The Book of 1 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 7 Part 1

Let’s read 1 Cor 7:1-9 
 
v1: Concerning the things of which you wrote to me: This Corinthian church had questions regarding marriage. In this verse Paul is responding to those questions and begins to answer them. 
·      It is good for a man not to touch a woman: There is a false teaching that has come down through the ages saying that it is more holy for an individual not to be married (monks etc). This thinking is outside the context of the Torah where we have been commanded to be fruitful and to multiply (Gen 1:28). It also tells us that it is not good for a man to be alone (Gen 2:18). We need to be careful with what Paul is saying here. 
1.     Paul is going to speak about a very specific or unique gift.
2.     He also expected the rapture to be a lot sooner than it has turned out to be (this is not a bad thing – it is healthy for every generation to live with an expectation of Yeshua’s return)
 
v2: Let each man…let each woman: Paul’s writings display a very strong sense of equality between men and women. Because of sexual immorality (from both stand points – male and female) each person was encouraged to get married and have a spouse (1 man + 1 woman – i.e not multiple and not same sex spouses). Every human has a need for intimacy, and marriage helps to guard us against immorality (We are going to see that Paul makes one exception to this ‘rule’). 
 
v3: Render…affection: In our marriage we have physical and spiritual obligations to each other. Rending affection to our spouse means that we think of their needs, we think of what is good for them – we need to help them meet their needs. We do not think of our own needs and try to fulfil them, ignoring our spouse’s needs. When we render affection to our spouse it means that we give of ourselves to them – sacrificial love. We live in a way to please our spouse.
·      Likewise: Again, we see the equality. Neither the husband nor the wife should be thinking of themselves but of the needs of their spouse.
 
v4: (She) Does not have authority…the husband does (and vice versa): This needs to be understood in context to what Paul’s just said. This is not talking about exploitation or abuse – we are talking about two people, in covenant, who want to fulfil G-d’s purposes in their lives, those who want to live in holiness. The husband and the wife need to see themselves as vessels of service in their marriage. (As new creations) They are there to benefit each other. 
 
v5: Deprive: To turn away from.
·      Except with consent (both spouses agree) for a time: Biblically and culturally a woman’s monthly cycle would render her unclean for a certain number of days in a month – Scripturally, this is a seven-day separation (Lev 15:19). 
·      Give yourselves: Set aside time. This time had a purpose – it was to be used for prayer and fasting. 
·      Come together again: Paul’s again alluding to the fact that we need to think of each other’s needs. Coming together again helps us to avoid temptation. 
·      Lack of self-control: Lack of power. Although we are new creations we are still in the flesh and have physical human needs.
 
v6: Concession…not a commandment: This is not based on a command, but Paul has written it under the leadership and inspiration of the Holy Spirit [Moses made a concession (permitted) for divorce under certain circumstances]. 
 
v7: Even as I myself: Paul was unmarried (Either he had never married or perhaps was widowed). 
·      Each one has his own gift: Paul’s situation was unique. G-d’s grace to him was that he didn’t need the marriage relationship. The purpose of this gift to Paul is very clear – it enabled him (in a unique way) to completely dedicate Himself to the work of the gospel (to travel, to be fully committed to teaching in the churches etc). 
·      Gift: Gifts from G-d always serve His purposes. G-d gives different gifts for different callings.
 
v8: Unmarried: Those who never married i.e. Virgins. 
·      Widows: Unmarried, but not virgins (lost a spouse, possibly divorced). 
·      It is good: In light of v7…it is good (if it is G-d’s will for them) if they, also having received the gift of celibacy, remain unmarried. 
 
v9: Self-control: This is a gift from G-d. Some individuals have a human need for intimacy. Paul encourages these people to marry. To those who can control this need, and if they have a clear call from G-d, then Paul encourages them to fully dedicate themselves to the service of the gospel without the responsibilities of a spouse and family. 
·      Burn with passion: Burn with desire. 

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