(#037) 1 Corinthians 7 - To Marry or Not to Marry…That is the Question!

FCOR-42-200621 - length: 91:04 - taught on Jun, 21 2020

Class Outline:


Only you and God know the answers to the questions you're asking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome To 

BARAH MINISTRIES

a Christian Church

 

Rory Clark

Pastor-Teacher

 

Good Morning!  Happy Father’s Day!  This is a great day to enjoy the summer solstice!

 

Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries we know this truth…that Jesus Christ is God.  As the Lord He is 100% Deity… He is a member of the Triune Godhead…He is God the Son.  He is also 100% human just like you and me, and His name is Jesus Christ.  The Lord…God the Son…became flesh…Jesus Christ...and lived among us.  He is the uniquely born One…the God-Man…100% God and 100% man in one Person forever.  He is the Sovereign God of the Universe…He is the Savior of the whole world…and He is the Jewish Messiah.  

 

Those who make Barah Ministries their spiritual home are Christians.  We are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and we have a deep, intimate, and personal relationship with the Lord.  Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.  The Lord Jesus Christ is a Person.  The Lord is not a “thing,” and He is not a concept.  Just as we do with anyone whom we love, we spend time getting to know the Lord by knowing His mind, and the Bible is His exact thinking. 

 

God has an enemy, Satan, whom the Bible calls “the ruler of this world.” He is a deceiver who does not want you to get to know God.  The Word of God, the truth, keeps us aware of Satan’s insidious schemes of Satan.  Without the truth of the Word of God we are defenseless.  As believers in Christ, in union with Christ we have the victory over Satan through our Lord who has overcome the world.

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

To Marry or Not to Marry…That is the Question!

 

The apostle Paul thinks it is better not to marry!  For those of you who are single and looking forward to marriage, what do you think?  For those of you who are married, how would you advise single people about marriage?  In today’s lesson, the apostle Paul finishes out First Corinthians, Chapter 7 with some sound advice.

 

SONG INTRODUCTION

 

Let’s hear some music!  A huge missing piece from my life was my father.  Today we celebrate the fathers who also have earned the right to be called Dad.  If there is a standard to which human fathers can aspire, it is articulated well by the apostle Paul in Second Corinthians, Chapter 3, Verses 2 and 3…

 

SECOND CORINTHIANS 3:2

You children are a love letter…written in the hearts of your fathers…a letter known by all men and read by all men…

 

SECOND CORINTHIANS 3:3 

…and it is being made clearly visible that you are a letter of the Christ as well…cared for by your fathers…and you are a letter not written with ink… but you are a letter written with the indwelling Holy Spirit of the living God…a letter not written on tablets of stone…but a letter written on the tablets of human hearts.

 

Fathers send forth their Christian children to reflect the Savior after training them up in the way they should go.  Every year we play a song from Luther Vandross, Jr.  It’s a song he wrote in tribute to his father, Luther Vandross, Sr.  who died from the complications of diabetes when young Luther was only seven years old.  Luther Vandross, Jr. recalls growing up in a happy household filled with dancing.  His mother was quite surprised at the accuracy of the vivid memories Luther captured in this song…memories recalled from such a young and tender age.  Here’s Luther Vandross, Jr. with our Father’s Day favorite…DANCE WITH MY FATHER.

 

MUSIC AND REFLECTION

Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises

 

DANCE WITH MY FATHER

Luther Vandross, Jr.

 

OPENING PRAYER

Let us pray...

 

We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…

 

Father, thank you for being the best Dad to all of us, especially to those of us whose human father didn’t stay to fulfill his responsibilities…thank you for Your unconditional love, and for Your grace, and for Your forgiveness… thank you for thinking so much of us that You sent Your Son to provide a way for us to have the victory in the Creator-creature conflict…

 

Father, we pray that you provide the resources to help fathers learn to do their jobs…we pray that you sew into their hearts the seeds of being, so they will be as interested in raising their kids as they are in their careers…we pray that You give fathers the secret t fathering like you do…to protect, to plan for, to provide for and to be present with their families…intentionally…

 

…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s

name...Amen.

