“The Christians in Corinth were surrounded by sexual temptation. The city had a reputation even among pagans for sexual immorality and religious prostitution. It was this kind of society that Paul delivered these instructions on sex and marriage. The Corinthian church was in turmoil because of the immorality of the culture around them. They needed special, specific instructions because of this.” *

Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-16. What is Paul emphasizing as a high priority in this passage?

The church asked Paul a number of questions. A few of them were about marriage and what they should do now they are Christians.

Paul says, ‘Yes it is good to live a celebrant life’. Read other versions and discuss what the main point Paul is wanting to communicate to the Corinthians.

Compare your thoughts with other things he writes later in this passage: eg, is he saying: ‘it is best not to get married yet?’ How would that thought compare with what he says in the next 8 verses?

Paul says: ‘I wish everyone were single just as I am….’ Why do you think he felt this way?

Do you think he was just expressing his personal preference when he said ‘I wish’ or was it meant to be stronger teaching? Consider his passion for the lost. See Romans 9:1-3, 10:1.

What are the points Paul makes as good reasons for:

  • Being single?
  • Getting married?

Keep in mind the culture the Corinthian’s were living in.

How relevant is Paul’s teaching to us keeping in mind the culture we live in today?

How much priority should husbands and wives place on closely following Paul’s instructions here?

What could be the outcome if they don’t?

What are some things that could hinder this (closely following Paul’s instructions) from happening?

Discuss a single person’s predicament. Should they seek to get married if lust is an issue in their lives?

What are other things they should consider as well? E.g. see 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Sexual pressure is not the best motive for getting married but it is better to marry the right person than to “burn with lust”. Many new believers in Corinth thought that all sex was wrong, and so engaged couples were deciding not to get married. In this passage, Paul was telling couples who wanted to marry that they should not frustrate their normal sexual drives by avoiding marriage. This does not mean, however, that people who have trouble controlling themselves should marry the first person who comes along. It is better to deal with the pressure of desire than to deal with an unhappy marriage. *

Marriage Success

What do you think is the most important key to a successful marriage? Do you think there is more than one?

Marriage Failures

Why do you think some Christian marriages don’t succeed ending in divorce? Following are four Non Biblical reasons. Discuss how Christians could be influenced by them.

  • They listen to public opinion (the world) which okay’s divorce and then in their minds they justify it!
  • They accommodate theology interpreting it in such a way to suit what they want to do!
  • There are delayed consequences for actions done by the other person!
  • They listen to other Christians who give their approval for divorce!


Commitment of a husband and wife to each other, their marriage and God glorifies God.

Commitment of a single person to God to stay sexually holy glorifies God.

Discuss the following:

  • ‘I am not my own’ 1 Corinthians 6:19.
  • ‘I am here to glorify God’ 1 Corinthians 6:20.

How can you best do this? Are there any things you can improve on in your attitude and actions?

Share in your group and spend some time praying for each other and others you know.

* taken from “Life Application Study Bible”


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Bible Study 1 CorinthiansHolinessMarriage