I want to remind you that we are in I Corinthians chapter 7, and we have studied from verses 1 to 24. We want to complete the chapter tonight by the grace of God. But I want to remind you of the very important verse upon which we are anchoring all that we are learning:
ch 7:2. “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband”.
The verse is telling us that to avoid fornication, sinning, defilement, ungodliness, and to pursue holiness and heaven in the area of marriage, let every man and woman in any generation, in any church who have reached marriageable age, without exception have his or her own spouse. With this pivotal verse, whatever else we read, we must come back to this and understand that this is the standard of the word of God.
Therefore, whatever you hear or read from any other source, this is the standard of God: (vs 39) “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord”. This is telling us that as long as a couple is joined together, they must be together until death does them part, at which time the living spouse can remarry. In remarrying, he or she must marry in the Lord.
vs 32. Whether married or unmarried, it is important to ensure that you harbour no worries, anxiety or dissipation. Both married and unmarried must be dedicated to God, they must please God.
vs 35. All that we are learning on marriage as it concerns the believer is for our personal, spiritual and earthly profit, that we dedicate ourselves to, and serve God without distractions. It is also for our eternal profit, that after this world, we have a place in heaven.
The topic of our study tonight is, SUBMISSION TO GOD’S UNCHANGEABLE WORD and it is divided into three parts.
- THE SOLEMN CONSIDERATION OF THE PRESENT DISTRESS. I Corinthians 7:25-31
As it is happening today with disease, suffering, pressure, restrictions, there was distress with the Corinthian Christians at that time though it was local and temporary. Apostle Paul made it known to them that he knew all that they were going through, and even though he had received nothing from God about the situation, yet, he would give his counsel.
- The Apostle’s Concern For The Present Distress
(I Corinthians 7:25-26; II Samuel 7:3-5; I Samuel 16:6-7; Isaiah 55:8-9)
When Paul spoke about faith in Christ, holiness, salvation by grace, he did not use the word, ‘suppose’, but because he did not get anything from the Lord, He used “I suppose” concerning certain aspects of marriage. Note, whenever a prophet says anything that is not anchored on the solid and unchangeable word of God, if that prophet, apostle, servant of God listens to the Lord, He will bring him back to where the word of God stands on the issue.
Nathan had not received anything from the Lord but he gave a go-ahead to David who planned to build a house for God because it looked good in his sight. But in the night, the Lord told him a contrary instruction and he had to go back to the king to give him the direct and clear message from the Lord which was that David must not build a house for Him. All personal opinions had to be pushed aside.
When Samuel gave his opinion concerning the choice of Jesse’s eldest sons as king for Israel, God corrected him immediately and warned him not to look at the face because He the Lord looks at the heart. Samuel saw the eldest sons as fitting for the throne, but that was not what God wanted because He doesn’t see as man sees, even during pandemic and other perplexities. Whenever we don’t have any instruction from God, we must learn to always defer taking a decision or saying anything specific on any issue.
- The Appropriate Counsel And His Prevailing Declaration
(I Corinthians 7:27-28; Exodus 18:19,23; Joshua 9:14,22; Psalm 33:11; Proverbs 19:21; Acts 20:26-27)
Whatever God and Christ said which were written by Apostle Paul must prevail. Are you married? Don’t look for excuse to divorce and be loosed from your partner despite all the problems and perplexities in the home. The single, widow or widower has the privilege to marry even though there are peculiar troubles and challenges which married people usually have.
When Jethro the father in law of Moses gave him a counsel concerning decentralizing his duties as a leader of the people of Israel, he concluded by telling Moses to still go to God to confirm what he had told him. Whenever you give counsel to people, tell them to go to the prevailing declaration of the word of God before taking any step. Whatever counsel you receive from anyone, whatever you read from books or hear from theologians, understand that they are not God and always remember that the word of God stands forever. Always come back to the word of God. There are people who will sympathize with you on whatever unpleasant conditions and situations you are going through in your marriage, whatever they say, they may mean well, but ensure you go back to the counsel of the Lord which shall stand forever.
- The Appreciated Concentration On Our Preferred Destiny
(I Corinthians 7:29-31; Matthew 10:37-39; Luke 9:61-62; 14:26-27)