I Corinthians 7 
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1) Now concerning the things you wrote about:  It is good and honorable for a man not to touchA a woman.  2) To avoid fornication get married.  Have your own one wife and your own one husband. 

AThe word "touch" in Greek is "hapto".  It is used 39 times in the N.T.  It is used only a couple of times for "kindling" a fire or "lighting" a lamp, but in all other cases, over 30 times and without exception, the word is always used exactly as it is meant, "touch".  Nonetheless, some modern translations still wrongly translate the word as "sexual intercourse" in this verse, despite the fact this word is never used once that way in the whole N.T.  God simply does not want single men to be touching a woman, to be physical with them.  That is for marriage!  If you can't keep yourself from burning physically for a woman, then get married (1Cor. 7:9)!  Here in this Scripture, verse 1, it tells how a single man should not treat a woman.  But in 1Tim. 5:2, it tells how a single man should treat a woman - "Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters."  There is no in-between in Scripture – a woman is either your sister in Christ or your wife in Christ… and should be treated accordingly.   


3) Then the husband should fulfill his duty of kindness to his wife and the wife also to her husband.  4) The wife is not to be the master of her body but rather her husband.  And the husband is not to be the master of his body but rather his wife.  5) Never rob one another of sexual intimacy.  You may only do so with mutual consent and then only for a limited time to get alone by yourself to devote yourself to fasting and prayer.  Then get straight back together again so Satan doesn't temp you to sin through lack of self-control. 

Two Different Gifts
6-7) Now this is not a command but let me indulge in saying what I wish.  I wish everyone was single like me, but every person has their own personal gift from God, one has a gift to be happily single and another, the gift of a spouse to be happily married. 


Unmarried & Widows
8) But I speak to all the unmarried and widows, there are benefits to remain unmarried as I am.  9) But if they have trouble exercising self-control in this matter they are more useful to the Lord if they marry.  They are more useful to the Lord being married than trying to stay single and burning.

Married Believers Separating
10) Now for those who are married, this is a command, not from me but from the Lord: A wife is not to leave her husband. 11) But if she does leave, she must remain unmarried or be reconciled back with her husband.  But the husband need never leave his wife and must not.B

BThe Lord is not encouraging a wife to leave her husband in this verse but seems to give liberty for a wife to do that, but never so for the husband.  Why, because the man is the stronger vessel and head of the wife, and can make the wife and household be as he see fit.  If there may be incorrigible unrighteous serious abuse of any kind to a wife, a wife may need to leave her husband, but must remain unmarried or be reconciled back, that is assuming the husband is a genuine believer.  But a man is never to leave his wife, and he never needs to, because being the stronger vessel and head of the wife he can, and will if he fears God, make sure that his wife, at least outwardly, and the household environment always remain holy.  Two believers separated must be reconciled or not remarry, unless the other commits adultery by remarrying or sleeping with anyone (Matt. 5:32; 19:9).   

Mixed Marriages
12) Now these other issues the Lord Jesus did not specifically address, therefore I do: 

A brother who has an unbelieving wife who is willing and happy to live with him need not put her out.  13) And, a sister who has an unbelieving husband, if he is willing and happy to live with her, need not leave him, 14) because an unbelieving husband is sanctified by a holy wife.  And an unbelieving wife is sanctified by a holy husband.C

CIn a mixed marriage the believing spouse must always control and dominate the household living environment to be able to obey this verse, to be able to sanctify the unbelieving spouse.  “Sanctified” means to have a living environment totally separated and free from the unrighteous worldly environment, and separated into a holy righteous environment along with God’s holy covenant people.  Practically speaking, this means the believing spouse would take the unbelieving spouse to church with them or at least have believers coming to their home for dinners, fellowship and/or Bible studies etc.  This sanctifies the unbeliever.  If this sanctified Christian environment is unacceptable to the unbeliever, the believer should not capitulate to the unbeliever but rather let the unbeliever leave them, according to the next verse, 15.            

Otherwise, your children will not be holy and sanctified.  But in this way your children will be sanctified and pure. 

Divorcing An Unbeliever
15) So if any unbelieving spouse wants to leave, let them leaveD.  In all such cases no believer is boundE to an unbeliever. Look, God has called all believers to a life of peace and harmony.  16) And wife, don’t assume you could ever save your husband.  And husband, don’t assume you could ever save your wife. 

D”Leave” is the same word in Greek here as it is in 1Cor. 7:11.  But in 1Cor. 7:11, the believing spouses, if they separate, are still bound to each other.  It specifically says they “must remain unmarried or be reconciled”.    

