1 Corinthians 7:11-20

1 Corinthians 7:11
But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
Depart - Divorce or divide
Now the Apostle begins a section concerning the marriage relationship. Paul continues from verse 10 and states that if the wife does divorce from the husband, she is to remain unmarried or she is to be reunited to her husband. If she goes and marries someone else and is then divorced again, she may not be remarried to her first husband because she is then defiled.
(Deu 24:1-4 KJV) When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. {2} And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. {3} And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; {4} Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
Now the reason she is to remain unmarried if a divorce does take place, is because if she marries while her husband is still living, then she is committing adultery.
(Luke 16:18 KJV) Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
(Mark 10:11-12 KJV) And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. {12} And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
(Rom 7:2-3 KJV) For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. {3} So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Then on the end of that verse, Paul states that the husband should not put away his wife. If he puts his wife away, then that opens the door for both of them to commit adultery as they will go out and seek new partners. As you can see by the above verses that divorce opens the door to a multitude of sins.
1 Corinthians 7:12
But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
Speak I - This is not personal opinion but the Word of God.
The principles of marriage between a believer and unbeliever is the same, they are still one flesh. Sometimes in the course of a marriage, one of the spouses may become saved and the other does not. This makes for a mixed marriage. However, if the wife desires to live with her husband who has become saved and she is still dedicated to the marriage, then the saved man should never think about divorcing his wife. In fact, the marriage may grow stronger since if the man gets saved, there is much less chance that he will commit adultery or hurt her in anger, since he will now have the principles of Scripture to guide him and the Holy Spirit living inside him. Basically, this verse and the next are reminding us of the seriousness of marriage. If God is telling us not to divorce because the other spouse is unsaved, then we need to make sure we heed that command. “Let him not” is a command in the Greek. One other point on this verse. Just because Paul says “Speak I, not the Lord” does not mean he is injecting his personal opinion instead it is the word of God and maybe the Lord did not cover this subject while He was here and is covering it now through Paul. There is no personal opinions in the Bible, it is strictly the word of God from cover to cover.
1 Corinthians 7:13
And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
Now the same principles from verse twelve is now applied to the wife having an unbelieving husband. If he loves his wife and she becomes saved, and that does not matter to the unbeliever, then the wife should not leave him. Normally the wife has it a little more difficult than the saved husband in verse twelve. The wife may have an unbelieving husband who may not want to go to church or let his wife have a Bible study when the football games are on. But in either case, if the unbelievers love their spouses, then no divorce should take place.
1 Corinthians 7:14
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
This house now becomes a gospel home. (Acts 16:30-31 KJV) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? {31} And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. The ones who are not saved but sanctified are set apart as a gospel home because if one person becomes saved, then the gospel now becomes part of that home. This is not a guarantee of salvation for the unsaved individuals just a realization that salvation could come to the other members if they be God’s Elect. Even the children are considered holy, this is because the unsaved members of the house are not indwelled with the Holy Spirit as one who is saved, but rather they are partaking of the Holy Spirit. (Heb 6:4-5 KJV) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, {5} And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, This is the same situation that exists in a church body. In a local congregation, there are unbelievers and believers. The believers are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, but the unbelievers who are attending are partaking of the Holy Spirit. They are hearing the prayers, the sermons, the hymns, and are partaking of the all around spiritual atmosphere which pervades a true church. God looks upon it as a holy assembly although there are those in every congregation that are unsaved.
1 Corinthians 7:15
But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God
hath called us to peace.
If the unbelieving spouse chooses to depart from the believing spouse, then they are allowed to leave. However, because God views all marriages as permanent, the believing spouse must remain single, even if the unbelieving spouse remarries. If a Christian loses their unsaved partner by means of divorce, then the Christian is to remain single. The principles of committing adultery in remarriage is still applied to every divorced person who remarries. The reason for the divorce is not an argument for remarriage. Whether it was a gentle or nasty divorce, does not negate the adultery laws of Scripture for remarriage.
1 Corinthians 7:16
For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
Because the house is now a gospel home, salvation is possible to the unbeliever if they are God’s Elect. However, the Bible is not advocating marriage as a tool of evangelism. The idea that Christians can date and marry unbelievers for the purpose of making them a mission field is sin. The Christian is only to date and marry another Christian. There is no such marriage principle in Scripture as missionary dating. If a Christian wants to marry an unbeliever, then it is the responsibility of the Elders and Pastor of the church to refuse to perform that wedding or else they share in their sin.
1 Corinthians 7:17
But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
Every believer has been given a spiritual gift and a ministry. The gift is given at the moment of salvation but the ministry may come at a later time. (1 Cor 12:11 KJV) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. God also expects the Christian to live a consistent life within the parameters of the gift or gifts they receive. The Scripture also teaches that no matter what our social condition is, the Lord knows all about it and we need to learn to walk and serve within those constraints. We must never get the idea that if I had more money or if I had a spouse, then I can serve the Lord better. Paul is saying that he ordains this principle of blooming where you are planted in all the churches as this is a biblical principle. No matter what strata of life we are in, there is going to be a large mission field right at our fingertips. We are to walk where God has placed us.
1 Corinthians 7:18
Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
Paul is not speaking of the uncircumcision of the heart in this verse but he is continuing to build on the principle that we are to work right where God has placed us. We are not to try and strive to gain social position in this world or to place our faith in the world system believing that if we have some higher status we could be more useful to God. Remember the world looks at us as off scouring. It doesn’t matter what you are, a janitor or a US Senator, if you are a true Christian, you are looked at as scum in this present world.
1 Corinthians 7:19
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
A person who is saved does not have to concern themselves about their social calling in this life because whether rich or poor, or powerful or weak, God sees people of this world in only two ways: Saved or Unsaved. Basically this Scripture is saying, rich or poor, status or no status, married or unmarried, doesn’t matter. The only thing which matters is the keeping of God’s commandments. In other words, are you saved?
1 Corinthians 7:20
Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
If God calls you to a certain vocation, do it with all diligence. (Eccl 9:10 KJV) Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. If there are any changes to be made in your life, God will make those changes very evident to you. He will move you, demote you, promote you, but for now, build your ministry on the sphere of influence God has given you in your present position.