1 Corinthians 7:1-40 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Instruction on Marriage
Comments for Study 5

1 Corinthians 7:1-40
Memory Verse: 24

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I. General Principle on Marriage (7:1-7)

>1. The Corinthians obviously wrote a letter to Paul asking a lot of questions including marraige. What is the first principle on marraige Paul established? (1-2)

* 1 Corinthians 7:1 "Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband."

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>How does this explain why some denominations today have so much sexual immorality?

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>2. What is a marital duty and how can it fall to that level? (3)

* 1 Corinthians 7:3 "The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband."

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>How does verse 4 reflect back to 6:16?

* 1 Corinthians 7:4 "The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife."

* 1 Corinthians 6:16 "Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."

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>What could happen if a spouse deprives the other? (5)

* 1 Corinthians 7:5 "Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

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>What is a good reason to deprive by mutual consent and needs self control?

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>Is this a command? (6-7)

* 1 Corinthians 7:6 "I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that."

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II. The Problems of the Married (7:8-24)

>3. What direction is given to the unmarried and widows? (8-9)

* 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."

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>Should the married remain so? (10-11; Matt. 19:3-6)

* 1 Corinthians 7:10 "To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife."

* Matthew 19:3-6 "Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

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>What example of loving commitment should the married always remember and learn? (Matt. 28:20b)

* Matthew 28:20b "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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>4. If your spouse is not a believer should you divorce him or her? (12-13)

* 1 Corinthians 7:12 "To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him."

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>What does verse 14 mean?

* 1 Corinthians 7:14 "For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy."

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>What other direction is a mixed couple given? (15)

* 1 Corinthians 7:15 "But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace."

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>Why? (16)

* 1 Corinthians 7:16 "How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?"

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>How does this further explain verse 14?

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>5. What is important to all decisions in life? (17)

* 1 Corinthians 7:17 "Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches."

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>What example is given to support this statement? (18-19)

* 1 Corinthians 7:18-19 "Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts."

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>Is this a hard set command?

* 1 Corinthians 7:20 "Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him."

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>6. What other example is given to reinforce not getting excited about our status qua? (21)

* 1 Corinthians 7:21 "Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you--although if you can gain your freedom, do so."

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>How should we view our life no matter what? (22)

* 1 Corinthians 7:22 "For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave."

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>What could happen? (23)

* 1 Corinthians 7:23 "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men."

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>What is the final verdict? (24)

* 1 Corinthians 7:24 "Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to."

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III. The Problems of the Unmarried (7:25-40)

>7. When receiving advice from anyone what is an important consideration? (25)

* 1 Corinthians 7:25 "Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy."

* "as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy"

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>What crisis was Paul referring to in verse 26?

* 1 Corinthians 7:26 "Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are."

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>What is true about all marriages? (27-28)

* 1 Corinthians 7:27-28 "Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this."

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>8. How did Paul see the present considering eternity? (29-31; John 9:4)

* 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 "What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away."

* John 9:4 "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work."

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>What is true about the unmarried and the married? (32-34)

* 1 Corinthians 7:32 "I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife-- and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband."

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>How does Paul determine that the unmarried are better off? (35)

* 1 Corinthians 7:35 "I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."

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>9. Is it wrong to be engaged and to marry? (36)

* 1 Corinthians 7:36 "If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married."

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>What considerations should be taken to remain unmarried? (37)

* 1 Corinthians 7:37 "But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin--this man also does the right thing."

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>Is there a right and wrong decision here? (38)

* 1 Corinthians 7:38 "So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better."

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>What other decisions in life might this also be true and how can this help you make decisions?

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>10. What should a widow consider? (39)

* 1 Corinthians 7:39 "A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord."

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>What principle does Paul repeat in verse 40?

* 1 Corinthians 7:40 "In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is--and I think that I too have the Spirit of God."

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