The Principle and the Occasion

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“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #73

“Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath 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” (1 Cor. 7:25-26).

The principle is that every Christian should start with contentment in the place where he was when God called him. This principle applies to those who are married, to those who are married to an amiable unbeliever, to those who are married to a hostile unbeliever, to those who are unmarried but in control of their lusts, to those who are unmarried and not in control of them, to those who are circumcised, to those who are uncircumcised, to those who are slaves, and to those who are not.

The occasion in which Paul is applying this principle is the time of the “present distress” (v. 26). It is one thing to stand up for Christ under the threat of being thrown to the lions, it is another thing to stand up for Him under threat of your small children being thrown to the lions. Because of the impending persecution, Paul says that this is not a good time (everything else being equal) to start a family. At the same time, a man who is consumed by his lusts will fare even worse during a time of persecution, and so Paul gives some folks permission to get married, present distress and all.


In these verses, he returns to the unmarried who can contain themselves. Those virgins who can do so would be best advised to remain unmarried.

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