1 Corinthians 7

1c7.jpgGreetings!  This is a very important chapter on sex and marriage.  As I wrote in Who can you marry?  An exhaustive list of Biblical rules, the Bible gives principles for marriage but few rules. 


7     Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. 2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

That is just one of the many verses showing God’s ideal for marriage.  We live in a crazy world that wants to redefine the basic building block of society and God’s clear plan.  Many false teachers try to say that God approves of homosexual behavior and even “same sex marriage.”   But here’s what the Bible says:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

These passages are very, very clear. 

 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.

Feminists often misread these passages, but if you read carefully you’ll see the balance.  The principles apply to the wife and the husband.  And that was revolutionary for that culture, where women were often considered no more than property. 

 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

Christians violate the rules on divorce way too often.  Except for adultery and abuse (which should result in criminal charges) divorce should not be an option.  I realize I am “adding” abuse to the list, but that seems to go without saying.  If you beat up your neighbor’s wife, you go to jail.  So why can you abuse your own wife?  At a minimum the women should separate. 

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; 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?

The godly behavior of one spouse my be used by God to convert the other person.  I know my wife’s faith did much to develop mine!

17 Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. 21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.

There is something much more important than the jobs we have: Our relationship with God.

25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. 27 Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better.

39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

[1][1] The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Note that the husband must belong to the Lord.   That is an even clearer passage than the “unequally yoked” verse (2 Cor. 6:14).  We should not marry non-Christians.  It is a horrible way to start a marriage, not having agreement on the most important things in life.  You need to ask how you’ll feel if the person you may marry never gets any closer to Jesus. 


7 Responses

  1. The fact that you have a problem with homosexuals might mean that you have homosexual tendencies. Have you thought about that? Pastor Ted Haggard.

  2. Hi Reid,

    Who said I had a problem with homosexuals? I get along great with them.

    Your argument is what is called an ad hominem attack, which means attacking the person instead of the argument. Instead of dealing with my reasoning you try to attack my character. Whether Ted Haggard had homosexual desires is irrelevant to what God’s word says about the behavior.

    I am merely noting what the Bible says. If you think I have misinterpreted it, feel free to point out where and why.

    Otherwise, your argument is with God. If you want to accuse him of having homosexual tendencies for making his word so abundantly clear, then good luck with that.

  3. sounds flood you Christian homo. Your blog is a waste of your time and everyone elses. The word of god says you and all of your judgemental friends are already in hell. So enjoy, you scripture humper.

  4. ps eat shit

  5. How eloquent of you. Normally I’d delete your comments, but they reveal your heart so clearly that I thought others might see and learn from them.

    I ask for your reasoning and I get that in reply? Hmmmm . . . maybe you don’t have any reasoning? But don’t the skeptics usually say that Christians are the ones with blind faith?

    Really, feel free to come back if you ever want a serious dialogue.

  6. To Reid – if you study scripture you will find that it is sexual immorality, not solely in homosexual behavior but also in heterosexual behavior, that is inconsistant with caring love that brings fullness to a person’s life. Sexual immorality is mercenary and for the purpose of self gratification – lust appears attractive and appealing from a distance but upon close intimacy it is cruel and unmerciful.

    Reid, throwing stones and judging people is different than trying to compassionately intervene on a spiritually condemning practice. If someone addresses another out of hatred or hypocrisy, then they too are drinking from a deadly well. Jesus loves sinners – whether they are prideful hypocrites or filled with lust – it’s just that they aren’t able to bond and love in return – it is that spiritual and loving connection that saves – I know. I no longer desire to condone, perpetrate promote or enable a practice when I know a better Way exists. There is no condemnation in Christ, but in the world, if one does not possess the ability to meet the standard of acceptance, they are rejected.

    Reid, I don’t see any evidence that Neil is acting out of bias or bigotry here – your verbal attack inspires a protective spirit in me – for Neil and also for you.

  7. […] this way Posted on July 22, 2008 by Neil The following is a comment thread from a post on 1 Corinthians 7 from my Bible Study Blog.  I had noted a comment about marriage being between one man and one […]

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