Marriage, Singleness, Divorce, and Remarriage: Part 1 (1 Corinthians #19)

Text: 1 Corinthians 7:1-24

Marriage (vss 1-5)

  • Hands off policy outside of marriage (vs 1)
    • The Bible is intensely practical and as we’ll see in this chapter.
    • Outside of marriage, the line drawn in the sand is intimate touching.
    • God highly values purity.
  • Marriage bed is undefiled (vs 2)
    • Hebrews 13:4
    • God made the physical relationship for married couples.
    • For married couples, the marriage is the remedy for fornication.
    • Sin is a perversion of the real thing.  Any type of physically intimate activity outside of a marriage is a perversion.
    • God has given provision for the drives he’s given men and women.
  • Selflessness (vs 3)
    • Benevolence is a euphemism to avoid being crude
    • A euphemism is a mild or indirect expression substituted for something that may sound too crude
  • Marriage is a joining together
    • Joining everything
    • Selfless sharing
    • Genesis 2:24
    • Matthew 19:6
  • Satan’s opportunity (vs 5)
    • Satan’s inroad to your spiritual well being is the flesh
    • Defrauding has to do with the physical aspect of marriage.
    • Incontinency is the inability to control yourself.  Notice he says that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.  The flesh and the devil work together.  Husbands and wives can either be a help to each other or make things difficult.
    • It is damaging to the marriage to use your spouse’s drive against them.

Singles (vss 6-9)

  • Advice to stay single (vss 6-8)
    • Speak by permission meaning there is no old testament precedent for this.  Notice 7:10 he speaks by commandment of the Lord and then in 7:12 he speaks again without an Old Testament precedent.
    • Paul would like them all to stay unmarried like himself, but he knows that isn’t God’s plan.
  • Some folks have the God given ability to stay single and others don’t. (vs 9)
    • Matthew 19:7-11  The Lord Jesus says some men can’t live that way.

Separation, Divorce, and Remarriage (vss 10-17)

  • First advice is to reconcile or remain unmarried
  • (vss 12-14) If one spouse gets saved and the other wants to remain married, then stay married.
  • (vs 15) If one spouse gets saved and the other demands to leave, then the believing spouse isn’t responsible in that case.
  • Some OT illustrations
    • 2:2 …she is not my wife, neither am I her husband…
    • Jeremiah 3:6-8.  This book of Hosea is the “bill of divorcement” from God to Israel’s northern kingdom
    • God said there are three things in a marriage that constitute a divorce.
      • Death of a spouse is separation from that spouse (Romans 7:1-3)
      • Adultery on the part of one spouse is grounds for divorce (Matthew 5:31-32, 1 Corinthians 6:15-16)
      • Abandonment (1 Corinthians 7:12-15)
    • Reconciliation is always what God prefers if it can be done, and in the cases that can be done, the marriage is stronger for it.
    • If reconciliation is not an option, then the advice is to stay single.  Only on the condition of self control.