About the things you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have relations with a woman."
But because of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.
A husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband.
A wife does not have authority over her own body, but her husband does. Equally, a husband does not have authority over his own body, but his wife does.
Do not deprive one another-- except when you agree, for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
I say this as a concession, not as a command.
I wish that all people were just like me. But each has his own gift from God, one this and another that.
I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am.
But if they do not have self-control, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with desire.
I command the married-- not I, but the Lord-- a wife is not to leave her husband.
But if she does leave, she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband-- and a husband is not to leave his wife.
But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she is willing to live with him, he must not leave her.
Also, if any woman has an unbelieving husband, and he is willing to live with her, she must not leave her husband.
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the Christian husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to peace.
For you, wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Or you, husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?
However, each one must live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him. This is what I command in all the churches.
Was anyone already circumcised when he was called? He should not undo his circumcision. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised.
Circumcision does not matter and uncircumcision does not matter, but keeping God's commandments does.
Each person should remain in the life situation in which he was called.
Were you called while a slave? It should not be a concern to you. But if you can become free, by all means take the opportunity.
For he who is called by the Lord as a slave is the Lord's freedman. Likewise he who is called as a free man is Christ's slave.
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
Brothers, each person should remain with God in whatever situation he was called.
About virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I do give an opinion as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy.
Therefore I consider this to be good because of the present distress: it is fine for a man to stay as he is.
Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
However, if you do get married, you have not sinned, and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But such people will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.
And I say this, brothers: the time is limited, so from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none,
those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess,
and those who use the world as though they did not make full use of it. For this world in its current form is passing away.
I want you to be without concerns. An unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord-- how he may please the Lord.
But a married man is concerned about the things of the world-- how he may please his wife--
and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is concerned about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world-- how she may please her husband.
Now I am saying this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but because of what is proper, and so that you may be devoted to the Lord without distraction.
But if any man thinks he is acting improperly toward his virgin, if she is past marriageable age, and so it must be, he can do what he wants. He is not sinning; they can get married.
But he who stands firm in his heart (who is under no compulsion, but has control over his own will) and has decided in his heart to keep his own virgin, will do well.
So then he who marries his virgin does well, but he who does not marry will do better.
A wife is bound as long as her husband is living. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to anyone she wants-- only in the Lord.
But she is happier if she remains as she is, in my opinion. And I think that I also have the Spirit of God.
About food offered to idols: We know that "we all have knowledge." Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up.
If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it.
But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
About eating food offered to idols, then, we know that "an idol is nothing in the world," and that "there is no God but one."
For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth-- as there are many "gods" and many "lords"--
yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him.
However, not everyone has this knowledge. In fact, some have been so used to idolatry up until now, that when they eat food offered to an idol, their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
Food will not make us acceptable to God. We are not inferior if we don't eat, and we are not better if we do eat.
But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak.
For if somebody sees you, the one who has this knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, won't his weak conscience be encouraged to eat food offered to idols?
Then the weak person, the brother for whom Christ died, is ruined by your knowledge.
Now when you sin like this against the brothers and wound their weak conscience, you are sinning against Christ.
Therefore, if food causes my brother to fall, I will never again eat meat, so that I won't cause my brother to fall.
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
My defense to those who examine me is this:
Don't we have the right to eat and drink?
Don't we have the right to be accompanied by a Christian wife, like the other apostles, the Lord's brothers, and Cephas?
Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?
Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and does not drink the milk from the flock?
Am I saying this from a human perspective? Doesn't the law also say the same thing?
For it is written in the law of Moses, Do not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. Is God really concerned with oxen?
Or isn't He really saying it for us? Yes, this is written for us, because he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes should do so in hope of sharing the crop.
If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?
If others share this authority over you, don't we even more? However, we have not used this authority; instead we endure everything so that we will not hinder the gospel of Christ.
Do you not know that those who perform the temple services eat the food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the offerings of the altar?
In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel.
But I have used none of these rights, and I have not written this to make it happen that way for me. For it would be better for me to die than for anyone to deprive me of my boast!
For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason to boast, because an obligation is placed on me. And woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with a stewardship.
What then is my reward? To preach the gospel and offer it free of charge, and not make full use of my authority in the gospel.
For although I am free from all people, I have made myself a slave to all, in order to win more people.
To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law-- though I myself am not under the law-- to win those under the law.
To those who are outside the law, like one outside the law-- not being outside God's law, but under the law of Christ-- to win those outside the law.
To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by all means save some.
Now I do all this because of the gospel, that I may become a partner in its benefits.
Do you not know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.
Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly, or box like one who beats the air.
Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.