Rev. Andrew Jagow, pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Alexandria, VA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 1 Corinthians 7:25-40.
Without binding consciences, St. Paul reminds the Corinthians of the gifts that God has both for the married and the celibate. He instructs the congregation in light of the fact that the Lord is coming soon. For that reason, they ought to live in the midst of the things of this world, which will pass away, with their eyes focused on the life of the world to come, which will not pass away. Right now, those who are married are concerned with pleasing their spouse, and rightly so. Right now, those who are celibate can concern themselves entirely with pleasing the Lord, and rightly so. These instructions are not meant to restrain Christians, but to promote good order within the Church and to help Christians to glorify God in all they do.
“Nothing But Christ Crucified” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the epistle of 1 Corinthians. In response to correspondence from the Christians in Corinth and reports about matters arising in the congregation, St. Paul writes to address various matters of Christian faith and life. Throughout it all, he directs our attention to the power and wisdom of God for our salvation: Christ crucified.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
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