“Marriage, Pt.2 – Obedience” – 1 Corinthians 7:17-24
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As you recall from last week, the Apostle Paul is responding to specific questions he was asked by the Corinthians, rather than problems or sins that were reported from within congregation (1 Cor. 1:11)
As Paul answers these questions, keep in mind that his replies are not the complete teaching from God's word, on this important subject, only direct answers to the questions asked.
Further study in Genesis, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Ephesians and 1 Peter, as well as various other Scriptures, are needed to understand God's plan for us in holy matrimony.
With this noted, let us continue to study Paul's direction and wisdom as it relates to marriage and, hopefully, apply them to our own.
Remain as You Are
* In Scripture, the word, "nevertheless" always ties the coming passage to the previous passage. Like a bridge needed to get from one place to another.
"...live as...the Lord has assigned...has called them..."
* Paul is referring to believers married to unbelievers (vs. 12-15), and his directions to them.
"...was a man circumcised...uncircumcised when he was called?"
* Was he a Jew or Gentile?
"...circumcision...uncircumcision is nothing."
* It is not important to God whether you were a Jew or Gentile when He calls you to salvation (Acts 15:1)
* Likewise, it is not important whether you are married or unmarried when He calls.
"...keeping God's commands is what counts."
* Jesus said:
"You are my friends if you do what I command."
If we love Him, we will obey and keep His commandments. (Jn. 14:15)
"Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? " (Lk. 6:46)
"Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them."
* The key verse in this passage.
* If you're a Jew or Gentile, don't desire to change, married or unmarried, don't desire a change.
Likewise, if God has called you to be a businessman, don't desire to be a minister; minister where you are. A wife and mother; to be a pastor - God has already given you a pulpit and congregation, your husband and children!
"Were a slave when called..."
* In the Roman empire, 50% were slaves.
* In Christianity, a slave would fellowship with his master in the same church.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
"Don't let it trouble you..."
* Some thought they should be set free from their masters.
* Paul councils them to become free, if possible, to buy their freedom, but not revolt. (Eph. 6:5-9, Col. 3:22)
"...the Lord's freed person..."
* Once saved, we are freed from sin, and the law that condemns us to death. (Gal. 5:1)
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
(1 Cor. 15:55)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
"...similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ's slave."
* "Christ's slave" - Bond servant, freely and joyously enlisted in Christ's service forever.
"You were bought at a price..."
* The highest price! God sent His own Son to the cross to ransom and redeem us from the death we justly deserved.
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the
righteousness of God.
(2 Cor. 5:21)
"Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them."
* When the Spirit of God repeats a truth twice in the same passage of Scripture, we should take note! Three times, even the dumb sheep should get.
"Obey...as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God."
Obedience to Christ is the issue.
"We are prone to think that a change in circumstances is always the answer to a problem, but the problem is usually within us and not around us.
The heart of every problem is the problem in the heart."
As we get ready to take communion and celebrate the "Lord's Supper," let us consider our own obedience to Christ's commands.
Especially in light of the circumstances we find ourselves in currently.
God has us right where He wants us.
He is teaching us through these circumstances, how to be drawn closer to Him and each other, where our peace and safety really are.
Come quickly Lord Jesus!