1 Corinthians 7: To avoid fornication,” and “Remain in the state in which you were called

1 Corinthians 7: To avoid fornication,” and “Remain in the state in which you were called

There are many admonitions regarding the sin of fornication and sexual impurity. Some want to try and parse the language so tightly to blur the meaning of words like “fornication” and “adultery” (itself a form of fornication). The claim is often made that a loving God wouldn’t condemn anyone in a “committed relationship,” be it a man and woman cohabiting outside of marriage or homosexual unions.

One of the most clear and concise texts concerning sexual purity is found in 1 Corinthians 7:2, “To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” This statement is nigh unto impossible to misunderstand or misinterpret. Any sexual relationship or union that does not involve marriage between a man and a woman constitutes fornication. End of discussion. While there are unbiblical marriages between a man and woman (cf Matt 19:9), the point here is clear—marriage between a man and woman is the starting point and foundation for all Heaven-approved sexual unions. Anything that doesn’t begin at that point is sin. And, as Paul already pointed out in chapter 6, those who practice such will not inherit the kingdom of God.

While some claim “Jesus said nothing about homosexuality,” Paul claimed in 1 Corinthians 2:16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” He later noted that the things he wrote “were the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor 14:37).

In this same vein, some believe that they can bring their sinful relationships into the church when they obey the gospel. “1 Corinthians 7 says I am to remain in the same calling in which I was called” (cf v 17, 20, 24). But God calls men out of sin and the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13). He never tells men to hold on to their sins or sinful lifestyles!

It must be noted that every example Paul cited in connection to remaining in one’s calling involved lifestyles or situations that were not sinful. Whether or not a man was circumcised had no bearing on his standing in the kingdom (vv 18-19). Whether a man was a slave or free was of no concern (vv 21-22).

It is indeed sad when men would defile the temple of God because they are not willing to forsake all and follow Jesus.

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