|1 Corinthians 7 |
1 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me. It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, to avoid sexual immorality, let every man have [relations with] his own wife, and let every woman have [relations with] her own husband. [In this verse, let every man "have his own wife" means "have relations with his own wife," and means "let every woman "have relations with her own husband," (for proof see the Net Bible's footnotes 1 and 2 to this verse). This verse does not mean, "let very man be married and let every woman be married;" that interpretation, which is all too common, severely conflicts with the rest of this chapter's pleas to stay unmarried if possible. Paraphrased, this verse means: if you are married, have relations with your spouse to avoid sexual immorality. In the below verses Paul says to only withdraw from relations with your spouse by common consent, and resume them after a season of prayer and fasting if you don't yet have self-control, (verse 5), which is a concession, not a command, (verse 6); for he wishes all men to be capable of not touching a woman like him, verses 1 and 7. See other scriptures that support the same.]
3 Let the husband render to the wife due loving kindness, as likewise also the wife should give to the husband.
4 The wife does not have rights of her own body for the husband does; and likewise the husband does not have rights of his own body for the wife does.
5 Do not deprive each other of your body, except by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer and then resume relations so that Satan cannot tempt you because of your lack of self-control. [Like Mat 17:21 and Mark 9:29, earlier manuscripts read prayer only, but scribes in later manuscripts added the word fasting, making it fasting and prayer instead.]
6 But I speak this as a concession, and not as a commandment.
7 For I wish that all men were like I am myself. But every man has his proper gift from God, one in this manner, and another in a different manner.
8 I say therefore to the unmarried people and widows: It is good for them if they remain single, as I am.
9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn [in lust].1 [Do not assume that marriage will cure your lust for sex with others in general. See the footnote below for these two verses.]
10 And to the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, "Let the wife not depart from her husband.
11 But and if she departs, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband; and let not the husband divorce his wife."
12 To the rest I (not the Lord) say this: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is content to live with him, let him not divorce her.
13 And if a woman has a husband who does not believe, and he is content 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 your children would be unclean; but now are they holy.
15 But if the unbelieving spouse departs, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under obligation [to oppose or follow] in such cases. God has called us to peace.
16 For what do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O man, whether you will save your wife?
17 But as God has assigned to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him continue to walk. This is my order to all churches.
18 Was any man called when already circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was any called when uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commands [heard from within your heart] of God is.
20 Let every man remain in the same calling in which he was called.
21 Have you been called as a slave? Do not be worried about it; but if you can become free, do so.
22 For he who is called in the Lord, while a slave of man, is the Lord's free man; likewise he who is called as a free man, is Christ's slave.
23 You have been bought with a price; do not be slaves to [the interests of] men.
24 Brethren, let every man, in whatever position he is called, remain in it with God.2
25 Now concerning the unmarried, I have no command from the Lord; yet I give my judgment, as one who by the mercy of the Lord is made trustworthy.
26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress — that it is good for a person to remain as he is.
27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a maiden marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh as I am trying to spare you. [The trouble in the flesh is the distraction of trying to please your spouse, which can conflict with your seeking the Kingdom as your highest priority in life; or when the kingdom is attained, being unable to attend upon the Lord without distraction, (verse 35 below). He who is married cares for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife, (verse 33 below).]
29 But this I say, brothers, the time is short.3 From now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; [To be as though you have no wife means to stand apart from your wife, uninvolved in her affairs and desires.]
30 And those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess;
31 And those who use this world, as though not absorbed by it and with indifference; for the present form of this world passes away.4 [You are to be in the world but not of the world. From the Word of the Lord within: "Stand apart from this fast paced world; you can't be in it." Friendship with the world, (and people of the world), is enmity with God. James 4:4. When you enter the Kingdom, the world passes away to your sight and consciousness.]
32 But I would have you without worries and cares. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;
33 But he who is married cares for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
34 There is difference also between a wife and an unmarried maiden. The unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she who is married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I restrain you, but for what is pleasing, and that you may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
36 But if any man thinks that he is behaving unfairly towards his engaged maiden, and if she has past the flower of her age, and the need [of the maiden's future security and peace of mind] so requires marriage, let him do what he will, he does not sin; let them be married.
