Marital Relations & 1 Corinthians Chapter 7 - Christogenea Forum Call 03-14-11

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1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning those things you have written: it is admirable for a man not to join to a woman; 2 but because of fornication each man must have his own wife, and each woman must have her own husband.

Matt. 19:12 For there are eunuchs who have been born thusly from the womb of a mother, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs on account of the kingdom of the heavens! He being able to comprehend must comprehend!”

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband must render the obligation due to the wife, and in like manner the wife also to the husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband; and in like manner also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife.

Marriage is a partnership. A wife has as much say over what the husband does with himself as the husband himself does, and vice versa. Neither husband or wife should do anything to themselves in any way, without the consent of the other. However as Paul says elsewhere, the husband is the head of the wife. Yet he patriarchal society is the Biblical model for both community and family structure, it is simply natural to our race – and the jew hates it. We must seek to keep it intact.

Ephesians 5:21-33: 21 Subject yourselves to one another in fear of Christ: 22 wives, to their own husbands, as if to the Prince, 23 because the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the assembly: He is deliverer of the body. 24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, in that manner also wives in everything to the husbands. 25 Husbands, love the wives, just as Christ has also loved the assembly, and had surrendered Himself for it, 26 in order that He would consecrate it, cleansing it in the bath of the water in the word, 27 that He may present it to Himself in honor, the assembly not having a blemish or a wrinkle or any of such things, but that it would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands are obliged to love their own wives, as their own bodies; he who is loving his own wife loves himself. 29 No one has at any time hated his own flesh, but nourishes and comforts it, just as also Christ the assembly, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 "For this reason shall a man leave father and mother and shall join to his wife, and the two shall be for one flesh.” 32 This mystery is great, and I speak for Christ and for the assembly. 33 Nevertheless, each and every one of you must love his own wife as himself, and the wife should see that she fear the husband.

Colossians 3:18-21: 18 Wives, subject yourselves to the husbands, as is proper with the Prince. 19 Husbands, love the wives and have no bitter feelings towards them. 20 Children, you obey the parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing with the Prince. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, that they are not disheartened.

1 Peter 3:1-5: 1 Likewise the wives being subject to their own husbands, in order that if some then disobey the Word, through the conduct of the wives they shall have advantage without the Word, 2 observing in fear your pure conduct, 3 of which the dress must not be outward with braids of hair and applications of gold or putting on of garments, 4 but the hidden man of the heart with the incorruptibility of the gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious before Yahweh. [Wives should seek to please God and husband rather than seek to own the most possible outfits and jewelry.] 5 For thusly at one time also the holy women who have hope in Yahweh had dressed themselves [meaning with modesty] being subject to their own husbands, as Sarah had obeyed Abraham calling him master, whose children you have been born to do good and not fearing any terror.

1 Corinthians 7:5 Do not withdraw from one another, unless in agreement for a time, in order that you devote time to prayer, and come together into one place again, that the Adversary would not tempt you due to your incontinence.

Husbands and wives must seek each others' company and not leave each other alone. The “night out with the boys” is a jewish paradigm in our society. Being away from our wives or husbands, we are easily tempted because men and women are naturally incontinent.

1 Corinthians 7:6 Now I say this in the way of a consent, not in the way of a command. 7 That I wish all men to be even as myself, but each has his own gift from Yahweh, in this manner one, in that manner another. 8 But I say to those unmarried and to those widowed, well for them it is if perhaps they should remain even as I.

Paul forsook marriage for the work of the gospel. He explained this at 1 Corinthians 9:5.

1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they have no self control, they must marry, for it is better to be married than to be inflamed.

Sexual desire is powerful and hard not to satisfy. The natural fulfillment of sexual desire IS marriage! This is one of the things that is supposed to distinguish us from the beasts – except that in today's society we have become like the beasts. If you have sexual relations with a woman and she is a virgin, she is now your wife. If she is not a virgin, she was already someone else's wife!

1 Corinthians 7:10 Now to they who are married I give order, (not I but the Prince,) for a wife not to be separated from a husband; 11 (but if perhaps then she does separate, she must remain unmarried, or to the husband be reconciled;) and a husband not to put away a wife.

Divorce was allowed by Moses for the hardness of our hearts, however marriage is supposed to be for life, and that is the godly model. Luke 16:18: 18 Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and she being divorced from a man commits adultery marrying.

1 Corinthians 7:12 Now furthermore I (not the Prince) say: if any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she consents to dwell with him, he must not put her away. 13 And any woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to dwell with her, she must not divorce that husband.

Our responsibility to the community, to our race, and to our God come before our own personal comfort. Just because you now believe something differently from your husband, or your wife, even though it is truth, does not mean that you should suddenly take your marriage commitment for granted. However it also does not mean that you should be forced to dishonor Yahweh our God, and your unbelieving husband or wife must respect that. We must foremost and above all keep the commandments which Yahshua Christ told us to keep. Peter and John told the Pharisees, at Acts 5:29, “It is necessary to be obedient to Yahweh rather than to men”.

1 Corinthians 7:14 The unbelieving husband has been sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified in the brother; otherwise then your children are unclean, while now they are holy.

This does not mean that non-Adamic children are clean. Paul is talking about a relationship in marriage, not about a relationship in fornication. Fornication is not marriage! Whether your husband or wife believes the truth or not, your children can be sanctified – made separate and holy for Yahweh – through your belief and the example which you set for them.

