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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

1 Corinthians 7

Verses 1-9

Advice to the Unmarried and Widows In 1 Corinthians 7:1-46.7.9 Paul gives his advice to the unmarried and widowed. In this passage he explains the duties of marriage of how both the husband and the wife have certain responsibilities towards one another.

1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

1 Corinthians 7:1 “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me” Comments - Paul will now respond to a number of questions that the delegate from the Corinthian church brought to him.

1 Corinthians 7:1 “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” - Word Study on “touch” Strong says the Greek word “touch” ( ἅπτω ) (G681) means, “to fasten, set on fire.” BDAG says it means, “light, kindle,” and “touch take hold of, hold.” Thayer and BDAG say the word also refers to “intercourse with a woman.”

Comments - Within the context of 1 Corinthians 7:1, ἅπτω refers to “carnal intercourse or cohabit, living together.” Thus, the AmpBible reads, “to cohabit.” However, the NIV reads, “to marry.”

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:2 “to avoid fornication” Comments - The phrase “to avoid fornication” ties this passage in 1 Corinthians 7:1-46.7.40 to chapter five, where Paul first deals with the issue of fornication in the church.

1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 Comments - Although marriage delivers a man and a woman from the sin fornication, it comes with divine responsibilities towards one another. The phrase “render due benevolence” means that the husband and wife are to give the duties or obligations of marriage towards one another.

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 7:4 Comments - The primary duty that comes with marriage is the fact that a spouse no longer makes individual decisions about his/her lifestyle. They give up a measure of their rights or authority. So, in marriage, you do not belong entirely to yourself any longer. Each decision has to take into consideration the needs of the mate. A spouse cannot come and go as he/she did prior to marriage. A measure of individual freedom must be relinquished.

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 7:5 “that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency” - Comments - How will Satan tempt a man? Not only can he be tempted with sexual desires. A man who had been defrauded by his wife told me that Satan can also tempt a man emotionally, with bitterness, unforgiveness, wrath, jealousy, etc., in such a situation.

1 Corinthians 7:5 Comments - Do not deprive a spouse of your duties of marriage, except by first agreeing, and then only for a period of time. The one reason to do this is to give yourself time for prayer and fasting. A warning! Return to original responsibilities or duties lest Satan tempt you into being unfaithful to your agreed restrains upon yourself.

Illustrations - Illustrations in the Old Testament:

Exodus 19:15, “And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.”

1 Samuel 21:4-9.21.5, “And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women. And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since 1 Came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.”

1 Corinthians 7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

1 Corinthians 7:6 Comments - In 1 Corinthians 7:6 Paul gives advice on an issue that Jesus Christ did not directly address in the Gospels or by revelation to Paul. Paul is permitting or agreeing to singleness as a better way. He is not commanding singleness in this passage of Scripture. He will speak like this throughout this chapter (1 Corinthians 7:10; 1Co 7:12 ; 1 Corinthians 7:25; 1 Corinthians 7:40). Paul uses this language again in 2 Corinthians 11:17, “That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord , but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.”

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

1 Corinthians 7:9 Word Study on “burn” BDAG says the Greek word “burn” ( πυρόω ) (G4448) means, “burn with sexual desire” within the context of 1 Corinthians 7:9.

1 Corinthians 7:8-46.7.9 Comments - Paul’s Concluding Advice to the Unmarried and Widows In 1 Corinthians 7:8-46.7.9 Paul gives his concluding remarks to the unmarried and widows. He tells them that the best decision is to remain single (1 Corinthians 7:8). His discussion to virgins in 1 Corinthians 7:25-46.7.40 will explain that single people can better serve the Lord. But, if they cannot exercise self-control and remain single, then they should marry in order to remain pure (1 Corinthians 7:9).

Verses 1-40

Fornication: Sanctification of the Body to Become a Holy Vessel (1 Corinthians 5:1 to 1 Corinthians 7:40 ) - In 1 Corinthians 5:1 to 1 Corinthians 7:40 Paul deals with the topic of fornication in the church at Corinth, which emphasizes the sanctification of the flesh. The key word in this passage of Scripture is “fornication,” which family of words is used twelve times in this passage of Scripture: πορνεία 5 times ( 1Co 5:1 ; 1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 7:2), πορνεύω 1 time (1 Corinthians 6:18), πόρνη 2 times (1 Corinthians 6:15-46.6.16) πόρνος 4 times (1 Corinthians 5:9-46.5.11; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Paul has heard about these problems within this church from reliable sources. Paul relied upon reliable sources in order to deal with these issues (1 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 5:1).