37 Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so decreed in his heart that he will keep her as his maiden friend, does well.5
38 So then he who takes her in marriage does well; but he who does not take her in marriage does better.
39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; but only [a person] in the Lord.6
40 But in my judgment, she is happier if she remains single; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God [in this].
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1 I say therefore to the unmarried people and widows: It is good for them if they remain single, as I am. But if they do not have self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn [in lust]. Many people read this and assume that if they get married, their burning lust for bodies will disappear. If you ask any of the millions of married men who are addicted to porn, they will tell you that they have serious lack of control with massive lust for women in general. Even married men who have nothing to do with porn, will tell you that they cannot control their behavior.
If you are sexually active in an unmarried state, do not assume that marriage will eliminate your habits, which result from a lack of fear of God, and which fear should at least be the fear of seriously disappointing Him — if not a fear of actually piercing Him who is within you by your uncontrolled behavior; for each time you sin, you are piercing Christ within you. If you have sorrow and regret, with resolve to not repeat the same mistake again, you have godly sorrow. From the Word of the Lord within: "your godly sorrow is a soothing balm to the wounds you have inflicted on me;" if your sorrow is truly godly sorrow, that results in repentance from your sinful behavior, but the sorrow of the world produces death and no repentance.
And if you have previously been married, you are not free to mary others so long as a previous spouse is alive, (per verse 39 of this chapter). If you have previously made the mistake of remarriage, do not attempt to dissolve your current marriage, which would only make matters more chaotic and further dishonor the truth.
The fact that divorce and remarriage is not permitted until the death of a previous spouse makes your selection of a proper spouse very crucial to your future peace and happiness. So, before you assume that you need to get married, you had better wait on the Lord to guide you — not only guide you as to whether to get married or not, but also guide you as to whom you should marry and when. Only the Lord knows if marriage will be of help to your lust for bodies in general; and since your lust for the opposite sex blinds you to their true qualities, only the Lord knows who is a truly compatible spousal candidate for you. Further, the Lord forbids us marrying people outside the true faith, outside belief in the true gospel, outside the true hope. God destroyed the earth, partially because the sons of God mingled with heathen flesh: Genesis 6: the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of any of them that they chose. See Footnote 6 below.
Also, if you are already married, do not read this and for some reason mistakenly assume that you should get a divorce. Even if you are married to an unbeliever, you are to remain married as long as they choose to remain living with you, verses 12 - 15 above.
From the Word of the Lord within, "there is far too little love in the world today, and I look with favor on any love between men and women." Remember the Woman at the Well? She had five previous husbands, and was living unmarried with another man. But, Christ selected her, taught her, and then sent her out to witness and preach to the rest of the City. John 4:5-30. So, obviously he was not concerned. She was evidently in a committed relationship. Fidelity is what is important, not a ring; and not a ceremony from a "preacher" or civilian magistrate — neither of which have His authority. You cannot be unfaithful to man and faithful to God. So adults, who are living together in a committed relationship, or people who have divorced and remarried, are not living in sexual immorality, at least in the Lord's eyes. You can be his disciple if you are living together in a committed relationship, but be sure your commitment is a commitment not only of yourself, but your partner also, (a committed relationship requires both parties to be committed, not just one). Realize, when you have matured spiritually to be able to speak and act according to His commands, your lack of a publicly recognized marriage would be a stumbling block for many people, and for that reason you will probably eventually want to remove that stumbling block out of love for your fellow man. You can get formally married any time you choose, or you can wait until you hear Him tell you to formalize your relationship with a legal marriage for the eyes of the world. The early Quakers' marriages took place in their meetings without a ring and without a man marrying, which you can read about in George Fox's Letter #264. When there are meetings of the true faith established again, marriages will be similarly performed; until then, perhaps a Justice of the Peace, a Judge, or the County Clerk, (not a priest or a preacher), is the best alternative for formalizing a relationship into a legal marriage.
2 Obviously the exception is: if you were called in a dishonest occupation, you must immediately find another job that does not defraud or injure people.