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

To Marry or Not to Marry…That is the Question!

 

We’re studying First Corinthians, Chapter 7 where Paul begins addressing problems brought up to him in the form of questions by Chloe and other people concerning the believers in Christ in the church at first-century Corinth.  Corinth is the Las Vegas of its day (what happens in Corinth stays in Corinth)!  Paul is interested in correcting erroneous thinking that is being housed in the minds of these new believers.  Here is an overview of the final topics in Chapter 7…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS

Chapter 7, Verses 25 to 40

 

To the Unmarried

The End Times

The Case for Celibacy

To the Fiancé

To the Widows

 

Let’s listen to the final passage of this chapter…

 

To the Unmarried

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:25 

Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give an

opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:26 

I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:27 

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:28 

But if you marry, you have not sinned…and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.

 

The End Times

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:29 

But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:30 

…and those who weep, as though they did not weep…and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice…and those who buy, as though they did not possess…

 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:31 

…and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it… for the form of this world is passing away.

 

The Case for Celibacy

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:32 

But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:33 

…but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife… 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:34 

…and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit…but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

 

To the Fiancé (A Betrothed Male)

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:35 

This I say for your own benefit…not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:36 

But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin 

daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin…let her marry. 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:37 

But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well. 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:38 

So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well,

and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.

 

To the Widows

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:39 

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives…but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:40 

But in my opinion, she is happier if she remains as she is…and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.

 

When we return from our five-minute break, we’ll take your offering…and then we’ll see what advice this passage provides.

 

FIVE MINUTE BREAK

NOBODY

Casting Crowns

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

To Marry or Not to Marry…That is the Question!

 

News flash!  Part of your giving goes to pay a small salary to your Pastor.  I’ve been teaching the Word of God for well over twenty years, but have only received a small stipend in the neighborhood of 0 a week for the past two years.  The apostle Paul asks in First Corinthians, Chapter 9, Verse 11…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 9:11

“If we (Pastors) sowed spiritual riches in you (through teaching you the Word of God)…is it too much to ask if we reap material things from you?”

 

The answer, of course, is NO…it’s not too much to ask!  Pastors should be paid.  Your contributions go to serve the world, but they also reward your Pastor for his diligent work on your behalf.  For the reward, I say thank you!  Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with the offering message.

 

THE OFFERING

Deacon Denny Goodall

 

OFFERING VERSE

 

ACTS 3:6

But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold…but what I do have I give to you…in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”

 

OFFERING VERSE

 

MATTHEW 6:21

…for where your treasure is…there your heart will be also.

 

OFFERING SONG

THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU

David Bauer, Instrumental

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

To Marry or Not to Marry…That is the Question!

 

Welcome back!  Paul continues to address the question asked of him in First Corinthians, Chapter 7, Verse 1…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:1

NOW CONCERNING the things about which you wrote (such as), “Isn’t it the highest, most virtuous good for a married man not to touch a married woman?”

 

Paul is now shifting to the specifics.

 

To the Unmarried

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:25 

NOW CONCERNING virgins, I have no command from the Lord, but I give you wisdom coming from an apostle, who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy (and faithful as the Lord’s mouthpiece). 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:26 

I think then that this is good in view of the present difficulties (perhaps a

famine)…that it is good for a man to remain as he is (and not make dramatic

 life changes). 

 

There’s always a present circumstance!  It’s the same advice Paul would give today amidst the COVID-19 scam.  I feel a bit bad for the Millennials… they want to grow old and they may not get a chance to do so…but Paul would tell them to maintain “status quo.”  Now Paul talks specifically to men…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:27 

Are you bound to a wife (by an engagement promise…a betrothal)? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife?  Do not go looking for a wife (don’t go on the hunt). 

 

That’s great advice to single men.  To marry or not to marry?  Paul says if you’re not married, don’t!

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:28 

But if you (a male) marry, you have not sinned…and if a virgin (female) marries, she has not sinned. Yet if you (men) marry you will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you that trouble.

