Single and Whole
5/27/2018 Colossians 3:1-14 Psalms 119:105-112 1 Corinthians 7:32-34
As we have celebrated our volunteers, you can’t miss the fact that the singles in our church play a vital role in completing the mission of God here at New Life At Calvary.
Singles are the true face of diversity in that they come in all ages, races, sexes, and groups. We often take for granted the impact the singles have on the life of the church, but God never does. God gives us singles to multiply the work of the church.
God calls all of us to a life of consecration. Everyone is called to consecrate his or her life to God. To consecrate simply means to set apart for a particular reason. We can consecrate anything by setting it aside to be used only in particular circumstances. Some of us remember when we had a dress or suit as a child that was consecrated only to be worn on Sundays. We have been called as believers to set our lives apart to be used by God. We are agreeing to use our bodies in a fashion that does not violate others and also does not violate the principles in the word of God.
Too often the church gives the appearance that everybody living for God should be working toward getting married. Marriage is exalted as the ultimate happiness for a believer. This was not so for about the first 1400 years of the church’s existence. It was not until the Protestant Reformation that marriage was seen as a higher calling. Before that, being single was admired and rewarded by the church. It was the highest form of living. That was why Catholic priests did not marry.
What comes to your mind when you think of a single person? Some see the single state as a time to be carefree, wild, on the loose, the time to sow wild oats, and the time to have fun before having to settle down. Some see the single state as something to be avoided and escaped from. Give me a husband or a wife, and give me one now. Any one just about will do. Neither of these views are correct about what it is to be single in the eyes of God.
First of all I want us to realize that to be single does not mean foot loose and free, able to be game for any man or woman out there on the prowl. It does not mean someone who is searching for a mate just waiting to get married. To be single means that you are complete person, separate and distinct, with the ability to function alone. It does not mean you can’t ask for help. It does not mean you can’t function well with others. It means you are a whole person.
All of us started out as being single and all of us are on the way to being single again. Even if we die while married, we shall be single on the other side of death. I know we talk about seeing our husbands and wives in heaven, but Jesus told the Sadducees, in heaven they neither marry nor are they given in marriage.
We often hear married people say, this is my better half. It’s nice to say, but God’s call upon our lives is to be a whole person all by our self. There is this pressure put on us to think we must have another person to become a whole person. We are told our soul mate is out there, and we must find them to be complete.
God reminds us that we belong to him and we are to be complete in Him. When we stand before God to give an account for our lives, the only one standing with us for our salvation is Jesus Christ. The only one who will answer for the choices we make is ourselves. We will be single and we will be whole.
Marriage is lifted up in the New Testament as a way of life for those believers who find their sexual desires to be a strong temptation that would keep them from being obedient to the word of God. It is okay to fall in love and marry someone. Marriage is required over choosing sexual sin. But the bible clearly teaches that those who marry will have a set of problems all their own. It never teaches that marriage is the promised land, though we pretend that it is.
The key to a good marriage is not to find your other half, but to come into a relationship as a whole person who is ready to unite with another whole person. One has to realize that marriage does not make a person more mature. It simply magnifies how immature they really are.
Marriage has never changed anyone. The only thing marriage does by itself, is to give you some legal rights to properties and responsibilities and to give you the spiritual right to engage in sexual intercourse. As far as being inconsiderate, hot headed, stubborn, lazy, lustful, arrogant, deceiving, unforgiving, brutal, foul, insensitive all these things are still present in a person after they say I do. They will manifest themselves in the person’s life after they say I do. This is why Jesus wants to make us whole with or without the possibility of marriage. These things keep us from loving others.
The apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:12, I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. If you can not be content as a single person in your life, and you just got to have someone to have someone, your life is not going to be what you desire or expect to have. Sin affects all of us no matter how good looking we are .
