This whole section hangs together and constitutes a sense unit but we will look at it in three parts. Those parts are as follows:
Now regarding your question about the young women who are not yet married. I do not have a command from the Lord for them. But the Lord in His mercy has given me wisdom that can be trusted, and I will share it with you. Because of the present crisis, I think it is best to remain as you are. If you have a wife, do not seek to end the marriage. If you do not have a wife, do not seek to get married. But if you do get married, it is not a sin. And if a young woman gets married, it is not a sin. However, those who get married at this time will have troubles, and I am trying to spare you those problems.1 Corinthians 7:25-28
But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away. I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please Him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.1 Corinthians 7:29-34
I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes. It is not a sin. But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better. A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord. But in my opinion it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God’s Spirit when I say this.1 Corinthians 7:35-40:
So now for the first of them.
Again we don’t have the recorded question but it is clear isn’t it? The Corinthians have asked whether those young girls who are not yet married should indeed get married or not. From Paul’s answer and the content of the letter of 1 Corinthians, the question appears to hinge on the present crisis, end times and an individual’s focus on serving the Lord. There is one obvious question that springs to mind isn’t there? You know what it is just as well as I do. In our bible study we should answer the obvious questions. Sometimes we bypass the obvious for the obtuse. So what’s the obvious question? Yes you have got it. What is the present crisis to which Paul is referring? See what you can do to answer the question yourself. We will look at it tomorrow.
Note that Paul once again spells out when it is God speaking and when Paul is offering his own opinion. That is so helpful – would that we all did it. It would make the matter of discernment in terms of advice we receive that much easier.
A single man has not nearly the value he would have in a state of union. He is an incomplete animal. He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors.Benjamin Franklin