Applying This Principle to the Unmarried

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    Applying This Principle to the Unmarried (1 Cor7:25-28)

    Paul now applies the principle of peace and contentment to the unmarried believers in theCorinthian church. Evidently they had asked a question about whether unmarried

    believers should seek to get married at all. Now Paul answers their question in light of the

    principle he just explained.

    "Concerning virgins" (parthenos) = a virgin young woman of marriageable age. Eventhough in 1 Cor7:25Paul uses a term that specifies unmarried young women, the

    following verses show that he is discussing both the man and the woman who might want

    to marry (See 1 Cor7:26-- "for a man to remain as he is" as well as 1 Cor 7:27-28--

    "bound to a wife...but if you marry you have not sinned"). The Corinthians were asking

    whether unmarried believers should remain single and celibate, or whether they could

    marry if they had that desire.

    Paul could not point to any previous teaching of Jesus on the subject of unmarried youngwomen who are seeking marriage. It's as if he is saying, "There is no existing Word from

    the Lord regarding this issue, but I give my judgment under the inspiration of the Holy

    Spirit." He is not giving a strict command which must be obeyed, but he is giving

    "inspired advice" regarding the course of action he thinks would benefit them.

    "I think then" (1 Cor7:26) = here Paul states the opinion mentioned in the previous verse,which he does not call a command but simply his advice. "Good" (kalos) = that which is

    well-adapted to the circumstances; something beneficial.

    "In view of the present distress" (anagke) = impending circumstances with the addedimplication of stress, need or necessity in those circumstances. It is not clear exactly what

    these impending stressful circumstances were, but we do know that the Roman emperor

    Nero came to power in AD 54 and began actively persecuting Christians in AD 64.

    Paul is referring to a man's existing marital status, and he is addressing the group ofbelievers who are currently unmarried. He could have said, "In the present circumstances

    it is probably a good thing for a man to remain unmarried, but I am not giving a strict rule

    which every believer must obey."

    "Are you bound to a wife?" (1 Cor7:27) = bound by law in marriage (see 1 Cor7:39;Rom7:2).BoundandReleasedare antonyms which are intended tomeanMarriedor Unmarried. Clearly Paul is applying the principle he previously shared:

    "If you are married, stay married; if you are unmarried, stay unmarried." Neither the

    married nor the unmarried should seek to change their situation as a result of becoming a

    Christian.

    http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V25http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V25http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V25http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V25http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V25http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V25http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V27http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V27http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V27http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V27http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V27http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V27http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V39http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V39http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V39http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b45c007.htm#Rom._C7V2http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b45c007.htm#Rom._C7V2http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b45c007.htm#Rom._C7V2http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b45c007.htm#Rom._C7V2http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V39http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V27http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V27http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V25http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V25
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    "But if you marry" (1 Cor7:28) = here Paul is referring to unmarried male believers whowere seeking his advice, and to which he had given his opinion that they should remain

    as they are. Now Paul tells them if theydo get married, they are not sinning. His advice

    was simply his opinion in light of the impending circumstances, but if they decided to

    marry they were not committing a sin.

    "And if a virgin marries" = Paul includes this phrase to show that what he is saying

    applies both to male and female unmarried believers.

    Paul's instruction here emphasizes the principle ofIndividual Responsibility, which is abalancing truth to God's Sovereignty that was presented in the previous section. Each

    believer is to obey God's leading in whatever circumstances he has been assigned by

    God, and this involves making personal choices from among several possible options.

    This does not always involve a choice between something that is sin and something that

    is not sin. A believer should always avoid sin, but sometimes his choices are between

    several options that are not sinful. One option may be good and another option better, but

    the choice is left to the individual.

    "Such will have trouble" (thlipsis) = pressure, tribulation, affliction, stress. This gives usa picture of what would characterize the "present distress" that Paul mentioned in 1

    Cor7:26. Even as Paul was writing this letter to the Corinthians, he himself was

    experiencing intense pressure in Ephesus (1 Cor4:11-13;15:32). Married believers who

    experience turmoil and persecution cannot escape carrying a much heavier load than

    those who are single in similar circumstances.

    "I am trying to spare you" = it was Paul's intention to help them avoid unnecessary care

    and tribulation.

    TO BE OF SINGLE MIND

    1 CORINTHIANS 7:25-40

    In recent days a lot of books have been written on the subject of marriage; how to liven up your

    marriage, how to stay married, how to raise your children, how to be a spiritual leader in your

    family. These are all very good, but they often overlook another major option that believers have

    -- to remain single.