 

Paul is probably addressing some legalistic lie with this verse…the assertion that it is sinful to marry.  It isn’t.  Why is marriage trouble?  In my view, it’s because it is unity.  Satan, the enemy of God, attacks unity because he hates unity.  The need to engage with the world to make a living brings trouble.  Anyone who is married, or who has been married and is no longer married will tell you that being single is easier…contemplating marriage is asking for trouble.

 

Colossians, Chapter 3, Verse 2 has a suggestion for all of us Christians…

 

COLOSSIANS 3:2

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

 

Setting our minds on earthly cares alone is a big problem.  As believers in Christ, our serenity comes from having an eternal perspective.  We are in this world, but we are not of this world…so we must not let the cares of this world bog us down.  We must keep our eyes on the horizon and on the glorious future that is in store for us.

The End Times

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:29

But this I (Paul) say, brethren…the time has been shortened (Christ’s victory at the Cross has made the future certain…as believers in Christ we know what’s next)…so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none (the eternal perspective is that marriage is temporary and not eternal)…

 

Romans, Chapter 7, Verse 2…

 

ROMANS 7:2

For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living… but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.

 

World experiences and world lessons (like marriage) pale in light of eternity.  Our identity as Christians is with Christ, and not with worldly things.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:30 

…and those who weep, as though they did not weep…and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice (we are not to let the ups and downs of life define us)…and those who buy, as though they did not possess (we are not to let work and possessions be our focus)…

 

Matthew, Chapter 16, Verse 26…

 

MATTHEW 16:26

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

 

When the Lord comes back for us, He doesn’t want us to be distracted by things.  As Christians, we are in a constant state of detaching from the world and its entanglements.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:31 

…and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it… for the form of this world is passing away.

 

Christians know what matters.  We are not confused…we are not running around like chickens with our heads cut off…we are not worried that God is going to take us out with the flu…we are not fear-based…we are not afraid.  Philippians, Chapter 3, Verse 20…

 

PHILIPPIANS 3:20a

For our citizenship is in heaven…from which heaven also we believers in Christ eagerly wait for (the return of) a Savior…the Lord Jesus Christ…

 

We are in this world, but not of this world, and the things of this world do not define our lives. Eternity does.  How should we look at the world?  As a classroom to learn Christ…Hebrews, Chapter 12, Verse 2…

 

HEBREWS 12:2a

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and the perfecter of faith…

 

The world is constantly seeking to shift our focus from Christ.  We must not allow it.  This world is passing away.  Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 10…

 

SECOND PETER 3:10

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

 

Let’s be ready!

 

The Case for Celibacy

 

To marry or not to marry?  Why does Paul think being single is best?

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:32 

But I (Paul) want you to be free from anxieties. A man who is unmarried is anxious about the things of the Lord and how he may please the Lord…

 

Being single offers freedom from distraction…focus!

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:33 

…but a man who is married is anxious about the things of the world and how he may please his wife… 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:34a 

…thus, his interests are divided…

 

Paul is skillful in his use of the word anxious here, to show how anxiety can be used well and how anxiety can distract.  The married man bounces between his duty to God and his duty to his family.  His interests are indeed divided.

 

FIRST CORINTHINAS 7:34b

The woman who is unmarried and a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit (holy in every way… having capacity to give herself to the Lord)…but the woman who is married is anxious about the things of the world and how she may please her husband.

 

To the Fiancé

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:35 

This I say (about being single) for your very own benefit…not to put a noose around your neck (because you want to marry)…but I am saying this to promote what is appropriate to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

 

Paul is saying, “All of you have freedom…do as you please…I’m just 

letting you know what is practical.”  

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:36 

But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin fiancée (the female betrothed), especially if he is filled with sexual passion…and it is bound to happen…let him do what he chooses to do…he does not sin (by being filled with sexual passion)…let them marry. 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:37 

But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no sexual necessity, but has control over his own sexual will, and has decided this in his own heart to keep his virgin pure, he does well. 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:38 

So then he who marries his virgin does well, and he who does not marry his

virgin does better.

 

To the Widows

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:39 

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives…but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only to someone in union with the Lord.

