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Summary: We are to be satisfied in our calling.

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THE MARRIAGE COUNSELOR

I Corinthians 7:1-16

S: Marriage (sexual health)

C: To live within your call

Th: Live the Difference

Pr: We are to be satisfied in our calling.

?: Where?

KW: Situations

TS: We will find in our study of I Corinthians 7:1-16 situations in which we are to be satisfied with God’s calling on our lives.

The _____ situation involves the…

I. MARRIED (2-5)

II. SINGLE (6-9)

III. DIVORCED (10-11)

IV. UNBELIEVING (12-16)

PA:

· Please God.

· Please God by being satisfied in your calling.

· Stay in the condition you are, if possible.

Version: ESV

RMBC 23 May 04 AM

INTRODUCTION:

ILL Notebook: Marriage (Pillsbury)

While attending a marriage seminar on communication, Jim and his wife listened to the instructor declare: "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other."

He addressed the men: "For instance, gentlemen, can you name your wife’s favorite flower?"

Jim leaned over, touched his wife’s arm gently and whispered, "Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn’t it?"

The rest of the story is not pleasant.

Have you ever noticed that we don’t always get our relationships right?

I am sure that many of you husbands and wives have said something you wish you could take back.

You said something that did not sit well with your spouse.

And if it was really bad, you are reminded from time to time with, “Remember when you said…”

To this day, you haven’t been able to live it down.

Whenever you are in trouble, your spouse proves to be an accurate historian.

TRANSITION:

Well, I want to remember a little history from last week.

You may remember that…

1. Last week, we recognized that the use of our bodies is a matter of worship.

Our bodies are not separate entities from our soul and spirit.

No, it is a package deal.

Therefore, we are to glorify God with our bodies.

As Paul would later say to the Roman church…

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

So this means that what we do with our bodies is important.

And when it comes to our sexuality, we need to follow the advice we heard last week from Randy Alcorn’s book, The Purity Principle, where he says this…

“Purity is always smart; impurity is always stupid.”

We are to practice purity with our bodies so that we can live lives characterized by holiness; so that we can live the difference we are called to live as Christians.

You see…

2. To “live the difference” means that we practice sexuality the way God designed it.

Please remember that our sexuality is not bad or evil.

Far from it!

God has created it.

He has blessed it.

He has called it good.

But if it is to be truly enjoyed, it must be practiced in the way the Designer has made it.

Otherwise, it just doesn’t work.

Now…that was a brief historical summary of last week’s study.

3. As we move to the 7th chapter, Paul is answering a question from the church about the state of marriage.

He is, in effect, a marriage counselor.

So, Paul starts out this way…

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman."

For the first six chapters, Paul has been giving answers about situations that have been reported to him.

Now, beginning with this chapter and verse, he is answering specific questions that have been put to him.

The first question is about a practice that has sprung up in the Corinthian church.

You will remember that the culture of Corinth was rather sex-crazed.

Some in the church had become completely reactive to this by shunning sexuality altogether – following another popular Greek philosophy – ascetism, which was the opposite of the typical hedonistic ways of most of the residents of Corinth.

In fact, some had come to the conclusion that Paul quotes here in verse 1, that it is good for a man not to have a sexual relationship with a woman.

They have taken this ascetic position toward sex and marriage.

They have decided to refrain, believing that it was better not to have any sexual expression at all, and to become sexually neutral like the angels.

Perhaps this is a hard concept for us to understand because we don’t tend to be ascetic.

If we copy the Greeks in anything, it’s in hedonism – seeking pleasure for ourselves – and especially sexual pleasure.

Now before you say, perhaps this concept of abstinence isn’t such a bad idea, understand how these Corinthian Christians were applying it.

For, they were not arguing for abstinence outside of marriage (which is proper), but in marriage.

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