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Thursday, August 23, 2018

2018.08.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1Corinthians 7:1-9

Questions for Littles: Who had written that it was good for a man not to touch a woman (v1)? What happens when each man doesn’t have his own wife, or each woman doesn’t have her own husband (v2)? What do husbands and wives need to show one another (v3)? Who has authority over a wife’s body (v4)? Who has authority over a husband’s body? What does v5 command them not to do? For what purpose can they take a break? For how long? Why must they come back together quickly? To what (end of v5) was Paul offering a concession (v6)? Like whom did he wish they were instead (v7)? Now to whom is he talking in v8? Like whom does he say it is good for the to remain? But what should they do if they cannot exercise self-control (v9)? Because of what does he give this particular instruction (cf. v26)?
In this week’s Epistle reading, we learned that at least some of the Corinthians had come up with their own solution to the problem of sexual immorality: perpetual celibacy. It’s not a new plan. Roman Catholics—and other cults—have long taught the idea that there is a level of super-Christian who decide never to get married at all.

Now, the Corinthians were in a temporary situation of distress (v26) that it made it best to stay single if possible without sin (v8-9). But, not everyone is given the gift of unusual self-control (v7). So, even in the Corinthian situation, marriage was the best option for most.

Man’s ideas are no substitute for the Word of God or the Spirit of God. When God calls something good, like marriage, we cannot compensate for our sinfulness by calling that thing bad and just trying to stay away from it.

Obviously, from this passage, singleness is not a cursed state. However, it is plain from this and many other passages that marriage is a blessed state.

And it is crystal clear from this passage that husbands and wives are to be affectionate to one another. This is God’s good design for marriage, and to depart from it is not only to deprive ourselves of God’s good gift, but to leave ourselves defenseless before our own sin and folly.

Let us learn what folly comes from adding rules to God’s rules, as if that could actually do something about our sin.
What are you doing to support and guard your and others’ marriages?
Suggested songs: ARP45B “Daughter, Incline Your Ear” or TPH549 “O Gracious Lord”

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