1 Corinthians 7, Psalm 61


Paul continues to address sex, marriage, and divorce. The discussion that open 1 Corinthians chapter 7 about whether ““It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman” reminds us of the apostle's response to Jesus' teaching about divorce and remarriage in Matthew 19:1-12. There Jesus taught that no one should divorce except in cases of sexual immorality. To this teaching the first apostles responded, “it is better not to marry” (Matthew 19:10). In similar fashion Paul's instructions in 1 Corinthians 5&6 likely led some to question whether it is best to swear off sex and marriage altogether. However, Paul acknowledges that since people desire sex, married couple should freely enjoy this gift from God. In fact, Paul tells husbands and wives that their own bodies belong to one another such that couples should not deny one another their “rights”. This doesn't mean Paul thinks everyone should get married. On the contrary, he wishes more were like him, being willing to deny oneself the joys of marital intimacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God. No matter, Paul realizes that this gift of singleness & sexual abstinence is not for everyone. Instead of questioning whether being married is good or bad, we must discern God's work in or lives. So, no matter whether you are married or unmarried, slave or free, fundamentally we need to remember again (1 Corinthians 6:20) that we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 7:23). That price, the precious blood of Jesus, conveys how God values us, but also the weight of our redemption. No matter how God has wired us or established our paths, our basic orientation in sex, work, and marriage is to live as those belonging body, soul, and mind to Jesus our Lord and Savior. Amen.