Thursday, August 30, 2018

2018.08.30 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1Corinthians 7:10-16

Questions for Littles: To whom is Paul talking in v10? Whom does he claim to be quoting? What does he say that a wife must not do? What are her only options if she makes a separation like this (v11)? What may a husband not do? Whom does Paul now say he is not quoting in v12? What does he say a Christian husband should do, if his unbelieving wife is willing to live with him (v13)? What does he say a Christian wife should do, if her unbelieving husband is willing to live with her (v13)? What people are made holy (sanctified) by a believing wife, even if they themselves are unbelieving (v14)? Whom should they permit to depart (v15)? To what has God called us? What possibility, in God’s providence and mercy, is an encouragement to stay together (v16)?
In this week’s Epistle reading, we received more instruction about Christian marriage.

It is important to note that this is all equally Scripturally authoritative. Paul says in v40 that he is giving this counsel under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The difference between quoting Jesus and not quoting Jesus is that, when he is quoting Christ, he is basically telling them things that they should already have known.

Here, the apostle addresses the married—in part, because of that very bad advice which some of them had written, that it is not good for a man to touch a woman. But marriage is a good gift from God for many purposes.

One of these purposes of healthy, faithful marriages is for the producing of godly descendants (cf. Malachi 2:13-16). Now, 1Corinthians 7:14 teaches us that God counts the children as holy if even one of the parents is a believer (who, of course then, should receive the covenant sign and seal) —and that He even treats the unbelieving spouse according to the covenant. In fact, v16 (cf. 1Pet 3:1) even implies the Lord’s inclination to bring such a spouse to faith in Christ!

All of this is why, if a spouse is willing to live with a believer despite their faith, that believer is to stay in the marriage. Yet, if the unbeliever is not willing, the believer is neither to be pushy toward the spouse nor anxious in himself/herself. We are called to peace. What a blessed truth: we are called to peace.
How are you preparing for or protecting your own marriage? Others’ marriages?
Suggested songs: ARP45B “Daughter, Incline Your Ear” or TPH549 “O Gracious Lord”

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