I Corinthians 7, continued

I Corinthians 7:15-16

  • Some argue that this passage provides another valid reason for divorce (the “Pauline Privilege”), but that is not the case. It is simply saying that if an unbelieving spouse leaves, the faithful spouse is not required to fulfill marital duties to them. It does not say that the faithful spouse can lawfully remarry.

I Corinthians 7:17-24

  • I Corinthians 7:17 – If your situation is not sinful, don’t change it when you are converted.
  • I Corinthians 7:18-24 – It is not sinful to be slave or free, circumcised or not. Serve God in whatever condition you are in, but correct any sin you have in your life.

I Corinthians 7:25-28

  • I Corinthians 7:25 – Paul is providing inspired judgment from the Lord on the particular situation they were in. The current “distress” might have been persecution but is not explicitly stated.
  • I Corinthians 7:26-28 – Again, this is not stating an additional reason for divorce and remarriage. It is only saying it is probably better not to become married at that particular time.

I Corinthians 7:36-38

  • The point continues here in that marriage is not wrong, but Paul was advising against it at that time. This was written in the first few years of Nero’s reign, so it’s possible that persecution was extreme for the Corinthians.

I Corinthians 7:39-40

  • I Corinthians 7:39 – If you do get married, it is still a permanent marriage. The law does not change because of persecution.
  • I Corinthians 7:40 – Compare I Corinthians 2:12-13; 14:37. This is worded as an understatement.