First Corinthians 7:1-14


In 7:26 the “present crisis” may refer to the sexual immorality among the believers in Corinth.


Marriage is normal.  Sex in marriage is an expectation.



“Now Concerning” is “peri de” and is a formula used to introduce a new topic.

7:25    8:1       12:1    16:1    16:12

Paul is now going to address the things they wrote about.


Since the time of Origen (200’s AD) this first line “It is not good to touch a woman” was considered to be a Corinthian quote.  This is what some of them were teaching.


“Not Marry” in the NIV is “touch” in the Greek and refers to sexual intercourse.

This is also seen in Gen. 20:6 and Prov. 6:29


Corinth was saying no sex in marriage because 7:2-4 explains and commands to have sex in marriage.



The verbs are Imperative which make them a command.


“Immorality” is plural or “immoralities” in the Greek referring to many acts.

In a society filled with temptations Paul says to marry.

“Should have” is imperative and so is a command.  Anything other than having a wife is an exception (see 7:7)

Sex is not the only reason for marriage (also companionship, family, love, stability, purpose, etc.) but sex is the focus of these verses.  Paul makes it clear that sex is one of the reasons for marriage.



Each partner has:

  1. Rights – privileges of marriage
  2. Dues – responsibilities in marriage


These rights and dues of marriage go both ways according to God’s word.

Even in a male dominated culture Paul says both the husband and the wife have rights and dues in marriage.

”Habitual duty” is the interpretation of the present imperative verb.


The focus of sex in these verses is the giving of oneself to your partner



“Exercise Authority” is a type of paradox since it first says “Her/His own body” then says she/he does “Not have authority” her/his own body.


Male and female are equal in sexual relationship.  Men do not control sex within marriage nor do women.  Both are to share responsibility.


Sex is indispensable in marriage according to the Word of God.

Sex is not an option but is expected and normal.

Sex is not bad nor is it spiritually defiling.

A person can have a prayer life and a sex life in a marriage relationship.

Paul is telling the Corinthians that this is part of the normal life.

Sex is not a non-spiritual activity.



devote yourself” is scolashte and means “you may have leisure” for prayer.

Notice “mutual consent”.  This means before a husband or a wife turns to a time of prayer and takes time away from sexual intercourse there should be mutual consent or agreement from the other partner.


“Do not Deprive” in the Greek indicates that depriving is occurring.  The Greek says “Stop depriving”



“As a concession” can not be Paul referring to the imperative verbs of 7:2-4 where he just finished saying you must be having sex in a married relationship.


The concession he makes is in 7:5.
Here he states his concession or his half way point for those who want to pray and not be interrupted with sex.  Paul says that if both partners agree there can be a time set aside for prayer with no sexual relationship.  The criteria are:

  1. Both agree
  2. Only for a set period of time

So if both do not agree to the time of prayer the other partner can not say no to sex.

Also, it can only be for a set time.  In other words one partner can not devote themselves to prayer for the rest of their life and refrain from sex.



Jewish men were required to be married and have children

In the Talmud: “Any man who has no wife is no proper man”

Rabbis taught men should be married by age 20 or else upset God


Was Paul married before his conversion?  Had his wife left him when he became a believer?  Had his wife died?  Had Paul always been single?