1 Cor 7:14 - A Presupposition of Consecration

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Puritan Board Freshman
In 1 Cor 7:14 Paul Writes, "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."

It seems to me inescapable that Paul is treating the status of the believer's child as "holy" as a presupposition. He is accepting as an irrefutable fact that the children cannot be unclean, must be holy (in this context I believe he means consecrated). From that presupposition he is saying that the because the child is surely holy, that necessitates the sanctifying of the unbelieving parent.

The holiness/consecration of the child of believer, and the sanctification of an unbelieving spouse are not treated as identical. The status of one (the child) is a presupposition (based upon facts established elsewhere, and apparently broadly embraced by Paul's audience). The status of the other (the unbelieving parent) is established based upon, deduced in light of, the necessity of the certain holiness/consecration of the child.

Am I mistaken in seeing in this text that Paul is beginning his treatment of a question at hand (the question of what to do regarding an established marriage to an unbeliever) with the foregone conclusion that the children of a believing spouse ARE necessarily consecrated unto God?



Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Whatever you think is the meaning/import of the description pertaining to a theological Q having to do with baptism(or any other deduction); the child's status is taken as a given; and therefore, this implies (to Paul) an evident backward-implication pertaining to the marriage (Christian + non-Christian).

When one considers the negative judgments on mixed-marriage under the OT (see the Law, or the ends of the books Ezra and Nehemiah, e.g.) it is not surprising this matter might disturb the saints.
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