(1Cor 7:1-40 ALT) Now concerning [the things] of which you wrote to me: [it is] good for a man not to be touching a woman [sexually]. (2) But because of such sexual sins, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. (3) Let the husband be rendering the affection being owed to the wife, and likewise also the wife to the husband. (4) The wife does not have control [or, authority] over her own body, but the husband; and, likewise also the husband does not have control over his own body, but the wife. (5) Stop depriving one another, except by mutual consent for a time, so that you shall be devoting yourselves to [or, having free time for] fasting and prayer, and again to the same be coming together, lest Satan be tempting you because of your lack of self-control. (6) But this I say as a concession, not as a command. (7) For I desire all people to be even as myself. But each has his own gracious gift from God, one indeed in this manner, but another in that. (8) Now I say to the unmarried [ones] and to the widows, it is good for them if they remain even as I [am]. (9) But if they are not exercising self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to continue being inflamed [with lust]. (10) Now to the ones having married I am giving strict orders [or, instructing] (not I, but the Lord): do not let a wife separate from a husband. (11) But if she is separated, let her be remaining unmarried or let her be reconciled to the husband. And stop letting a husband divorce a wife. [cp. Matt 19:3-9]
- The apostle admits that abstaining from sexual relationships for longer time can be great temptation – he dissuades that (v.5)
- His advice is only a concession or permission rather than a command or regulation (v.6)
- Not every one can be like Paul concerning sexual matters (v.7)
- Marriage can be a solution for the ones that have strong sexual appetites (v.9)
- Paul distinguished his own opinion from the Lord’s (v.10 vs v.12, 40)
(12) But to the rest I speak (not the Lord): if any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she is willing to be living with him, stop letting him divorce her. (13) And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he is willing to be living with her, stop letting her divorce him. (14) For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified [or, set apart to God] by the wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified by the husband; for otherwise indeed yourp children are unclean [or, defiled], but now they are holy [or, set apart to God].
***(15) But if the unbelieving [spouse] separates himself, let him be separating himself: the brother or the sister has not been bound in such [cases], but God has called us in peace.***
- If Paul’s words don’t mean that the abandoned Christian is fully free, then it has no sense because if he/she want to marry again then he/she would have to check out if his mate committed adultery – but he can be even in another country or it could be impossible to be sure if he is still alive after many years
- If that is „freedom” about the apostle have taught it would be almost laughable and unconscionable: it would require sometimes to hire a detective or spy the mate to collect proofs that the other part is no longer loyal
- If it is not within the conscience of any individual Christian, then there is a need to do what Jehovah’s Witnesses did: create many more rules to any specific situation and these create other question and the circle is closed… Madness and Pharisaic legalistic Talmud grows.
(16) For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save the husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save the wife? (17) Otherwise, as God distributed to each, as the Lord has called each, in this manner let him be walking about [fig., conducting himself]; and in this manner I instruct in all the assemblies. (18) Was anyone called having been circumcised? Stop letting him become uncircumcised. Was anyone called in uncircumcision? Stop letting him be circumcised. (19) Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but [what matters is] keeping [the] commandments of God. (20) Each [one] in the calling in which he was called, in this let him remain. (21) Were you called [as] a slave? Stop letting it be a concern to you, but if also you are able to become free, rather make use of [it].
(22) For the [one] in the Lord having been called [as] a slave, is [the] Lord’s freedman. Likewise also the free person having been called, is a slave of Christ.
(23) You were bought [or, redeemed] with a price; stop becoming slaves of people.
(24) Each [one] in [the circumstance] in which he was called, brothers [and sisters], in this [circumstance] let him remain with God. (25) Now concerning the virgins, I do not have a commandment of [or, from] the Lord, but I give an opinion as one having been shown mercy from [the] Lord to be faithful [or, trustworthy]. (26) So I consider this to be good because of the present distress, that [it is] good for a man to be in this manner:
(27) Have you been bound to a wife? Stop seeking to be loosed [or, divorced]. Have you been loosed from a wife? Stop seeking a wife. (28) But even if you do marry, you did not sin; and if the virgin marries, she did not sin. But such will have tribulation in the flesh, and I [am trying to] spare you. (29) But this I say, brothers [and sisters], the time has been shortened; from now on, it is that even the ones having wives should be as not having, (30) and the ones weeping as not weeping, and the ones rejoicing as not rejoicing, and the buying as not possessing, (31) and the ones making use of this world as not making full use of [it], for the form of this world is passing away. (32) But I want you to be free from anxiety; the unmarried [man] is anxious for [or, concerned about] the [things] of the Lord, how he will please the Lord. (33) But the married [man] is anxious for [or, concerned about] the [things] of the world, how he will please the wife. (34) The wife and the virgin have been distinguished [or, have different interests]: the unmarried [woman] is anxious for [or, concerned about] the [things] of the Lord, so that she should be holy both in body and in spirit, but the married [woman] is anxious for [or, concerned about] the [things] of the world, how she will please the husband.
(35) Now this I say for your own profit [or, benefit], not so that I should cast a noose [fig., a restriction] on you, but for the proper behavior and devotion to the Lord, without distraction. (36) Now if anyone thinks [he is] acting shamefully [or, behaving improperly] towards his virgin, if she is past marriageable age, and it is obligated to happen, what he desires let him do; he does not sin, let him marry. (37) But [he] who has stood steadfast in the heart [fig., is convinced in his inner self], not having necessity, and has authority [or, control] over his own desire, and this he has determined in his heart [fig., inner self], to be keeping his own virgin, he does well. (38) Accordingly, also the one giving in marriage [or, getting married] does well, but the one not giving in marriage [or, not getting married] does better.
***(39) A wife has been bound by [the] law as long as her husband lives, but if also the husband sleeps [fig., dies], she is free to be married to whomever she desires, only in [the] Lord.***
(40) But she is happier if she remains in this manner, according to my opinion. And I think I also to be having [the] Spirit of God.