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1 Corinthians 7:1-7, No Need to Refrain from Sex

Key Verse

Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
— 1 Corinthians 7:5

RCL Daily Devotion for Friday, January 18, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Dr. Kimberly Leetch from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

Text here, if relevant. Otherwise hide.

Paul knew as well as any that everything always seems to come down to sex. Even in his day, people were preoccupied with it. He was an apocalyptic writer, meaning he and others of his day believed Christ would return any day and bring about the end of the world as they knew it. With all that to worry about, people wanted to know: can they have sex during an impending apocalypse?

Paul had previously also preached abstinence, urging people who were not married to remain unmarried. This wasn’t to discourage healthy familial relations — it was because there wasn’t time to cultivate long-lasting marriages. The end was near, and there was work to be done. And so, Paul preached abstinence.

But those who were married were concerned — did Paul mean abstinence for them, too? Paul conceded (with a heavy sigh, I imagine) that married people could continue to have sex — probably as much to keep them from committing the even more egregious sin of adultery as to keep them happy in their marriages.

Some things haven’t changed. It always comes back to sex.

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Luke 11:14-23, Jesus and Beelzebul