1 Corinthians 7 Principles regarding marriage and singleness.


Paul has been dealing with sexuality and the problem of wrong relationships so now he is going to the basics of marriage and sexuality.


  1. Marriage or celibacy? Vs 1 – 6


He is dealing with an issue that was sent in a letter to him.


  1. He is not saying it is wrong to have sexual relationships, but it is “Morally Good” not to have intercourse with one who is not your spouse.
  2. So much sexuality each should have their own spouse.
    1. This has to be understood in context of temple worship with Aphrodite and the prostitutes that are there.
      1. Some are hiring prostitutes
      2. Others feel all sex is evil and totally abstain.
    2. he is not commanding people to all get married as we will see later.
    3. He is not giving a whole theology of marriage.  (EX: the only reason for marriage is sex)
      1. For theology of marriage see Ephesians 5: 21 – 33 and Colossians 3: 18 – 19
  3. Married couples are indebted to each other sexually Vs 3 – 5
    1. When we are married, we become indebted to each other.
      1. We no longer have rights to our bodies.
      2. Not demanding our rights over each other, but the free will of giving ourselves to each other.
      3. EXAMPLE:  You will see how God has given marriage as an example of our relationship with Him in the areas of submission and lordship.
    2. Depriving each other (See James 5: 4 for more of this)
      1. Example is prayer, but the key here is that both of the spouses must agree to it.
  4. This is not a theology of marriage, it is answering questions.  What Paul says is he wants our relationships to be blessings instead of curses. Vs 6


2. Singleness Vs Marriage Vs 7 – 9


  1. Paul is single here
    1. He had to be married at one time because he was a member of the Sanhedrin (Acts 26:10)
    2. We don’t know what happened to his wife but we do know he is qualified to talk about singleness and marriage.
  2. Unmarried and widows (demarried) so widowers would work here too.
  3. There is a spiritual gift of singleness which is int he same category as the spiritual gifts we talk so much about in the church. Vs 7
  4. Better to marry than burn with passion
    1. Burn is more than struggling with desires
    2. Living together it is better to marry
    3. If you are struggling with lust, then marriage will not cure that.  It does not magically go away on the day we get married.


3. Questions about divorce.


  1. Divorce and separation for Christian couples. Vs 10 – 11
    1. He is talking to the demarried here.  It will be better to link this to verse 8 and later he speaks to the rest of the church in verse 12. (This letter is to the church so that is to be remembered)
    2. Commandment that comes from the Lord and not him is another way of saying he is quoting Jesus when he says this.
    3. He is addressing the people who now think it is more spiritual to be single.  Don’t leave the state you are in and become divorced thinking you are being more spiritual because of it.
    4. But if she does leave him. Vs 11
      1. This would be reasons beyond sexual immorality (See Matthew 19: 3 – 9)  Even here Jesus is not commanding divorce in the area of sexual immorality.
      2. Stay as you are single or reconciled. (Remember he is talking to christians here)
    5. Summary: Jesus has a problem with divorce when both are believers.