For those Never Married

For those Never Married

Words of Faith 6-6-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Study in the Land of the Bible with Dr. and Mrs. Hoy. Two trips available –

December 26, 2017 to January 5, 2018

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January 4-13, 2018

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1 Corinthians 7

   [25] Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. [26] Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. [27] Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. [28] But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

 

       What about those singles who had never been married? Paul made the assumption here, even in the promiscuous culture Corinth, that persons who had never been married were virgins-- or sexually inexperienced. Should such people get married?

       The basic principle Paul had been setting forth-- to continue in one's present position-- was applied to those who had never married. Apparently this was in response to a question put to him. Paul urged them to remain single, for three reasons-- an impending time of distress for Christians was upon them (26-28), the imminent return of Christ (29-31), and this gave an opportunity for undistracted service for Christ (32-35). But, if a person who had never married does get married this is not a sin.

       Paul was clear about the call of God for singles to walk in purity before marriage, or indefinitely if one does not marry. He advised Timothy to "flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Tim. 2:22).

       "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Hebrews 13:4). "It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable" (1 Thes. 4:3-4). "God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity. Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body" (NLT).

         Paul's point here was practical, not moral. There is no moral command against marriage, in fact, quite the opposite; marriage is the context God created for sexual love and the creation of family. But Paul wanted to spare those who were not married from "many troubles in this life".

       Paul was not poor mouthing the institution of marriage. Most scholars agree that these "troubles" were the persecution of Christians that was beginning to sweep from Rome toward the east. With the return of Christ, there would be the birth pangs of the Second Advent. These troubles would be difficult enough. Being newly married with a young family would make such times all the more difficult.

           We must remember that Paul began this whole section by saying: "Each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband (7:2).   Paul was not anti-marriage; but he did have concerns.

         We must also remember that Jesus honored and blessed the institution of marriage when He attended a wedding at Cana of Galilee (John 2). He even had enough concern for that celebration that He performed His first public miracle there by changing water into wine. There is no question that Jesus honored and valued marriage extremely highly-- "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery" (Matt. 19:9).

         So should people get married? The disciples said to Jesus, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry." Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it" (Matt. 19:10-12).

         Jesus affirmed that celibacy in service of the Lord is one of the calls of God. He also affirmed that "everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life" (Matt. 19:29). He also blessed a wedding with His presence and miraculous power.

         For believers today, we face some of the same issues which threaten the stability of life. Christians are now persecuted in the media, in the courts and in the schools. The attacks against Christianity are no longer subtle. Globally, there is growing hatred by religious people toward Jews and Christians.

         We do not know, but the birth pangs of Christ's return may be upon us soon. Yet, we generally look with more optimism concerning marriage. We celebrate with great joy the weddings of those who are young and getting married for the first time. We pray the blessing of the Lord upon those who feel called to have a married life together that honors God and is a witness to His love.

 

       Father God, guide Your children and Your church in these times that are difficult. Lead each one into the life of service You desire. Give Your blessing upon those who marry in Your Name and to those who are being called to singleness in service. In Jesus' Name.

 

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Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)

http://www.faithfellowshipweb.com

pastorjeff@faithfellowshipweb.com

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 2007 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.