EThe word “bound” in Greek is “douloo”, the same root word for “slave” in 1Cor. 7:21.  The believing spouse is no longer enslaved to an unbelieving spouse that leaves, any more than a slave is bound to a master once they are free.  In other words, unlike two believers in 1Cor. 7:11, if the unbeliever leaves, the believer is not bound to the unbeliever but is free to divorce and remarry or remain single.

Accept Your Calling
17) Accept your lot in life!  Realize that God has given this to you.  The Lord has called each and every one of you specifically for where you are.  So make the most of it!  This is what I tell every group of Christians.  18) Were any of you saved and called when you were already circumcised.  Accept yourself, however you are physically!  Were any of you saved and called when you were uncircumcised.  Accept yourself exactly that way!  19) How anyone looks or how they are physically makes no difference in life!  The only thing that really counts in life is obeying the commandments of God, God's Law. 

20) Everyone stop right where you are.  Where you are is good!  Realize that is exactly where God has saved you and therefore called you.  21) Even if you are enslaved or in poor physical or financial condition when you are saved and called, that's no problem.  Don't give it any thought.  However, if you can be free or better your life in any way, of course do it!  22) But realize, in Christ you have been set totally free no matter what your condition here on earth!  But also realize, everyone in Christ, is to be Christ's slave!  23) Christ purchased you and at an extremely high price.  Therefore, you’re Christ's slave; you belong to no one else, not even yourself.  24) Brothers, stop right where you are.  Let God use you right there wherever you are and in whatever condition you're in.   

Young Singles
25) Now concerning young men and women, the Lord has given no command, but He has given me mercy to say what can be trusted.  26) Now I think it is best with your present distress situation that no one should be quick to move into a different situation:  27) Are you married?  Don't seek to be unmarried.  Are you unmarried?  Don't seek a wife.  28) But brothers, if you get married, it is not a sin.  And girls, if you get married, it is not a sin.  However, I am trying to spare you of physical pressures and hardships that you would have. 

Time Is Short
29) Brothers, here's what I'm saying:  The time is short!  You who have wives be as free as you can to serve the Lord.  30) There's no time to sit around feeling sorry for yourself or to just be making yourself happy all the time or to be preoccupied with always buying things and all you own.  31) Don't give yourself to anything in this world, certainly not more than what's necessary.  It's soon all going to be gone! 

Work For The Lord
32) I'm trying to have you free from unnecessary anxiety and stress.  If you're not married you're completely free to work for the Lord and please Him.  33) But the married man needs to give more time to worldly responsibilities in how he needs to be pleasing his wife.  34) There is also a difference between a wife and a virgin.  The unmarried woman is completely free to work for the Lord with all her soul and body.  But the married woman needs to give more time to worldly responsibilities in how she needs to please her husband.  35) Moreover, I tell you this for your own benefit and in no way to restrict you, but where you may have the most influence serving the Lord with the least distractions.

Fathers With Daughters
36) Now fathers, if you think you are acting inappropriate or disgracing your virgin daughter by holding her back from getting married, and it is also your will for her to marry, then go ahead and give her away in marriage before she passes the flower of her bloom or her beauty peak.  Fathers, you do not sin giving her away in marriage.  37) But fathers, if you feel strongly in your heart that it is not the best or a compelling need from your virgin daughter to marry, and you are committed to continue providing for her, then don't give her away in marriage, that is just fine.  38) And you fathers, who give your daughters away in marriage, that is also fine.  But you fathers, who do not feel you need to give your daughters away in marriage, do better, as your daughters are then more free to serve the Lord.F

FVerses 36-38 are hard for some western culture translators to translate or western culture readers to understand or accept.  These verses can only be interrupted and understood correctly in light of all the Old Testament, where the Mosaic Law did not allow for sons or daughters to independently go off and get married on their own without their father's approval.  For generations this was also true in early Christian America.  In fact, in the state of Virginia as in other early Christian American states, no daughter could legally get married without her father's signed legal approval.  And the remanence of this is still evident today in traditional Christian marriages.  A father walks his daughter down the aisle to give her away to the groom.  The first thing a preacher asks at the wedding ceremony, "Who gives this woman to this man?", and the father says, "Her mother and I."  Many cultures today in the world still require the father's legal approval for marriage, though this may be distorted or abused in non-Christian cultures and with non-Christian fathers.  But one of the most important biblical responsibilities of a Christian father with his daughter is to actively lead in assuring his daughter marries a good man in the Lord.

Wives & Widows
39) A wife is bound by God's Law to her husband as long as her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, falls asleep, she is free to remarry whoever she desires, but only if he is following the Lord.  40) However, it is my judgment she would be more blessed and happy if she remains unmarried, and I think I too have the Spirit of God.   

Copyright © 2013, New Life Bible, Greenwood Fellowship, Greenwood Village, Co., 80111   










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