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Sermons

It is Good for Some Christians to Remain Unmarried

November 7, 2021 Speaker: John Bell Series: 1 Corinthians

Passage: 1 Corinthians 7:7–7:9, 1 Corinthians 7:25–7:40

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.

1. What the Apostle Paul teaches about the gift of celibacy and singleness (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)

  • In Paul’s pastoral opinion, it is good for the widows and unmarried to stay
    unmarried (8)
  • But if sexual desire is a chronic distraction and temptation, Paul advocates
    marriage (9)

2. In Paul’s judgment, staying unmarried is preferable for two reasons (25-40)

  • Because of the “present crisis” and the “shortness of time” - that is, the present
    constraint of living with the End in view (25–31)
  • 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
    (32–35).

3. Notwithstanding these two reasons, Paul allows unmarried Christians the freedom to
choose whether to get married or not (36–40)

More in 1 Corinthians

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