1 Corinthians Chapter Seven
1 Corinthians 7
The apostle proceeds by answering a question in connection with the subject he had been treating-the will of God with regard to the relationship between man and woman. They do well who remain outside this relationship in order to walk with the Lord according to the Spirit, and not to yield in anything to their nature. God had instituted marriage-woe to him who should speak ill of it! but sin has come in, and all that is of nature, of the creature, is marred. God has introduced a power altogether above and outside nature-that of the Spirit. To walk according to that power is the best thing; it is to walk outside the sphere in which sin acts. But it is rare; and positive sins are for the most part the effect of standing apart from that which God has ordained according to nature. In general then for this reason, every man should have his own wife: and the union once formed, he had no longer power over himself. As to the body, the husband belonged to his wife, the wife to her husband. If, by mutual consent, they separated for awhile that they might give themselves to prayer and to spiritual exercises, the bond was to be immediately acknowledged again, lest the heart, not governing itself, should give Satan occasion to come in and distress the soul, and destroy its confidence in God and in His love-lest he should tempt by distressing doubts (it is for,not by incontinency) a heart that aimed at too much, and failed in it.
This permission, however, and this direction which recommended Christians to marry, was not a commandment from the Lord, given by inspiration, but the fruit of the apostle's experience-an experience to which the presence of the Holy Ghost was not wanting.  He would rather that every one were like himself; but every one had, in this respect, his gift from God. To the unmarried and the widows, it is good, he says, to abide as he himself was; but if they could not subdue their nature and remain in calm purity, it was better to marry. Unsubduedness of desire was more hurtful than the bond of marriage. But as to marriage itself, there was no longer room for the counsel of experience, the commandment of the Lord was positive. The woman was not to separate from the man, nor the man from the woman; and if they separated, the bond was not broken; they must remain unmarried or else be reconciled.
But there was a case more complicated, when the man was converted and the wife unconverted, or vice versa. According to the law a man who had married a woman of the Gentiles (and was consequently profane and unclean) defiled himself, and was compelled to send her away; and their children had no right to Jewish privileges; they were rejected as unclean (see Ezra 10:3). But under grace it was quite the contrary. The converted husband sanctified the wife, and vice versa, and their children were reckoned clean before God; they had part in the ecclesiastical rights of their parent. This is the sense of the word "holy," in connection with the question of order and of outward relationship towards God, which was suggested by the obligation under the law to send away wife and children in a similar case. Thus the believer was not to send away his wife, nor to forsake an unbelieving husband. If the unbeliever forsook the believer definitively, the latter (man or woman) was free-"let him depart." The brother was no longer bound to consider the one who had forsaken him as his wife, nor the sister the man who had forsook her as her husband. But they were called to peace, and not to seek this separation, for how did the believer know if he should not be the means of the unbeliever's conversion? For we are under grace. Moreover every one was to walk as God had distributed to him.
As regarded occupations and positions in this world, the general rule was that every one should continue in the state wherein he was called; but it must be "with God"-doing nothing that would not be to His glory. If the state was in itself of a nature contrary to His will, it was sin; clearly he could not remain in it with God. But the general rule was to remain and glorify God in it.
The apostle had spoken of marriage, of the unmarried and of widows; he had been questioned also with respect to those who had never entered into any relationship with woman. On this point he had no commandment from the Lord. He could only give his judgment as one who had received mercy of the Lord to be faithful. It was good to remain in that condition, seeing what the world was and the difficulties of a christian life. If they were bound to a wife, let them not seek to be loosed. If free, they would do well to remain so. Thus if they married, they did well; not marrying, they did better. He who had not known a woman did not sin if he married, but he should have trouble after the flesh in his life here below. (It will be observed, that it is not the daughter of a Christian that is here spoken of, but his own personal condition.) If he stood firm, and had power over his own will, it was the better way; if he married, he still did well; if he did not marry, it was better. It was the same with a woman; and if the apostle said that according to his judgment it was better, he had the Spirit of God. His experience-if he had no commandment-had not been gained without the Spirit, but it was that of a man who could say (if any one had a right to say it) that he had the Spirit of God.
