1 Corinthians – Issues in Marriage

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“Now regarding the questions, you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations. But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:1-2

This chapter concerns issues in marriage. This was an important issue in Corinth; just as it is an important issue in the world that we live in today. Satan is working at destroying marriage and family. The Bible is our instruction manual on everything about life and how we should live. We need to understand all the issues of marriage.

The Greek thought there was strong tendency to despise the body and the things of the body; and that tendency could issue in a position where men said, “The body is utterly unimportant; therefore, we can do what we like with it and it makes no difference if we allow its appetites to have their fullest play.” But that very tendency could issue in a precisely opposite point of view. It could move a man to say, “The body is evil; therefore, we must bring it into subjection; therefore, we must completely obliterate, and if that is not possible, we must completely deny, all the instincts and desires which are natural to it.” It is that second way of looking at things with which Paul is dealing here. The Corinthians, or at least some of them, had suggested that, if a man was going to be a Christian in the fullest sense of the term, he must have done with physical things and must refuse to marry altogether.

Paul’s answer is extremely practical. In effect he says, “Remember where you are living; remember that you are living in Corinth where you cannot even walk along the street without temptation rearing its head at you. Sounds like today. Remember your own physical constitution and the healthy instincts which nature has given you. You will be far better to marry than to fall into sin.”

This sounds like a low view of marriage. It sounds as if Paul is advising marriage in order to avoid a worse fate. In point of fact he is honestly facing the facts and laying down a rule which is universally true. No man should attempt a way of life for which he is naturally unfitted; no man should set out on a pathway whereby he deliberately surrounds himself with temptations. Paul knew very well that all men are not made the same. “Examine yourself,” he says, “and choose that way of life in which you can best live the Christian life, and don’t attempt an unnatural standard which is impossible and even wrong for you being such as you are.”

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