July 26th 1 Corinthians 7 (Marriage) Married christians
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. 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. 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. 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. 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? 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. 18: Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19: Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. 20: Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. 21: Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 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. 23: Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 24: Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
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. 26: I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. 27: Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 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 spare you. 29: But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 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; 31: And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. 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: 33: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. 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. 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 without distraction. 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. 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. 38: So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. 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 the Lord. 40: But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.
There were a number of things that the Corinthian believers specifically wrote asking about. Paul addresses the first of their questions. We do not have the question but we have Pauls answer. They ask regarding marriage and so Paul gives teaching to outline the whole of his teaching on this subject. The first question seems to be about whether the Corinthians should marry or not. Pauls answer is that it is an acceptable thing for a man to never marry in certain circumstances as the Lord wills. But if men and women are unable to keep from ‘touching one another’ then it should be in the within the frame work of marriage. This is the only way to avoid fornication for some people. Every man and woman should have his and her own wife. When they are married the husband should render due comfort and the wife to her husband. The wife cannot withdraw from her husband the comfort he needs nor can the husband do the same. Refraining for martial comfort should only be exercised for a short period as in fasting and prayer and it should only be with mutual consent, because this situation might lead to temptation. Paul says l have had not direct revelation from the lord about this but l have the Lords permission to give my opinion. In one way l would have all men to be single as l am but every man must live according to how the Lord has given them blessing. To those who are unmarried or widows it is good if they remain as l am but if they cannot contain themselves then they should marry. It’s better to marry than to burn in lust for one another. To those that are married, I have a revelation from the Lord. The first thing is that a wife must not leave her husband, but if she does then she is not to seek another partner but to remain unmarried or return to her husband. Her husband must not divorce her. Then Paul says the rest l will give my opinion this is not a direct revelation from the Lord. If a Christian man has a wife that in not a believer and she is happy to remain with him then he is not to divorce her. And the same is true for a woman that is a believer, because the unbelieving partner is sanctified by the husband. If that were not the case then both of you would be unclean but actually both are holy before God. However if the unbelieving partner wants to leave then the believer must allow them to do so. A believer is not compelled to remain married is such cases – God has called us to live in peace. After all, the believer might even win over the unbeliever by the godly living that they display. God has given to each one of us a path to walk and Paul says this is the teaching l give in all the churches. If a man becomes a Christian when he is a Jew then he is to remain a Jewish Christian. If a man becomes a Christian when he is a Gentile then he is to remain a Gentile Christian. (Being a Jew is all about keeping the Law.) So every Christian, says Paul, is to remain in the life that they are in when they are saved. If when you become a Christian, you are a slave, don’t worry about it. If you can become free then become free. The Christian slave is Gods freeman and the Christian freeman is Gods slave. You belong to the Lord so do not make yourself a slave to men. In summary Paul says in whatever position in life a person finds themselves when they are converted they are to remain in that state. On the situation regarding virgins Paul says l have no direct revelation from the Lord yet l can give my opinion as one that has obtained salvation. Because of the extreme circumstances of these days Paul says, it is good if a man remains a virgin. But if a man is married then he should try to remain married and if he is unmarred then he should try to remain unmarried. However if he marries he has not committed a sin. It’s not a sin to marry. However in these difficult days being unmarried prevents many troubles. In these difficult times of persecution those that are married should live as those who are not. Those that weep as those who do not and those who rejoice as those who do not rejoice and those that buy as those who have nothing. They are to use this world but not abuse this world because this world is going to pass away. I would want you not to be overcome by anxiety in this world. You see he that is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord – how he can please the Lord, but the Christian who is married cares for the things of this world – how he can please his wife. I don’t want to place a trap in front of you but l want you to be benefited by my teaching. I want you to be able to focus on the Lord without distraction. Those that keep themselves from each other may marry on not as they wish, in either way they are not sinning. The father that gives his daughter to marriage does a good thing but the father that does not may do a better thing, in these difficult days. The wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives, however if he dies she is free to be married, only in the Lord, but she may be happier if she remain unmarried. This is my opinion but l think, l have the Spirit of God with me in this.