Rap about Christ
(Email from Timothy) "While I believe that the Bible is completely true without error and contains no contradictions, there is one thing that has always bothered me. That is what Paul said about marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9. In those verses, he said, ‘But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.’ But Proverbs 18:22 says, ‘He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.’ Maybe it's just me, but I cannot for the life of me understand how those two statements can possibly be in agreement with one another.”
Everything else in the Bible seems to say that marriage is a good and honorable thing. However, Paul seems to be saying that marriage really isn't the ideal and that the only reason anyone should ever get married is to control their lustful thoughts. So does this mean that I am wrong for wanting marriage and a family? It just doesn't add up to me. Please help!”
John Piper sermon:
Paul promoted celibacy because he enjoyed serving Christ with as few distractions as possible, and he wanted that for others as well. The contemporary mood promotes singleness (but not chastity) because it frees from slavery. Paul promotes singleness (and chastity) because it frees for slavery—namely, slavery to Christ.
God has called many of you to a life of celibacy. The teaching of this passage for you is that this is a gift to be celebrated. You should be dreaming—as many of you are—how your freedom can be maximized for the cause of Christ here and around the world. You have some advantage that the married do not have.
As much as Paul would like to commend celibacy to everybody, he defers to the wisdom of God who calls some to marriage. Celibacy is not for everybody.
Marriage is a dam against the flood of fornication—sexual relations outside marriage
Wesley’s Explanatory Notes:
“’Eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake’ St. Paul, having tasted the sweetness of this liberty, wished others to enjoy it, as well as himself. But every one hath his proper gift from God - According to our Lord's declaration, ‘All men cannot receive this saying, save they,’ the happy few, to whom it is given," Mt. 19:11 .”
Matthew Henry Commentary (Concise):
The apostle tells the Corinthians that it was good, in that juncture of time, for Christians to keep themselves single. Yet he says that marriage, and the comforts of that state, are settled by Divine wisdom. Though none may break the law of God, yet that perfect rule leaves men at liberty to serve him in the way most suited to their powers and circumstances, of which others often are very unfit judges. All must determine for themselves, seeking counsel from God how they ought to act.