Moreover the time was short: the married were to be as having no wives; buyers, as having no possession; they who used the world, not using it as though it were theirs. Only the apostle would have them without carefulness or distraction, that they might serve the Lord. If by reckoning themselves dead to nature this effect was not produced, they gained nothing, they lost by it. When married they were pre-occupied with things below, in order to please their wives and to provide for their children. But they enjoyed a repose of mind, in which nature did not claim her rights with a will that they had failed to silence, and holiness of walk and of heart was maintained. If the will of nature was subjugated and silenced, they served the Lord without distraction, they lived according to the Spirit and not according to nature, even in those things which God had ordained as good with respect to nature.
As to the slave, he might console himself as being the Lord's free-man; but (seeing the difficulty of reconciling the will of a pagan or even an unspiritual master with the will of God) if he could be made free, he should embrace the opportunity.
Two things strike us here in passing: the holiness which all these directions breathe with regard to that which touches so closely the desires of the flesh. The institutions of God, formed for man when innocent, are maintained in all their integrity, in all their authority, a safeguard now against the sin to which man is incited by his flesh. The Spirit introduces a new energy above nature, which in no wise weakens the authority of the institution. If any one can live above nature in order to serve the Lord in freedom, it is a gift of God-a grace which he does well to profit by. A second very important principle flows from this chapter. The apostle distinguishes accurately between that which he has by inspiration, and his own spiritual experience-that which the Spirit gave him in connection with the exercises of his individual life-spiritual wisdom, however exalted it might be. On certain points he had no commandment from the Lord. He gave the conclusion at which he had arrived, through the help of the Spirit of God, in a life of remarkable faithfulness, and aided by the Spirit whom he but little grieved. But it was not a commandment of the Lord. On other points that which he did not except in this manner was to be received as the commandment of the Lord (compare chap. 14:37). That is to say, he affirms the inspiration, properly so called, of his writings-they were to be received as emanating from the Lord Himself-distinguishing this inspiration from his own spiritual competency, a principle of all importance.
 Note here, we have formally distinguished, what infidels of the modern school have sought to confound, spiritual thoughts as a man, and inspiration. The apostle gives his thoughts and judgment as a spiritual man, his mind animated and guided by the Spirit, and contrasts it with inspiration and what the Lord said. How wonderfully the Lord has provided in scripture for everything! Compare verse 25.
── John Darby《Synopsis of 1 Corinthians》
1 Corinthians 7
The apostle answers several questions about marriage. (1-9) Married Christians should not seek to part from their unbelieving consorts. (10-16) Persons, in any fixed station, should usually abide in that. (17-24) It was most desirable, on account of the then perilous days, for people to sit loose to this world. (25-35) Great prudence be used in marriage; it should be only in the Lord. (36-40)
Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:1-9
(Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-9)
The apostle tells the Corinthians that it was good, in that juncture of time, for Christians to keep themselves single. Yet he says that marriage, and the comforts of that state, are settled by Divine wisdom. Though none may break the law of God, yet that perfect rule leaves men at liberty to serve him in the way most suited to their powers and circumstances, of which others often are very unfit judges. All must determine for themselves, seeking counsel from God how they ought to act.
Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:10-16
(Read 1 Corinthians 7:10-16)
Man and wife must not separate for any other cause than what Christ allows. Divorce, at that time, was very common among both Jews and Gentiles, on very slight pretexts. Marriage is a Divine institution; and is an engagement for life, by God's appointment. We are bound, as much as in us lies, to live peaceably with all men, Romans 12:18, therefore to promote the peace and comfort of our nearest relatives, though unbelievers. It should be the labour and study of those who are married, to make each other as easy and happy as possible. Should a Christian desert a husband or wife, when there is opportunity to give the greatest proof of love? Stay, and labour heartily for the conversion of thy relative. In every state and relation the Lord has called us to peace; and every thing should be done to promote harmony, as far as truth and holiness will permit.
Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:17-24
(Read 1 Corinthians 7:17-24)
The rules of Christianity reach every condition; and in every state a man may live so as to be a credit to it. It is the duty of every Christian to be content with his lot, and to conduct himself in his rank and place as becomes a Christian. Our comfort and happiness depend on what we are to Christ, not what we are in the world. No man should think to make his faith or religion, an argument to break through any natural or civil obligations. He should quietly and contentedly abide in the condition in which he is placed by Divine Providence.
Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:25-35
(Read 1 Corinthians 7:25-35)
Considering the distress of those times, the unmarried state was best. Notwithstanding, the apostle does not condemn marriage. How opposite are those to the apostle Paul who forbid many to marry, and entangle them with vows to remain single, whether they ought to do so or not! He exhorts all Christians to holy indifference toward the world. As to relations; they must not set their hearts on the comforts of the state. As to afflictions; they must not indulge the sorrow of the world: even in sorrow the heart may be joyful. As to worldly enjoyments; here is not their rest. As to worldly employment; those that prosper in trade, and increase in wealth, should hold their possessions as though they held them not. As to all worldly concerns; they must keep the world out of their hearts, that they may not abuse it when they have it in their hands. All worldly things are show; nothing solid. All will be quickly gone. Wise concern about worldly interests is a duty; but to be full of care, to have anxious and perplexing care, is a sin. By this maxim the apostle solves the case whether it were advisable to marry. That condition of life is best for every man, which is best for his soul, and keeps him most clear of the cares and snares of the world. Let us reflect on the advantages and snares of our own condition in life; that we may improve the one, and escape as far as possible all injury from the other. And whatever cares press upon the mind, let time still be kept for the things of the Lord.
Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:36-40
(Read 1 Corinthians 7:36-40)
The apostle is thought to give advice here about the disposal of children in marriage. In this view, the general meaning is plain. Children should seek and follow the directions of their parents as to marriage. And parents should consult their children's wishes; and not reckon they have power to do with them, and dictate just as they please, without reason. The whole is closed with advice to widows. Second marriages are not unlawful, so that it is kept in mind, to marry in the Lord. In our choice of relations, and change of conditions, we should always be guided by the fear of God, and the laws of God, and act in dependence on the providence of God. Change of condition ought only to be made after careful consideration, and on probable grounds, that it will be to advantage in our spiritual concerns.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on 1 Corinthians》
1 Corinthians 7
 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
It is good for a man — Who is master of himself.
Not to touch a women — That is, not to marry. So great and many are the advantages of a single life.
 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
Yet, when it is needful, in order to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife. His own - For Christianity allows no polygamy.
 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
Let not married persons fancy that there is any perfection in living with each other, as if they were unmarried.
The debt — This ancient reading seems far more natural than the common one.
 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
The wife-the husband — Let no one forget this, on pretence of greater purity.
 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Unless it be by consent for a time — That on those special and solemn occasions ye may entirely give yourselves up to the exercises of devotion.
Lest — If ye should long remain separate.
Satan tempt you — To unclean thoughts, if not actions too.
 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
But I say this — Concerning your separating for a time and coming together again. Perhaps he refers also to 1 Corinthians 7:2.
 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
For I would that all men were herein even as I — I would that all believers who are now unmarried would remain "eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake" St. Paul, having tasted the sweetness of this liberty, wished others to enjoy it, as well as himself.
But every one hath his proper gift from God — According to our Lord's declaration, "All men cannot receive this saying, save they," the happy few, to whom it is given," Matthew 19:11.
 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
It is good for them if they remain even as I — That St. Paul was then single is certain and from Acts 7:58, compared with the following parts of the history, it seems probable that he always was so. It does not appear that this declaration, any more than 1 Corinthians 7:1, hath any reference at all to a state of persecution.
 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
Not I — Only.
But the Lord — Christ; by his express command, Matthew 5:32.
 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
But if she depart — Contrary to this express prohibition.
And let not the husband put away his wife — Except for the cause of adultery.
 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
To the rest — Who are married to unbelievers.
Speak I — By revelation from God, though our Lord hath not left any commandment concerning it.
Let him not put her away — The Jews, indeed, were obliged of old to put away their idolatrous wives, Ezra 10:3; but their case was quite different. They were absolutely forbid to marry idolatrous women; but the persons here spoken of were married while they were both in a state of heathenism.
 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
For the unbelieving husband hath, in many instances, been sanctified by the wife - Else your children would have been brought up heathens; whereas now they are Christians. As if he had said, Ye see the proof of it before your eyes.
 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
A brother or a sister — A Christian man or woman.
Is not enslaved — is at full liberty.
In such cases: but God hath called us to peace — To live peaceably with them, if it be possible.
 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
But as God hath distributed — The various stations of life, and various relations, to every one, let him take care to discharge his duty therein. The gospel disannuls none of these.
And thus I ordain in all the churches — As a point of the highest concern.
 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing — Will neither promote nor obstruct our salvation. The one point is, keeping the commandments of God; "faith working by love."
 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
In the calling — The outward state.
