Trouble in the Flesh

1Corinthians 7:25-31 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that has obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. Are thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Are thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou have not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remains, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passes away. 

‘Virgins’ [Greek: parthenos] a pure, unmarried young woman. This was another subject that the Corinthians had asked Paul about.

‘That this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.’ Paul’s advice here was for the present distress or persecutions of Christians. They were at the mercy of their enemies with no state protection as we have today. On this account it would be better for unmarried persons to remain single.

‘Are thou bound unto a wife? … Are thou loosed from a wife?’ This means to be married (bound) or divorced (loosed) from a wife or husband on legal and scriptural grounds. Because of the “present distress” of that day the advice was: “seek not a wife;” but if you do marry you have not sinned (7:27-28).

‘Time is short: it remains, that both they that have wives be as though they had none …’ this is the 9th New Testament prophecy in 1Corinthians (verses 29-31). This predicts the immediate persecution of Christians which Nero was then preparing.

‘Trouble in the flesh’ most marriages are not pleasant or easy because of the partners’ selfishness or unsaved state where everyone today only lives for themselves without consideration for others. Because of impending persecutions: Let all people be without anxiety concerning families, property, and the world in general (7:32-33). Let the married live as though not married (7:29). Let those who weep act as though they wept not (7:30). Let those who rejoice act as though they did not rejoice. Let those who buy live as though they did not possess. Let those who use this world make proper use of it, for the very fashion of it will soon pass away (7:31; 1Jn. 2:17). The way rituals and rites are done on earth will pass away and have no eternal value (1Jn. 2:15-17).

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