Self-Control, Passion, and Marriage
Series The MacArthur Commentaries
But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not have self--control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn. (1 Corinthians 7:8--9)
These verses answer the question, 'Should those who were married and divorced before becoming Christians remarry?' No doubt that was a key question in the Corinthian church. Formerly married people came to salvation in Christ and asked if they now had the right to marry someone else. Paul's response here is uniquely fitted to those who want to know their options.
Paul is speaking to people who were divorced before coming to Christ. They wanted to know if they had the right to marry. His word to them is that it is good for them who are now free of marriage to remain even as I. By that statement Paul affirms that he was formerly married. Because marriage seems to have been required for membership in the Sanhedrin, to which Paul may once have belonged, because he had been so devoutly committed to Pharisaic tradition (Gal. 1:14), and because he refers to one who could have been his wife's mother (Rom. 16:13), we may assume that he was once married. His statement here to the previously married confirms that—even as I. Likely he was a widower. He does not identify with the virgins but with the unmarried and widows, that is, with the formerly married.
The point is that those who are single when converted to Christ should know that it is good for them to stay that way. There is no need to rush into marriage. Many well--meaning Christians are not content to let people remain single...
|Jun 28, 2011
|Question & Answer
|1 Corinthians 7:8-9