1 Corinthians 7
Here in 1 Corinthians
7, contrary to what many people hope, Paul
did not change or add to what Jesus taught on marriage, divorce, &
remarriage. In 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 we read, "Now
to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: a wife is not to depart from
her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be
reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife."
Married couples are not to divorce. If there is a divorce, the only alternative is clear: either
reconciliation or remain unmarried. A third option namely remarriage is not
As we see in Matthew 5:32, 19:9,
Mark 10;11-12, Luke 16:18, and Romans 7:2-3, when divorced people remarry they
commit adultery on a continuing basis. The Bible says an adulterer cannot
go to heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians 5:19-21).
In 1 Corinthians 7:15, "But if the
unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under
bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace." In
this verse we have a believer married to an unbeliever.
Here "not under bondage" is misconstrued, by those looking for a
loophole, to mean that if the unbeliever divorces a believer, then the believer
is free to remarry. This is false. This is not what it says.
to remarry if an unbeliever departs is not given here
or anywhere else in the Bible. It is only wishful thinking. There is
no Biblical authority for the deserted believer to remarry, even though it is
assumed by many. Those who remarry without Biblical authority are living
in continuous adultery because they are still bound to their first spouse as long as that
spouse lives (1 Corinthians 7:39).
teaching here is the Christian is not under bondage of having to give up his
salvation and forsake Christ to please his spouse. A Christian must not abandon Christ simply to
hold on to his unbelieving mate. The loyalty of the Christian belongs first
to Christ. To such bondage Christians do not have to submit to in
order to hold on to their marriage. Marriage is
not a slave/master relationship. Divorce and remarriage are not under
discussion anywhere in 1 Corinthians 7. In all 40 verses of this
chapter the only authority for remarriage is given in verses 9 & 39 and that is
only in case of the death of a spouse.
There is a vast difference between the marriage bond and being in
bondage as a slave. The noun and verb forms of the Greek word "douloo",
which is translated bondage and means slavery, are found 133 times in the New Testament.
It never refers to
the marriage bond. Bondage means to serve as
a bondslave. Man's wishful thinking cannot change bondage (slavery) into
marriage bond. Let us not pervert the word of God in an effort to try to
justify those in an adulterous marriage. If we do we will
loose our own souls.
But what are the options
of the deserted believer?
Paul has already stated in verses 10 & 11, "Now
to the married...But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be
reconciled to her husband." There is no Biblical
authority for the deserted believer to remarry, even though it is assumed by
many. She is to either to "remain unmarried or be reconciled to her
husband". Those who remarry without Biblical authority are living in adultery
because they are still bound to their first spouse (Romans 7:2-3, 1 Corinthians
Those who live in adultery will be lost
eternally (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19). Those who teach people that
they can remain in an adulterous marriage should ask themselves if they think
they can really be saved themselves while teaching other people to remain in conditions that will
cause their souls to be lost in the eternal fires of Hell. This is very serious.
are at stake. In the surrounding context (verses 12-14, 16) Paul is urging a
person who is married to an unbeliever not to abandon his unbelieving mate upon
becoming a Christian.
We must be very careful that we do not teach
anything God has not authorized, because we shall receive a stricter
judgment. We read in James 3:1, "My brethern
let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter
judgment." We will be held accountable for what we teach and
for what we fail to teach. We must not be afraid to teach what the Bible
says and we must not teach what it does not teach. If we teach people
something different than what the Bible says about adultery, in trying to
console them in their lost adulterous state, and they follow our teaching, then
they will be lost in the eternal fires of Hell and we will be there with
Baptism does not make adultery into a
virtue. There are those who are looking for a loophole in order to justify
adulterous marriages. They say that in verses 17, 20, & 24 where it is
stated, "Let every man abide in the same calling
wherein he was called", that when one is baptized if he is in an
adulterous marriage then he can remain in it with the Lord's blessing.
This is not what these three verses are saying. This is only wishful
Here Paul is presenting three different
honorable situations that in no way are sinful. 1) In the first situation
in verses 12-17 there is a believer who is married to an unbeliever. Paul
is saying to abide in this marriage. There is nothing sinful about abiding
in a marriage with an unbeliever. 2) In the second situation in verses 18-20 we have
some who were circumcised and some who were uncircumcised. There is no sin
involved in either being circumcised or uncircumcised. Again Paul is
saying not to change things but to abide as you are whether circumcised or
uncircumcised. 3) In the third situation in verses 21-23 there were some slaves and some
freemen who became Christians. There is
no sin involved if one is a slave or if he is a freeman. Again Paul says
to abide in this calling as a slave or a freeman and continue to be a
In no way are any of these three situations
sinful. But to use this to try to justify staying in an adulterous marriage makes a
mockery out of what the Bible says. People need to be very careful and not
twist the scriptures in order to try to make them say what they want them to
say. We are warned in 2 Peter 3:16 that those who are "unlearned
and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own
destruction." To teach and advise that baptism makes an
adulterous marriage into a sanctified marriage will cause many people to be lost
including those who teach this false doctrine.
1 Corinthians 7:39 says, "A
wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she
is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord." Here
we see that one is bound to their spouse until that spouse dies. So if one
marries someone else while their first spouse is living, then they are still
bound to their first spouse while married to the second spouse and this
constitutes the continuing sin of adultery. An adulterer cannot go to
Heaven. The sin of adultery will cause many who
claim to be Christians to be lost. Such a tragedy. We do not have to
wait until Judgment Day to know what God is going to do with adulterers.
People must start
paying attention as to what God has said if they really expect to go to
Heaven. The sin of adultery will cause many who are Christians to be
Questions Section 6
1 Corinthians 7
(Click on the button of the answer of
1) (1 Corinthians 7:10-11) If a married
couple were to separate
They can then get
They must stay
They are to either
be reconciled or remain unmarried.
One is not to separate from their
3) (1 Corinthians 7:15) If an unbelieving
The marriage bond
is broken and the believing spouse can then remarry.
One should give up
their Christianity in order to save their marriage.
spouse is not under bondage (slavery) to give up one's Christianity in order to
save the marriage.
The marriage bond and being in bondage
(slavery) are the same.
5) (1 Corinthians 7:9, 39) The only
authority given for anyone to remarry in the complete chapter of 1 Corinthians 7
unbelieving spouse has departed.
One whose spouse had died.
Anyone who has
first divorced their spouse.
Only when one's spouse has died does 1
Corinthians 7 authorize a remarriage.
7) (James 3:1) Those who teach
Will not be held
accountable for what they teach.
Will not be held
accountable for what they fail to teach.
Will be held
accountable for what they teach and will receive a stricter judgment.
If we teach someone who is in an
adulterous marriage something to console them, they will be lost but we will be
9) (1 Corinthians 7:17, 20, & 24)
"Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called"
Those living in a
Those living in an
adulterous marriage relationship.
Those married to
an unbeliever, those circumcised or uncircumcised, and those who are a slave or
One does not have to give up an
adulterous marriage in order to go to Heaven.
11) (1 Corinthians 7:39) A wife is bound to
Until he as an
As long as her
Until she gets a
Only after a person's spouse dies are
they free to remarry.