Summary: The Sermon below tackles about the Biblical teachings about marriage, marital relationship and divorce.
Text: 1 Corinthians 7
Teachings For Singles and Widows
“It is good for a man not to marry (v.1).” – For the singles, Paul strongly suggested that it is better for a man not to marry. He emphasized that singles can concentrate more on the affairs of the church in comparison to those who were married (v.32-35).
However, Paul did not restrict the unmarried so as the widows to marry (v.2, 35). In verse two, we can see that it is because that there are so much immorality, Paul suggests that it good to marry than to indulge oneself to immorality (v. 2).
Paul never suggested that we should try and act as if we are married, rather, it would be better to get married than to sin. Marrying is not a sin. In fact, in the Bible, it is something that is God-designed as he instituted it through Adam and Eve.
However, sexual relations is only good WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF MARRIAGE. When we say “within the bounds of marriage”, it means that you can only have sexual relation to your spouse, the one whom you had a covenant with God. Having sexual relations before getting married or having an affair with another man or woman aside from your spouse is under “sexual immorality”.
Teachings For Married
In verse 3, we can see here that Paul is telling us about intimate marital relationship. We can also see that it is not sin to have sexual relationship within the bounds of marriage. In contrast to St. Augustine teachings’ that sexual relationship is a necessary evil, here we see that the Bible did not prohibit a couple to have sexual relations nor say that it is evil. It is however an immorality if such thing is done outside the bounds of marriage.
Another lesson that we can see here is that, the couple is advised to have time with the Lord (v.5). It is always good if the couple spends time with the Lord. Here we see that both of them are advised to spend time with the Lord together.
Quoting the book of Ephesians 5:32-33, Paul has given the rules of marital relationship, that is for the wife to submit to her husband, and for the husband to love his wife as himself.
Submitting to husband means being under his authority, under his care.
Teachings About Divorce and Marital Problems
Another thing that we can learn from chapter 7 of the book of 1 Corinthians is about problems. Paul here presented some of the most common marital problems and said about things that Jesus Christ teaches.
First is about divorce. We have to take note of Paul’s emphasis, “not I, but the Lord”. This could probably mean that Paul is very much aware of what Jesus taught in Matthew 5:32 that says “32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” And this is the command: “A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. (v.10)”. The same teaching has been confirmed in the following references: Matt 19:9; Mark 10:11; Luke 16:18.
The book of Matthew by the way is the only book in the New Testament that presented an exemption of the right to divorce which is immorality. But still, no passage in the New Testament that advises for a divorce person to remarry.
Where do we find that remarriage is allowed?
The book of Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Moses taught the people of Israel the rules of divorce. There we see that the people are allowed to remarry.
In contrast to this, Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew 19:8, argue with the Pharisees about divorce and teaches the people that they ought not to marry after the divorce. And that it was only allowed during the time of Moses because of the “hard hearts” men, but it was not God’s design even from the beginning, quoting Genesis 2:24.