25 Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy.
26 I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress—that it is good for a man to remain as he is:
27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.
Paul had “no commandment from the Lord” relating to virgins under the then-present circumstances. Indeed, probably no fixed rule could be laid down which might not lead to license on the one hand, or undue restraint on the other. Thus the apostle gives only his judgment (v.25), based on the conditions at Corinth at that time. And he adds that those who do not follow his advice are not necessarily guilty of any wrongdoing. As to the question of the inspiration of his advice in the matter, see notes on v. 12. — Stam, page 140.
judgment (v.25) — advice, counsel
mercy (v.25) — assumes need and the means of meeting it
They were days of great stress and persecution and opposition from the enemy. The Christians were despised and suspected on every hand. They were subjected to the greatest acts of violence and even to death. In view of all this Paul says to the unmarried: Remain as you are because of the uncertainty of these terrible days of persecution. And then too, they were evidently looking for the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The persecutions they endured were regarded by them as the persecutions predicted as coming just before the return of the Savior, and in view of His early return (which they evidently expected), Paul gives this advice. — DeHaan, page 86.
The above words from the apostle Paul [present distress] agrew with the many evidences that he never expected that the “dispensation of the grace of God” might last for more than 1900 years. He expected to be alive at the Lord’s coming for His own after a brief and wonderful opportunity for a sin-cursed world (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:17). Thus here he describes conditions which will prevail during the Tribulation period and “will” begin to prevail even before that time. — Stam, page 143.
good (v.26) = intrinsically good — well-adapted to circumstances
remain as he is (v.26) — whether single or married, a man should remain in his present situation
Note carefully the words “loosed from,” not “have you loosed yourself from a wife.” This clearly refers to the person whom his mate has divorced. He did not wish a divorce. He wanted the marriage to continue, but she insisted otherwise and obtained (directly or indirectly) a divorce, and so the man has now been “loosed from ” a wife. This cannot refer to an umarried man, for an unmarried man has never been “loosed from a wife.” He simply does not have one. But the person described in v.27 has been “loosed from a wife” and this is the party whose plight has so often been overlooked in discussions on the divorce and remarriage question.
A careful study of vs.12-15 will give us some insight into the plight of the one who has thus been “loosed from” a mate. And such, says the apostle in both v.15 (where the unbeliever has departed) and vs.27-28 (where the believer is involved), may marry again without any stigma of wrongdoing; see v.15, “not under bondage in such cases” and vs.27-28, “thou hast not sinned.” — Stam, pages 141-142.
in the flesh (v.28) — in the circumstances of life