Wherein he is — When God calls him. Let him not seek to change this, without a clear direction from Providence.
 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
Care not for it — Do not anxiously seek liberty.
But if thou canst be free, use it rather — Embrace the opportunity.
 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
Is the Lord's freeman — Is free in this respect. The Greek word implies one that was a slave, but now is free.
Is the bondman of Christ — Not free in this respect; not at liberty to do his own will.
 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
Ye are bought with a price — Ye belong to God; therefore, where it can be avoided, do not become the bondslaves of men - Which may expose you to many temptations.
 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
Therein abide with God — Doing all things as unto God, and as in his immediate presence. They who thus abide with God preserve an holy indifference with regard to outward things.
 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
Now concerning virgins — Of either sex.
I have no commandment from the Lord — By a particular revelation. Nor was it necessary he should; for the apostles wrote nothing which was not divinely inspired: but with this difference,-sometimes they had a particular revelation, and a special commandment; at other times they wrote from the divine light which abode with them, the standing treasure of the Spirit of God. And this, also, was not their private opinion, but a divine rule of faith and practice. As one whom God hath made faithful in my apostolic office; who therefore faithfully deliver what I receive from him.
 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.  Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
This is good for the present distress — While any church is under persecution.
For a man to continue as he is — Whether married or unmarried. St. Paul does not here urge the present distress as a reason for celibacy, any more than for marriage; but for a man's not seeking to alter his state, whatever it be, but making the best of it.
 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
Such will have trouble in the flesh — Many outward troubles.
But I spare you — I speak as little and as tenderly as possible.
 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
But this I say, brethren — With great confidence. The time of our abode here is short. It plainly follows, that even they who have wives be as serious, zealous, active, dead to the world, as devoted to God, as holy in all manner of conversation, as if they had none - By so easy a transition does the apostle slide from every thing else to the one thing needful; and, forgetting whatever is temporal, is swallowed up in eternity.
 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
And they that weep, as if they wept not — "Though sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." They that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not - Tempering their joy with godly fear.
They that buy, as if they possessed not — Knowing themselves to be only stewards, not proprietors.
 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
And they that use this world, as not abusing it — Not seeking happiness in it, but in God: using every thing therein only in such a manner and degree as most tends to the knowledge and love of God. For the whole scheme and fashion of this world - This marrying, weeping, rejoicing, and all the rest, not only will pass, but now passeth away, is this moment flying off like a shadow.
 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
Now I would have you — For this flying moment.
Without carefulness — Without any incumbrance of your thoughts.
The unmarried man — If he understand and use the advantage he enjoys-Careth only for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord.
 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
But the married careth for the things of the world — And it in his duty so to do, so far as becomes a Christian.
How he may please his wife — And provide all things needful for her and his family.
 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin — Whether the church be under persecution or not.
The unmarried woman — If she know and use her privilege.
Careth only for the things of the Lord — All her time, care, and thoughts centre in this, how she may be holy both in body and spirit. This is the standing advantage of a single life, in all ages and nations. But who makes a suitable use of it?
 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
Not that I may cast a snare upon you — Who are not able to receive this saying.
But for your profit — Who are able. That ye may resolutely and perseveringly wait upon the Lord - The word translated wait signifies sitting close by a person, in a good posture to hear. So Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, Luke 10:39.
Without distraction — Without having the mind drawn any way from its centre; from its close attention to God; by any person, or thing, or care, or incumbrance whatsoever.
 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
But if any parent think he should otherwise act indecently - Unbecoming his character. Toward his virgin daughter, if she be above age, (or of full age,) and need so require, 1 Corinthians 7:9, let them marry - Her suitor and she.
 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
Having no necessity — Where there is no such need.
But having power over his own will — Which would incline him to desire the increase of his family, and the strengthening it by new relations.
 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.
Doeth better — If there be no necessity.
 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
Only in the Lord — That is, only if Christians marry Christians: a standing direction, and one of the utmost importance.
 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.
I also — As well as any of you.