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 7:40 

But in my opinion, she is happier if she remains as she is…a widow…and I think that I also have the Spirit of God (agreeing with me).

 

To marry or not to marry?  It’s up to you!

 

GOD WANTS YOU!

Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life

 

The closing moments of our study are for the benefit of anyone who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 

 

After hearing the opening comments, an atheist would say, “There is no god.  God doesn’t exist.”

 

The bible has a different view.  Even though people think the Bible is “just a bunch of stories,” the apostle John makes the function of the Bible crystal clear in John, Chapter 20, Verse 31…

 

JOHN 20:31 

…these things written here (in the Bible) have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ (the Jewish Messiah)…the Son of God (in human form)…and that by believing in Him you may have the resurrection life in His name.

 

Philosopher Blaise Pascal, in what has come to be known as “Pascal’s Wager,” says that human beings bet with their lives that God either exists or He does not.  Pascal is right, so if you are an atheist you would do well to at least consider what the Bible has to say.  Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 23 says…

 

ROMANS 3:23

…for all creatures have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

 

Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 10…

 

ROMANS 3:10

…as it is written, “There is no creature who is righteous, not even one…” 

 

Since atheists are created creatures, human beings, they would do well to be

curious about exactly what the Bible is proposing in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:22a

For all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human who

comes to earth) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…

That’s horrible news for an atheist!  The good news is that the Lord has an interesting attitude toward ALL of His creatures…even those who think there is no god.  Second Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 9…

 

SECOND PETER 3:9

The Lord is not slow about His promise of salvation, as some accuse Him of...instead He is patient toward you unbelievers (including atheists)…not wishing for any of you to perish (in the Lake of Fire) but for all of you to come to repentance (a change of mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ).

 

The Bible claims that God exists and that God lives in heaven.  How can you get to heaven?  If you’re an atheist, and you think Pascal was right, then there is no downside to believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Right where you sit, RIGHT NOW, you can tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the moment of eternal life for you.  Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…

 

ACTS 16:31 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”

Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is an atheist’s acknowledgment that if there is a God, it might be smart to have faith in Him.  John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…

 

JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation),

and I am the truth (through the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”

 

No creature can do a thing to get to heaven on his own.   Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6 says…

 

ROMANS 11:6

But if salvation is by grace, and of course it is, it is no longer based on

works…otherwise, grace is no longer grace.

 

God’s grace makes your salvation a free gift to you…if you have to work for a gift then the work makes you deserve the gift.  In salvation, there is no way for you to impress God enough that He would allow you to save yourself.  It's very wise to let God save you because once God does something, He never changes His mind.  Heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…

 

JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”

 

Who is this God who saves you?  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4… 

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:3

For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance of the gospel message I also received…that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures…

 

FIRST CORINTHIANS 15:4 

…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the

 third day…according to the Scriptures…

 

The apostle Peter reminds us of the words of the Old Testament prophet Joel in Acts, Chapter 2, Verse 21…

 

ACTS 2:21

‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.’

 

If you’re an atheist, I encourage you to keep on investigating to see if you’re right about there being no god.  And if you’re not right, and you think there may be a God, there’s plenty of room for you in heaven!  

 

SONG INTRODUCTION

 

What are fathers commanded to do?  They are to emulate God the Father.  They plan…they protect…they provide…and they are present for their families, especially the children,  In fact, First Timothy, Chapter 5, Verse 8 shares God’s attitude about delinquent fathers…

 

FIRST TIMOTHY 5:8

…if anyone does not provide for his own…and especially for those of his own household…he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

 

Here’s June Murphy to sing about the Ultimate Father…God the Father…in her song FATHER I’M YOURS.

 

CLOSING SONG

FATHER I’M YOURS

June Murphy

 

JUDE 1:24

Now to Jesus Christ…the One who is able to keep you from stumbling…and who is able to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy…

 

JUDE 1:25 

…to the only God…our Savior…through Jesus Christ our Lord…be glory…

majesty…dominion…and authority…before all time…and now…and forever. Amen.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Let us pray...

 

Thanks for coming!

Thanks for watching!

Thanks for listening!

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