1 Corinthians 1:11, “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.”

1 Corinthians 5:1, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.”

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Paul Passes Judgment in the Church 1 Corinthians 5:1-46.5.13

2. Paul Gives the Corinthians their Basis for Judging Among Themselves 1 Corinthians 6:1-46.6.11

3. Why Fornication Must be Judged 1 Corinthians 6:12-46.6.20

4. Marriage in the Church 1 Corinthians 7:1-46.7.40

Comments on Section Breaks - In 1 Corinthians 7:1 to 1 Corinthians 14:40 Paul answers a number of questions that were probably handed to him by the visiting delegate from the church at Corinth. He begins his discussion on each of these topics with the same phrase, “Now concerning...” (1 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Corinthians 12:1) Therefore, many scholars divide 1 Corinthians 7:1 to 1 Corinthians 14:40 into a new section because of their common introductions. However, creating such a major division at 1 Corinthians 7:1 breaks the flow of Paul’s lengthy discussion on fornication, as well as the structural presentation on the sanctification of the three-fold man; spirit, soul and body.

Verses 1-40

Fornication: Sanctification of the Body to Become a Holy Vessel (1 Corinthians 5:1 to 1 Corinthians 7:40 ) - In 1 Corinthians 5:1 to 1 Corinthians 7:40 Paul deals with the topic of fornication in the church at Corinth, which emphasizes the sanctification of the flesh. The key word in this passage of Scripture is “fornication,” which family of words is used twelve times in this passage of Scripture: πορνεία 5 times ( 1Co 5:1 ; 1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 7:2), πορνεύω 1 time (1 Corinthians 6:18), πόρνη 2 times (1 Corinthians 6:15-46.6.16) πόρνος 4 times (1 Corinthians 5:9-46.5.11; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Paul has heard about these problems within this church from reliable sources. Paul relied upon reliable sources in order to deal with these issues (1 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 5:1).

1 Corinthians 1:11, “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.”

1 Corinthians 5:1, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.”

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Paul Passes Judgment in the Church 1 Corinthians 5:1-46.5.13

2. Paul Gives the Corinthians their Basis for Judging Among Themselves 1 Corinthians 6:1-46.6.11

3. Why Fornication Must be Judged 1 Corinthians 6:12-46.6.20

4. Marriage in the Church 1 Corinthians 7:1-46.7.40

Comments on Section Breaks - In 1 Corinthians 7:1 to 1 Corinthians 14:40 Paul answers a number of questions that were probably handed to him by the visiting delegate from the church at Corinth. He begins his discussion on each of these topics with the same phrase, “Now concerning...” (1 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Corinthians 12:1) Therefore, many scholars divide 1 Corinthians 7:1 to 1 Corinthians 14:40 into a new section because of their common introductions. However, creating such a major division at 1 Corinthians 7:1 breaks the flow of Paul’s lengthy discussion on fornication, as well as the structural presentation on the sanctification of the three-fold man; spirit, soul and body.

Verses 1-40

Fornication: Sanctification of the Body to Become a Holy Vessel (1 Corinthians 5:1 to 1 Corinthians 7:40 ) - In 1 Corinthians 5:1 to 1 Corinthians 7:40 Paul deals with the topic of fornication in the church at Corinth, which emphasizes the sanctification of the flesh. The key word in this passage of Scripture is “fornication,” which family of words is used twelve times in this passage of Scripture: πορνεία 5 times ( 1Co 5:1 ; 1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 7:2), πορνεύω 1 time (1 Corinthians 6:18), πόρνη 2 times (1 Corinthians 6:15-46.6.16) πόρνος 4 times (1 Corinthians 5:9-46.5.11; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Paul has heard about these problems within this church from reliable sources. Paul relied upon reliable sources in order to deal with these issues (1 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 5:1).

1 Corinthians 1:11, “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.”

1 Corinthians 5:1, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.”

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Paul Passes Judgment in the Church 1 Corinthians 5:1-46.5.13

2. Paul Gives the Corinthians their Basis for Judging Among Themselves 1 Corinthians 6:1-46.6.11

3. Why Fornication Must be Judged 1 Corinthians 6:12-46.6.20

4. Marriage in the Church 1 Corinthians 7:1-46.7.40

Comments on Section Breaks - In 1 Corinthians 7:1 to 1 Corinthians 14:40 Paul answers a number of questions that were probably handed to him by the visiting delegate from the church at Corinth. He begins his discussion on each of these topics with the same phrase, “Now concerning...” (1 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Corinthians 12:1) Therefore, many scholars divide 1 Corinthians 7:1 to 1 Corinthians 14:40 into a new section because of their common introductions. However, creating such a major division at 1 Corinthians 7:1 breaks the flow of Paul’s lengthy discussion on fornication, as well as the structural presentation on the sanctification of the three-fold man; spirit, soul and body.

