1 Corinthians 7:25-40

Scripture

1 Corinthians 7:25-40

Observations

  • After talking about marriage and divorce Paul addresses those who have never been married
  • He refers to them as virgins meaning that he assumes they haven’t had sexual relations because they are not married
  • He doesn’t have a direct command but does give his opinion
  • In view of all the persecution and trouble that is going on during that time he suggests that they remain unmarried
  • He says his opinion is if you haven’t gotten married then don’t get married, and if you are single (widow for example) don’t get married
  • He then stresses that it isn’t sin if they do get married
  • He is just trying to save them from suffering because of the trouble that was going on
  • Paul believes that Jesus may return soon and because of this they should live as if tomorrow is not guaranteed
  • Paul’s desire is that they are free from worry of this world, and that the unmarried are more free to focus on Jesus than the married who must think and serve their spouse.
  • Paul shares this opinion not to make a rule for them but simply out of concern that they can be devoted to the Lord as they would like
  • The conclusion is that that each should do as the Lord leads them whether it is to marry or remain single.
  • A Christian is bound to their covenant marriage partner as long as their spouse lives.
  • If their spouse dies they are free to remarry, however, Paul still recommends they remain single and give the extra attention to the Lord.

Application

Paul once again gives a high view of singleness. His primary concern is that folks are as focused on Christ and serving Him as possible. Because of this view he recommends that those who are single seek to remain single and fully devote themselves to the Lord. However, he understands that this high view of singleness is not a command of the Lord and so people are free to marry if that is God’s path for them.

Again I would say that this passage encourages us to encourage and bless those who are single Christians to devote more of their energy to Jesus and rejoice in that place in their lives as long as the Lord has them there. At the same time it shows that folks who have a little more bent towards the affairs of this world aren’t in sin by engaging in the affairs of this world (as long as it isn’t immoral). We need to be careful as Paul does to separate our own convictions from the Lord’s commands.

Prayer

Father, I thank you for my wife and what a blessing she is in my life. Help me encourage her and point her more and more towards you. Also open my eyes to those who are single and what a wonderful gift they have in this season of their life. Show me how to honor them in their commitment to You and encourage them to fully embrace the blessing of singleness for as long as it is theirs. May we as a church be a place that encourages all people to pursue You whole heartedly and not judge each other by the convictions we have for ourselves. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

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