Aug. 1. Paul begins to Answer Questions from the Corinthians

I Cor. 7:1-24

At some point in time, Paul had received a letter from the Corinthians about certain problems. After addressing division, incest and going to court, he began to answer their questions.

The first problem that Paul answered dealt with whether marriage was desirable or to be avoided. Living conditions were very difficult due to the persecutions at the time Paul wrote this letter. Because of these conditions, he suggested that it would be better if marriage were avoided.

Paul recognized that the sexual immorality of that day would also make it impossible for many of them to abstain from sinning if they were not married. He suggested that if the unmarried could not control themselves, it would be better for them to marry.

As a deterrent to unfaithfulness between husbands and wives, Paul instructed them to fulfill the sexual needs of their spouses, only being apart by mutual consent for short periods.

The second question Paul answered dealt with believers and unbelievers remaining together. After conversion, many Christians were faced with the dilemma of being married to nonbelievers. In order to keep the Israelites pure, the Law of Moses forbade them from marrying the Canaanites. These new Christians feared that to be pure, they would be required to divorce their spouses who were not Christians and that their mates and children would be unclean.

Paul, through inspiration replied that if an unbeliever desired to continue being married to a Christian, there was no need for them to divorce. There was a good possibility that the believer could lead the unbelieving spouse to Christ.

If an unbelieving husband or wife would not continue in the marriage, a separation would be permitted and the Christian would not be bound to live with such a person. Paul did not give this as grounds for divorce—only a separation.

Christianity did not change a person’s cultural or social status in life. If he were married, he should stay married. Those who were slaves were to continue to be slaves unless other circumstances allowed them to be freed. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision made a person a better or lesser Christian. One should remain with God and not let social standing hinder his spiritual life. Christians must remember that they were bought with the blood of Christ.