Call to Worship August 30 2020

Expository Thought on I Corinthians 7: 24-40

Marriage, between one man and one woman, is the God given usual state of life with certain providential or biblical exceptions. Those who know themselves and are not called to singleness should marry if providence allows. Physical passion between a man and woman is a blessing not a curse. Although the fall of Adam and Eve cursed it, this passion was created by God. He called it good among His creation, yet the sin nature has perverted the blessing. Therefore to fight against the curse, professing believers must marry in the Lord, if providence allows, according to God’s command. Each marriage will have its joys and difficulties. However God’s grace is sufficient to faithfully direct each couple according to His will in Christ Jesus.

Furthermore, Paul gives wisdom and encouragement to the one who is single in the Lord. Some will be single by decision and others by providence. No matter the reason for singleness, God still calls those who are unmarried to physical faithfulness to the Lord. Also, it is not a blight on their character, but an opportunity to be single-minded in devotion to the Lord. The married person has taken on a responsibility that will occupy their mind and time. They will be focused on matters of daily life in a way that a single person may not be occupied. Being single is not necessarily a misfortune for the believer, but an opportunity to serve Christ with more focused devotion.

Sadly, the Roman Catholic church took verses like these and contrived a doctrine of celibacy and singleness for the priest hood that was never commanded or intended. They took a possibility of devoted singleness and mandated it upon many men of no faith or weak faith. What a detriment this has been to the Christian religious culture. What God gave in His word as an instruction for those who may be single by providence, Rome skewed and sullied the name of Christ. They brought confusion and shame where it was not necessary. Remaining faithful in matters of sexual purity has its difficulties without manufactured doctrines. We see it in scripture with the issue of polygamy and the unfaithfulness of David. The letters to the churches in the New Testament continue to remind believers of the command for sexual faithfulness. Yet, God never gave an overarching obligation for singleness.

Professing believers who are single may pray for the Lord to send a spouse their way. They may thoughtfully look for a believing spouse as they go through life, but for various reasons it may not come to pass. Remember that God’s grace is sufficient to see you through every aspect of life. So, if singleness occurs for a time, or a lifetime, the single Christian knows the faithfulness of their God. They will find ultimate comfort and purpose in walking with Christ. The married person and the single person who profess faith have one ultimate priority. They are to live in such a way to give glory to God in all they do in their station in life.  (B.F.S.)