Have the Spirit of God — Teaching me all things This does not imply any doubt; but the strongest certainty of it, together with a reproof of them for calling it in question. Whoever, therefore, would conclude from hence, that St. Paul was not certain he had the Spirit of Christ, neither understands the true import of the words, nor considers how expressly he lays claim to the Spirit, both in this epistle, 1 Corinthians 2:16; 14:37, and the other. 2 Corinthians 13:3. Indeed, it may be doubted whether the word here and elsewhere translated think, does not always imply the fullest and strongest assurance. See 1 Corinthians 10:12.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on 1 Corinthians》
Chapter 7. Marriage
the Affairs of this World
Concerned About the Lord's Affairs
I. How to Treat Each Other in Marriage
II. Sanctified Each Other through Marriage
III. Remain Virgin for the Lord
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
Chapter Seven General Review
OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER
1) To be impressed with basic principles governing marriage and the
2) To see the importance of studying scripture in its proper context
At this point in Paul's letter, he begins to address those things about
which the Corinthians had written to him (7:1). In this chapter he
discusses matters relating to marriage and the single life. The first
half deals with issues involving those married (1-24), and the last
half covers those who are single (25-40). It is important to notice
that some of what Paul says is in light of the "present distress" being
experienced by the Corinthians; also that much of what he says is
clearly identified as his personal judgment, not necessarily the
commandments of the Lord. In such cases, it is not a matter of right
versus wrong, but good versus better.
I. INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING THOSE MARRIED (1-24)
A. IN GENERAL (1-9)
1. It is good to marry to avoid sexual immorality (1-2)
2. Proper attitudes to govern the marriage relationship (3-4)
3. Abstinence appropriate for short times devoted to fasting and
4. Living the single life with self-control a gift from God, so
unmarried and widows should marry if they cannot exercise
B. IN REGARDS TO DIVORCE (10-16)
1. As commanded by the Lord (10-11)
a. A wife is not to depart from her husband; if she does, let
her remain unmarried or else be reconciled (10
b. A husband is not to divorce his wife (11b)
2. As instructed by Paul (12-16)
a. Christians are not to divorce their unbelieving spouses
b. Because of the "sanctifying influence" the believer can
have on the family (14)
c. If the unbeliever departs, the believer is not under
bondage, let the unbeliever depart (15)
d. These instructions given in view of the possibility of the
believer being able to save the unbelieving spouse (16)
C. PRINCIPLES GOVERNING PAUL'S INSTRUCTIONS (17-24)
1. As the Lord has called each one, so let him walk (17)
2. The example of circumcision versus uncircumcision, where
keeping the commandments of God is what is important (18-20)
3. The example of being a slave versus being free, where one
might improve their condition if it is possible and profitable
II. INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING THOSE SINGLE (25-40)
A. FOR THOSE WHO ARE VIRGINS (25-38)
1. Paul gives his personal judgment in light of the "present
distress": remain as you are (25-26)
2. Of course if you are married, remain so; but those who are
single would be spared much trouble in the flesh in light of
what is to come (27-31)
3. Remaining unmarried enables them to serve the Lord without
distraction, and be totally devoted to Him (32-35)
4. If it is necessary, the single may marry (36)
5. The choice is not between good and bad, but between good and
B. FOR THOSE WHO ARE WIDOWS (39-40)
1. They are free to marry, but only "in the Lord" (39)
2. Though Paul's personal judgment is that such a one will be
happier to remain single, which is also the advice (though not
demanded) of the Spirit of God (40)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER
1) List the main points of this chapter
- Instructions Concerning Those Married (1-24)
- Instructions Concerning Those Single (25-40)
2) What are Paul's instructions to married Christians? (3-5,10-11)
- Render affection that is due to one another
- Do not deprive one another, except for short periods of fasting
- Do not leave or divorce your spouse
3) What does he advise those who are unmarried and widows? (8-9,25-40)
- It is better to remain as they are
- But if they marry, that is alright
4) What does he tell Christians married to unbelievers? (12-16)
- If the unbelievers are willing to live with them, do not divorce
- If the unbelievers depart, the Christians are not under bondage,
let the unbelievers go
5) What underlying principle is governing Paul's instructions in this
- For people to remain in whatever position they find themselves
when they are called by God
- Though where change is possible and profitable, such is permitted
6) What advantage do the single have over the married? (32-35)
- They are better able to serve the Lord without distraction
7) What restriction does Paul place on widows who desire to remarry?
- They are to marry "only in the Lord"
"KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD"
1 Corinthians 7:19
1. The idea of "commandment-keeping" is not a popular one among many
a. Some equate it with what they call "legalism"
b. Others look at keeping any kind of commandment as an unpleasant
1) Perhaps a carry-over from childhood?
