Summary: 8 of 8. Paul answered the inquiries & clarified the concerns of the Corinthian Christians regarding marriage. How are Christians to maintain God’s intent for marriage? Maintaining God’s intent for marriage(& singleness) demands a concentration upon...
MAINTAINING GOD’s INTENT For MARRIAGE(& Singleness)-VIII—
(Making Marriage(& singleness) Worthy of its Creator)
If we are careful to nurture God’s Intent in our marriages, then they will NOT end up ‘on the skids’ as do worldly marriages!
Paul answered the inquiries & clarified the concerns of the Corinthian Christians regarding marriage.
Christians maintain God’s intent/design for marriage.
How do/can Christian couples maintain God’s intent for marriage?
6 focal points for Christians regarding marriage.
There are at least 2 choices in most every decision, & one of those choices is always God!
We have found that Maintaining God’s intent for marriage(& singleness) demands a concentration upon...
1. His DIRECTIVES(:1)
2. His LIMITATIONs(:2)
3. His AFFECTION(:3)
4. His AUTHORITY(:4)
5. His COMMITMENT(:5-6)
6. His GIFTEDNESS(:7)
7. His GOODNESS(:8)
8—Maintaining God’s intent for marriage(& singleness) demands a concentration upon...WHAT GOD CONSIDERS ‘BETTER’(:9)
:9—“but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is self-control
It may seem utterly impossible for the “unmarried” or “widowed” to maintain “self-control” in regard to sexual desire. The temptation will continue to resurface. In such a case, it is far “better” to “marry.” To remain unmarried, while having uncontrollable sexual ‘passions’, sets one up for overall failure...It is to ‘stack the deck’ against yourself.
“Let them marry” hints that this is a word for the gathered church as well as for parents:
a.--It is a word for the church in that they should not corporately establish & employ man-driven artificial traditions regarding sexual relationships. Legalism invites frustration thru lack of interaction & ungodly solutions.
b.--This is a word for Christian parents who would suppose they are able to artificially prevent their child(ren) from acting uncontrollably. After all, “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child”(Prov. 22:15). Yet older ‘children’, in the throes of sexual temptation may have grown beyond any previous means of outward correction. Parents must get creative in their methods.
b. i.--This is especially a word for fathers, as they are answerable to God for what is allowed in the home. They are directed to “let them marry” rather than to hold them back(?for celibacy’s sake?). Such outward restraint is kin to asceticism’s inability to affect an indulgence of the flesh(Col. 2:22-23).
•But what about the age of accountability’?...There is no specific age applicable to all!...Yours individually was & is known by God, NOT by man!...So Christian parents are to work within the confines of mental ability to receive knowledge.
• ‘Asceticism’—“The practice of severe self-discipline & avoidance of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons.”
Col. 2:20-3:3—“Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations--“Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using--according to the commandments & doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, & neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, & your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Outward restraint(penance/self-help) is powerless/useless against inward drive. Flesh is intended to always be met with God’s power & direction.
*The power of the flesh can only be properly met & subdued with the power of God’s loving unmerited grace thru faith in Christ.
*Scripture never denies the existence of sexual urges(or any temptation), but rather encourages & equips us for a godly channeling of those desires(1Cor. 10:13).
1Cor. 10:13—“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Thus it is much “better” to “marry than to” continuously “burn” with sexual passion. “With passion” is an interpretation determined by the circumstantial evidence of the context, as Paul uses no direct wording(Greek) beyond “than to burn.”
The use of “burn”(purow) here means “to be inflamed,” & is best understood as referring to strong passion”...—MNTC
The picture here “of sexual desire as “burning”(:7-9) is commonest in the novels & in Greek erotic poetry.”—BECNT
And so is associated with sexual passion.
“Only in the embrace of one’s husband or wife is it appropriate to find sexual satisfaction.”—Micah Carter in Explore The Bible personal study guide, 1, 2 Corinthians, Spring 2018.
*The long & short of the matter concerning the “unmarried” & “widows” is that it is acceptable for these to marry.