Verses 10-24

Advice to the Married - In 1 Corinthians 7:10-46.7.24 Paul gives his advice to those believers who were married when they were saved. He will basically tell them not to initiate divorce. They were to stay married as long as it was tolerable. But for those who decided that it was no longer tolerable, he gave them strict guidelines to either remain unmarried, or to seek reconciliation with their ex-spouse (1 Corinthians 7:11). Paul then gives the married a guiding principle to remain in their callings that they had when they were saved (1 Corinthians 7:17-46.7.24).

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Stay Married, if Possible 1 Corinthians 7:10-46.7.11

2. Marriage Between Believer and Non-believer 1 Corinthians 7:12-46.7.16

3. Abiding in One’s Divine Calling 1 Corinthians 7:17-46.7.24

1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married 1 Command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

1 Corinthians 7:10 Comments - Paul is saying in 1 Corinthians 7:10 that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke specifically about this particular issue regarding those who were married. Paul was most likely referring to the following passages in the Gospels:

Matthew 5:32, “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

Mark 10:11-41.10.12, “And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”

Luke 16:18, “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 7:11 “and let not the husband put away his wife” Comments - This phrase implies that what is applies to the woman also applies to the man, and vice versa. (Note 1 Corinthians 7:2-46.7.4; 1 Corinthians 7:12-46.7.13) Thus, we understand that if the husband puts away his wife, he is given the same two options that the woman is given, to either reconcile with his wife or remain unmarried.

1 Corinthians 7:11 Comments - Jesus laid the foundation for the doctrine of the Church on divorce and remarriage by telling us that there are two ways in which a child of God could remarry, either by the death of the spouse, or by an act of adultery by the spouse (read Matthew 5:27-40.5.32; Matthew 19:1-40.19.12, Mark 10:1-41.10.12, Luke 16:18). In this lengthy passage, Paul is building upon this doctrine. He does allow a believer to depart from a marriage out of necessity. But in this verse, Paul is careful to qualify the conditions. A man or a woman is not in God’s will to remarry if they depart for other reasons besides the two given by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Illustration - I have seen situations in which the best way in which a spouse can forgive the mate is to leave the situation entire in order to begin the healing process, which means a divorce. In the case of some difficult marriages, where the wife is being abused, she may be better off leaving in order to save her life or her mental well being. She is then in a position to turn loose of the hurts of the past and forgive the ex-spouse. Otherwise, if she continues in such a troublesome marriage, she is not the better, but rather she becomes worse.

1 Corinthians 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 her away.

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 7:14 “else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” Comments - In Deuteronomy 1:39, it says that the children had no knowledge between good and evil.

Deuteronomy 1:39, “Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.”

I was teaching my staff about the salvation experience one day at Lighthouse Television (August 20, 2003). I made the point that children go to heaven until they reach the age of accountability. I used Luke 16:18 to point out the words of Jesus, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” One staff member asked me about those children who were offered up by their parents in demonic sacrifice and those dedicated to Satan. (This is Africa and witchcraft was common.) The Lord quickened this verse to me in 1 Corinthians 7:14, which classifies children into two categories. God sees them as either “unclean” or “holy”. This verse tells us that a believing spouse will sanctify the unbelieving spouse, so that God sets the unbeliever apart for divine protection. This divine protection is also given to the children of believers. But to those children with unbelieving parents, they are not set apart for God’s divine protection. They suffer in their innocence because of the sins of their parents. When a child dies before he/she reaches an age of accountability by which they understand that they are sinners, then such a child will go to heaven, regardless of his parent’s sins.

Illustrations (1) Not the following illustrations in the Old Testament. Noah’s and Lot’s families were delivered because of these righteous men. Their families were sanctified because of believing husbands. That is, the wife was sanctified and children were made clean because of Noah and Lot.

Illustrations (2) Note the following illustrations in the New Testament:

Acts 16:15, “And when she was baptized, and her household , she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.”

Acts 16:31, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house .”

Acts 16:33, “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his , straightway.”

Acts 27:24, “Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.”

Illustrations (3) Note the following illustrations of sanctification. During the time of Noah, God delivered his wife, his three sons and their wives. During the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, God rescued Lot and his wife and two children. In Job 1:5, we see how Job prayed for his children and they were sanctified, or set for God’s blessings. So, in this passage, the word “sanctified” does not mean saved.

Job 1:5, “And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.”

