Summary: This is a bible study teaching on 1 Corin 7:1-9. It is an offshoot built upon the message by Bill Burnett posted on Sermon Central covering the

Lesson 3 Sex And Marriage---Choosing To Marry –1 Corinthians 7:1-9

A recent study tells us that the number of unmarried couples living together has increased from 523,000 in 1970 to 4,236,000 in 1998. To probably a lot more today.

It also stated… that couples who live together have an 80 percent greater chance of divorce than those who don’t, and that women who live with a man before marriage are twice as likely to experience domestic violence.

A National Center for Mental Health study revealed that women who live with men that are not married will experience depression four times more than married women, and two times greater than single women.

There is also far more unfaithfulness by both partners.

In a survey of over 100 couples who lived together, 71 percent of the women said they would not live together again.

The Scriptures have always said what secular sociologists are only recently concluding through these studies… that living together without the commitment of marriage is not helpful to a fulfilling relationship — even if the couple eventually marries.

Paul is the author of the passage in 1 Corin. 7:1-9

One thing is certain, by the time he wrote 1 Corinthians in 55 A.D., he was single (1 Corinthians 7:7), and remained so until his death.

Let us establish that Paul is not against marriage? In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul compares marital love to the love Christ has for His church. This and many other passages shows that Paul is very pro-marriage.

Verse 7: 1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.

This phrase implies that the Corinthian believers had written to him about something that they were having problems with.

“It is good for a man not to marry” - It is not clear if they were asking Paul if this statement was true or if this was a statement Paul had actually made and they wanted him to explain himself more.

One group took the statement to mean that Paul felt marriage is either wrong or not a good idea for Christians.

Another group took this to mean that Paul was saying marriage is fine, but don’t have sex as a part of the marriage relationship.

Paul challenges the extremism in both views. In all this, he never denies the value of the single life.

The New Living Translation interprets vs 1 as “Yes it is good to live a celibate life.”

The Corinthian believers had written to Paul, asking him several questions, or perhaps even taking issue with some of his principles, relating to the Christian life and problems in the church. Apparently this first question regarded whether people should stay married or if those previously married should remain celibate by not having sex anymore.

Christians in Corinth were surrounded by sexual temptation. The city had a reputation even among pagans for sexual immorality and religious prostitution. To this sexually saturated society, Paul was delivering these instructions on sex and marriage. The Corinthians needed special, specific instructions because of their culture’s immoral standards.

Some believers were teaching Christian married couples should not have sex within marriage because of a mistaken notion that sexual relations were sinful; some were proposing separating from or divorcing spouses in order to stay pure.

To the first question, Paul answered that it is good to live a celibate life (“It is well for a man not to touch a woman,” NRSV). At first glance this may seem to contradict God’s words in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (NLT). Paul maintained a high view of marriage (Ephesians 5:25-33). In 7:1, Paul was not stating an absolute; rather, he was simply explaining that celibacy was normal, and that it may be God’s will for some to remain single.

Paul’s advice may have been directed at the “present crisis” referred to in 7:26; he thought it would be easier to face persecution as a single person. But, as Paul would explain later in this chapter, his words do not mean that married couples should divorce or that Christians ought not marry.

For those whom God calls to celibacy (such as Paul himself), the lifestyle is in accordance with God’s will for them. They should see it as a gift to be used to further God’s kingdom (7:7).

Although Paul prefers the undistracted attention to the Lord over marriage, he realizes that many people need partners to go through life with.

Not everyone is gifted to go it alone. There are a lot of benefits associated with marriage that extends far beyond the marriage relationship. The friendship and companionship available in marriage is just as important as the sexual relationship. It would be a mistake to read this passage and assume, the only reason a person gets married is to control themselves sexually.

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