Monday, February 17, 2014

Christian Sex and Marriage (1 Corinthians 7)

Scripture: I Corinthians 7
Translation: 1Now, about the things you wrote: “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” 2But because of sexual sins, each man had better have his own wife. And each woman had better have her own husband. 3The man fulfill the obligation to the woman, and likewise the woman to the man. 4The woman doesn’t have authority over her own body, rather the man does. But also likewise the man does not have authority over his own body, rather the woman does. 5Don’t deprive one another, except by agreement for an amount of time, so that you can focus your effort on prayer and can be together again, so that Satan can’t tempt you because of your lack of control. 6But I say this according to a concession not according to a command.
7And I want all humans to be like myself, but each one has his own gift from God: one like this, another like that. 8But I say to the unmarried people and the widows, it is good for them if they stay like me. 9But if they can’t control themselves, they should get married, because it is better to marry than be burning. 10And I command the married people—not me but the Lord—that a wife had better not be separated from the husband, 11(but also if she is separated, she had better stay unmarried or she had better work things out with the husband) and a husband had better not divorce a wife. 12And to the rest I say—me not the Lord—if any brother has an unbelieving wife and she agrees to live with him, he had better not divorce her! 13And a woman, if any woman has an unbelieving husband, and this guy agrees to live with her, she had better not divorce the husband. 14Because the unbelieving husband is made holy by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy by the brother, since then your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15But if the unbeliever separates himself, he had better be separated. The brother or sister is not enslaved with those kind of people. And God called you in peace. 16Because what do you know, wife, if you will save your husband? Or what do you know, husband, if you will save your wife?
17Anyway, as the Lord apportioned to each person, as God called each one, in this way he had better walk. And in this way I commanded in all the churches. 18Someone circumcised was called, he had better not pull over the foreskin. Someone was called with the foreskin, he had better not get circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing and the foreskin is nothing, rather keeping the commands of God [is something]. 20Each person, in the calling in which He was called, in this [calling] he had better stay. 21A slave was called, it had better not worry him. But also if you can become free, make the most of it. 22Because the person called by the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedperson, likewise the person called as a free person is Christ’s slave. 23You were bought at high cost. Don’t become the slaves of men. 24Each person, in what condition he was called, brothers, in this condition he had better stay for God.
25But about the virgins, I don’t have a command from the Lord, but I give you some advice as someone given mercy by the Lord for being faithful. 26So, I think this really is good because of the present necessity/suffering, namely that it is good for a man to be this way. 27Are you bound to a wife, don’t seek a release. Are you released from a wife, don’t see a wife. 28But also, if you would marry, you don’t sin, and if the virgin would marry, she doesn’t sin. But these kind of people will have suffering in the body, and I want to spare you. 29But I say this, brothers: the time is limited. Finally, so that also those who have wives should be as those who don’t have, 30and those who are crying, as those who aren’t crying, and those who are rejoicing as those who aren’t rejoicing, and those who are buying, as those who don’t have, 31and those who are making us time, as those who don’t use, because the way of life of this world is on the way out. 32And I want you to be worry-free. The unmarried man worries about the things of the Lord, how he should please the Lord. 33But the one who gets married worries about the things of the world, how he could please his wife. 34And he worries about himself. And the unmarried woman and the virgin worry about the things of the Lord, so that she could be holy both in the body and the spirit. But the woman who gets married worries about the things of the world, how she could please her husband. 35But I say this for your own benefit, not so that I can put a noose on you, but for what is honorable and productive for the Lord without distraction. 36But if someone thinks to be acting shamefully against his virgin, if she is past puberty and she ought to become that way, what he wants he had better do, he doesn’t sin. They had better marry. 37But who stands first in his heart, not having the need, and he has authority about his own will and he judges this in his own heart, to keep his virgin, he will do well. 38Therefore, also the one who marries his virgin does well and the one who doesn’t marry does better. 39A wife is bound for whatever amount of time her husband lives. But if the husband would be asleep, she is free to marry who she wants, only in the Lord. 40But it is more blessed if she would stay that way, according to my opinion, but I also seem to have God’s Spirit.

1.      Structure
a.       Response to “It’s good not to have sex.”
                                                              i.      It is Good and Necessary to have sex with your spouse (vv.1-6)
                                                            ii.      Both Marriage and Celibacy are Gifts from God (vv.7-9)
                                                          iii.      Don’t Get Divorced (vv.10-16)
b.      Transition with “Stay the way you are” (vv.17-24)
                                                              i.      Stay in the social location you were when saved (v.17)
                                                            ii.      Stay circumcised or uncircumcised (vv.18-19)
                                                          iii.      Stay in the social location you were when saved (v.20)
                                                          iv.      Stay a slave unless you can get free, and if free stay free (vv.22-23)
                                                            v.      Stay in the social location you were when saved (vv.24)
c.       Response to how to treat your fiancée
                                                              i.      Not a command, but a wise and somewhat binding advice (vv.24)
                                                            ii.      Get married if you want, or don’t get married, but the present suffering will make marriage difficult. But it is not a sin to get married or not to get married (vv.25-28)
                                                          iii.      Time is limited, so understand the present reality is on the way out, don’t get too attached to it (vv.29-31).
1.      If you’re married, be like you’re not
2.      If you're crying, be like you’re not
3.      If you’re celebrating, be like you’re not
4.      If you’re buying, like you’re not getting
5.      Because the present state of the world is on the way out
                                                          iv.      Marriage divides your interests between God and Spouse, so there is an advantage to singleness for working for God, but it is not a requirement (vv.32-35)
                                                            v.      If you feel like you should get married, get married, if not, don’t; both are good, but singleness has some advantages (vv.36-38)
                                                          vi.      If you get married, stay married, if widowed, you can remarry, but there is advantage in not. (vv.39-40a)
                                                        vii.      Paul has the Spirit, so his advice is valuable (v.40b)
2.      Themes
a.       Sex
b.      Marriage
c.       Singleness
d.      Time is limited
e.       Divided interests/worry
f.       Circumstances have some influence
g.      Stay in whatever social condition you were in
3.      Doctrines
a.       Marriage is good
b.      Sex is good in marriage
c.       Singleness is good and has some advantages

a.       Does sex in marriage sound a like a good thing? What do you think makes sex in marriage so good and sex outside of marriage not good?
b.      Paul says people who have difficulty controlling their sexual urges should marry, do you find it hard for you to deal with your sexual desires?
c.       What are the pros and cons of being single and being married?

d.      When Paul says that this current world is on the way out, what in your life is affected by understanding this? 

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