We see from the first two verses of this chapter that the Corinthian believers had asked Paul for guidance concerning marriage.  He said in verses 1-2, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

The chapter can be divided like this:

  1. Verses 1-9 – The Single and the Married Life.
  2. Verses 10-16 – Separation and Divorce.
  3. Verses 17-24 – Abiding in the Different Callings.
  4. Verses 25-40 – The Unmarried and Married in Contrast.

To answer your good question, let’s read 1 Corinthians 7:25-28, “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. Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.”

In referring to ‘virgins’, Paul is speaking of the pure, unwed men or women.  Because of the ‘present distress’, Paul advised that it might be best for a man to refrain from marriage.  When Paul stated that, “I have no commandment of the Lord”, he was simply saying the Lord left no specific instructions about the subject he was addressing.  So, under the inspiration of the Lord, He offers his judgment as one with experience of the faithfulness of the Lord.  Are Paul’s words here truly inspired and authoritative?  Of course they are!  Hear his words from 1 Corinthians 14:37, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD.”

This was a time of great persecution and it could even endanger one’s life to marry and begin a Christian household.  Yet, if one was married, Paul told that man to stay with his wife.  If he was unmarried, it was a good thing that he not actively seek to marry a wife…again because of the ‘present distress.’

However, Paul is quick to point out that marriage at this point was not forbidden of the Lord.  “If thou marry, thou hast not sinned.”  A godly couple might realize the danger and determine that marriage is still the right thing to do.  This was okay, but there is a warning given…“such shall have trouble in the flesh.”  There would be persecution which could put a strain on a marriage.  There could be danger.  Paul, desiring to ‘spare’ any who desired to be married, offers a credible reason to reconsider marriage at that moment.  Yet, let me re-emphasize, to marry was not a sin.  (373.6)