Faithlife Sermons

11/21 Serious Considerations about Marriage and Singleness

Marriage, Singleness, and the Glory of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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To be a disciple of Christ should mean that many of the questions of life and death have been answered.
THE WORLD NEEDS men and women...
who cannot be bought; whose word is their bond; who put character above wealth; who possess opinions and a will; who are larger than their vocations; who do not hesitate to take chances; who will not lose their individuality in a crowd; who will be as honest in small things as in great things; who will make no compromise with wrong; whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires; who will not say they do it" because everybody else does it"; who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity; who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for success; who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular; who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says "yes."
Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.107-8.
For Paul, The testimony of changed lives is the focus. and these qualities should be what could be said about any follower of Christ. There were some in Corinth who although their church was a wreck…They wanted to live a powerful life that brought Glory to God. They wanted the Gospel preached to thier friends and family that would liberate them from sin, like they were liberated...
Remember, Paul has made the argument that the relationships in the church have affected the preaching of the Gospel. “We have been bought with a price the precious blood of Christ.” this should be reflected in our singleness, or in our marriage in Chapters 6-7. There is serious guidance for our life here. If I am going to be single, be single for the glory of God, if im going to be married be married for the glory of God.
Some may be wondering if being single and serving God is going to be better, or if married life is going to be better. Some may have young daughters to marry off, and they are wondering what to do.
Here Paul is talking to the “betrothed, or the virgin”. Each of these sections is divided with that phrase. All of this is in reference to questions they are asking. To say betrothed…It is not speaking of sexual purity, but their marital status, and it can be male or female. literally virgins. parthenos: of a young person of marriageable age, w. or without focus on virginity; (William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 777.)

When looking at your future marital status or how we are going to instruct disciples in the body of Christ, there are four considerations that will help glorify Christ in this:

1. Consider the challenge of limited time (7:25-35)

Married, widowed, the divorced, and now the pre-married. whether contemplating marriage, or contemplating the gift of singleness…
Consider the context: All kinds of backgrounds...Sex trafficking was big business in Corinth: “the merchants and soldiers who went there squandered all their money so that the following proverb arose in reference to them: “Not for every man is the voyage to Corinth.
According to Christ: (Matthew 19:12)  “For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.” This seems to be what Paul refers to in the gifting of singleness.
v26 “Current distress”: You might think he is merely talking about the conflict in the church, but there is a bigger picture as he explains.
v 28 “worldly troubles”:
v 29 “time is short” The time has been shortened - Time (kairos) refers to a definite period of time, like a season (for growing wheat, etc), and once it passes, it is over. “This is not going to last long. Very soon it will be over.” Literally this could be read as "“the opportunity is compressed, or shut in," the point being that time is short with reference to its opportunities.  NLT "The time that remains is very short."
v 31 “the present world is passing away”
Are we living and making decisions as if the return of christ was imminent?
Matthew 6:33 (ESV) — 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Ephesians 5:15–16 (ESV) — 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

2. Consider the challenge of total devotion (7:32-35)

In these verse, Paul seems to be indicating that there will be a great deal of undue anxiety when your devotion is out of line.
v32 “free from anxieties”: undue anxieties.
how to please” : lit. how to live up to expectations, and demands. You are happy because expectations are met.
And to secure (epiballo) undistracted devotion to the Lord - Paul has just alluded to the "distractions" associated marriage (1 Cor 7:33-34NLT = "whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible." ICB = "And I want you to give yourselves fully to the Lord without giving your time to other things."
Undistracted (563)(aperispastos from a = without + perispáo = to draw different ways at same time = Martha in Lk 10:40) means without distraction or distracting care in regard to earthly things. Only in 1 Co 7:35. Not in the Septuagint.
Devotion (2138)(euparedros from eu = well + paredros = sitting near) an adjective meaning literally sitting beside, sitting constantly by, and thus assiduous, devoted or constantly attending to (in this only use in 1 Cor 7:35 to the Lord Jesus Christ and His cause). BDAG has "being in constant attendance, constantly in service." Liddell-Scott has "constant waiting on." Not in the Septuagint.
The single person has some advantage here: there is no need for divided devotion.
Spurgeon - This world is fading away! Hate the world, value its treasure at a cheap price, estimate its gems as nothing but fakes, and its strength as nothing but dreams. Do not think that you will lose any pleasure, but rather remember the saying of that early Church leader Chrysostom … "Despise riches, and you will be rich; despise glory, and you will be glorious; despise injuries, and you will be a conqueror; despise rest, and you will gain rest; despise the earth, and you will gain heaven!"
2 Corinthians 5:15 “and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
Deuteronomy 6:5–9 (ESV) — 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

3. Consider the challenge of preserving purity (7:36-38)

There is debate on who this is being applied to because in the original language the general pronouns could go either way. v36 “his passions” has a footnote because it could be “her”the marriage of v38 seems to be the giving in marriage…
....So he is talking about either the young man who is engaged to be married, or a father who is giving his daughter away to be married. Either way the focus is on the goal of sexual purity as he said before. Are you gifted with control…then stay single, and if not… get married. You are not sinning in this.
v 36. “Not behaving properly” would mean the young man is anxious about certain things… if its the father, there could be a rushing off to marriage, or a delay of the marriage that would result in the daughter being treated with propriety.
Marriage is not required. A man who is committed to a young lady is under “no necessity”.
this then would mean, if your daughter is desiring marriage, and and is strong in her passions… you are not doing something holy by holding her back.... purity is the priority. If she is not wanting to get married… then as a Christian father… dont pressure her to do it… you will do better… by not doing so.
EXAMPLE: Lutheran(false teacher) Nadia Bolz-Weber - She called for Christian feminists to send in their purity rings… she had them melted down and made into a sculpture of female reproductive parts to emerging from a throne of flames… to burn down the partiachical system that has oppressed women with the idea of sexual purity. “It’s actually part of the tradition, that we can take objects that have harmed us and turn them into objects that help heal and sustain us.” ( >>
1 Thessalonians 4:3 (ESV) — 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;
“If your goal is purity of heart, be prepared to be thought very odd.” “I am convinced that the human heart hungers for constancy. In forfeiting the sanctity of sex by casual, nondiscriminatory “making out” and “sleeping around,” we forfeit something we cannot well do without. There is dullness, monotony, sheer boredom in all of life when virginity and purity are no longer protected and prized.” “By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we end up finding it nowhere.” Passion & Purity (Elisabeth Elliot)

4. Consider the challenge of lifelong faithfulness (7:39-40)

He is saying, remember if you do this, it is a lifelong consideration.
v 39“bound”. Tied to gether (like a bundle of sticks) - as long as he lives.
Cartoon of superglue factory… a bunch of guys in lab coats standing at the door… caption… “apparently there has been an accident at the plant.” ( >>
“When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.” - C.S. LEWIS
Biblical Support:
Mark 10:7–9 (ESV) — 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Mal 2:14-15 “the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?”
Heb 3:1-2 “Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.”
App: Be faithful to Christ to the end. David Wells puts it this way: “It is the inextinguishable knowledge of being owned by the transcendent God that forms our character, and His ownership challenges every other contender, so that we know that we belong to God, and that changes everything.”
We sing, “I belong to Jesus, I am not my own. All I have and all I am shall be His alone.” or as John Calvin said it so clearly , “We are not our own. We are God's. We belong to God; therefore, let us live for Him and die for Him.”
When it comes to Marriage and singleness: there are serious considerations:
Consider the challenge of limitation of time
Consider the challenge of total devotion
Consider the challenge of preserving purity
Consider the challenge of lifelong faithfulness.
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