What does 1 Corinthians 7:26 mean?
ESV: I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is.
NIV: Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is.
NASB: I think, then, that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is.
CSB: Because of the present distress, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is.
NLT: Because of the present crisis, I think it is best to remain as you are.
KJV: I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
NKJV: I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress— that it is good for a man to remain as he is:
Verse Commentary:
Paul repeats the main idea of this chapter again: that Christians aren't mandated to seek radical, artificial change in their lives on account of their faith. And, that there are benefits to being single. This time, Paul adds additional reason for his personal stance. He has repeatedly instructed Christians to remain in whatever situation they find themselves, married or not, circumcised or not, slave or free. He has added several exceptions to this general rule (1 Corinthians 7:17–24).

Now, though, he adds the motivation of dealing with the "present distress" or "present crisis." Bible scholars disagree about what distress, exactly, he means by this. Perhaps the Corinthians have or will soon come under persecution for their faith in Christ. Others believe Paul to be speaking, generally, about the stress that comes from living during the final arc of human history before the return of Christ.

In any case, Paul considers these troubles reason enough not to complicate life further. There is no point in going to great lengths to purposefully change one's circumstances. Keep going on the path you're on, he says. Later in this passage, though, he asks them to think about the extra anxiety and burden that comes with being responsible for and to a spouse.
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 5/26/2024 6:53:09 AM
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