Better to marry than to burn.

John Farley
June 23, 2019

Better to marry than to burn

1Co 6:16-20, 7:1-9

So how do we glorify God in our body when it comes to sex?

The Corinthians went to extremes when it came to the subject of sexuality.

Some in Corinth were into celibacy – refraining from sex-, and were trying to force others to be like them.

Paul is not teaching a series on marriage.

Rather, he is responding to particular problems in the church at Corinth.

The statement “it is good for a man not to touch a woman” is taken from their letter. These are not Paul’s words.

This came from the celibacy faction in Corinth.

They wanted Paul to endorse this as a blanket statement that applied to everyone.

The celibacy party in Corinth put Paul in a bind.

He was celibate himself. And he knew that there were advantages to being celibate.

He writes this passage to correct that misunderstanding.

Celibacy has practical advantages for the Christian life.

But it is only for those who have received the grace gift from God that enables them to abstain from sex.

In fact, it’s unjust and dangerous to force it upon married couples, as well as unmarried people who do not have the gift of celibacy.

In verse 2, Paul is addressing people who are already married.

“have” here means to take, hold, and enjoy. It refers to the sexual union between husband and wife.

1Co 5:1

1Co 7:3-4

Here again “duty” refers to offering one’s body to the other for the purpose of having sex.

Everything here in verses 2-4 is mutual. Husband and wife as equal partners.

Mutual agreement to make love. With the emphasis on LOVE.

The only way to respect both authorities here is by mutual consent.

1Co 7:5

Some husbands and wives had stopped having sex because they thought that would bring them to a higher spiritual plateau.

But don’t go without sex for too long, because that opens the door for one or both of you to be tempted to stray.

When you have given up sex for a time, you are more vulnerable to sexual temptation from illicit sources.

1Co 7:6-7

He is not commanding them to abstain from sex; he is permitting them to do so!

He received the gracious gift from God to remain celibate.

It is a gift because it frees him up to spend all his time and energy on the things of the Lord.

Married men have a different calling. If they don’t fulfill it, they are worse than an unbeliever.

The married life and the single life are both gifts from God.

1Co 7:8-9

So far Paul has been dealing with the subject of celibacy for married couples.

How does the subject of celibacy relate to the unmarried?

Some of you will be able to live the celibate life.

1Ti 5:14-15

He makes a distinction between younger widows and older widows (60 years old or older).

However, Paul tells the younger widows to get married. Why?

Their sexual desires are probably still strong due to their relative youth.

1Co 7:9

“Burn” here refers to sexual and romantic passion.

If those desires are strong, you will be frustrated and miserable if you remain celibate.

You should marry.



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