A Sermon (Almost) on Marriage
1 Corinthians 7
1. The Concept of Remaining
1 Corinthians 7:17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them.
24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
a. Cultural - Circumcised vs uncircumcised
b. Social - Slave vs free
c. Personal - Married vs unmarried
2. Conditions to Remain.
17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches… 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.
…22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
3. Why Remain? (or, Why Move?)
I bow down to pray; I try to make the worst seem better; Lord, show me the way; To cut through all his worn out leather; I've got a hundred million reasons to walk away; But, I just need one good one to stay – Lady Gaga, Million Reasons
a. A Compressed Time
1 Corinthians 7:29 (NASB)
29 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;
Acts 5:6 (NIV) Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
Mark 13:20 (NIV) “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
b. A Collapsing World
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NASB)
29 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
c. A Constant Attention.
I Corinthians 7:32-35
7:32 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. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman… 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. 35 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.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not;
Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.