Bible: 1 Corinthians 7:1-24

Celibacy and Marriage

7:1 Now with regard to the issues you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 1  7:2 But because of immoralities, each man should have relations with 2  his own wife and each woman with 3  her own husband. 7:3 A husband should give to his wife her sexual rights, 4  and likewise a wife to her husband. 7:4 It is not the wife who has the rights to her own body, but the husband. In the same way, it is not the husband who has the rights to his own body, but the wife. 7:5 Do not deprive each other, except by mutual agreement for a specified time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. 5  Then resume your relationship, 6  so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 7:6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7:7 I wish that everyone was as I am. But each has his own gift from God, one this way, another that.

7:8 To the unmarried and widows I say that it is best for them to remain as I am. 7:9 But if they do not have self-control, let them get married. For it is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire. 7 

7:10 To the married I give this command – not I, but the Lord 8 a wife should not divorce a husband 7:11 (but if she does, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband), and a husband should not divorce his wife.

7:12 To the rest I say – I, not the Lord 9 if a brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is happy to live with him, he should not divorce her. 7:13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is happy to live with her, she should not divorce him. 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified because of the wife, and the unbelieving wife because of her husband. 10  Otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 7:15 But if the unbeliever wants a divorce, let it take place. In these circumstances the brother or sister is not bound. 11  God has called you in peace. 7:16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will bring your husband to salvation? 12  Or how do you know, husband, whether you will bring your wife to salvation? 13 

The Circumstances of Your Calling

7:17 Nevertheless, 14  as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each person, so must he live. I give this sort of direction in all the churches. 7:18 Was anyone called after he had been circumcised? He should not try to undo his circumcision. 15  Was anyone called who is uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Instead, keeping God’s commandments is what counts. 7:20 Let each one remain in that situation in life 16  in which he was called. 7:21 Were you called as a slave? 17  Do not worry about it. But if indeed you are able to be free, make the most of the opportunity. 7:22 For the one who was called in the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman. In the same way, the one who was called as a free person is Christ’s slave. 7:23 You were bought with a price. Do not become slaves of men. 7:24 In whatever situation someone was called, brothers and sisters, 18  let him remain in it with God.

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