What does 1 Corinthians 7:25 mean?
ESV: Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.
NIV: Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy.
NASB: Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I am offering direction as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy.
CSB: Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I do give an opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is faithful.
NLT: Now regarding your question about the young women who are not yet married. I do not have a command from the Lord for them. But the Lord in his mercy has given me wisdom that can be trusted, and I will share it with you.
KJV: Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
NKJV: Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy.
Verse Commentary:
Earlier, Paul referenced a letter sent to him by the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 7:1). It's possible this verse begins a response to a separate question from that letter. Paul may also be continuing to respond to the original statement in verse 1.

He begins by speaking, "about the betrothed," according to the ESV. The actual Greek word used here is parthenōn, which more literally means "virgins." The word, itself, doesn't say exactly who Paul has in mind. Often, "virgin" is used in Scripture to describe young, unmarried women. The context of the verses that follow, however, indicates Paul is addressing males who are engaged to marry young women. For that reason, translations such as the ESV present this as a reference to "betrothed" instead of "virgins."

What follows is not about whether Christians should have sex—that is, to lose their virginity—but about whether they should still get married if they are under an agreement to do so. Earlier passages dealt with a misconception among the Corinthians that becoming a believer meant renouncing marriage and sexuality. Paul disputed that, saying that God had plans for people in whatever state they were called to faith (1 Corinthians 7:17).

In the next verse, Paul will give his personal preference. He makes very clear, however, that his view is not a direct command from the Lord. He will add in verse 28 that someone who does not follow his advice here will not be guilty of sin. Instead, he asks his readers to receive his instructions about this one thing in view of his trustworthiness. He writes that it is only by God's mercy—not his own merit—that Paul's advice is worth trusting.

In other words, engaged people should carefully consider what he is about to say before deciding whether to go through with their marriage plans. As an experienced and reliable spiritual advisor, his opinion ought to carry weight.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 7:25–40 explores Paul's response to a question about those who are engaged to be married. Should they go through with it, considering his teaching that singleness provides opportunity to serve Christ undivided? Both are permitted, Paul insists, and you do well in either case. Paul's unique, personal view is that unmarried Christians can serve without the troubles that come with even the best marriages; they can remain fully focused on living for Christ. That is neither a command nor a judgment binding on anyone.
Chapter Summary:
Paul rejects an idea concerning the Corinthian believers: that married Christians should not have sex. Perhaps some even thought marriages should be dissolved and avoided. On the contrary, Scripture says married Christians should have regular sex in order to avoid temptation. Those who are married ought to remain married. Unmarried believers with the gift of celibacy, however, should consider remaining single in order to avoid the troubles of marriage. That is Paul's personal preference, though that gift is not given to all others. Single believers can devote themselves to serving Christ without distraction. The time is short. All believers should live and serve Christ now as if this world is passing away.
Chapter Context:
First Corinthians 7 follows Paul's teaching in the previous chapter, which focused mostly on avoiding sexual immorality. Here he commands married husbands and wives not to deprive each other of sex, or get divorced, in a misguided attempt to be more spiritual. Unmarried people who can live contentedly without sex, however, should consider remaining single in order to serve Christ undivided. Getting married is good, but the time is short. The form of this world is passing away. Unmarried people should think about the opportunities to avoid trouble and serve Christ that come with staying single.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 5/28/2024 7:07:43 PM
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