In Matthew 23:17-40.23.19, the gold and the gifts offered unto God are sanctified by the temple and its altar.

Matthew 23:17-40.23.19, “Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?”

In Paul’s perilous and stormy journey to Rome by sea, the Lord not only delivered him, but also all of his companions.

Acts 27:24, “Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.”

In 1 Timothy 4:5, food is sanctified.

1 Timothy 4:5, “For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

So, God is saying in 1 Corinthian 1 Corinthians 7:14 that the lost spouse receives many of God’s benefits in life due to a believing spouse. The lost spouse is set apart for God's blessings.

Scripture References -

Isaiah 49:17, “Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.”

Isaiah 49:25, “But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.”

Isaiah 54:13, “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”

Jeremiah 31:16-24.31.17, “Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.”

Also, note that in Exodus 12:0, there was one lamb per household used to sanctify each household.

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 7:15 “but God hath called us to peace” Comments - We often speak of God’s calling in our lives. We want to know if we have been called to be a missionary or a preacher or an evangelist, or if we have a calling in the ministry of helps in a local church. But our basic calling that takes priority over any other calling is to walk in love with others. In other words, being in God’s will is not necessary being in a particular position or carrying a particular title, but it is a condition of the heart. God’s will is that we walk in love with a pure heart. If we will meet this fundamental condition, then the Lord will supernaturally lead us into His purpose and plan for our lives. We do not have to seek a calling, because we have already been given one, which is to walk in peace with those around us. In that walk of love we will find ourselves flowing in God’s plan for our lives.

1 Corinthians 7:18-46.7.19 Comments Cultural Differences are Fine - Paul tells the believers in 1 Corinthians 7:18-46.7.19 that a Jew does not have to live like a Gentile in order to serve the Lord, and a Gentile does not have to embrace the traditions of the Jewish culture in order to serve Him. It is fine to be culturally different. What is required is that we obey His commandments in His Word.

1 Corinthians 7:21 “but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather” Comments We see a suggestion in 1 Corinthians 7:21 that some of the Christian slaves who were members of the church had opportunities to be free. A clear example of this is found in the epistle of Philemon, where Paul pleads for the release of a Christian slave named Onesimus.

1 Corinthians 7:21 Comments Slavery was a big part of the fabric of Roman society. J. Vernon McGee says that there were an estimated sixty million slaves serving their masters in the Roman Empire, which had an estimated population of one hundred and twenty million people. [121] Thus, half of the population was bound in slavery. The cruel Roman government enforced this bondage because the success of its economy was dependent upon the sweat of slave labour. Thus, Paul had to be careful not to appear as if he was calling for a revolution of emancipation of slavery. He would have quickly been thrown in prison. Yet, his Jewish background found him against it. His understand of the Gospel led him to the understanding that slavery was not God’s will for mankind. Thus, every time Paul addresses this issue, he does it with carefulness by drawing attention to the spiritual laws of freedom in Christ and servanthood to one another.

[121] J. Vernon McGee, The Epistle to Philemon, in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), “Introduction.”

Ephesians 6:5-49.6.9, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.”

Colossians 3:22, “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:”

1 Timothy 6:1-54.6.2, “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. They that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.”

1 Peter 2:18, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.”

Verses 25-38

Advice to Virgins In 1 Corinthians 7:25-46.7.38 Paul addresses virgins on the topic of marriage. In this section Paul will explain that singleness is preferred over marriage, but not required by the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:25-46.7.28). He then lays out his argument for the advantage of the single lifestyle in that it allows a person to serve the Lord unhindered (1 Corinthians 7:29-46.7.35). He then returns to the option of marriage as something that can be done when someone feels it is needful (1 Corinthians 7:36-46.7.38).

