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Summary: In the previous passage it has been clear that the instructions were for cases where both the husband and wife were Christians. Now the apostle speaks of the situation where, after marriage one spouse becomes saved and the other is not. The question is as

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THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:

Howard Hendricks was speaking at a conference in Dallas, and asked the question of the audience of 2000, “Do you know someone who is perfect?” He was about to go on, when he noticed a lone hand raised in the back of the auditorium. Hendricks asked, “Are you perfect, or do you know someone who is?” The man replied, “Oh, no, I’m not perfect. But as far as I can tell, my wife’s first husband was.” It is easier in these United States to walk away from a marriage than from a commitment to purchase a used car. (Time, September, 1993, quote from a professor at George Washington University School of Law).

In the previous passage it has been clear that the instructions were for cases where both the husband and wife were Christians. Now the apostle speaks of the situation where, after marriage one spouse becomes saved and the other is not. The question is asked, does this make it permissible for the converted one to leave the unconverted? Paul answers with an absolute no.

2. Christians who are married to non-Christians (vv. 12-24). Although it is an act of disobedience for a Christian to knowingly marry an unsaved person (II Cor. 6:14), it appears some of the members of the Corinthian church were saved after they had been married, but their mates had not been converted. Because of the desire to serve Christ, some people in the Corinthian church thought they ought to divorce their heathen spouses. He makes it plain that there is no reason why a believer should put away his unbelieving spouse. Paul like Jesus believed that marriage was permanent (vv. 12-14). When it says, in verse 15, that he "is not under bondage," it means he is not obligated to try to prevent the unsaved spouse from leaving, but this does not give freedom for remarriage. Paul’s command about the permanence of marriage (vv. 10-11) comes from the Old Testament (Gen. 2:24) and from Jesus (Mark 10:2-12). The believers should continue to live in the marriage union if the other partner is willing to do so.

APPLICATION:

Whatever my circumstance in life may be, it should have no bearing on whether or not I live for Christ. Pleasing God and living for Him should be my number one goal in life.


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