Summary: This message, though, not part of the mini-series on marriage builds from a principle revealed in that series - "We do not know what God is going to do". Hence, we need to look at where we are as an opportunity, not a stepping stone
Being Content as a Status Quo Christian
1 Corinthians 7:16-24 (NIV) 1Co 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
17 Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.
18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.
21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you--although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave.
23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
24 Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.
INTRODUCTION: For our purposes this morning, and in order to establish the context for our passage, we need to look at the previous verse ¡V 1 Corinthians 7:16 (NIV) 1Co 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
In this verse, Paul proclaims that a believer in a spiritually mixed marriage needs to be at peace in that marriage, if at all possible, for they do not know how God will use them in the marriage. They could well be the instrument of salvation for the rest of their family.
With that in mind, Paul now expands that principle here in these verses, taking our ¡§ignorance¡¨ concerning what God could and might do, and applying it to other areas of our lives.
PROPOSITION: GOD WANTS US TO BE CONTENT WHERE WE ARE SO THAT HE CAN USE US AS HE WISHES.
I GOD¡¦S SOVEREIGN DIRECTION OVER OUR LIVES ¡V 1 CORINTHIANS 7:16-17
A Nevertheless/But as (kjv)
1 Reference to verse 16
a 1 Corinthians 7:16 (NIV) 1Co 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
b If we believe that God may use us in a household where everyone does not know Christ
2 Need to apply the same principle to other areas of our lives
B Retain our place
1 Seems as though everybody wants to get ahead
2 Time magazine recently wrote about our young people coming out of colleges and universities
a Taking longer to get through college
b Having no clear plan for college education
c Not sure of career path
1) Trying several
2) Not holding any one down for long
d Not sensing their own adulthood
3 There is no foundation of purpose
4 Paul tells us that we are to retain our place in life
a Our heavenly calling does not set aside our earthly responsibilities
b We need to be Christians where we are, not where we think we should be
C Our assignment and calling
1 Scripture says that we have been assigned by our Lord
a Apportioned to use
1) Kind of like baking a cake
2) Get the right ingredients
3) In the right amounts
4) Under the right conditions
5) And ¡V you get a cake
ILLUSTRATION: Then there was the time when I asked my wife to get me some soft-serve ice cream from a Chinese Buffet. The particular buffet had some ¡§sprinkly stuff¡¨ you could put on the ice cream to make it more ¡§sundae¡¨ like. I had happened to spy some crushed nuts, and so I ask Sherry to please put some of those on the ice cream for me. Well, when she brought this back, it had vanilla soft-serve, chocolate syrup, rainbow sprinkles, and or course ¡V NUTS! It looked beautiful. I took my first mouthful and immediately realized that what I though was nuts had actually been crumbled up bacon. Ice cream with nuts is a treat, ice cream with bacon is a tragedy!
b What I am trying to say is that a little of you where you are is a good thing for God, but a little of your where you should not be could be detrimental for the cause of Christ. God apportions our use
2 The Scripture says that we have also been ¡§called¡¨
a This word carries with it the thought of an invitation. In other words, God calls us to something