Concerning Sex & Marriage

1 Corinthians 5:1-7:40

51It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, that one has his father’s wife. 2You are puffed up, and didn’t rather mourn, that he who had done this deed might be removed from among you. 3For I most certainly, as being absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as though I were present, judged him who has done this thing. 4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5are to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole lump? 7Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place. 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, neither with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9I wrote to you in my letter to have no company with sexual sinners; 10yet not at all meaning with the sexual sinners of this world, or with the covetous and extortionists, or with idolaters; for then you would have to leave the world. 11But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person. 12For what have I to do with also judging those who are outside? Don’t you judge those who are within? 13But those who are outside, God judges. “Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.”*
61Dare any of you, having a matter against his neighbor, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2Don’t you know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3Don’t you know that we will judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? 4If then, you have to judge things pertaining to this life, do you set them to judge who are of no account in the assembly? 5I say this to move you to shame. Isn’t there even one wise man among you who would be able to decide between his brothers? 6But brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers! 7Therefore it is already altogether a defect in you, that you have lawsuits one with another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 8No, but you yourselves do wrong, and defraud, and that against your brothers. 9Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortionists, will inherit God’s Kingdom. 11Such were some of you, but you were washed. But you were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God. 12“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are expedient. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be brought under the power of anything. 13“Foods for the belly, and the belly for foods,” but God will bring to nothing both it and them. But the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 14Now God raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power. 15Don’t you know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16Or don’t you know that he who is joined to a prostitute is one body? For, “The two”, he says, “will become one flesh.”* 17But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. 18Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin that a man does is outside the body,” but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, 20for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
71Now concerning the things about which you wrote to me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2But, because of sexual immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3Let the husband render to his wife the affection owed her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband. Likewise also the husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, but the wife. 5Don’t deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn’t tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
6But this I say by way of concession, not of commandment. 7Yet I wish that all men were like me. However each man has his own gift from God, one of this kind, and another of that kind. 8But I say to the unmarried and to widows, it is good for them if they remain even as I am. 9But if they don’t have self-control, let them marry. For it’s better to marry than to burn. 10But to the married I command—not I, but the Lord—that the wife not leave her husband 11(but if she departs, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband not leave his wife.
12But to the rest I—not the Lord—say, if any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she is content to live with him, let him not leave her. 13The woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he is content to live with her, let her not leave her husband. 14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15Yet if the unbeliever departs, let there be separation. The brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us in peace. 16For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 17Only, as the Lord has distributed to each man, as God has called each, so let him walk. So I command in all the assemblies.
18Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. 20Let each man stay in that calling in which he was called. 21Were you called being a bondservant? Don’t let that bother you, but if you get an opportunity to become free, use it. 22For he who was called in the Lord being a bondservant is the Lord’s free man. Likewise he who was called being free is Christ’s bondservant. 23You were bought with a price. Don’t become bondservants of men. 24Brothers, let each man, in whatever condition he was called, stay in that condition with God.
25Now concerning virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who has obtained mercy from the Lord to be trustworthy. 26I think that it is good therefore, because of the distress that is on us, that it is good for a man to be as he is. 27Are you bound to a wife? Don’t seek to be freed. Are you free from a wife? Don’t seek a wife. 28But if you marry, you have not sinned. If a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have oppression in the flesh, and I want to spare you. 29But I say this, brothers: the time is short, that from now on, both those who have wives may be as though they had none; 30and those who weep, as though they didn’t weep; and those who rejoice, as though they didn’t rejoice; and those who buy, as though they didn’t possess; 31and those who use the world, as not using it to the fullest. For the mode of this world passes away. 32But I desire to have you to be free from cares. He who is unmarried is concerned for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33but he who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife. 34There is also a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 35This I say for your own profit; not that I may ensnare you, but for that which is appropriate, and that you may attend to the Lord without distraction. 36But if any man thinks that he is behaving inappropriately toward his virgin, if she is past the flower of her age, and if need so requires, let him do what he desires. He doesn’t sin. Let them marry. 37But he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own heart, to keep his own virgin, does well. 38So then both he who gives his own virgin in marriage does well, and he who doesn’t give her in marriage does better. 39A wife is bound by law for as long as her husband lives; but if the husband is dead, she is free to be married to whomever she desires, only in the Lord. 40But she is happier if she stays as she is, in my judgment, and I think that I also have God’s Spirit.

*1 Corinthians 5:13 Deuteronomy 17:7; 19:19; 21:21; 22:21; 24:7
*1 Corinthians 6:16 Genesis 2:24

COMPARISON, CONTRAST & REPETITION

  • To compare is to associate two or more similar persons, ideas, or situations. Can you see any comparisons made by the author of this passage? Why do you think that the author would have made this comparison?
  • To contrast is to put side by side two or more distinct persons, ideas, or situations. Can you see, describe any contrasts made by the author of this passage? Why do you think that the author would have made this contrast?
  • Take time to note any repeated words or concepts you have noted in this passage.
  • Please take time to tell a friend what God is teaching you through this reflection on the Bible.
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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