    In New Testament times, it was considered something of an oddity for a man or a woman to

    remain single. Among the Jews, a man who did not marry and raise children was thought to be in

    violation of the commandment of God to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis

    1:28).

    http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V28http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V28http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V28http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c004.htm#1Cor._C4V11http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c004.htm#1Cor._C4V11http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c004.htm#1Cor._C4V11http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c015.htm#1Cor._C15V32http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c015.htm#1Cor._C15V32http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c015.htm#1Cor._C15V32http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c015.htm#1Cor._C15V32http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c004.htm#1Cor._C4V11http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V26http://www.spiritandtruth.org/bibles/nasb/b46c007.htm#1Cor._C7V28
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    Singleness is no less an issue today. The church sometimes has a tendency to look with suspicion

    upon a man who is not married, as though something were wrong with him for having such a

    lifestyle.

    In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul deals with this issue that is as relevant to us as it was to those

    first century Christians.

    SINGLENESS IS GOOD

    25 Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by

    the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26 I think then that this is good in view of the present

    distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is.

    27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not

    seek a wife. 28 But if you should marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin should marry, shehas not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. (1

    Corinthians 7:25-28).

    If you are single, then you need to realize that being single has its good points. It can be very

    good to be single. Speaking from the point of view of one who has been married for a very long

    time, I suppose that I should not be proclaiming this principle with such vigor. Nevertheless, it is

    true that being single has some definite advantages. Paul will list six in this passage. Being single

    is good...

    o Because of the present distress (7:26-27).o Because of the trouble of this life (7:28).o Because of the temporary nature of this age (7:29-31).o Because of undivided devotion (7:32-35).o Because it does not have to be permanent (7:36-38).o Because marriage is permanent (7:39-40).

    Are you single and straining at the bit, wishing more than anything else to be married? Paul hassome principles that you need to hear.

    He begins by admitting that, as to this subject, he has no command of the Lord(7:25). Paul has

    already quoted the words of Jesus directed toward those who are married. But for what he has to

    saw now, he will not quote Jesus. Jesus did not give any commands directed specifically to

    single people as to whether or not they should marry. He did not tell everyone to marry and He

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    did not tell everyone to remain single. Neither will Paul. But he will give us some principles to

    make us aware of the advantages of being single.

    SINGLENESS IS GOOD BECAUSE OF THE PRESENT DISTRESS

    I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as

    he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do

    not seek a wife. (1 Corinthians 7:26-27).

    What is this "present distress" to which Paul refers? Paul lived in a day when Christians were

    under persecution. He had been beaten and stoned and arrested for the faith. Others had been put

    to death and imprisoned for proclaiming the name of Jesus. In a time of distress like this, a

    marriage can be a marked hindrance. It is one thing to face this kind of persecution as one who is

    single. It is quite another thing to face such persecution when you are caring for a wife and

    children.

    Because of the hardships of persecution, Paul advised the Corinthian believers not to rush into

    marriage. He called them to remain within the situation in which they found themselves.

    If you are married, then there is a message for you. It is that you stay married. Paul has already

    shown that marriage is to be permanent. To tear apart what God has joined together is wrong.

    If you are single, then there is also a message for you. Be content in staying single. Dont go

    rushing into a marriage. That does not mean that marriage is sinful or that you should never get

    married. Paul anticipates the "what if" question that such a message implies.

    SINGLENESS IS GOOD BECAUSE OF THE TROUBLE OF THIS LIFE

    But if you should marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin should marry, she has not sinned.

    Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. (1 Corinthians 7:28) .

    Marriage is not wrong, but it can be difficult. It is not bad, but it has its own unique set of

    hardships. Here is the principle. Being single is not bad. Being married is not bad. Both are used

    by the Lord for His people. But single people often lose sight of the difficulties of marriage.

    They lose sight of what Paul calls the trouble in this life.

    There is a blessing here for the single believer. The single believer will never experience marital

    problems or the pain of a divorce or the death of a spouse.

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    1 Corinthians 725

    "Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I

    give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy.26

    I suppose

    therefore that this is good because of the present distressthat it is good for a man to

    remain as he is:27

    Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a

    wife? Do not seek a wife.28

    But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin

    marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would

    spare you."

    Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord;

    Paul now transitions to a discussion on singlesvirgins who had not experienced sex. The Lord

    did not discuss this topic while on earth so Paul had no direct revelation from the Lord in His

    days on earth. God revealed the New Testament progressively and thus did not reveal everything

    up front.

    yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy.

    God trusted Paul with singleness and gave him mercy to live as a single person and write the

    Word of God about singleness. The Lord has confidence (trustworthy) in Paul to write on this

    subject as an author of the New Testament.

    26I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distressthat it is good for a

    man to remain as he is:

    Singleness is better than marriage when Christians faceduress. There was an attack on

    Christianity at the time of the writing of First Corinthians. Many Christians had been martyred,

    imprisoned, and even killed. Nero began his sadistic persecution of Christians ten years after

    First Corinthians was written. Persecution is more difficult for married people than single people.

    27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not

    seek a wife.

    Although it is better to be single under duress, it does not justify divorce, because marriage is a

    life commitment. However, if a person is single during duress then it is better to remain single.

    Stability is the name of the game in times of upheaval.

    28But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not

    sinned.

    Paul further qualifies the issue of sing...

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