1 Corinthians 7:1-2
As we engage in a study of divorce and remarriage, we soon learn that there are people who have different ideas about the scriptures. Some want the scriptures to approve or disapprove of certain actions. By twisting scriptures and developing deductive and inductive reasoning, any of these doctrines can be taught. If you remember the section "How to determine a false doctrine", you will remember that point number one reads. 1. Some passages related to the topic must be ignored, distorted, twisted and added to in order to uphold a false doctrine. Let us look at verses one and two as we begin this study. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2
(KJV) Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
(NKJV) Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
(NLT) Now about the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to live a celibate life. 2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.
(CEV) Now I will answer the questions that you asked in your letter. You asked, "Is it best for people not to marry?" 2 Well, having your own husband or wife should keep you from doing something immoral.
(NASB) Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
(EVD) Now I will discuss the things you wrote to me about. It is good for a man not to marry. 2.But sexual sin is a danger. So each man should have his own wife. And each woman should have her own husband.
Commentary on verses one and two:
If I were to take the phrase in verse one that says "it is good for a man not to touch a woman", and establish that statement as a foundation for my belief, then I would be guilty of starting a false doctrine. Yet, we have many that take the phrase from verse two to argue that anyone has right to marry regardless of previous marital status or condition. Why should we not accept verse one, but wholly embrace a doctrine of belief based upon verse two?
In peoples efforts to denounce traditionalism, they will use anything that they perceive to support their doctrine. Naturally, they must twist and distort in order for this teaching to meet their acceptance. I believe that both of these scriptures are inspired by God and hold in themselves the truths first spoken in heaven by God. The best thing that could happen according to Paul is for people to remain unmarried. Or in other words, live a celibate life. Later on in the chapter we have the reasons explained. See vs. 32-35.
We must realize that in all of scripture there is the common request by the writers for the readers to serve the Lord God above. This duty to God is demonstrated by everything we have to offer to Him. Jesus taught that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord our God (Matt 22:37). Jesus taught us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt 6:33). We know that service to God is of supreme importance for all of mankind. All matters that the inspired writers discussed had this overriding theme. We should always determine if our actions, thoughts, words, and teachings are in their proper place.
Another thing that must be considered is the fact that we cannot use these scriptures to authorize something that was condemned elsewhere. An example is the fact that certain men and women would be guilty of adultery if they were to marry a second time in some scriptures previously dealt with. When an intrepretation is offered for a passage of scripture, it must coincide with everthing else that God has revealed on this matter. Whether His Son spoke the words or an inspired writer does not make a difference. We are taught that all scripture is given by inspiration (2 Tim 3:16) and that the entirety of scripture that we have is all that we need for salvation (2 Pet 1:3).
One of the false teachings going on is the fact that verse two says that it is alright to have a wife for the purpose of avoiding fornication. As we study all the scriptures we notice that some have a right to get married and some do not. This we have discussed before. Here is a list of who can marry, Obviously if one is in a condition not mentioned here, they have no right to get married again.
Many people would argue for another category to be entered here, but they can only do so if they remove scripture that is written somewhere other than this passage. If we are to rely upon one verse for a doctrine then the doctrine must be wholly contained in that one verse. The subject of "Divorce and Remarriage" is a matter that is discussed in numerous passages of scripture. For this passage to be used by these false teachers, they have to make an assumption that divorced people are included in the passage. I teach that divorced people are excluded from the passage because of what is taught in the Gospels, and also some passages later on in 1 Cor 7. This would not require an assumption on my part. Go back and read the section on what makes a false doctrine and consider these things carefully.
One last point to be made from this passage. One of the many problems of our society we live in is the promotion of sexual permissiveness. Most in our world do not want to be bound by the strict rules that our predecessors followed. The openness of all types of sexual misconduct has placed a tremendous strain upon all who wear the name of Christian. Many will not endure sound doctrine and many will not be willing to sacrifice themselves in order to carry the cross of Jesus.
Most of the people who now believe these false doctrines, once held to the scriptural beliefs, but someone deceived them and now they say they have rethought their beliefs and that they are now more enlightened. It is true that we should not do anything or teach anything out of tradition. We should practice and teach those things that are authorized in God's word. Many have rejected some traditional teaching for the reason that it is traditional and not because it is the truth. In so doing, they have thrown out the truth along with the traditions. Some of the traditions need to be done away with. Some were misleading and offered more or less than what scripture would allow. But we should not remove everything, but only the things that are wrong.
Each person must examine himself to see if he is in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). Each person must come to their own conclusion on this matter. If we follow another without investigation for ourselves, we are like sheep lead astray. And whatever is not of faith is sin (Rom 14:23). We must be convinced ourselves, and not be content to let others fight the battles, and watch from the sidelines. Every child of God must study these things and think on them (Phil 4:8).
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