The first responsibility of every person is to mature him or her self in Jesus Christ. Every one of us need to be allowing the Holy Spirit to perfect our areas of weaknesses. Where I am being selfish, unforgiving, impatient, and demanding my own way? These are the things we need to work on to be a whole person.
We were captivated last week with the Royal Wedding. We put ideas in our girl’s heads on this is what I want my wedding to look like as I am led to the land of enchantment. There is no such place waiting to receive us with unlimited happiness. Our land of fulfillment is found in knowing Jesus Christ. Nobody can fulfill all the expectations we have of them.
What does Jesus, Paul, Mary Magdelene, Daniel, Martha and Lazarus all have in common? They are all single in the snapshots we have of them in the bible. They are whole people as single people. Jesus, the Son of God, chose to live a single life.
Some of the pressure in the church to get people married off comes from Genesis 2:18. Part of the problem has come from our misinterpretation of Genesis 2:18 in which it says, Gen 2:18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
I want you to notice. Who was with Adam at this time? Who did Adam have that He could look at? Who did Adam have that He could touch? Who did Adam have that he could share similar experiences with. Adam was body, soul, and spirit. God is Spirit. There was no one that Adam could relate to with a body.
God is saying, it’s not good for a person to have no one to be able to share their experiences with. It’s not good never to feel the comfort or touch of another who has had similar experience. God had the Son and the Holy Spirit to communicate with in His realm. Adam had nobody. It was the state of having nobody else in his life that was not good. Singles, God does not want you trying to live in isolation from the church. You are part of the body of Christ. Engage yourself with the family of God. We need you and you need us.
Notice that God did not say that I will make a wife for him, he said I will make a helper suitable to him. The word Hebrew word that’s translated a helper is never translated to mean wife. Most of the time you find the word ezer it refers to God as our help.
God was not saying it is not good for Adam not to be married. He’s saying, its not good for Adam to not have some help in his life. It just so happened that Adam and Eve became husband and wife in their helping each other. That was a choice that they made. It was a choice of necessity, because God gave them the commandment to be fruitful and multiply.
Well the earth is full and there is no need for every man and every woman to have to go out and multiply themselves. As a single person, don’t confuse needing some help in your life, with needing a husband or a wife. You might just need a good friend.
You may only need some temporary help, but a husband or a wife is suppose to become a permanent fixture to your life. Plus this other person is bringing along a host of problems with him or her that you may not want to deal with. I can guarantee you, they are also looking for some help. It may be some help you have no desire to provide.
One of the problems that we have in our society is that we always want to be somewhere we are not, so that we can’t enjoy being where we currently are. Jr. Highers don’t enjoy jr. high, because they’re trying to be like high schoolers, high schoolers can’t enjoy their high school experience because the can’t wait to get out. No sooner than they get out, they find out, they’ve missed enjoying one of the last care free times of their lives. Everybody out of school start talking about the good ole days back in school.
A lot of singles see marriage as their graduation ticket to happiness and joy, when once they get in it, they find themselves totally unprepared for it. They find it to be work, work, work, and putting up with a lot they never bargained for. They are just as unprepared for it, as a junior higher is to be a senior in high school. Take your time in life and learn what God wants you to learn before moving somewhere else.
Jesus lived the most fulfilled and obedient life that ever was. How many of you know that he was single? How many of you know that the focus of His life was on doing whatever the will of the Father was? How many of you know that Jesus had a very high view of marriage. Look at Matthew 19:8-10Mat 19:8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."
The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."
How many of you know that Jesus had an even higher view of the state of being single Look at Mat 19:11-12 Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
A lot of people think that if they get married then they really grow and become spiritual. Listen to me. Marriage will hinder your walk with the Lord. You should never get married to get closer to God, because the Bible says the exact opposite thing is going to happen.
Let’s look at 1 Cor 7:32-34 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs--how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife-- and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."
Paul is saying you are free to get married if you want to, but know this, you will not be as available to serve God as you would if you were single. Marriage hinders spiritual development, because your interests are always divided and there is less time for you.
