1 Corinthians 7:23
You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
You have been bought with a price. You belong to God (1 Pet. 2:9).
1 Corinthians 7:27
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
(a) Do not seek to be released means stay married. Don’t seek a divorce. This is a healthy exhortation because divorce is destructive. Your loving Father doesn’t want to see you go through that pain.
Yet some turn this exhortation into a law. “Thou shalt not get divorced!” And they interpret divorce as a sin. Since the law inflames sin (Rom. 7:5) this message actually promotes divorce. Thus it hurts the church two ways; by stirring up sin and then condemning the sinner. Much harm has been done by telling divorced people they are sinners. Even if that were true, Jesus is the friend of sinners. If you read these words as law, you must be consistent and preach the whole verse.
(b) Are you released from a wife? In other words, are you unmarried or single?
(c) Do not seek a wife. If the first part is a law, so is the second. If divorced people are sinning, then so are those who get married. Obviously that is not what Paul is saying.
“Do not seek a wife” can be read as, “Don’t be so consumed with the prospect of marriage that you miss the joys of being single.” Some people are obsessed with finding the right marriage partner. This is not being led by the Spirit. This is chasing fantasies. Don’t seek a wife; seek the Lord trusting that he will take care of everything else.
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