Rev. Curtis Deterding, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Myers, FL, joins the Rev. Dr. Phil Booe to study 1 Corinthians 7:25-40.
God had not given St. Paul any specific commands to pass down regarding those who were unmarried, whether they should remain that way. But in view of food shortages in Corinth, the multitude of spiritual problems in the congregation, and the Apostle’s belief that Christ would return soon, he gave his own judgment on the matter. Specifically, if one were not married, he or she should remain that way. However, if one desired to marry or couldn’t control their sexual urges, it wasn’t a sin to marry. St. Paul wasn’t anti-marriage; he simply wanted the Corinthian Christians to thrive in Christ and avoid worldly anxieties. In this episode, Pastors Booe and Deterding walk through this text while asking, how does this apply today?
Thy Strong Word reveals the light of our salvation in Christ through study of God’s Word, breaking our darkness with His redeeming light. Each weekday, two pastors fix our eyes on Jesus by considering Holy Scripture, verse by verse, in order to be strengthened in the Word and be equipped to faithfully serve in our daily vocations.
Thy Strong Word is hosted by Rev. Dr. Phil Booe, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church of Luverne, MN, and graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation.
1 Corinthians 7:25-40
The Unmarried and the Widowed
25 Now concerning[a] the betrothed,[b] I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present[c] distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman[d] marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed,[e] if his[f] passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.
39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.
- 1 Corinthians 7:25 The expression Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians’ letter; see 7:1
- 1 Corinthians 7:25 Greek virgins
- 1 Corinthians 7:26 Or impending
- 1 Corinthians 7:28 Greek virgin; also verse 34
- 1 Corinthians 7:36 Greek virgin; also verses 37, 38
- 1 Corinthians 7:36 Or her
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org