A single person can come in from work, kick off her shoes and say that’s it, Lord it’s just you and me. I’m not going to do anything I don’t want to do. A married woman does not come home and do that especially if there are children around. She may be blessed to just say Lord help.
What is the single state. As I said earlier, it is the ability to be a complete person all by yourself. What causes too many people to leave the single state far too quickly is sex. We are just like the society in Corinth which was obsessed with sex. We just want it, and we’re told we’re missing out if we don’t get it. We fill our minds with it with movies, magazines, and videos. So we decide we’re going to do it. Sex never delivers all that it promises.
The other reason we rush to marriage is a false view of reality. (I will be happy, I will not be lonely, I will have a near perfect relationship.I can’t be happy unless I’m married. I will have all the sex I want.) You know if your marriage is a bad one, sex is not going to be something in it that you enjoy. You will come to despise it and to hate it. You will find yourself struggling with the issues of adultery.
As a single person, you have opportunities before you that are unbelievable. Your being single is not your preparation time to one day get married, but your time to become a whole person so that a good marriage can be an option if the door opens for it.
Your being single is your time of perfecting who you are as a person chosen by God to do great things. It’s your time to pursue knowing who God is and knowing the things of God. It’s your time to pursue your career. Your time to stand alone, do alone, buy alone, and make decisions for your life alone with God.
As a single person, your primary calling in life is to get to know who God is. That’s not going to change even if you decide to one day marry. If you want a husband or a wife, let God know about it and pray for it. Just be willing to accept that God’s plans may be different than our plans. It also means we should enjoy the life God has given us now, and not try to live it out there in the future.
Being single is not a price we pay for doing something wrong. It is a not a cross we bear, because God wants us to suffer. It’s not a sentence we live out because we couldn’t find anyone to marry us. I ask your forgiveness if the church has ever made you feel, you have to be married to live a complete life.
As pastors, we thank all of you singles who have served as big sisters and big brothers, moms and dads to the kids in the church the community, and in your family, who needed you to do so. We thank you for being brothers and sisters or daughter and sons to other adults in the church.
We thank you for the tremendous amount of time and energy you have given to the church. We thank you that you have trusted us enough to become a part of the family of the church. We especially thank the widows and widowers who are still looking back to help those families who can’t pay for their kids to go on trips, or to be in camp. You are the silent force that the Holy Spirit uses to impact the lives of others in the church.
Being single is an opportunity to live for Christ and to show the world that God can make us all whole through the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit living in our lives. It’s a privilege to be available to work in the kingdom of God. It is a gift to be able to say, here I am Lord, use me.
As a single person, right now you have the best potential to maximize your spiritual growth and use your freedom in Christ to become what you want to be, go where you want to go, focus in on what you want to focus and perfect your attitude in Jesus Christ.
Find out how much you can achieve in your singleness. Find out how victorious in Jesus Christ you can be. Resolve to stay single until God leads you in another direction. Your future and the future of the Kingdom of God is at stake.
When you see yourself and your position as God sees you, you’ll realize there are no finer tools in the body of Christ for God to use than you. Since you’ve been risen with Christ, strive to know all the Jesus has for you. God is able to provide for you what you need, when you need it. Remember, God is able to give you the desire of your heart.
The World needs you more than ever. There are more singles making up a larger proportion of our population. They are feeling isolated and alone and turning to all kinds of things. God wants you to take the message to them that God loves them and wants to get to know them. Let them know that although their sins have separated them from God, God loved them enough to send Jesus Christ into this world to save them from their sins.
Three days later God raised this same Jesus Christ from the dead with a power that can transform their lives. They can be in a living relationship with God who can offer more to their lives than anything this world has to offer them. All they have to do is to ask forgiveness of their sin and to believe on Jesus who has risen from the dead. Singles, let God release you to be a powerful force in this world.