Summary: Marriage is so much more than just a man and woman coming together... Paul shares how it is a picture of God's love for us!
Date Written: June 13, 2014
Date Preached: June 15, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series in 1 Corinthians
Sermon Title: Marriage: A Vision of God’s Love
[and how we should approach it!]
Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 7:1-16 [ESV]
Essence of the Text: Paul challenged believers in Corinth to bring glory to God regardless of their marital status.
Essence of the Sermon: We are challenged to glorify God thru our lives regardless of our marital status.
Main Question(s) of the Sermon: Do you have to be married to please God? Should you avoid marriage so you will stay pure? Just what is Paul teaching in this passage?
Applicable Objective of the Sermon: The hearers will know:
Paul is teaching that marriage was created and is still blessed by God -- Marriage is NOT a stumbling block to serving God!
Paul is also sharing that if you are NOT married that too will be blessed by God and your “singleness” should NEVER be a stumbling block for your service to Him!
Finally we find Paul sharing that the Love of God is revealed THRU a God honorring marriage!
In this chapter Paul addressed issues the church hadd written him & asked him about.
The church had asked him questions OR they had made statements about their beliefs that Paul had to either affirm or admonish and correct.
They asked about marriage (ch7) food sacrificed to idols (ch8-11:1), public worship (11:2-14:40) the resurrection (ch15) and the offering to the church in Jerusalem (ch16:1-4)
This mornning we will be lookking at the section where Paul addressed God—honored marriage. There was some teaching that led many in Corinth to rush to judgment and make poor decisions when it came to marriage.
In this section Paul discounts this teaching and encourages the believers to NOT be in a hurry or rush any changes to their marital situation… it didn’t matter if they were married OR not-- Paul’s comments would apply!
I believe we can look at Paul’s balanced approach here between the very liberal excess of extreme sexual freedoms that some were teaching to the ultaa-conservative or monk-like abandonment of any form of physical relationships taught by others.
There were those who taught ANYTHING physcial goes b/c God is not worried about the physical. Then there was a group whose focus and goals were in favor of total celibacy & abstinence from any form of physical contact.
In his answer Paul teaches that both positions were off base! In these verses Paul reveals much about marriage & how God views the marriage relationship & also how it relates to our relationship to Him:
God’s Desire for the Marriage Relationship (v1-5)
1Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” “…matters about which you wrote…” & “sexual relations”
As we have already learned, there were many in the church at Corinth who were being led to believe that it was ok to quench their God given/God driven desire for intimacy thru sexual promoscuity. These teachings had led to many people living lives that were not an appropriate witnesses for the Lord.
BUT there was another group that had reacted in the totally opposite direction. Apparently they had written to Paul to ask the question, “Is ANY form of sexual relations appropriate for the believer?”
Greek – hopp-toh-mye - literally to set fire to or to attach oneself to…a physical touch leading to an intimate burning desire.
This group’s focus & goals were in favor of total celibacy & abstinence from any form of sexual contact. In his answer Paul implies their position to be a bit of an over-reaction!
He offers a short but clear answer in v2 revealing that neither marriage NOR the intimate relationship within the marriage is wrong, but it is blessed by God.
2But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. “sexual immorality” Greek – por-nayah – represents sexual misconduct activity outside of a God Approved Marriage. Paul describes a God Approved Marriage from Gen 2:24; a marriage of one man, one wife… and a life of faithfulness in their relationship!
He continues his answer in v3-4 by sharing some details about this very intimate relationship between husband and wife…
3The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
Now Paul uses this opportunity to explain the intimacy & surrender that comes with the married relationship. He is basically revealing that it is a relationship where YOU seek to meet the needs and desires of your spouse… NOT yourself!