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How Does a Believing Spouse Sanctify the Other Spouse and Their Children? 

First Corinthians 7.14

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • November 20, In the year of our Lord, 2013


  1. What does First Corinthians 7.14 mean?

    14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy (1Co 7.14).

  2. Questions to Consider:
    1. How is that the unbeliever is sanctified by the believer?
      1. Can it refer to salvation?
      2. If not, to what then does it refer?
    2. Does this passage imply that the children of unbelieving parents are unclean, not sanctified, and unholy?
    3. What does it mean that the children are holy?
      1. Can it refer to salvation?
      2. If not, to what then does it refer?
  3. How does the text begin?
    1. It begins with the word, “For.”
      1. What does that tell you?
      2. It reveals that what Paul was about to say,
        1. explained something that he had already declared.
    2. What had he declared?
      1. If you back up in the text,
      2. you can tell that he begins a new topic at verse 10.
  4. What did Paul teach in verses 10–13?
    1. How would you summarize that section?
    2. What did Paul say about the marriage between a believe and an unbeliever?
      1. Should such a marriage continue or be dissolved?
      2. Paul taught that if the unbeliever is content, the marriage should continue.
        1. There is no need to divorce an unbeliever for being an unbeliever.
        2. Why is that, because
          1. the unbeliever is sanctified by the believer.
          2. The marriage is holy.
            1. There is no reason to break it apart
            2. simply because one is an unbeliever.
  5. If the marriage was not holy or sanctified,
    1. that would mean the children are not holy, or
    2. not legitimate.
      1. They would be the same as a child born out of wedlock.
      2. However, that is not the case with children born to a mixed marriage.
  6. This probably became a concern to the Corinthian Church because
    1. Christians should not have anything to do with that which is unholy.
    2. They wondered whether this would include unbelieving spouses.
      1. If so, they would have to separate from the unbelievers.
      2. However, Paul explained why that was not the case.
  7. Becoming a Christian does not change our marital status.
    1. It does not change many things.
    2. Paul went on to make that point in verses 17–24.
  8. Does God favor the children of believers?
    1. Psa 37.25