South Union Mennonite Church
Worship 6.19.2022
Worship Service Sermon Notes 6.19.2022. Service starts at 10:30 a.m., though "event" starts at 9:30 a.m. so people can access notes.
Locations & Times
  • South Union Mennonite Church
    56 OH-508, West Liberty, OH 43357, USA
    Sunday 9:30 AM
Introduction: My goal today is help you to discern between these various issues that you might helpfully work through them as they arise in your life (whether yours or a friend's) or to work through what has happened in the past.

Biblical Context: Paul moves from addressing a problem in the Corinthian's view of marriage to giving situational guidelines for marriage. We recall that both marriage and singleness are gifts from God.
First Guiding Principle introduced: Remain as you are.

Unmarried is a general term for all those who are not married, including virgins, divorced, widows/widowers, etc.

The first guiding principle is given for the purpose of devotion and service to the Lord.
Second Guiding Principle: If someone cannot exercise self-control to remain purely devoted to the Kingdom of God, then marry rather than burn with passion.

These two principles will help us work through and discern what comes.
Jesus' Teaching (Matthew 19:9; Mark 10:9-12). Jesus combats the pharisaic and 1st century Judaic practice of divorcing/remarrying for whatever reason they want. Jesus grounds his response of "no divorcing" in creation (Genesis 1-2) and reinterprets the "Do not commit adultery" to include "Do not divorce." Exception: Sexual immorality.

The primary issue is righteousness within a marriage.

In Roman Law, a man or woman could divorce for whatever reason they wanted. Romans generally satisfied their desires as much as possible. A woman's lifespan was usually 20-30 years.
Paul addresses married Christian couples. Paul speaks to the women first, probably as part of the situation happening in Corinth (1 Cor. 7:1). He includes the Christian element of reconciliation in his teaching. Paul's response still has room for Deut. 24:1-4.
For mixed marriages, Christian/unbeliever, the guiding principle #1 remains in effect: remain as you are.

Initiative for staying or divorce is in hands of unbeliever.

The marriage is made holy by believer - the family is set apart by God for purposes of God quite possibly including salvation of entire family.
Walk in the life God gave like Christ would walk throughout life.

Social-economic status has no impact on your standing with God.

It's not that "bettering oneself" or change should never happen. It is never to happen in the context of worldly ambition or because we are merely spiritually disgruntled.
Basically, 1 Cor. 7:25-28 can be summed up as, "Don't seek marriage, but if you do get married don't worry about it."

Guiding principle #3 (1 Cor. 7:26, 29-31): Live in light of the fact that since Jesus has come the world is coming to an end. We are to live our lives to please God.
This section is expanded guidance using guiding principle #2: if one burns with passion, marry.

If the distraction of an attraction is so powerful it detracts from one’s devotion to the LORD, then marry. If it's not that powerful, then "remain as you are."
For someone to remain single, their must be four things which involve being fully convinced in someone's mind, all found in verse 37.

Each of these things comes back to being convinced in their own mind of singleness as well as to no outside influence on the matter.

Widows are to remarry only in the Lord (only other Christians).

Practical Application
Three guiding principles: remain as you are, marry if you burn with passion, live in light of the world coming to an end for Jesus has already come (live for God.

Address our cultural context had on with grace, truth, and love.

All divorce has sin involved one way or another, by both parties or one party.

The cure for sin is always Jesus (no condemnation, no ranking of sin, no picking on sin, but we must confess and repent).

We may very well need to forgive our ex-spouse.

Remain in your current man-woman marriage.

Remarriage could be sin if it is legalized lust; if process of repentance and devoting self to God, then we follow the guiding principles.

Jesus' teaching still stands. Paul's guiding principles help to flesh it out.

If you are concerned, confused, or angry, come talk with me.