3 The time is short until the day of the Lord occurs for this group of believers. Paul was not insane, as neither was Jesus, Peter, John, and James — they all said, soon, the time is near, a little while, he stands at the door because the Lord's return occurred to those who had purified themselves in their hope and faith of his appearance in them. The apostles did not exaggerate, they did not lie, they were not deluded; they were all one in the Holy Spirit, in whom is no lie or delusion. So, they spoke truly. The Lord's coming is a personal experience of those who purify their hearts by faith and their souls by obedience to the truth; at is the end of the crucifixion of the believer's selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial.
4 those who use this world, as though not absorbed by it and with indifference.
You are to be in the world but not of the world. From the Word of the Lord within: "Stand apart from this fast paced world; you can't be in it." Friendship with the world (and people of the world), is enmity with God. James 4:4. You are to be polite to everyone, to be at peace with everyone, but you should not be socializing with them; their conduct and conversation will corrupt you. Even at work, where you are obviously associated with people of the world, you should not join in their useless conversations. The things of the world we use include the tools of our trade, our computer, our cars, our house, etc.; these we use, but we are not in love with them, and we are ready to part with anything the Lord clearly commands, recognizing that he only commands us to part with those things that we would dearly miss if gone. If your profession requires you to use things that are not ordinary, even luxurious, from the Word of the Lord within, "It is no sin to enjoy the comforts of life necessary for your occupation."
- The time is past when you walked according to the ways of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan], which is the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience; among whom we also all had our conduct in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts of our mind; and were by nature the children of wrath and the object of His indignation, just as the rest of mankind. Eph 2:2-3
- You should not live the rest of your time in the flesh in the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time that is past is sufficient for us to have done what the Gentiles do, when we walked in sensuality, lusts, excess of wine, reveling [partying], banqueting, and abominable idolatries [wanting or valuing anything as much as, or more than God] . 1 Pet 4:2-3
- Therefore, this I say and testify in the Lord, that from this time forward you must not walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind; having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling [pangs of conscience], have given themselves over to fleshly indulgences, to work all impurities with greediness. Eph 4:17-19
- Strip yourselves of your former nature that controlled your conduct, which corrupts itself through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;
for the present form of this world passes away.
The world, seen through your eyes, by natural light, disappears when you enter the kingdom of heaven, where you walk by the light of God, seeing through the eyes of God only, the eyes of your heart; and what you see is only what you are shown by God what to do. The world passes away and disappears, along with its desires and lusts. 1 John 2:17.
5 Between the Bible translations of verses 36-38, which you can see by clicking here, there is a great deal of confusion between translators as to whether the virgin spoken of is a (virgin daughter), a virgin (girl friend), or sometimes a virgin man himself (37). None of the translations make total sense; so the above is suggested as the probable intended original meaning. If a believer is engaged to a woman, should that woman be aging past the beauty of her youth, and should she be worried about becoming an old maid without the security of a husband, then they can marry without any sin. But it would be better if they stayed unmarried because it is easier when single to stay devoted to the Lord.
6 if her husband is dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; but only [a person] in the Lord. The Lord forbids us marrying people outside the true faith, outside belief in the true gospel, outside the true hope. God destroyed the earth, partially because the sons of God mingled with heathen flesh: Genesis 6: the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of any of them that they chose. From George Fox's Letter# 264:
Marriage is a figure of Christ and his church, as the apostle instanced in Ephesians. And therefore they were not to be unequally yoked, believers with unbelievers. The law of God did forbid it; they were not to give their sons and daughters to the heathen, or marry with them, for it grieved the Lord in the old world, and brought destruction upon those bad marriages. When the sons of God saw the daughters of men were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose, who corrupted the earth, and filled it with violence. But such as mingled with the heathen and unbelievers, and followed strange flesh, they went from the spirit, they lost the sonship; through such the earth was corrupted and filled with violence; and such could not know God's joining, who went from the spirit, and from the law and gospel; and such are mingled among heathens and unbelievers, and follow strange flesh, and corrupt their own, who go from the spirit, by which they have been sanctified and led into the sonship.
And such as marry with unbelievers and heathen, go contrary to the law of God, and grieve him and their righteous parents.
However, if you are already married to a non-believer, do not seek to get free from them, as Paul plainly states in this chapter's verses 12 -15 above.
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