Lesson 23

Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

7:1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote to me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 7:2 But, because of sexual immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 7:3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection owed her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 7:4 The wife doesn't have authority over her own body, but the husband. Likewise also the husband doesn't have authority over his own body, but the wife. 7:5 Don't deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn't tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Today's Lesson 

In Today's Scripture Paul continues the theme of purity from sexual immorality. He had written to them that their bodies were the temples of the Holy Spirit. For this reason purity from sexual immorality is especially important for the Christian. For the Christian to engage in sexual immorality is to deny and defile the body of Christ, of which he is now a part.


As with all sin, God gives us a way to avoid sexual immorality. To avoid sexual immorality, "let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband. " The answer to sexual immorality is the God-given institution of marriage. When a man and woman bind themselves in matrimony, they devote their lives and bodies to one another.


Paul goes so far as to write that the man does not have authority over his own body. That authority belongs to his wife. Likewise the husband has authority over the body of the wife. They belong to one another in the same way that they belong to God. In this way, by binding themselves to God and to each other, they may keep themselves pure from sexual immorality.

Once having bound themselves to each other, they should fulfill their duties to each other as well. It is the duty of both man and wife to make themselves available to fulfill the sexual needs of their partner. "Let the husband render to his wife the affection owed her, and likewise also the wife to her husband." In marriage, sex is not a weapon to be wielded against one another; it is a gift to be shared. Through the sharing of this gift, both husband and wife can keep themselves pure from sexual immorality.


This is representative of God's way in all things. For each of our desires and needs, there is an appropriate means that God has given us to fulfill them. Where sin enters is when we try to substitute our own decisions and seek to fulfill those desires in some way other that the way that God has approved. In the case of sexual immorality, should I seek to fulfill my sexual desires with anyone other than my wife, that would be substituting my own decision for what God tells me in this passage through Paul. If I believe God and live by his word to us through the apostle, I will not fall into sin. This is true of all sin. Every sin is a perversion of a desire that God has given us and for every desire God has given us a means to exercise it properly.


At a time when our culture is becoming more and more sexually immoral, it is not a coincidence that the institution of marriage is much maligned. Divorce rates are at an all-time high, couples increasingly live together without the benefit of marriage and the rates at which children are raised outside of marriage have dramatically increased.


God's plan and purpose is that each man has his own wife and each wife has her own husband. By becoming one and submitting themselves to each other, they each may overcome sexual immorality and have self-control. Where marriage is debased and ignored, immorality flourishes. It is a basic human need and a godly solution we ignore at our peril.


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