On 14 July Grant Retief preached a sermon on 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 at CCU (see passage below). The title of his talk was ‘If I were God I wouldn’t be so strict about sex’.


Look up this passage in its immediate context, reading from 6:12 to 7:17.


Highlight in this longer section all the repeated words/phrases.

Chapter 6:12 says “‘All things are lawful’, but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful’ but I will not be dominated by anything.” Chapter 6:19 says “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Now read 1 Corinthians 10:23-31. Do you see the same phrase as in 6:12? Chapter 10:23 says “‘All things are lawful’, but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful’ but not all things build up”? And then chapter 10:31 says “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Do you see that 10:31 is similar to chapter 6:19?

Discuss how you think these two repeated phrases in 6:12-19 and 10:23-31 influence the meaning of our main passage 7:1-5.


What genre does 1 Corinthians fall into? Is it history, poetry, apocalyptic literature, or an epistle?


Now with your summary tool use your observations and the meanings you’ve found in the passage to form a sentence to help capture the essence or main idea of the passage.

Discuss in your pair/triplet how you will apply what you have learnt.

Continue: The next pair/triplet post for digging deeper into the Bible will be next month. Over the next few weeks until then continue getting together in your pairs/triplets. When you do, apply some of the tools you have learnt to other passages you hear preached about.

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Now for the matters you wrote about: ‘It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.’ But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfil his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

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