It is Good For Some Christians to Remain Unmarried
June 22, 2014 Speaker: John Bell Series: Flee Sexual Immorality, Glorify God With Your Body
Passage: 1 Corinthians 7:7-9–7:25-40
Defining Terms: “grace-gift” (charisma) is not a technical one for Paul that refers only to a select set of gifts that transcend the normal like healing and tongues. It embraces gifts like “encouragement” and “generous giving”, but is also used repeatedly for the gift of salvation itself, not to mention the gift of celibacy and the gift of marriage.
Although “grace-gift” can have a broad meaning for Paul, two constants are evident across the usage:
1. God freely and graciously bestows a gift.
2. God gives gifts for the building up of the body of Christ.
Pont # 1: What the Apostle Paul teaches about the gift of celibacy and singleness (1 Cor. 7:7-9)
· While Paul’s personal preference is for celibate singleness, he recognizes each Christian has their “grace- gift” from God - in this context, celibacy and marriage (7:7).
· In Paul’s pastoral opinion, it is good for the widows and unmarried to stay unmarried (7:8).
· But . . . if sexual desire is a chronic distraction and temptation, Paul advocates marriage (7:9).
Point # 2 In Paul’s judgment, staying unmarried is preferable for two reasons (1 Cor. 7: 25-40)
1. Because of the “present crisis” and the “shortness of time” - that is, the present constraint of living with the End in view (7:25–31).
2. Because of the divided interests of married life between one’s spouse and the Lord. Paul wants the Corinthians to live lives of undistracted devotion to the Lord (7:32–35).
Notwithstanding these two reasons, Paul allows unmarried Christians the freedom to choose whether to get married or not (7:36–40).