New Defender's Study Bible Notes
7:6 by permission. The “permission” given Paul was obviously from the Lord, since no one was above Paul in terms of apostolic authority. Thus, he was claiming—not denying—divine inspiration. He did not have an explicit “commandment” to cite for this teaching, either from the Mosaic law or the teachings of Christ, but rather he had direct divine authorization.
7:10 yet not I. In this case, Paul was not citing his own divinely-inspired authority for his teaching (as in I Corinthians 7:6, 12), but to a specific teaching of Scripture (e.g., Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:3-6). The Lord had already established and commanded the marriage relation to be permanent.
7:12 not the Lord. Again Paul is claiming, not disclaiming, divine authority for his teaching. In fact, he is even boldly superseding a command given by God through Ezra to the Jews. After returning from their captivity in Babylon, the Jews had taken wives from the unbelieving people of the land, and God told them: “Separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange [i.e., foreign] wives” (Ezra 10:11). In the Christian context, however, a Christian is commanded not to divorce a non-Christian spouse, as long as the latter is willing to remain in the marriage.
7:14 now are they holy. If one member of the marriage is a believer, then he or she has been “sanctified”—that is, “set apart” in a special relation—unto God. By that very fact, then both the unbelieving spouse and their children have also been “set apart,” inevitably sharing some of the blessings that God promises the believing partner. The most obvious such blessing is the greater possibility that the children, as well as the non-Christian spouse, will be won to Christ by the believing spouse (I Corinthians 7:16).
7:25 give my judgment. There had been no previous commandment specifically concerning virgins, except to refrain from fornication, so Paul gives his own inspired judgment (note I Corinthians 7:40). Before giving his advice concerning virgins, however, he points out that the imminent “distress” (I Corinthians 7:26,29)—possibly referring to the soon-coming severe persecutions of Christians by the Romans—would indicate that it might be better to remain unmarried, even though getting married was certainly no sin (I Corinthians 7:28).
7:32 carefulness. In its former usage it means “worrying.”
7:36 if any man. This evidently is a reference to the virgin’s father, who normally determined when, and to whom, his daughter would marry (see I Corinthians 7:38).
7:39 only in the Lord. It is always outside of God’s will for a believer to marry an unbeliever (note II Corinthians 6:14). God can forgive sin, of course, including this sin, but such a direct act of disobedience is dangerous. Such marriages more commonly result in the believer backsliding than the unbeliever coming to Christ. Such basic differences should be resolved before marriage, not after.