1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving separates himself, let him separate himself; the brother (or the sister) is not reduced to bondage in these instances, but in peace Yahweh has called us.

If your spouse cannot cope with your Christian beliefs, do not feel burdened if the marriage must end – but it must be your spouse's doing, and not your own. You must show God that you were willing to live up to your commitment, and you are not to be troubled if your spouse fails. [Note verse 27 where Paul tells us that if we have a spouse, not to seek release for ourselves.] We were told by Christ Himself that the faith would break families – and if we believe Him, we are not to be burdened when we find that His words are true.

1 Corinthians 7:16 Indeed how do you know, wife, if you shall keep the husband? Or how do you know, husband, if you shall keep the wife? 17 Only as the Prince has distributed to each, as each Yahweh has called, thus he must walk; and thusly in all of the assemblies I prescribe.

Note that Paul said that this is his own prescription, because there are no set examples in the scripture governing these circumstances. Paul followed the Scripture as far as he could, and then from verse 6 his opinion takes over, because here the Old Testament law and the Gospel can be a guide, but without precise examples or commandments all we have are the opinions of men, and Paul recognizes as much here, and in verses 6 and 12. Verses 18-25 have nothing to do with marriage, but I will repeat them here anyway, because they serve for an important example.

1 Corinthians 7:18 Being circumcised has anyone been called? One must not be induced. In uncircumcision has any one been called? One must not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but an observation of the commandments of Yahweh. 20 Each in the calling in which he has been called, in this he must abide. 21 A bondman, you have been called? It must not be a concern to you, but then if you have the ability to become free, rather you use it. 22 For he who is called a bondman in the Prince is a freedman of the Prince; likewise he who is called free is a bondman of Christ. 23 You have been purchased for a price, you should not become slaves of men. 24 Each in that which he has been called, brethren, in that he must remain before Yahweh.

We should accept our station in life which Yahweh has assigned to us, and do our best to serve him with what we have been given. The test of the Christian, as we learn from the parable of the talents, is not how much we have or how far we succeed, but rather, what we do with what we have been given.

1 Corinthians 7:25 Now concerning virgins, a commandment of the Prince I do not have, but I give an opinion, as one having received mercy from the Prince to be trustworthy. 26 Really then I suppose that to be such is good, because of the present violence, that it is well for a man to be so.

As in verses 6 and 12, Paul in verse 25 again admits that he is only giving an opinion, since he has nothing explicit in the Scriptures. Because of the present violence: these words are not so explicit in the King James Version. At the time, persecutions of Christians were taking place, under Claudius and later under Nero. The political and economic climate was very difficult for Christians. Only because of the chances of losing one's spouse in persecution, was Paul suggesting that perhaps people should refrain from marriage. Otherwise, at Hebrews 13:4, Paul says that “Marriage is valuable in every way, likewise the undefiled bed:”

27 Have you been bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Have you been released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if then you should be married, you have not erred; And if perhaps the virgin should be married, she has not erred; but such as these will have anxiety in the flesh, and for my part, of you I am merciful.

The remark concerning anxiety in the flesh supports the interpretation of the preceding statement, that Paul was advising refrain from marriage only “because of the present violence”, as we see him state at verse 26. While marriage is indeed a necessary institution, especially for the building of the Kingdom of Yahweh, the end of Paul's discourse here reveals the conflict that it causes, since with wives and children concerns for fleshly things are inevitable. Here is the balance of the chapter:

1 Corinthians 7:29 Now I say this, brethren, the time is shortening; henceforward it is that even those having wives may be as not having; 30 And those weeping, as not weeping; and those rejoicing, as not rejoicing; and those trading, as not possessing; 31 and those using this Society for themselves, as not abusing; indeed the form of this Society passes away. 32 But I wish for you to be unconcerned. The unmarried cares for the things of the Prince, how he shall please the Prince; 33 but he who marries cares for the things of the Society, how he shall please the wife, 34 and he is divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin care for the things of the Prince, that she should be holy in both body and in Spirit, but she being married cares for the things of the Society, how she shall please the husband. 35 Now I say this for your advantage, not that I would cast a net upon you, but in respect to decency, and constantly waiting on the Prince without cause for anxiety. 36 But if one does consider to be unseemly towards his virgin [a euphemism for sexual relations], if perhaps he is beyond adolescence, (and in this way he ought to be,) [people at that time also married at a very young age] that which he wishes he must do, he does not err: they must marry [again, sexual relations are the act of marriage]. 37 But he who has stood firm, steadfast in his heart, not holding forcibly but who has authority over his own will, and he has decided in his heart to keep himself a virgin, he does well; 38 and therefore he that is giving himself to a virgin in marriage will do well, but he not giving in marriage will do better. [The eunuch for the kingdom's sake – to serve the community and not oneself.] 39 A wife is bound for as long a time as her husband may live, but if perhaps her husband should die, she is free to be married to whom she wishes. Alone in the Prince 40 if perhaps then she is happier, so she should remain, according to my opinion, and I think that I also have the Spirit of Yahweh. [I would assert that this last sentence is poorly translated in the King James Version. Alone in the Prince – a woman, divorced or widowed, who chooses to serve the community rather than remarry.]