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Free From Anxiety Whether Single or Married: 1 Corinthians 7:32-40

July 23, 2023 Preacher: Bob DeWaay Series: 1 Corinthians

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:23-40

The concluding verses of 1 Corinthians 7 contain the Greek word for “anxiety” or “concern” five times plus one use of the term with an alpha privative meaning “unanxious.” The word can be used in the negative sense of anxious or the positive sense of concerned.

Paul wants believers to be concerned in a good sense about pure devotion to the Lord. We point out numerous times that what Paul says here is advice about becoming married or staying single in a time when there was great distress. Paul holds a high view of marriage as seen in various places in his writings.

In the sermon, we emphasize that whatever else we may be anxious about, all Christians must be concerned about holiness and pure devotion to the Lord. We warn against various false teachings which have arisen in church history which are based on misuse of Paul’s teachings in this section. Some have required oaths of chastity and promoted ascetic practices to achieve purity. Paul does not do so but rather corrects the Corinthian errors which promoted asceticism.

We also deal with textual issues which have caused some translations to assume Paul changes topics when the context indicates he has not. This is not about whether fathers give their daughters to for marriage. It is about men or women who are qualified to be married deciding whether to do so. Paul insists that people are free to marry, but in the Lord.

Believers are not to marry unbelievers. Our applications deal with prayer, godly concern for one another, and Paul’s statement about the church being pure and devoted to Christ, using betrothal terminology.