Marriage, Divorce, Celibacy and Virginity

1 Corinthians Series Chapter 7 (Audio Sermon)

While addressing a crisis in Corinth, Paul tells the married believers to be sexually active, the believers with unbelieving partners to allow them to leave, the virgins that burn with passion to be quick to marry, and those that don’t burn to remain celibate. This sermon discusses why these things are still relevant today. Click the arrow to play –

Speakers notes follow –

1 Corinthians 7. I-16, 25-40

Hijacked man reveals secret bank account – pressure means new decisions

Present crisis (7.26) Suggestions: Famine-Persecution – gone by Second Letter
– Ongoing immorality obvious
7. I ‘Not to (marry) have sexual relations’ – quoting their letter
7. 2 Have your ‘own’- the way to handle sexual desire
– Clear sexual passion not to be fulfilled outside marriage
7. 3-4 Corinthian immorality may have messed up married thinking
– Resistance of partner – may have thought it dirty due to situation

Bodies shared property – can’t say ‘its mine, I’ll do as I want’
Paul doesn’t say it so you can obligate partner – about attitude
‘yield’ to each other – wrong to deprive (5) – help stand against immorality
7.5 Mutual consent – prayer (fasting) – short time – Satan tempts – only stop for prayer!
– learn from church in immoral society!

God created strong sex drive for a reason – marriage – oneness – don’t invite problems
If its not happening – sort it out?
Paul doesn’t think its mainly for procreation – cements covenant oneness – glue – Don’t become unglued!
Bible – sex good, godly, healthy – not dirty or fleshly

7.6-7 Celibacy Concession – I wish all unmarried – but a gift
Churches have either under or over valued celibacy (Catholic-Protestant)
7.32-35 Distractions in marriage – Paul didnt have them
Stay unmarried if you don’t burn with passion… the sign of the gift
SA friend – prayer to be celibat

7.10 Concerning Married Christians – Lords command – don’t divorce – Jesus clear
Being Christian doesn’t ensure happy marriage – applying Bible principles likely to

7.12 Concerning Unbelieving Partners – a partner converted after marriage
Thought fad – now see it isn’t – big changes – holiness – uncompromising
Ancients feared gods if partner changed religion for another god
Unbeliever wants to go – let them – return dowry – don’t withhold
Dowry – brides family to husband – things needed to look after her – clothes, toiletries, jewels, slaves, property. Careful how used – returned if divorce
Believer not bound (meaning?) – can divorce – also remarry? Widow not bound

Divorce & Remarriage – Jesus to Paul progression
Mt 19.3-9 Moses allowed divorce -Jews ask Jesus – one exception
Paul restates (not I, but the Lord) then adds an exception as one who’s trustworthy and has the Spirit (not the Lord, but I) – what about violence, desertion?
Best if unbeliever stays – may convert – ‘How do you know’

7.25 Concerning the Unmarried – present crisis – remain as you are
Virgin (must be) ‘getting along in years’ (36) marry – not wrong
Young? Wait till wedding – don’t need experience – better to share the adventure
Don’t need to try them in bed – a good lover has a good attitude – know it across table
Don’t do it because all are – they’re soon single parents, no support, kid in lack
Meeting my mother after 42 yrs – single parents
Glue works best first time – Bible very practical

Chinese Sexual Revolution -1989 15,5% had sex before marriage – 2014 71% – till 1997 was Illegal
Be a youth that promotes waiting – 95% of our youth in SA group virgins – good peer group
Virgins have a strength – can look the tempter in the eye unmoved

Widows can remarry – but man must be in the Lord

Mercy to Divorced – some act is if its unforgivable – divorced feel it
We’re called to restore the broken – heal them, get them ministrying
Wisdom – if partners accuse each of adultery – remove from ministry – but once resolved restore them
Many hurt by sexual – marriage Issues – called to heal not be judgemental

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