1 Corinthians 7: Getting Married

Why might people think it was good to always abstain from sex, even in a marriage relationship?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
1 Corinthians 7:1 In your letter to me, you wrote: A person should abstain from sex.
King James
1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

What might the church’s attitude have been toward husbands who had more than one wife?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:2 No, avoid sex outside of marriage. Let every man have his own wife. Every woman, her own husband.
King James
1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Which should be more important to a person, one’s own needs or the spouse’s needs? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should show kindness to his wife, respecting her sexual needs. Likewise, the wife should seek to please her husband.
7:4 The wife surrenders her body to her husband, and the husband does the same for his wife.
King James
1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
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.

What are the different factors that encourage sexual promiscuity?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
1 Corinthians 7:5 Except for an agreed period set aside for fasting and prayer, don’t refuse sex with your spouse. After brief abstinence, resume sexual intimacy so you will not be tempted to be promiscuous.
King James
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.

How careful should we be in giving advice apart from the direction of the Holy Spirit?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:6 I say this because life should be this way, not because I have a direct command from the Lord.
King James
1 Corinthians 7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

What are the advantages of being single?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:7 I wish people could be single like me, but that’s not God’s gift for everyone.
7:8 Being single like me can be a good thing.
King James
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.
7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.

What are the advantages of marriage?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
1 Corinthians 7:8 Being single like me can be a good thing,
7:9 but not if you are consumed with a desire for sex. In that case, marriage is better.
King James
1 Corinthians 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

Under what circumstance might the married desire to be single or the single desire to be married?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:10 If you’re married, the Lord says you should stay that way.
King James
1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband.

What is the best way to resolve a marital dispute?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:11 If a wife is separated from her husband, she should avoid intimacy with anyone else but seek reconciliation. Likewise, a husband should not give up on his wife but work to resolve any conflict.
King James
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.

When a couple is “unequally yoked,” why should they remain together?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:12 Beyond what the Lord has said about this, let me say that if a believing husband has an unbelieving wife, who is pleased to live with him, he should not ask for a divorce.
7:13 Likewise, if a believing wife has an unbelieving husband, who is pleased to live with her, she should not ask for a divorce.
7:14 The believer brings holiness to the unbeliever and sets the whole family on a course to know the Lord.
King James
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.
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.
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.

Under what circumstances is divorce desirable?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever chooses to leave, offer no resistance, for God wants you to live in peace. You are not to blame.
King James
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.

After separation, what might give a spouse hope for restitution of the relationship?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:16 Perhaps your kind words and actions will one day bring your spouse to the Lord.
King James
1 Corinthians 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?

What reasons should we have for believing our situation should change?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:17 In whatever situation you are in right now, walk it out with the Lord and see what he will do. This is what I preach in all the churches.
King James
1 Corinthians 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.

Why was circumcision important to some people and not to others?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:18 The uncircumcised do not have to be circumcised, and the circumcised do not have to reverse their circumcision.
King James
1 Corinthians 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

What made circumcision important to Abraham and not important to the apostle Paul?

Author’s Thoughts
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Genesis 17:10 This is my agreement that you and your descendants must keep: every male child shall be circumcised.
1 Corinthians 7:19 Whether a man is circumcised is not what matters. We need to obey what God is speaking to our hearts.
King James
Genesis 17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

Should we be content where we are, or should we be trying to escape? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:20 Remain in the place where God has called you, for God will use you there.
7:21 Were you a slave when you came to know the Lord? Then be content to remain a slave until such time that you can be made free.
7:22 Whether slave or free, you are free in the Lord and a servant of Christ.
King James
1 Corinthians 7:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
7:21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
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.

What kind of value should we place upon the saving of a soul (Matthew 13:44; 1 Corinthians 7:23, 9:19)?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 13:44 The Kingdom of Heaven is like hidden treasure buried in a field. When a man found the treasure, he was overcome with joy. He buried the treasure, sold everything he owned, and bought the field.
1 Corinthians 7:23 God paid a high price for you, so your highest obligation is to serve him above the needs of men.
9:19 I owe no man anything, yet I make myself a servant to everyone, hoping that I may bring many to Christ.
King James
Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
1 Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

What reasons might we have for wanting to remain in our present circumstances? What’s the best reason?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:24 My friends, all of you should walk with the Lord in the circumstances where God has placed you right now.
King James
1 Corinthians 7:24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

When we have no direct command from the Lord, what makes our experience important?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:25 Regarding your question about women who have not yet married, I have no direct commandment from the Lord. As one who knows his mercy and has a measure of wisdom, I will tell you what my experience says is true.
King James
1 Corinthians 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.

To what extent should the problems of this age influence our choices?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:26 Given the distress of this present age, you do well to remain as you are.
7:27 If you’re married, stay that way. If not, then don’t be looking for a mate.
7:28 If you want to get married, that’s fine, but I would like to spare you from the problems you are sure to face.
King James
1 Corinthians 7:26 suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
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 spare you.

If Jesus has not returned in two thousand years, what makes the time short?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:29 Since the time is short, serving the Lord will not allow you to exclusively focus on your marriage.
King James
1 Corinthians 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.

If we recognize that time is short, how might what we value change?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:30 When weeping is expected, you will shed no tears. Times of celebration will include no rejoicing. Possessions will have no importance.
7:31 You cannot become attached to earthly things, for the world will soon pass away.
King James
1 Corinthians 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;
7:31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

While having to live in our society, what must we do to be free from the cares of this world?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:32 I want you to be free from the cares of this world, focused on pleasing the Lord—
7:33 which is easier when you are single, not having to please a spouse.
King James
1 Corinthians 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:
7:33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

When relationships distract us from our walk with the Lord, what should we do?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:34 When you are single, your whole body and spirit can serve whatever the Lord wants, but in marriage you must be concerned for your mate.
7:35 I offer this advice to make life easier for you, not to put you under bondage. I want you to avoid distractions that would hinder your work for the Lord.
King James
1 Corinthians 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.
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 without distraction.

Under what circumstances is it right to pursue a relationship?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 7:36 However, if people desire intimacy, they should marry, living without sin.
King James
1 Corinthians 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.

If God ordained marriage, what reasons might people have for avoiding marriage?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 19:11 Jesus said, “Not everyone can accept what God intends for marriage and for being single.
19:12 Some have never had a desire to marry, and others choose to remain single for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. You should only wear the marriage garment if it fits.”
1 Corinthians 7:37 On the other hand, if they can control their passions, standing firm in friendship without intimacy, they do well not to marry.
7:38 It is good for you to marry the one you love, but if you can live without sin, being single you do better.
King James
Matthew 19:11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
1 Corinthians 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.
7:38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.

Under what circumstances do you think divorce is advisable)?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 19:4 “Haven’t you read the scripture?” Jesus asked. “From the beginning, God made them male and female.
19:5 That is why a man leaves his father and mother, is united with his wife, and the two become one.
19:6 Since they are no longer two but one, and God has joined them, no one should separate them.”
19:7 “If that is true, why did Moses command a man to write his wife a bill of divorce and send her away from his house?”
19:8 “Because of your hard hearts, Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but that was not God’s plan from the beginning.
19:9 I say, for any reason other than sexual unfaithfulness, any man who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
19:10 Jesus’ disciples said, “If that is the only reason a man can divorce his wife, it is better to never marry.”
1 Corinthians 7:39 You are committed to your spouse for life, but after death you’re free to marry one who is also a follower of Christ.
King James
Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
1 Corinthians 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 the Lord.