It is at THAT point, at which a person becomes such a "new creature" in Chist, that the issues of "adultery" then apply. But also, in 1_Corinthians 7, we do see that there is a difference between total-Christian marriages and "hybrid-marriages".
That is, in 1_Corinthians 7:10-11, we see the commandment of the Lord to marriages where both the husband and the wife are both believers in the Lord Jesus Christ:
"And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife." (1_Corinthians 7:10-11.)
But then Paul continues with the next passage being addressed to "hybrid-marriages". That is, he addresses those marriages where either the husband or the wife is the believer while the other is not a believer.
"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. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 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. 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. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?" (1_Corinthians 7:12-16.)
By beginning that passage with the phrase, "But to the rest speak I...", the Apostle Paul provides us with the insight that that next passage is not addressed to the same people to whom were being addressed in the previous Verses of 10 and 11 (which were to the total-Christian marriages).
As well, by beginning that (Verses 12-16) passage with the phrases, "But to the rest speak I, not the Lord...", Paul helps us realize that he is making an instruction (not to be confused with his only making a "recommendation" as he did in Verses 1-6!) based on his understanding of God's Will rather than these specific words (in Verses 12-16) being direct Commandments of God as differentiated from Verses 10-11 actually were indeed so spoken as God's very commandment.
Anyway, this (Verses 12-16) passage shows us that a believing wife should remain with her unbelieving husband as long as he be pleased to dwell with her. The reason for this is FOR that unbelieving man's very soul's sake. For indeed, it just might be that his wife's holiness would bring him such a testimony that he himself would turn to the Lord for the very salvation of his soul. It is for THAT reason that the believer wife is instructed to remain if the unbeliever man would still remain with her. (Verse 16 makes that very obviously clear.)
But if the unbeliever in such a "hybrid-marriage" depart, what is the instruction then? Paul writes, "if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother OR a SISTER ((i.e., the remaining believer from whom the unbeliever is departing)) IS NOT UNDER BONDAGE in such cases". (1_Corinthians 7:15a-c.)
It is clear then, the believer is NOT UNDER BONDAGE when their unbelieving husband (or wife) departs. It is important to note that Paul really did include the word, "SISTER" (as in a "sister in the Lord"), there as well. That is, Paul also was saying that this instruction does not ONLY apply to men believers, but that it ALSO applies to women believers too. (One would, of course, have naturally expected that "brothers" would be said to not be under such "bondage" there, given that the definition of the Hebrew word for adultery, na`aph,
clearly does not prevent a man from marrying more than one (unmarried) woman, as also shown in such verses as Exodus 21:10, Deuteronomy 21:15a, and 2_Samuel 12:8. So that is why it is that much more relevant that Paul actually did also include "sisters" to be so likewise free ---at liberty--- from such "bondage" IN SUCH CASES.)
And again, it is important to once more remember that this (Verses 12-16) passage began in Verse 12 as identifying to whom this instruction was being given (i.e., "but to the rest speak I"). And the "rest" are clearly a different group of people than those to whom were being addressed in Verses 10-11. That is, in the first passage (Verses 10-11), believer wives were commanded of the Lord to remain unmarried or be reconciled to their believer husbands (if they had ever departed). But in the very next passage (Verses 12-16), which is addressed to the "rest" (i.e., hybrid-marriages, because total-UN-Christian marriages would not even be willingly receiving the word of God here anyway), we see that the believer wife is NOT under "bondage" IN SUCH CASES if the unbeliever husband departs.
Two different types of marriages, two different types of instructions. A commandment of the Lord for the total-Christian marriages, and an instruction from Paul for the hybrid-marriages.
Thus do we see that a believer wife whose unbeliever husband departs from her, that "SISTER is not under BONDAGE in such cases". (1_Corinthians 7:15[c].)
And it is relevant why Paul used the word "bondage" there to describe the "sister's" freedom in such cases.
Consider the following, as it is applies to believers.
"Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 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. 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. (Romans 7:1-3.)
"The wife is BOUND by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." (1_Corinthians 7:39.) (Indeed, "only in the Lord", for she should not seek another husband who is not in the Lord, that she be not "unequally yoked with an unbeliever" from then on after, as per 2_Corinthians 6:14.)
And that which is BOUND is that which is under BONDAGE. And that which is not under BONDAGE is that which is no longer BOUND.
Hence, the believer wife is not BOUND by the law to her unbelieving husband in such cases.
And in a study of the Greek text, it becomes even more fascinating!
Yes, it is true, though: the Greek word for "bondage" in 1_Corinthians 7:15, "douloo" (Strong's #1402) is not the identical Greek word for "bound" in Verse 39 or Romans 7:2, which is "deo" (Strong's #1210). But it is easy to observe that they are actually specifically connected in the same way that the English words, "bondage" and "bound", are connected while not being the same word either.
#1402 "douloo" (doo-lo'-o); **from #1401**; TO ENSLAVE (literally or figuratively) [[[translated as "under BONDAGE" in 1_Corinthians 7:15]]]
--- #1401 "doulos" (doo'-los); **from #1210**; a SLAVE (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily, frequently therefore in a qualified sense of SUBJECTION or SUBSERVIENCY)
#1210 "deo" (deh'-o); a prim. verb; TO BIND (in various applications, literally or figuratively) [[[translated as "is BOUND" in 1_Corinthians 7:39 and Romans 7:2]]]
So, by following where the words are **from**, we see that #1402 "douloo" [[[BONDAGE]]] is related to #1210 "deo" [[[BOUND]]] by way of #1401 "doulos".
How? A closer re-examination of that above sequence reveals:
#1402 "douloo" is **from #1401** and
#1401 "doulos" is **from #1210**, which is
Indeed, the three words here are all just variations/derivations of the same meaning, just like the variation/derivation we observe in the English between the two translated words, "BONDAGE" and "BOUND".
And for an even more fascinating understanding about the use of the word for "BONDAGE" in 1_Corinthians 7:15 (the verse which says that a "sister is not under BONDAGE in such cases"), you might likewise enjoy looking up all the other verses where #1402 "douloo" is the actual word used in the Greek text.
Acts 7:6 translated to "bondage"
Romans 6:18,22 translated to "became the servants" (of righteousness / to God)
1_Corinthians 7:15 translated to "bondage"
1_Corinthians 9:19 translated to "made servant"
Galatians 4:3 translated to "bondage"
Titus 2:3 translated to "given" (as in, enslaved "to much wine"!!!)
2_Peter 2:19 translated to "brought in bondage"
Therefore do we see with all clarity that, when an unbelieving husband departs from a believing wife, that "SISTER is not under BONDAGE in such cases". She would not be BOUND by the law of adultery IN SUCH CASES, and "she is at LIBERTY to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord" --i.e., thereafter only to a husband who IS a believer. (1_Corinthians 7:39.) This is, again, of course, because of 2_Corinthians 6:14 ---i.e., that she not not be "unequally yoked with an unbeliever".
And indeed, from that point on (of her marriage thereafter to a believer husband), then surely, the commandment of the Lord in 1_Corinthians 7:10-11 would thereafter apply, to which she would thereafter indeed be BOUND by the law of adultery with her believer husband (as long as he lives), according to 1_Corinthians 7:39 and Romans 7:2.
© April 8, 1998, TRUTH BEARER
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064