Most Relevant Verses
You people are our letters [of recommendation], written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You people show [i.e., by your conversions] that you are a letter from Christ, delivered by us [i.e., the result of our ministry], not written with ink but with the Holy Spirit of the living God; not on stone tablets [i.e., as in the case with Moses' ministry], but on tablets of the human heart. [See Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10].
but to write [urging] them to avoid [eating] what is contaminated by [its association with] idol worship, from sexual immorality, from [eating] strangled animals and from [drinking] blood.
I now want to reply to the matters you people wrote me about. It is [a] good [idea] for a man not to get married. [Note: The words "to get married" here are "to touch" in the Greek and probably refer to sexual relations within marriage. This advice, not a prohibition, is further explained in verses 26-35].
This is the reason I am writing these things while away from you, so that I will not have to deal severely with you when I am there. For the Lord gave me authority to build people up [spiritually] and not to tear them down.
[It is] that God's secret plan [i.e., revealed in the Gospel preached to Gentiles. See verse 6] was made known to me by way of a revelation. [See Acts 9:15; 22:21]. I have already written to you [about this] briefly [i.e., probably a reference to 1:9ff].
I am writing to you fathers, because you have known Him [i.e., Christ], [who has existed] from the beginning [See John 1:1]. I am writing to you young men, because you have overcome the [power of the] evil one [i.e., through faith they had gained victory over Satan, See 5:4].
I have written to you little children [i.e., dear ones], because you have known the Father [as your God]. I have written to you fathers, because you have known Him [i.e., Christ], [who has existed] from the beginning. [See verse 13]. I have written to you young men, because you are [spiritually] strong and the word of God continues to live in your hearts, and you have overcome the [power of the] evil one [See verse 13].
I have written these things to you people, who believe in the name [i.e., in the person and work] of the Son of God, so that you can have assurance that you have [the hope of] never ending life. [See Titus 1:2; 3:7; Mark 10:30].
"Write [this] to the angel [i.e., the messenger] of the church at Ephesus [Note: These "messengers," (verses 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14) are thought by some to be evangelists]: These things are the words of the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:
"And write [this] to the angel of the church at Smyrna: These things are the words of the First and the Last [i.e., Jesus], who was dead, but has come [back] to life:
"And write [this] to the angel of the church at Sardis: These are the words of Him who has the seven Spirits of God [i.e., Jesus, who has the Holy Spirit] and the seven stars [i.e., the seven angels of the seven churches. See 1:20]: I know about your deeds, that you have a reputation for being [spiritually] alive, but you are [really] dead.
"And write [this] to the angel of the church at Philadelphia: These are the words of Him who is holy and true, [and] who possesses the key [i.e., the power and authority] of King David, [and] who opens [a door] which no one will close, and who closes one that no one will open:
"Write [this] to the angel of the church at Laodicia: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the source [or, ruler] of God's creation [See John 1:3; Heb. 1:1-2]: