For the
unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving
wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean;
but now are they holy.
Cor 7:15 But if the
unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not
under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
Cor 7:16 For what
knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how
knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
addresses the situation where one member is lost and the other is
saved. We are not to
put away our wife or husband for this reason, as the saved person
sanctifies the family. But
if the lost person does depart, then he says in verse 15 to let them
are not under bondage in such cases.
But we should do all we can to reach that lost member for the
Lord. If we
follow the teachings of God, we will never marry a lost person.
We are to be likeminded and both be believers to be in
God’s Will. If
you look back in Ezra Chapter 9 and 10, you would find that in
ancient Israel, if a Jew married a pagan, the union was unholy and
he was ordered to put away his wife. His children were considered unholy. But Christ’s blood gives the believer sanctification,
and even the children are holy in the family.
Now the faith of the saved member of the family does not save
the other one, but it makes the family unit acceptable in God’s
sight. By living a
righteous life, a saved woman or saved man can make a marked effect
on the lost member, and that person will most likely find Christ
after a period of time. It is important that we live like Christ, that we will
be able to influence the lost member in the family.
Cor 7:17 But as God
hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so
let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
Cor 7:18 Is any man
called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any
called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
Cor 7:19 Circumcision
is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the
commandments of God.
Cor 7:20 Let every man
abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
Cor 7:21 Art thou
called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made
free, use it rather.
Cor 7:22 For he that is
called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise
also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
Cor 7:23 Ye are bought
with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
Cor 7:24 Brethren, let
every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
these early days of the church, much of the Jewish traditions and
laws were constantly being brought up.
To be a Jew, it was crucial that the male be circumcised.
But verse 19 says that circumcision is nothing, that keeping
the commandments of God is the important thing.
Although we are made free by the blood of Jesus, the moment
we become saved, we become a slave to Christ.
Verse 23 says we are bought with a price, and we are no
longer the servant of man, but rather to God.
Henry had these comments.
rules of Christianity reach every condition; and in every state a
man may live so as to be a credit to it. It is the duty of every
Christian to be content with his lot, and to conduct himself in his
rank and place as becomes a Christian. Our comfort and happiness
depend on what we are to Christ, not what we are in the world. No
man should think to make his faith or religion, an argument to break
through any natural or civil obligations. He should quietly and
contentedly abide in the condition in which he is placed by Divine
Advice to Virgins
Cor 7:25 Now concerning
virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment,
as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
Cor 7:26 I suppose
therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it
is good for a man so to be.
Cor 7:27 Art thou bound
unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife?
seek not a wife.
Cor 7:28 But and if
thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath
not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I
Cor 7:29 But this I
say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that
have wives be as though they had none;
Cor 7:30 And they that
weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they
rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
Cor 7:31 And they that
use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world
Cor 7:32 But I would
have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the
things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
Cor 7:33 But he that is
married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may
please his wife.
Cor 7:34 There is
difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman
careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body
and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the
world, how she may please her husband.
Cor 7:35 And this I
speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but
for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord
Paul has to say in these verses pertains both to men and women.
In verse 26, Paul says “I suppose therefore that this is
good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so
to be.” Referring to remaining single.
The Corinthians were facing difficult times of oppression and
persecution. In view of
this, he said it would be good to not seek a wife at this time, but
if you had one, you were not to leave her.
And even today, we are to find a place where we can be
content and wait on the Lord. If you are married, be happy in that state.
If you are single, be patient and wait on the Lord.
Whatever is His will in your life is the best that you can
ever hope for.
Instructions for Fathers of Virgins
Cor 7:36 But if any man
think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she
pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he
will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
Cor 7:37 Nevertheless
he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but
hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that
he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
Cor 7:38 So then he
that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not
in marriage doeth better.
Cor 7:39 The wife is
bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband
be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in
Cor 7:40 But she is
happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I
have the Spirit of God.
in this day, we need to remember that the marriages were arranged by
the parents. Even if
the daughter did not love the man, she was to marry him according to
the tradition. If the daughter was fully old enough to know her own mind,
and there were attachments and commitments, the Father did not sin
in letting her marry. Likewise,
if the daughter had no desire to marry and there was no financial
need for her to be married, it was okay for her to remain single.
last verses address the situation when a member of the marriage
dies. The man or woman
is free to remarry, only in the Lord.
Paul said in his estimation, he thought it would be better if
she remained unmarried, but she was free to marry if that was her
Vernon McGee in his commentary on I Corinthians had this to say.
important thing is to serve God, to put God first in your life. If a person is married, God should still be first in his
there are many Christian couples who are compatible—yet God does
not have first place in their marriage.
In deciding your marital status, the most important
consideration is not what your Christian friends will say or how
society will regard you. The
question you need to ask yourself is: In what way can I put God
first in my life?”
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
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