2) Where they feel like they were constantly being "commanded" to
2. Yet keeping the commandments of God should not be looked upon by
Christians in this way - cf. 1 Co 7:19
3. In this lesson . . .
a. I want us to consider some things about keeping the commandments
b. Which I hope will change any adverse feelings we may have towards
I. WHAT IS THE PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARD "COMMANDMENT-KEEPING"?
A. IT SHOULD NOT BE ONE OF "LEGALISM"...
1. Legalism is that idea that one earns or merits salvation by
2. Such an attitude would be wrong on the part of Christians - Ti
3. Unfortunately, many in reaction to legalism have gone to the
extreme of saying "commandment-keeping" is not important
4. Yet Paul, whom no one could ever accuse of being a legalist,
is the one who penned the words of our text!
[I would like to offer a different perspective, based upon two
verses that start out like our text, but end differently . . .]
B. THINK OF IT AS "FAITH WORKING THROUGH LOVE"...
1. Compare 1 Co 7:19 with Ga 5:6
2. Cannot keeping the commandments of God be an expression of
"faith working through love"?
a. By keeping the commandments I demonstrate my FAITH - Ja 2:
b. By keeping the commandments I show my LOVE
1) To Jesus - Jn 14:15; 15:14
2) To God - 1 Jn 5:3
3) To the children of God - 1 Jn 5:2
3. Thought of in this way, keeping the commandments of God is
C. THINK OF IT AS PRODUCING "A NEW CREATION"...
1. Compare 1 Co 7:19 with Ga 6:15
2. Cannot keeping the commandments of God be thought of as
helping to produce a "new creation"?
a. Becoming a new creation is a blessing we enjoy by being in
Christ - 2 Co 5:17
b. But to enjoy this blessing involves keeping certain
1) For example, baptism to receive Christ - cf. Ga 3:27
2) Also, putting off and putting on certain qualities to
become like Christ - cf. Co 3:5-17
3. Again, when we think of keeping the commandments of God as
necessary to become a new creation in Christ, then it becomes
[This I believe is the proper attitude toward "commandment-keeping":
- A demonstration of our faith and love!
- Part of the process by which we can become a new creation in
But is "commandment-keeping" hard, laborious? Is it something
II. IS "COMMANDMENT-KEEPING" A DIFFICULT TASK?
A. NOT ACCORDING TO THOSE WHO HAVE DONE IT LONGEST!
1. Like the apostle John - 1 Jn 5:3
2. I strongly suspect that if you were to ask some of our elderly
saints, that they would concur with both John and the psalmist
- Ps 119:129-136
B. THE HARDEST PART IS DECIDING TO DO IT!
1. Laboring over whether to make a decision is often harder than
carrying it out
2. For example, keeping commandments given by parents to children
a. E.g., to clean the room, take out the garbage
b. The hardest part is making the decision to do it willingly
c. Once that is done, the "chore" really isn't one!
3. The same is true with keeping the commandments of God (e.g.,
C. IT IS MADE EASY FOR US WITH THE HELP OF GOD AND CHRIST!
1. God will protect and provide as we try to keep His
commandments - 1 Co 10:13
a. Protect you from what you are unable to overcome
b. Provide you with ways of escape for that which you do face
2. Yes, we are not alone as we try to keep the commandments of
God - Ph 2:12-13; 4:13
3. Even if we are forsaken by all others in times of greatest
need, God is still there! - 2 Ti 4:16-18
1. But such blessings, and such assurance of faith, comes only to those
who like Paul live as though "keeping the commandments of God is
2. How important is keeping the commandments of God?
a. It is essential to receiving MERCY from God - Ps 103:15-18; Mt
b. It is essential to receiving the LOVE & ABIDING PRESENCE of God
- Jn 14:21,23
c. It is essential to having our PRAYERS ANSWERED - 1 Jn 3:22
Dear friends and brethren, are you keeping the commandments of God?
Concerned About the Affairs of this World
Concerned About the Lord’s Affairs
I. How to Treat Each Other in Marriage
1. Fulfill Marital Duty
3. Do Not Deprive Each Other
II.Sanctified Each Other through Marriage
1. Unmarried Woman or Virgin
2. Duties of the Married
3. Must Not Divorce
III. Remain Virgin for the Lord
1. Conditions of Remaining Unmarried
2. The Widow Stays Unmarried
3. Undivided Devotion to the Lord
－－ Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》