Summary: Paul endorses the single life as a viable option. Keep in mind that when Paul wrote these words he had the return of Christ in mind.
A SERMON FOR SINGLES
INTRODUCTION: This passage brings us to the problems of those who are not married. Paul endorses the single life as a viable option. Keep in mind that when Paul wrote these words he had the return of Christ in mind.
In a day when being single is avoided at all cost; when there are those who think if one is single they are of questionable character, there is a lot of practical advise here. Consider Paul’s words with regards to:
I. Reasoning and the Single Person (v.25-35)
The key words are found in v.27 “seek not”. Paul gives three legitimate reasons that the single life could be a valuable option.
A. The Trials: “Virgins” = never married. “Command” = not a direct command from Jesus but sound advice. “Present crisis” = impending distress or disaster. “Remain as you are” = married – remain married. Single – remain single. “If you do marry” = Paul is not anti-marriage (I Tim. 4:3). “Troubles” = Paul wrote out of love. He wanted to spare them trouble.
B. The Time (29-31): The appointed time has grown short. He saw the coming crisis as a time of separation that would bring mourning. One’s priority should be Jesus!
C. The Tensions (32-35): “Free” = from anxieties. “Unmarried” = could give full attention to the Lord’s affairs. “Married” = distracted by worldly affairs. Divided in devotion. “Anxious” = split in two.
This is a general rule. Paul didn’t forget those who do not have the gift of celibacy. Marriage can be a great blessing and a wonderful experience. Verse 35 is key. “Good” = he had their welfare in mind. Some are so preoccupied with marriage serving God takes a backseat. Reread Matt. 6:33.
II. Restraint and the Engaged Person (v.36-38)
A. The Dilemma (v.36): “Acting improperly” = where passions are strong and behavior is unbecoming or indecent. It suggests either unrestrained passion, or the young woman’s being pregnant. Paul advises “Let them marry.”
B. The Decision (v.37-38): He who is resolved to refrain from marriage does well. Either way is right.
III. Remarriage and the Widowed Person (v.39-40)
A. The Options (v.39): He re-emphasizes the permanent nature of marriage as long as the parties remain alive.
B. The Opinion (v.40)
CONCLUSION: Some have the gift of being and remaining single. Most, probably, do not.