The epistle of 1 Corinthians was most likely written around A.D. 55 to 57 while Paul was staying in Ephesus on his third missionary journey. Thus, the believers in Corinth were living in a time of increasing persecution from the Roman Empire. Paul advises them to not seek marriage during this stressful time (1 Corinthians 7:25-46.7.28). After telling the saints that marriage is good and acceptable in God’s eyes (1 Corinthians 7:28), he launches into a passage that helps us better understand how to balance our married life with our Christian life, to balance earthly issues with eternal issues (1 Corinthians 7:29-46.7.35). As saints we must live in this world and use its goods, especially for those who choose to marry, because marriage requires more earthly responsibility and attention (1 Corinthians 7:32-46.7.33). Paul is telling the saints in 1 Corinthians 7:29-46.7.33 that although we live in this world and marry as other do, we must not indulge in the things of this world (1 Corinthians 7:31). Even our marriages should reflect the pursuit of the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 7:29). Paul is trying to teach them how to balance this properly in their lives. We are to live above the cares and pursuits of this life. We can tell if we are worldly-minded because we will rejoice in the things that the world rejoices in and we will weep when the world weeps (1 Corinthians 7:30). In 1 Corinthians 7:29-46.7.33 Paul describes the cares of this world, which are marriage, weeping and rejoicing in the things of this life, buying and possessing material things. Paul explains to them that they are not to indulge in the affairs of this world, simply because the time is short. That is, the time of the Lord’s Return is short. This passage is a clear indication that the early Church believed in Christ’s imminent return. Paul makes a similar statement to young Timothy when he said that no man who goes to war entangles himself in the affairs of this life (2 Timothy 2:4). However, the spiritual-minded will rejoice in the things of God. Paul ends this topic by saying if a believer feels the strong need to marry, then he is free to do so (1 Corinthians 7:36-46.7.38).

2 Timothy 2:4, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

Outline - Note the proposed outline:

1. Paul Advises on Singleness 1 Corinthians 7:25-46.7.28

2. Paul Defends Singleness 1 Corinthians 7:29-46.7.35

3. Paul Allows for Marriage 1 Corinthians 7:36-46.7.38

1 Corinthians 7:27 “Are you loosed from a wife?” Comments - BDAG reads, “Are you free from a wife, i.e., not bound to a wife?” ( λύω 2b), and the NIV, “Are you unmarried?”

1 Corinthians 7:30 “And they that weep, as though they wept not” Comments - God’s children need not weep anymore over the losses of this world, because of the glorious promise of God's blessings. Note:

Isaiah 25:8, “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.”

Isaiah 30:19, “For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.”

Luke 6:21, “Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.”

1 Corinthians 7:30 “and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not” - Comments - Lost people need to stop living in pleasure, and come to God with a broken hearts. Note:

Luke 6:25, “Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.”

Luke 16:25, “But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.”

James 5:1, “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.”

1 Corinthians 7:31 Word Study on “fashion” Strong says the Greek word “fashion” ( σχῆμα ) (G4976) means, “a figure, a condition.” BDAG says it means, “form.”

1 Corinthians 7:31 “for the fashion of this world passeth away” Comments BDAG translates this phrase, “this world in its present form is passing away.” ( σχῆμα 2) We find a description of the form, or fashion, of this world in Genesis 8:22 in which the characteristics of this present world are listed.

Genesis 8:22, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

Illustration We can imagine a theatre when its stage changes shape for a new scene. The new scene is judgment and then heaven or hell (Revelation 20-22).

1 Corinthians 7:35 Comments - The word comely conveys the idea of a good outward appearance.

1 Corinthians 7:36-46.7.38 Comments - Paul Allows for the Marriage of Virgins: Two Views of Interpretation In 1 Corinthians 7:36-46.7.38 Paul returns to the option of marriage as something that can be done when someone feels it is needful. There are two views, or interpretations, that are commonly given to this passage:

1. A father to virgin daughter

2. A boyfriend to girlfriend.

Word Study on “giveth her in marriage” - Strong says the word “giveth her in marriage” ( ἐκγαμίζω ) (G1547) means, “to marry off a daughter.” BDAG says it means, “marry, give in marriage.” The word ἐκγαμίζω is used 5 times in the New Testament (Matthew 22:30; Matthew 24:38, Luke 17:27; Luke 20:35, 1 Corinthians 7:38), always describing those who are given in marriage (by parents), and it is always placed beside γαμέω (G1060), meaning, “to marry.” So this passage is most likely referring to a father giving his daughter in marriage.

Matthew 22:30, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage , but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

Matthew 24:38, “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage , until the day that Noe entered into the ark,”

Luke 17:27, “They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage , until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”

Luke 20:35, “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage :”

Illustration - Perhaps a good illustration of the New Testament family structure is found in Acts 21:8-44.21.9, concerning Philip the evangelist and his four virgin daughters.

Acts 21:8-44.21.9, “And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.”

Verses 39-40

Paul Advises Widows - Paul advises widows to continue in their singleness.

1 Corinthians 7:40 “and I think also that I have the Spirit of God” Comments - 1 Corinthians 7:40 gives us one of the clearest indications that God used Paul the apostle to lay the foundation for the New Testament church doctrine. Throughout this chapter Paul makes a distinction between what Jesus directly addressed in the Gospels, and what Paul himself adds to Jesus’ teaching. Paul, therefore, builds upon the doctrine that Jesus founded, and he does it by the Spirit of God.

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/1-corinthians-7.html. 2013.