1 Corinthians 7:1-17,25-40 Reading the Passage

Biblical Guidelines Concerning Marriage and the Single State – 1Corinthians 7:1-17,25-40

7 Now concerning the matters of which you wrote. It is good for a man not to marry. (2) But since there is so much immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. (3) The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife should fulfill her duty to her husband. (4) The wife’s body does not belong to her alone, but also to her husband; and likewise, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone, but also to his wife. (5) Do not deprive each other of sexual relations except by mutual consent for the purpose of devoting yourselves to prayer, and only for a short time. Then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (6) I give this instruction as a concession, not as a command. (7) I wish that all men were as I am; but each one has his own gift from God, one has this gift, another has that one.

(8) My counsel to the unmarried and widows is that it is good for them to remain as I am—single. (9) But if they are unable to exercise self-control, let them marry; for it is better for them to marry than to burn with sexual desire.

(10) Now to those who are married I give this command—not I, but the Lord—a wife should not leave her husband.(11) But if she is forced to leave, let her remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband—and a husband must not divorce his wife. (12) To the others I, not the Lord, give these instructions: If any Christian brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, but she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. (13) And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, but he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce her husband. (14) I say this because the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the Christian brother; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. (15) But if the unbelieving spouse wants to leave, let him leave; the Christian brother or sister is not bound under such circumstances, for God has called us to live in peace. (16) How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (17) Only let each one live in the social position to which the Lord assigned him and to which God called him—and these are the instructions I give to all the churches…

(25) Now with regard to virgins, I do not have any instructions from the Lord; but, as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy, I give this judgment. (26) I think that, because of the impending distress, it is good for a man to remain as he is. (27) Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not seek a wife. (28) But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if the virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will experience a greater degree of tribulation, and I desire to spare you from this. (29) Now I tell you this, brothers, the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; (30) and those who mourn, as if they were not mourning; and those who rejoice, as if they were not rejoicing; and those who purchase something, as if it were not their possession; (31) and those who use the things of the world, as not being engrossed in them—for this world in its present form is passing away.

(32) Now I want you to be free from care. The unmarried man cares about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. (33) But the married man must be concerned about the things of the world, how he can please his wife, (34) and thus his interests are divided. So also, the woman who is not married and the virgin care about the things of the Lord, such a woman’s concern is to be holy both in body and in spirit. But the married woman must be concerned about the things of the world, how she can please her husband. (35) Now I am saying these things for your benefit, not to put a restriction upon you; on the contrary, I am saying these things for the sake of what is proper and what will promote undistracted devotion to the Lord.

(36) If anyone thinks he is not behaving properly towards the virgin to whom he is engaged, if he has an uncontrollable passion for her and so wants to be married, let him do what he desires, let them marry—he is not sinning. (37) But he who is firmly resolved in his own heart not to marry the virgin to whom he is engaged—not feeling a necessity to get married, and having his sexual desire under control, and having determined this in his own heart—he is doing a good thing. (38) So then, the man who marries the virgin to whom he is engaged is doing a good thing; but the man who does not marry is doing a better thing.

(39) A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry whomever she desires—but only in the Lord. (40) Yet in my judgment she will be happier if she stays as she is, and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.